It’s time to unwind – Your Zen Life

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By Charlotte Dodson | charlottedodson.tv
Photography | atdusk
Wearing | Bloch
The sun is shining brightly these days – a sure indication that your summer holiday break is just around the corner! It’s time to start winding down, lighten your load (possibly by shedding a few unwanted pounds), and get ready to relax for your whole Christmas break – looking and feeling in tip-top shape.Yoga will help you to loosen up those hips (creating lightness and more movement), strengthen your body, and become more limber on all levels. We tend to hold emotions in our largest joint, the hip joint, and so for the sake of our ability to move ‘freely’, it’s best to let go of whatever negative emotion you are holding onto – as you open to yourself and relax into every day with purpose, please ensure that you make the most of it! After all, life is here to be cherished – you never know what will happen next!Follow this next sequence in this particular order, working one side first, i.e. right leg, and then repeat the whole sequence on your left side. Remember to breathe deeply and mindfully through your nostrils (to keep your body warm), with lips closed. Always have your chin tucked into your throat, and remember to keep your belly strong and ‘active’.

Pigeon pose
Pigeon pose is one of the best ways to release your hips and take pressure out of your knees joints. Our hips are the biggest joint in the body, so we can carry a lot of our tension or negative emotion in our hips. The best way to free up this tension is to allow your breath to release any tightness. With your legs out in front of you, bend your right leg with your foot close to your left thigh. Lift your body to ensure your hips are square to the top of the mat. Keeping your back leg straight and working towards the back of the mat, slowly reach your arms out in front as you lay gently over your bent leg. The more open you become, the more your bent leg can open further away from you. Hold and breathe deeply for 10 breaths – 1 minute. Repeat to the other side for the same length of time.

Cobbler pose (Baddha Konasana)
This pose stretches your inner thighs, groin, and knees. As you open your hips, you’ll feel less pressure in your knees.
From pigeon pose (above), swing your back leg forward to the top of your mat. Keep your spine upright and your chin tucked into your throat, keeping your neck long. Breathe naturally and easily. Bend both knees outwards and bring the soles of your feet together, placing them up to your crotch area. Allow your thumbs (inside of soles) and fingers (outside of feet) to open your feet like a book. Keep your elbows gently tucked into your side waist. Try not let your heels lift off the floor. Keep your torso elongated as you slowly pivot from your hips and gently lengthen forward (without collapsing your chest). As you remain focused on the hip joints and the waist area, keep your inner thighs relaxed. Hold and breathe deeply for 5-10 breaths. Let your inhale bring you back up to a neutral position.

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