Work In A Workout: Mind/Body Exercises

Fitness Expert, Beth Oliver, joined us today to show us exercises that could make us fitter and happier too!  She put simple mind/body exercises into three categories:  Restorative, Energizing and Counter Desk.

Restorative Poses:

Supported Seated Forward Fold -- good for relieving tight hamstrings and lower back.

  • Sit on the floor with legs extended in front.
  • Put a rolled up towel under your knees to take the strain off the back of hte legs or the lower back.
  • If that isn't comfortable, try sitting on a phone book kor two.
  • Place a pillow on your thighs.
  • Fold your body forward, resting your upper body on the pillow.
  • Breath slowly and deeply.
  • Hold for 2 minutes or as long as you are comfortable.

Supported Child's Pose -- good for relieving headaches, fatique, symptoms of PMS

  • From a kneeling position, open your knees wide.
  • Put a pillow or blanket on the floor just in front of your knees.  Lay your chest down.
  • Draw your hips back towards your heels.
  • Put your forhead on the floor or a phone book.
  • Place your arms wherever they are comfortable.
  • Breath slowly and deeply for 2 minutes or as long as you are comfortable.

Energizing Poses:

Extended Mountain Pose with Side Stretch -- good for spinal mobility, stretching the sides of the body, developing great posture and strengthening the core.

  • Stand with feet together or hip width apart (whichever is more comfortable for you).
  • Drop the tailbone down and soften the ribs in.
  • Reach arms overhead and interlace your hands.
  • Inhale and stretch tall, looking slightly up.
  • Exhale and lean to the right.
  • Reverse to the left.
  • Keep your leg muscles strong and firm.
  • Repeat several times.

Warrior 2 -- good for toning the muscles of the legs, hips, trunk, arms and shoulders.  Develops stamina.

  • Set your feet wide.  If your arms were outstretched, your ankles will be under your wrists.
  • If that position feels a little unstable, bring your feet closer together.
  • Turn your right thigh out so that your toes are facing side.
  • Turn your left thigh in so that your toes are angled in slightly.
  • Inhale and exhale while you bend the right  knee.
  • Imagine that your hips stay level and that your shoulders are right over your hips.
  • Open your arms to the side at shoulder height.
  • Look over front arm.
  • Breath slowly and deeply.  Stay for 5 deep breaths or a long as you are comfortable.
  • Repeat on the other side.

 

Counter Desk Poses  (Good for counter balancing the poor posture we slip into when we are in one position too long.  Helps you change your state of mind.  Creates blood flow to help energize you!)

Chest Opener -- This is good for taking the forward slump out of your body.  It will help reduce tension in the head, neck, upper back and shoulders.

  • First of all, stand up and shake things out!
  • Roll your shoulders around in both directions.
  • Take off your tie (or go grab one from someone else) and hold it in your hands behind you.
  • Take a big inhale.  As you exhale, lift your arms up behind you.
  • Inhale again.  As you exhale, lower your arms.

Standing Forward Bend with a Chair and a Tie -- this is good for taking the stress off the lower back.

  • Stand about two feet away from a stable chair.
  • Put your foot up on the chair.
  • Put your tie under your lifted foot, holding one end in each hand.
  • Inhale deeply.  As you exhale, gently flex forward from the hips. (Not your waist!)
  • Use a little light tension from your arms to draw your chest forward and down a bit more.
  • Hold for 5 breaths or as long as you are comfortable. 

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