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Health Tips

Healthy Tip #4 - Yoga 101: Simple Stretches for a New You

Variety is often touted as being the spice of life and this is true for exercise as well. Doing different types of exercise will not only keep you from getting bored, but it will allow you to work all of your different muscles. If you haven’t tried yoga yet, it may be a good time to find out what the craze is all about.

Asanas (postures) Hold each position for 15 to 60 seconds.

Standing Mountain
Stand up straight with your feet next to each other, facing forward, with big toes touching. Arms hang by your side. Feel your legs rooted into the ground.

Standing Mountain with Hands in Prayer Position
Bend your arms and place your hands together, as if you were praying, in front of your chest.

Start in Standing Mountain, then move your legs so that your feet, still pointed ahead, are 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Stretch your arms to the side at shoulder level, palms down. Turn your right foot 90 degrees, so that it is pointed directly to your right. Turn your left foot in slightly. Keeping your legs straight, bend to your right, placing your right hand on your right calf or ankle, and extending your left arm straight up, palm facing forward. Keep your spine straight and avoid the temptation to bend at the knee. Come up and repeat on the other side.

Warrior I
Start in Standing Mountain, then move your legs so that your feet, still pointed ahead, are 3 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms overhead, lifting straight up from the shoulders, palms facing. Next, pivot your left foot about 45 degrees in and your right foot 90 degrees, turning your torso to the right so that it is facing the same direction as your right leg. Then, bend the right leg to a 90-degree angle, keeping arms raised. Return to start position and switch to other side.

Seated Mountain
Sit down with your legs straight ahead of you, inner ankles touching and torso upright. Try to keep your back straight.

Seated Twist
Start in Seated Mountain. Bend your right leg over the outside of your left leg, planting right foot on the ground. Keep left leg extended, muscles active. Place your right hand behind you, then bend your left arm and place your left elbow on your right knee.

Simultaneously, twist your torso towards the right, initiating the movement from your hip, then your waist, then your shoulders, then your neck. Return to starting position, then switch sides.