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Feel Balanced With These Yoga Poses

 

Yoga builds strength and flexibility, lubricates joints and protects bone health. It used to just be what Ancient Bendy Guy’s in loin cloths did. Then along came Madonna and Gwennie with muscle and spandex. Ga Ga, meanwhile, likes to do it in a hot, sweaty room and thousands of shiny, happy people are doing it on YouTube. In fact, just about everyone and their mother is doing it now. It’s yoga of course, and it’s amazing.

Yoga builds strength and flexibility, lubricating joints and protecting bone health. It’s good for the cardiovascular system and helps us maintain a healthy weight and regulate blood sugars. Yoga also corrects posture and improves lung function while all that stretching and twisting flushes out the lymphatic system and supports immunity.

Even better, yoga isn’t competitive. It’s about what your body can do. You don’t need expensive gear. While classes are brilliant, once you’ve got the basics you can easily follow a teacher on YouTube or work out your own practice in your own space and time. You never stop learning because your body and abilities keep changing.

Best of all yoga helps us feel strong and grounded every day of the month, regardless of that where we are in our monthly cycle with its hormonal highs and lows. That’s because exercise releases endorphins – feel good hormones which combat low moods, anxiety and even the pain of period cramps. Yoga does all this and more because it’s not just an exercise, it’s also about clearing mental clutter, looking inwards and nurturing ourselves. Our practice can be as athletic or as gentle as we choose on any given day, but it will always make us feel better, especially around the time of, or during, a period.

Here are three wonderful poses that help you feel relaxed and capable every day of the month:

Marichyasana

Marichyasana Pose Marichyasana Pose

This one calms the mind, massages the organs and brings some lovely length to the spine.

  1. Start sitting with legs straight in front. Bend your right knee, and bring the heel as close to the sitting bone as feels possible.
  2. Turn your upper body gently towards the left, so that the right shoulder rotates towards the left leg, and the left shoulder rotates back.
  3. Inhale your right arm up to shoulder level, and turn the thumb down. Exhale, start folding forward and bring the right arm from outside your bent leg towards the right outer thigh. Inhale, and with an exhalation bring your left arm behind your back, and take a hold of your wrists or fingers behind your back.
  4. Keeping your back long, and keeping space between your pubic bone and navel, fold more forward. Draw your shoulder blades back towards your hands.
  5. Hold for 3-6 breathes. Gently release.

Straddle Pose

Straddle Pose Straddle Pose

This one is about exploring tight hamstrings and lower back but it’s also about exploring resistance and finding calm when faced with challenge or discomfort.

  1. Open your legs out into a V shape. You can bring the legs out as far as is comfortable, but you should be able to keep the toes pointed toward the ceiling while in this posture.
  2. Breath some length into the spine. Take your time.
  3. Walk your fingers forward. Take time to explore the sensations. Pause as you approach your edge and breathe there. Inch your way forward until you reach the true edge of your comfort. At this point, simply let your body be heavy.

Goddess Pose

Goddess pose Goddess Pose

Goddess tones the core and leg muscles and is recommended for urogenital health but most importantly, it evokes a powerful feminine energy.

  1. Start at the front of your mat. Step your right foot a stride length towards the back of the mat.
  2. Turn your toes out and your heels in, so feet are at a comfortable 45-degree angle.
  3. Bend your knees and sink your hips to the height of your knees. Bring your arms out to shoulder height and bend your elbows so that your fingertips point skyward. Spread your fingertips wide apart from one another and activate the muscles across your back to hold your arms here.
  4. Engage your core muscles and keep the spine long. Stay here for up to one minute.

There is something about this pose that makes us strong, primal and grounded. Try it!

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