Yoga is a terrific go-to at the end of a busy day to help quiet the mind, re-align the body and restore your mental state. Additionally, yoga is proven to help sooth tense, sore muscles, reduce fatigue and enhance sleep.
The great news is, you don’t need to drive to a class, or spend a lot of time to reap the benefits. Try these three simple yoga stretches in the solace of your own home or space. Enhance the movements by adding your BOSU® Balance Trainer!
Forward Lunge with Downward Facing Dog
The forward lunge is a wonderful hip opener. It’s also a powerful, commanding movement that helps you to restore control and balance. The traction you get from planting your feet on the floor and then pushing your hands strongly into your Balance Trainer with Downward Facing Dog is one of the best spinal elongation tools the yoga asana practice has to offer. Downward Dog also opens the backs of the legs, and the chest, and helps you to connect to your breathing.
How it’s Done:
Place hands on top of the BOSU®Balance Trainer dome, feet hip width apart behind you, knees straight, head and neck aligned so that your body forms an inverted V. Shift your weight forward and bring your right foot to plant on the floor to the right side of the Balance Trainer in a runner’s lunge, keeping your hands on the dome. Pause, and then slowly step your right foot back to meet your left, and shift back into Downward Dog. Repeat on the other side. Repeat side to side up to six times.
When you twist, you are essentially compressing your digestive organs and cutting off blood supply as you release your twist, fresh blood and nutrients are introduced to your organs, enhancing their ability to function. Seated twist also assists with spinal mobility and can help reduce back pain.
How it’s Done
Sit on the dome of the BOSU® Balance Trainer, legs crossed, with hands gently resting on your knees. Sitting up straight, take your left hand to your right knee, and your right hand behind you on the Balance Trainer, twisting at your core. Pause, then release, bringing your hands back to your knees briefly, then repeat on the other side. Repeat side to side up to six times.
Seated Side Bend
You’ve opened your hips, elongated and aligned your spine, stretched your legs and chest, and treated your internal organs to a round of fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients. Now let’s focus on the sides of your body with a full, relaxing stretch. This graceful movement will lengthen and extend your obliques, increase flexibility and quiet the mind. Using the Balance Trainer, with legs straight out in a V also engages your hamstrings and allows for a nice total body stretch.
How it’s Done
Sit on the floor with the BOSU® Balance Trainer, dome up, between your legs, hands on the dome, legs straight out, forming a V around the Balance Trainer. Sitting up straight, take your right hand out to your side sweep it above (and beyond) your head for a full stretch along the side of your body. Bring your right arm back down, placing it back on the Balance Trainer, and repeat on the other side. Repeat side to side up to six times.
Amina Daniels is a high energy fitness professional, who champions her Detroit based cycle studio, Live Cycle Delight and Yoga/Pilates studio LCD Hot. Amina holds fitness certifications in RYS200 from Kripalu, Group Strength, Personal Training, TRX Camps, TRX Group Fitness, TRX Rip Trainer and Indoor Cycling by Schwinn Bikes and Real Ryder.