April 5, 2010 |
This exercise is designed to build strength and balance in your core and leg muscles. In the beginning, to help with balance, use a yoga block under your hands. With time and practice, you'll be able to let go, moving your arms out to the sides. Position a yoga block in front of you, and start by standing upright with your feet together. With straight legs, hinge forward at the hips, rest your hands on the block and raise your left leg behind you. Make sure your left knee is straight, knee and toes facing the floor.
March 29, 2010 |
You'll feel this exercise more in the abdominal muscles — and less in the hip flexors — by gripping a roller with the backs of your thighs. That's because recruiting the backs of your legs will prevent you from overworking the front of your legs and hips. The result is an intense workout for your abs. Lie on a mat or a padded surface. Cross your ankles and hug a 36-inch roller by squeezing your heels toward your hips. (Hold the roller behind your ankles, not behind your knees.
March 22, 2010 |
Using a yoga block in your practice helps bring the floor up to you, allowing you to focus on correct technique while feeling a sense of stability. Over time, your body will lossen up and you'll be able to balance without the use of this tool. Begin by kneeling on a level, padded surface with a yoga block nearby. Straighten your left leg, placing your left heel on the floor with your knee and toes facing upward. Make sure your left heel is directly across from your right inner knee.
March 15, 2010 |
In seated twists like this one, it's important to sit up tall and focus on lengthening your spine before you begin to twist. Done correctly, spinal twists increase circulation and build strength and flexibility in your back muscles. But you must be warmed up properly before you perform them. —Karen Voight Sit on the floor with both legs straight in front of you. Bend your left knee and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of your left sitting bone. Bend your left elbow and place it on the inside of your left knee with your fingertips pointing upward.
February 22, 2010 |
Whenever you feel tightness in your chest, shoulders and back, practice this variation of a backbend, or bridge pose. It will help release tension in your mid- and upper back as well as stretch and strengthen your hips and legs. Karen Voight Lie back on a mat with your heels resting on a sturdy chair. Extend your arms alongside your body, palms flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are hip-distance apart and your knees are parallel to each other. On an inhale, press firmly on your feet as you raise your hips toward the ceiling.
January 4, 2010
Conclude your workouts with this move. It helps release tension in your hips and stretches the backs of your legs. If you're not very limber, practice the easier version first, using a towel or stretch band to hook around your foot. -- Karen Voight 1Sit on the floor with your left leg straight in front of you. Bend your right knee and move your right foot to your inner thigh. Hook a towel, band or belt around the ball of your left foot. Holding the ends of the band in each hand, inhale and sit upright.