Video: Child's pose (Balasana)
Child’s pose gently stretches the shoulders, lower back, hips, legs and ankles. It complements the beginning of a practice and throughout for its grounding abilities. The feeling of rest energetically helps to calm down the mind, central nervous system and massages your internal organs. During this pose focus on taking full breaths in and out, continue to relax the spine, neck and shoulders.
Starting in a kneeling position, spread knees wide, big toes to touch, sink hips to heels as you exhale.
Extend arms forward and lengthen the neck before placing the forehead to the ground.
I personally like to do this pose as a way to connect to my body and breath.
If you are pregnant please allow the knees to be spread rather than closed.
Do not do child’s pose if you have a knee injury or ankle problems.
Last Reviewed: 08/08/2018
Video: Downward dog
Well known for its overall body stretch and energising qualities, downward dog deeply stretches the lower body including the hamstrings, calves and ankles, meanwhile it strengthens the arms, shoulders and legs.
Video: Wide-legged forward fold
After a day of being deskbound your most common areas of tightness are your hamstrings, lower back, shoulders and neck. Wide-legged forward fold is good pose for a 3 pm slump and to calm you when you're feeling anxious about your workload.
Stretching: an illustrated guide
Stretching exercises encourage lengthening of your muscles and their associated tendons, and oppose the shortening and tightening of muscles that can occur immediately after vigorous exercise, and as a product of ageing and inactivity.
Video: Reclined twist
A reclined twist is a yoga pose to cleanse the internal organs, release the lower back and calm a busy mind. Watch Eliza Heywood demonstrate.
Strength training exercises
Challenging your muscles with strength training exercises 2 or 3 times each week can improve the strength and tone of your muscles.