You don’t actually have to go to class to get the health benefits of yoga. Just practice these 3 simple stretches and a breathing technique.
Use your Ujjayi (U-JY) Breath.
You can switch to this type of breathing whenever your feeling stressed or angry, not only that but it can also increase your respiratory efficiency when exercising.
Take a slightly deeper inhale then normal through the nose with your mouth closed, hold for a second and then exhale through your nose while constricting your throat muscles, it should be noisy almost like a “haaaaah” sound.
You can call it yoga or you can call it stretching, doesn’t matter. The point is that the older you get the less flexible you become, if you don’t take action now, eventually your going to be a little hunched over man.
Forward Fold (or less formally: bend over!)
- Begin with your feet hip width apart and toes pointed forward
- Next lead with your forehead to maintain a straight back, hinge at the hips.
- Try to keep your knees straight but if you can’t don’t worry about it (keep practicing and you’ll get there)
- You can hold onto your elbows or try to bring your hands toward the ground. Try to stay here for at least a minute.
- Works: Hamstrings, Calf muscles and Lower Back
- Now that you can forward fold, lets add on. While in your forward fold cross your arms over your chest with a hand on each shoulder. Now look over your right shoulder towards the ceiling, hold for 30 seconds and return to center. Now repeat on the left side.
- Works: Helps to maintain a healthy spine and alleviate back pain
- Come into a regular lunge position on the right side with your front knee bent 90 degrees over the foot. Left knee is on the ground and back toes are tucked under so your heel is off the ground.
- Now while keeping your back straight sink into your hips (or bring them forward) you should begin to feel a deep stretch in the back quadriceps.
- If you want to go really deep into this stretch have someone assist you by (very slowly!) drawing your foot up towards your but.
- Works: Quads, Hip Flexors