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Friday, March 5, 2010

Yoga For Women - Five Easy Yoga Poses to Keep You Happy and Boost Your Energy

By Ntathu Allen

As a working mum, you have a multitude of tasks and activities to complete. In any one day, you probably play the role of mother, work colleague, sister, daughter, friend, partner, neighbour and financial advisor as you try and balance your family budget.

Given the variety of commitments you face it is vital you make time each day to rest, nurture and revitalise your energy. Have you noticed that when you come home from work you feel drained and tired yet still have to change gears to be present and real for your family?

Wouldn't it be nice to come home, be able to relax and take the time to be present and enjoy being with your family?

Does the thought of coming home and putting your feet up feel like a fantasy? Something that you know you are entitled to, yet feel too rushed, stressed and busy to take five minutes rest?

When your days are full and energy low, practicing yoga or going to a yoga class may feel like the last thing you want to do. It is so much easier just to crash out on the sofa and watch reality TV or even better -go to bed....

But once you get into the habit of practicing yoga you are hooked and your body will demand that you Do Something.

If you are new to yoga, here are five easy yoga exercises that you can easily do when you get home from work.

If your time is short then just choose one exercise to do and really focus on doing it to the best of your ability. Otherwise try all five poses and dedicate the time to you. Whichever path you choose, you will feel happy and boost your energy.

1. Deep Breathing Exercise: Rest your palms on your thighs. Close your eyes, relax your face and relax your shoulders. Breathe slowly in for a count of four. Exhale slowly for a count of four. Repeat this breathing practice 4-7 times and then return to normal breathing.

2. Seated Forward Bend: Sitting comfortably. Rest your hands on your thighs. Exhale. Slowly fold forward from your hips. Allow your hands to drop towards the floor and hang loosely. When you have stretched as far forward as you comfortably can, gently lower your head towards the floor and allow your back to round. Hold this position for 4- 7 deep breaths. Inhale as you lift your head a little and slowly come back up.

3. The Mountain Pose/Tadasana

  • Stand with your feet together. If it is comfortable for you, have the big toes, inner ankles and inner heels touching. Spread the weight evenly over the feet.
  • Tighten your kneecaps, pull up the thigh muscles and your lower abdomen.
  • Breathe and feel your spine lengthening, let your tailbone sink and lift in the front of the body. Feel your chest opening. Allow your arms to hang down the sides of the body with the palms facing the legs, fingers gently extending towards the floor.
  • Relax your shoulders and allow your shoulder blades to slide down. Relax your face, lengthen the back of your neck and look straight ahead.
  • Stay steady in this pose for 3 - 10 rounds of deep abdominal breathing.

4. Laying on your back, raise both hands. Rotate your wrist 5 - 7 times in each direction then shake your hands 5 - 7 times. Lie still and absorb the energy.

5. Lie on your back. Hug both knees to your chest. Curl your body up into a small ball. Rock gently from side to side 5 - 7 times. Lower your head to the bed, still holding your knees to your chest and take 3 - 5 deep breathes in and out. Gently move your knees from side to side, giving a gentle wringing action to the back muscles. Lower your feet back to the bed and slowly straighten your legs.

As you can see these yoga exercises are easy to do and leave you feeling energised, relaxed and calm. Just right for a good night's sleep.