The midlife health checklist: how to maximise your wellbeing in your 40s and beyond
How to do it : Start with your knees and tops of your feet on the floor with the feet together and touching. With your knees apart, rest your belly and chest between the legs. Place your head on the floor, and stretch the arms out in front of you. Modification : If your head doesn't reach the floor you can rest it on a block or pillow. This pose is challenging for beginners, but you can make it easier by increasing the distance between your feet. How to do it : With feet hip-width apart, hinge forward at the waist and press your flat palms into the ground, hips in the air.
Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and the arms, shoulders and back should line up in a straight, diagonal line. The hands should be at the front of your mat, and toes should face forward near the back of the mat. At any time, you can take a break by resting in child's pose, and then come back into down dog again. Modification : For beginners, you can bend your knees to keep the spine long and move some of the body's weight into the legs.
This is a symmetrical pose, meaning both sides of your body will be moving in and out of the pose at the same time. It heats you up and strengthens the legs. How to do it : Stand with your feet together or hip-width apart if you're stiff.
Bend your knees like you're sitting in a chair while raising the arms up alongside your ears. Modification : Chair pose can be challenging, so feel free to move out of the pose and into mountain pose on alternating breaths. This also makes it more dynamic. This is a one-legged balancing pose. The pose builds confidence and can help to center the mind.
It's not easy to think about your stress when you're balancing on one leg. How to do it : Stand on one leg and bring your foot up to your ankle, shin or thigh, depending on your flexibility. You can put a hand on the wall for balance or even stand with your back against a wall. If you feel very centered, lift your arms into the air to create "branches" for your tree.
Think doing nothing is easy? For many of us, especially those who haven't tried yoga before, the concept of doing nothing is actually very challenging. This pose is both calming and grounding, and you can use it to cool down. How to do it : In this pose, close the eyes and attempt to just relax the body while lying flat on your back. Lie with your legs about hip-width apart and rest the arms at about a degree angle to the torso, palms facing up. Allow your limbs to completely relax. Trainer tip : If you need more space for the lower back, you can place a folded blanket under the knees, which will help to lengthen the lower back.
If you're feeling stressed, placing blankets over the pelvis can help relax the body and the mind. Like in chair pose, you can move in and out of bridge on alternating breaths, or hold the pose, if you're able to. This energizing move opens the whole front of the body; the hips, abdomen, and chest will all be flexed. How to do it : Laying flat on the floor, bend the knees with feet flat on the floor, knees pointing up to the ceiling, arms alongside your body. Press into your arms, with your feet remaining on the ground, and move the hips away from the floor, opening your chest.
Modification : Hold onto your mat with both hands, which gives you the leverage to turn the arms, so your palms are facing up. Shimmy the arms under the back, while maintaining an arched back, and open your chest. If you're more open, you may find you can clasp the hands underneath the back with fingers laced together. This back bend is extremely accessible for beginners. It's energizing and heating, but it strengthens all the muscles of the back.
This pose is perfect for improving posture, and for many of us with weak upper back muscles largely due to desk jobs it works the upper back muscles. How to do it : Lie on the belly and inhale while raising everything off the floor—arms, legs, and chest.
Palms should face the floor, while you focus on keeping your neck long and extending the head up and away from the chest. You can also clasp your hands behind your back when you lift up your limbs, which will create a deeper opening for the chest and shoulders. Carter says after a long day of being on her feet, 5 to 8 minutes of laying in this cooling pose makes her feel like a brand new person.
It also improves circulation.
Thread the Needle (Parsva Balasana)
How to do it : Lie on your back and walk your legs up a flat wall. Your legs should be straight and the end of your back should meet the wall. If needed, place a pillow under your lower back for added support. Trainer tip : Sometimes when you're new to this position you can experience tingling in your legs. If you feel that, ride your legs down the wall, pull your knees to your chest and feel a stretch, then you can stretch your feet back up the wall. Modification : With your knees close to your chest, open the legs so the knees go out in opposite directions.go
12 Yoga Poses for Non-Flexible People | ACTIVE
The soles of your feet should touch. This stretches the inner thighs and groin. This pose strengthens the legs; it's heating and it helps to open the inner thighs. How to do it : In this standing pose, you step your feet wide apart, about a leg's distance apart. Turn your right leg out 90 degrees, and then angle your left toes in just slightly. Take your arms out to the side, to be level with the floor and then you bend your right knee so that it stacks on top of your ankle. Make a square with that right knee and hold the pose.
Then, repeat for the opposite side. Modification : You can come in and out of the position with each breath if it's too difficult to hold. The hip flexors activate to maintain this unnatural forward tilt of the pelvis. This can lead to tightness and shortening of the muscles.
6 Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Neck Pain
This is Not Good — it means less mobility through your pelvis, which can lead directly to lumbar back pain pain in the lower back as the muscles there become strained during normal movement. Nobody wants to be a hunchback, right? But sitting with the hands extended towards a keyboard, with occasional pauses to squint at a screen, is a sure step towards Notre Dame territory. Your abdominals are an important part of your core muscle structure.
Your glutes the muscles in your butt and upper legs go to sleep while sitting, again weakening them. Everybody knows that getting up and moving around is pretty much mandatory to deal with the problems sitting causes. Disclaimer and Warning: your body is a clever device. It will probably let you know, in the shape of pain or serious discomfort, if there is something wrong with it.
If you experience pain, stop immediately. If you are suffering from severe discomfort or pain in your spine or any other part of your body, please see a specialist before attempting any of these exercises. How to do it: This one is easy. Stand tall and slowly start to fold forward from your hips. As you lower your head and hands towards the floor, start to bend your knees. When fully folded, your knees should be bent enough so that your lower belly rests on the tops of your thighs.
In this pose, let gravity pull your head gently towards the ground. There will be a gentle suspension of the pressure between your vertebrae, giving a breather to those important spinal discs. Watch out if: you have noticeable lower back pain already. Bend your knees deeper if this is the case. As you progress: work towards straightening your knees. This will improve flexibility in the hamstrings. Helps with: this will help to strengthen the muscles along your spine.
It will also counteract shoulder hunching, opening up the chest. How to do it: lie on your belly with your forehead on the floor. Place your hands on the ground underneath your elbows at mid-chest height. Activate your legs by pulling your kneecaps upward. Imagine your tailbone lengthening towards your heels.