Friday, September 26, 2008

Benefits of Yoga

If you're not doing yoga yet, you should start now! According to Hema Sundaram, MD, a Washington, D.C.-area dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, yoga fights wrinkles by combating the free radicals and stress that cause them. Plus it stretches and tones your muscles, giving you that lengthened, leaner look and better posture too. If you stand and walk tall you can look years younger, says Sundaram.

Here are some routines you want to try:

1. Cat-and-Cow(for flexibility)
Begin on hands and knees with hands directly under shoulder, fingers spread and pointing forward and knees directly under hips. Inhale; lift chest and sitting bones, while letting belly drop. Exhale to drop tailbone, chest and head while pulling belly up toward spine, creating a rounded shape; that's 1 rep. Do up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

2. Dolphin (for increased blood flow and upper-body strength)
Place elbows on floor shoulder-distance apart and interlace fingers. Press forearms and hands into floor. Curl toes under, and lift hips up and back to create a long line between elbows and sitting bones. Press heels toward floor, using thigh muscles to draw body backward. Relax your head, and hold for 5-15 breaths. Repeat up to 3 times.

3. Extended Side Angle (for posture, limb-lengthening, allover toning)
Stand with feet 4 feet apart. Inhale ; lift arms out to sides. Exhale as front knee bends to 90 degrees. Place right finger tips on floor by inside of right foot, while reaching left fingertips toward ceiling and rotating chest up. Hold for 5-15 breaths; repeat up to 3 times.

4. Boat (for core strength, posture)
Sit with knees bent and feet flat. Keeping chest lifted,place hands beneath knees, squeeze legs together, and use core strength to lift and straighten legs so body is in shape of a boat's prow, toes and eyes on the same level. Extend arms out straight; hold for 5-15 breaths. Repeat up to 3 times.

5. Camel (for posture)
Kneel upright with knees hip-distance apart, abs firm and tailbone dropped. Place hands on either side of base of spine, fingers pointing up. Draw elbows and shoulders together behind you, then lift chest and slowly bend backward. The bend should happen in your upper back, not your lower back. Hold for 5-15 breaths; repeat up to 3 times.

6. Child's Pose (for de-stressing, renewal, energy)
From camel, sit back on your heels as you bring your feet together. Keep your knees hip-distance apart as you relax your body forward and down. Rest your forehead on the floor and close your eyes, arms at your sides or stretch forward (shoulder-width apart). Hold for 20-30 breaths.


anneberly said...

I do this at least three times a week and this really helps me get rid of those stiff parts of my body
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artofreed said...

Nice post of Yoga, my friend.

Vadi said...

Nice post on Yoga!! Well explained...

Saem said...

nice tips! thanks for sharing..

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