Yoga-ta Take Care of Your Body!

…aaand I’m back from a writing hiatus! So many things have happened in my professional career that I have put blogging in the back burner. But, no matter how busy I got with work, I still found time (with the help of my husband’s constant nagging and encouragement. LOL) to a) run (we took advantage of the nice weather during summer and we ran at least 3x a week), and b) practice yoga.

My husband and I dedicated this year to keeping ourselves healthy which is one of the many things we need to do to make us ready for parenthood. This year, I’ve also heard and read a lot of  health issues and stories from friends and families. All these made me rethink of the way I take care of my own body-from what I eat, what I do, and how I think and feel.

Many times we all get busy trying to focus on financial and professional success, balancing life and work, and taking care of the people around us that we forget something as basic as taking care of our own bodies. Health should never be compromised, it should be a priority (at least for me because I would still like to see my children grow and succeed in life). So, enough of the excuses of not having time to spend at least a few minutes of your time exercising. If you have  time to surf the net everyday, well, you really have time to workout. So, what’s stopping you?

So for my comeback article (naks!), I thought of writing about yoga because to me, it’s more than an exercise. Yoga doesn’t make you feel like you need to drag yourself like when you have to go to the gym. Once you start practicing it, you feel the willingness to do it. The willingness to surrender to an energy that’s so powerful that after the practice, your whole body feels good, and that you’d want to do it again. This might not be the case when you do it the first few times (you’ll feel sore afterwards for sure) but believe me, your body will thank you for it.

I started my yoga practice when I was still in Singapore, fell in love with it, and vowed to keep practicing on my own. So, to help you get started, here are my favourite easy yoga poses for beginners.

  1. Mountain pose– Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides.Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.
  2. Downward Dog-Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips. Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat. Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold for 3 full breaths.
  3. Warrior– Stand with legs 3 to 4 feet apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly. Bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down. Bend right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; gaze out over right hand. Stay for 1 minute. Switch sides and repeat.
  4. Bridge Pose– Lie on floor with knees bent and directly over heels. Place arms at sides, palms down. Exhale, then press feet into floor as you lift hips. Clasp hands under lower back and press arms down, lifting hips until thighs are parallel to floor, bringing chest toward chin. Hold for 1 minute.
  5. Seated Twist– Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Cross right foot over outside of left thigh; bend left knee. Keep right knee pointed toward ceiling. Place left elbow to the outside of right knee and right hand on the floor behind you. Twist right as far as you can, moving from your abdomen; keep both sides of your butt on the floor. Stay for 1 minute. Switch sides and repeat.
  6. Cobra– Lie facedown on the floor with thumbs directly under shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor. Tighten your pelvic floor, and tuck hips downward as you squeeze your glutes. Press shoulders down and away from ears. Push through your thumbs and index fingers as you raise your chest toward the wall in front of you. Relax and repeat.
  7. Child’s Pose– Sit up comfortably on your heels. Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you. Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you. Hold the pose and breathe.

There you go! I hope this article will inspire you to #startmoving today! Namaste!

Photo courtesy of melaniesykes.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s