With the increasing need for mobility and peoples lack of time our resident yoga instructor Aisling Ryan designed 10 sort videos you can add into your day to get the body lose and mobile.
The goal over the next 10 weeks is to spend 7 days on one pose and each week learning a new pose and adding it to your day. Once you have learned all 10 poses your body and mind will be more relaxed and ready to take on the days tasks.
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The following is the description of all poses
“Wake up your body” – Sun Salutation A
- Improves circulation
- Strengthen and stretches the entire body
- Cleanse digestive system
- Stand at the top of your mat, toes together heels slightly apart hands in prayer in the center of your chest,
- Inhale lift your arms up over your head
- Exhale fold your body forward
- Inhale look up, straighten the spine and place your hands on your shins
- Exhale place your hands on the mat and step/float back to high plank
- Inhale such your bellybutton into your spine
- Exhale drop the knees and lower down to low plank keeping the chest forward and elbows tucked into your body (optional full Chaturangana with knees of the ground)
- Inhale coming into an upward dog/cobra
- Exhale tuck the toes and come into downward dog, holding for 5 breaths
- Inhale look to the hands
- Exhale step/float the feet to your hands
- Inhale look up, straighten the spine and place your hands on the shins
- Exhale folding forward
- Inhale coming back to standing hands over your head
- Exhale standing with your hands by your side
Repeat this sequence between 3 and 5 times each morning, moving with your own breath.
“Strong Legs” Warrior 1 & Warrior 2
- Stretches and strengthens entire body
- Relieves back aches
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Increases stamina
- Start in downward facing dog
- Inhale look to the hands, step the right foot forward keeping the knee bent at a 90-degree angle and place the back foot down on the floor. Hips are square to the front of the room, lift the arms up over head, shoulder width apart
- Hold this position for 5 breaths
- Exhale open out your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down. Front leg still bent and turn your left thigh outward so that the center of the left knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle
- Hold for 5 breaths
- Inhale Back to Warrior 1
- Exhale place both hands on either side of the foot and step back to your downward dog
- Inhale repeating the same on the opposite side
Hold each Warrior pose for 5 breaths
“Yoga For Focus” – Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
- Improves Balance
- Stretches the groin and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
Stand at the top of your mat, feet together. Shift your weight slightly into the left hand side and bend your right knee. Firmly place the sole of your foot on either your shin or onto the inner thigh (do not place the foot on the knee)
- Bring your hands to prayer position, find your balance and if you can, lift the arms over your head.
- Gaze softly at a point in front of you.
- Hold for about 5 to 10 breaths
- Slowly release the arms and bring your hands to your hips, and with control, release the leg
- Do the same on the opposite side
Repeat on each side holding for between 5 and 10 breaths
“Strong Core” Down Dog Variation
- Banishes back pain
- Helps to prevent injury
- Protects inner organs
- Starting in downward dog
- Inhale lift the right leg up and press the left heel into the floor
- Exhale roll your shoulders on top of the wrists and bring your knee towards your mouth (Plank variation)
- Inhale bring your leg back and up in downward dog (repeat this 3 times)
- Exhale rolling forward to plank, bring the right knee to the right armpit
- Inhale back to downward dog wit leg lifted
- Exhale right knee to left armpit
- Inhale back to downward dog
Repeat this on the opposite leg, 3 times knee to mouth, once to the left armpit and once to the right armpit.
“Unwind Fridays” Seated Twist and Side Stretch
- Improves digestive system
- Detoxes the body
- Can reduce stress levels
- Maintains spinal movement
Recommended to do these poses in the evenings or halfway through your day
- Start by sitting up tall with your legs crossed
- Inhale, lift the right hand and put it on the left knee. Bring your left arm behind you, lift your chest and turn to the left looking at the back of the room
- Exhale allow your body to twist more. Hold for 5 breaths.
- On your next exhale slowly turn to the front of the room again and release the arms
Do the same on the opposite side (Left arm to right knee and turn to the right)
Hold for 5 breaths
- Start by sitting with legs crossed
- Exhale, place your right arm beside you about a foot away from your body
- Inhale lift your left arm to the side and bring it over your head leaning to the right side (feeling the stretch in the left side)
- Exhale, slowly lower your right elbow to the floor for more of a stretch, but only if both sit bones remain on the mat.
- Hold for 5 breaths
- Inhale, come back to center
Do the same on the opposite side, holding for 5 breaths
“Reverse the Desk”, Standing forward fold variation & Bridge pose
Benefits of back bending:
- Invigorates and strengthens the body
- Relieves back pain
- Improves posture
Forward fold Variation
- Start by standing at the top of your mat with feet hip width apart
- Inhale lift the chest, bend the knees and interlace your hands behind your back.
- Exhale, keeping the knees bent, fold forward, relaxing the neck and bringing your interlaced hands over head
- Allow your shoulders to open and get the feeling of your hands lowering towards the mat
- Hold here for 10 breaths
- Inhale, lift all the way back to standing
- Exhale, release the hands
- Start by lying on your back, legs bent and hip width apart, feet close to your sit bones.
- Walk your hands towards you ankles
- Inhale, lift the hips as high as you can
- Exhale push through your feet to lift the hips even higher
- Hold for 5 to 10 breaths
- On your next exhale, lower the hips slowly to the floor and release your back to the mat
- Hug your knees into your chest and rock from side to side
This pose can be done at any time of the day. I like to do this in the morning. I recommend doing this once a day to bring movement into your back!
“Yoga for Runners” Low Lunge
- Releases tension in your hips
- Stretches your hamstrings, quads and groin
- Strengthens your knees
- Helps to build mental focus
- Start with your right leg in front in a low lunge with your left knee on the floor
- Inhale, drop your tailbone towards the floor
- Exhale, allow your hips to sink towards the ground
- Inhale if you can lift your arms over your head, shoulder width apart and hold for 5 breaths.
To take this pose further…
- Place your hands on the inside and level to your right foot
- Exhale lower your elbows to the floor opening even more into the hips.
- Inhale look up, lift up your left leg, and if you can reach your right arm behind you and try to hold onto your left ankle. Hold for 5 breaths
- Exhale, release your hands and lower your foot to the floor, coming back to your low lunge
- Straighten your front leg, bring your hips back slightly and place your hands beside the right floor
- Inhale look up
- Exhale let your head drop to your right knee and flex your right foot. Hold for 5 breaths
- Inhale look up, bend the knee and back to lunge
Repeat on the opposite side, going only as far as you can into each pose. The hips can be very tight so listen to your body. Hold each step for 5 b
“Yoga Before Bed” Legs up the wall
- Alleviates headaches and tension
- Relieves lower back pain
- Lying on your back put your legs up a wall and brings your sit bones to touch the wall. (You will be in a 90’angle)
- Straighten the legs and flex the feet. If this is too much, keep a slight bend in the knees
- Place you arms out on either side and face your palms to the ceiling
- Hold this pose for as look as you want, minimum time for 10 breaths
- To come out of the pose, bend the legs, roll to one side and come to seated
This pose is one of my favorites and is a great way to relax at the end of the day.
“Hip Openers” Malasana and Baddha Konasana
- Increases hip mobility
- Aligns the pelvis and the hips
- Standing on your mat, feet hip width apart and toes facing out.
- Inhale bring your hands to prayer position
- Exhale bend the knees and come into a wide squat. If this is too much come onto your toes
- Press your hands together in prayer and press your elbows on the inside of the thighs to help open the hips
- Hold for 5 breaths
- Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, raising your pelvis on a blanket if your hips or groins are tight
- Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together
- Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can
- Use your thumb to open out your feet like a book
- Never force your knees down.
- If you would like to lean forward to open more into the hips you can do so
- Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes.
- Then inhale, lift your knees away from the floor, and extend the legs back to their original position.
“Calm a busy mind” Childs pose
- Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
- Helps alleviate stress and anxiety
- It lengthens and stretches the spine
- Recommended if you feel dizziness or fatigue
- Kneeling on the top of your mat, place your feet together and sit back on your ankles
- Separate the knees wide
- Walk your hands forward to the front of the mat and rest your forehead on the mat
- Hold here for 10 breaths (or as many as your would like)
- Inhale, look to your hands and come back to seated.