Posted on 14 Apr 2020
We asked our local yoga teacher, Jo Eastham, for advice about some gentle exercises to try at home. All you need is a mat or towel and a desire to feel calm, happy and relaxed!
Focus on the breath
With so many of us self-isolating, take time to check into your breath - it might not seem like you are doing much but it's a great way to get 'in the moment', center down and develop healthy breathing. Lie on your back and connect your fingers over navel and concentrate on the breath. Close your eyes and become still, aware of your body and breath.
Holding onto stress and tension
We are all living through stressful times so we need to look after our joints - especially our hips where we often hold on to a lot of emotional tension. Given that we are not getting out as much as normal, here's a great posture to release tension: lie on your back, bring your knees into chest, rock from side to side and then hold the knees and circle them round to get good circulation in the hips. Circle in both directions.
Keeping vitality in the body
We all have a pelvic floor - both men and women - it supports the spine and keeps vitality in the body. Dynamic bridge posture is a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor.
Lie on your back, bend your knees and bring your feet towards your buttocks with your feet hip distance apart. Rest your arms along the side of your body and lift your hips up as high as they will go and activate your muscles around your pelvis (as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine) and then release your back down to the ground and release your pelvic floor. Repeat a few times. Your spine will love this posture!
Reverses the ageing process
If there was one great reason to do yoga, it's because, as Jo says, 'it helps reverse the ageing process'. Postures can help create a sense of mindfulness and are an effective way to deal with distracting thoughts or negative feelings. It helps loosen the body and relieves tension and toxins from the body.
One of our favourite postures is the simple twist - sit cross legged and gently twist your body to the right bringing your left arm over to rest on your right knee and your right arm out to the side, be careful not to over extend the neck, hold for a few seconds and then back to centre. And then twist the other way.
Alternatively, lie on your back and bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Stretch your arms out shoulder height with palms facing down. Turn your head to the side looking in the opposite direction to your knees. Hold the posture for a few seconds and then swap sides - it should feel great.
Find out more
Visit Jo's website www.joeasthamyoga.co.uk for more information or follow her on Facebook.
She's running live sessions from her garden in the mornings and evenings - look out for her Buddha statue wrapped up in a hat and coat! Last week, she ran an armchair yoga class for beginners.
As Jo said in one of her recent live yoga sessions, 'we've really got to keep doing yoga'.
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