You’ve been sitting all morning
in meetings, and can’t wait to make it into the club for a lunchtime workout. Feeling
refreshed after the sweat sesh, you then you go back to work and sit down for
the rest of the day. By the time you leave, your hips feel tight, your back is
sore and you notice a stiffness in your gait. Cue yoga.
This simple routine can be done
in as little as 5 minutes (you can do it during your morning tea break), or for
as long as 30 minutes for a deep home time release (followed by a glass of wine).
Bring your feet hip width apart
and turn your toes out to 45 degrees. Sink your tailbone between your heels and
bring your hands together at your heart. Drag the heels of your hands down so
that your thumbs align with your sternum. Lengthen your spine from the base to
the crown. Breathe.
Malasana, the squat, is amazing
for opening up and releasing the adductors (inner thigh muscles), straightening
out the spine and encourages an engagement of core as you lift your ribs away
from your hips.
From your squat, bring your hands
to the earth, turn your toes forward and begin to straighten your legs. It
really doesn’t matter how straight they become but offer them support. If you
need more space, keep your knees bent, if you need less space, straighten them
more. Let your head hang heavy and just breathe here.
One of the beauties of this pose isn’t
just that we get to lengthen the hamstrings and compress the internal organs,
but we also turn ourselves upside down which can offer a new perspective on
The all-time love to hate yoga
pose!! To get here, drop to all fours and place your right knee behind right
wrist, right foot behind left wrist. The more parallel your shin is to the top
of your mat, the stronger this will feel – so you can really determine where
you need to be here. Walk your left foot back to lower hips and then begin to
sink your heart towards the ground.
Pigeon does a little bit of
everything for your hips – it stretches the external hip rotators and relaxes
the piriformis and psoas muscles. We tend to store a lot of emotion in the
hips, so make sure you breathe deep in here. Stay for at least 20 breaths
before you swap sides.
From pigeon, roll over onto your
back and align your feet hip width apart with toes slightly turned in. You
should be able to tickle your heels with your fingertips as you lay your arms
by your sides. Now, press firm through hands and feet and lift your hips as
high as you can. Squeeze your inner thighs towards one another but not together
to switch on your adductors.
This pose will give you an all
over stretch through your chest, neck and spine. Breathe deep for at least 10
To get you up and going again,
come back up to your feet. Bring your big toes together and separate your heels
slightly. Zip up from your knees to your upper inner thighs, lengthen your arms
to the sky and bend your knees.
This is the ultimate yogic chair
– and will build all the muscles you need to successfully sit while firing up
your core and giving a good stretch to your shoulders. Be sure to spread your
sternum wide and turn your tailbone to point between your heels to make the
most of this pose.
Ready to get to know Kate Pippos, National Head Coach of the Yoga program, even better? Here we chat all things yoga with her during this 2-Minute Hangout.