YOGA FOR CONFIDENCE
Transfer that feeling of strength in your practice to your everyday life TIGER CURL TWISTED CRESCENT DOWNDOG CRESCENT LUNGE TWISTED CORE
In classes that I teach and in my own practice, I’m not so concerned with how a posture looks. It’s more about how it feels when you’re in it.
The same goes for daily life. The following postures are sequenced together and held to create physical freedom and strength – from the inside out.
2WHY: This strengthens your core and tones your arms. HOW: From downdog, slowly lift your right leg up and back, keeping your hips square. As you exhale, squeeze your knee in towards your chest and draw your chin to your WHY: This is great for spinal health, toning the legs and stretching various back muscles. This exercise also aids digestion and has a beautiful knock-on effect to the health of your skin.
HOW: From Crescent Lunge above, inhale and bring the palms of your hands together above your head. Then exhale, draw your hands down WHY: This energises the whole body, lengthens the hamstrings and stretches the chest and shoulders. HOW: From all fours, spread your fingers out wide. On an exhalation, flip onto your toes, lift your knees and begin to lift your sit bones high, pressing your chest back towards your thighs. Roll your shoulder blades away from your spine and ears. If you feel tender in the lower back or tight in the hamstrings, bend your knees. Keep your feet hip-distance apart. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Do the following three postures on the right side. throat. Come high onto your left tiptoes and pull your lower abdominal muscles in to really get the most out of this core sweetener. Inhale your right leg up and back again and as you exhale, use that core strength to step your right foot through your hands for Crescent Lunge (following). the centre of your body so your thumbs rest into your sternum. Inhale, lengthen your collar bones forward and float your chest off your right thigh. Then exhale and twist to wrap your left elbow around the outer edge of your right knee. Use each inhalation to lengthen your spine and each exhalation to twist gently. Press firmly into your right foot and into your back heel. Repeat poses 2-4 on the left side. As you move around the mat today, let your breath reflect a state of calm and confidence. Breathe deep, full, generous breaths from the diaphragm and not from the chest. WHY: This tones the thigh and glute of the lunging leg, stretches the hip flexor of the back leg and lengthens the side waist for better posture and digestion. HOW: After placing your right foot between your hand, as above (Tiger Curl), ensure your right knee and ankle are in line. Then,
WHY: This tones the abdomen and oblique muscles (side waist).
HOW: Lying on your back, extend both legs with your feet facing upwards and interlace your hands behind your head. Inhale and lift your head so that the bottom tips of your shoulder blades are raised off the floor. Exhale to lower your right leg until it’s just off the ground. Then slowly inhale your right leg back up. Swap sides and alternate these leg raises slowly. After 10 reps, give yourself a little breather by hugging inhale to lift your arms above your head with your chest and hips square forward. Press your right foot firmly into the floor and feel the strength in your front leg and the strength and tone in your right glute. Then press energetically back into your left heel. Lift your hands high with palms facing, relax your shoulders and breathe deeply. your knees into your chest and resting your head back. Next, using the same set-up, lower your right leg, hovering it off the floor, bend your left knee and lift your right elbow towards the outer edge of your left knee. Squeeze your abs. Inhale, slowly lift your right leg and move your torso to the centre. Switch sides. Repeat 10 times.