Getting Youthful with Yoga

July 16, 2013

Healthy Diet

Many of us turn to yoga to help us improve our body’s strength and flexibility, as well as to undo the rigors that demanding work and home schedules have on our stress levels and sense of balance.  However, there’s an extra little-known benefit to yoga … a youthful look!

That’s right … the chances are you’ll have noted that your instructor has the look that you’d love to achieve for your body and skin and the reason for this is the yoga itself!  Seriously, your instructor has to complete over 200 hours of yoga teacher training, not only learning the intricacies and principles of yoga, but also putting them into practice as part of conscious life-choice.   As a result, by learning how to become a yoga instructor, your teacher embodies all of the benefits of yoga itself – including that youthful glow!  So, whilst we can’t all rush out to enrol on yoga instructor training to get the maximum benefits from our yoga, we can concentrate on several poses which are perfect for sculpting a more youthful look (and outlook)!

Note:  keep your breathing regular and use your breaths to move you into and out of each pose: your abdomen should expand as you breathe in and contract as you exhale.

Moving Meditation:

Focus: joint and muscle warm-up.

  • Standing start position, feet together, toes forward, knees bent a little.
  • Arms relaxed by your sides, palms inwards.
  • Lift chest, roll shoulders back and down.
  • Face forwards and focus on deep breathing for approximately one minute.
  • Inhale then lift arms out to sides, palms up and raise overhead.
  • Exhale, bending forwards from hips with arms extended in front as hands reach down (touch shins, feet or floor depending on flexibility)
  • Hold for 15 seconds, inhale and rise, lifting arms overhead.
  • Exhale whilst lowering arms down to sides.
  • Repeat the forward stretch three times.

Warrior II, plus Side Angle

Focus: strength and stretching for legs, abs, arms and glutes.

Warrior II

  • Standing start, feet apart, right foot pointing outwards, left foot turning slightly inwards.
  • With torso facing forwards, exhale whilst bending right knee.
  • Inhale whilst raising arms out to the side.
  • Turn head to right, hold position for 15 to 30 seconds.

Side Angle

  • From your Warrior II pose, exhale, placing right forearm onto right thigh.
  • Lift left arm above your head and lift face skywards: hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Inhale whilst returning to Warrior II position.
  • Exhale and return right leg to start position.
  • Repeat both positions, but to left side.

Tree

Focus: balance and strength for legs, abs, feet and glutes.

  • Standing start, feet together, toes forwards.
  • Place sole of right foot to inside of left thigh, calf or inside of ankle (not on knee joint).
  • Place hands in prayer position in front of chest and hold for 15 seconds.
  • Inhale and move arms overhead, keeping ‘prayer’ hands and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Exhale and lower the arms and leg.
  • Repeat, but this time moving the left leg.

Seated Twist

  • Sit with legs crossed on mat.
  • Extend arms so that fingers touch either side of the mat.
  • Inhale, stretching out spine and lifting arms above.
  • Exhale, twisting gently to right, lowering left hand to touch outer right thigh, placing right hand behind.
  • Turn head to look over right shoulder.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and as you inhale over this time, lengthen the spine
  • Exhale, return to the centre and repeat, twisting to the left.

All poses should be practiced three times a week, to achieve the maximum benefits, so if you want to model your look on your yoga instructor, schedule your moves towards a youthful yoga look into your daily routine today!

Getting Youthful with Yoga

This web page is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment! Nothing on this web page should be construed as medical advice. Please check with your own physician about any information that concerns you.

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