10 yoga moves to relax, rejuvenate and reawaken

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The guilt you get when you decide to skip exercise is a unique feeling.

You’ve packed your workout gear into your bag, sandwiching it between your sandwiches and that broken brolly you’ve been meaning to bin. When the clock strikes 6 (because, let’s face it, who does a 9-5 anymore?), the last thing you want to do is to ram yourself onto an over-stuffed train to travel to your yoga studio.

You know it’s going to make you feel calm and collected, but sometimes you just can’t face it. That’s why we asked our Lead Therapist, and qualified yoga teacher, Nadège to devise a routine for you to do at home.

Even if you’re not a seasoned yogi, these moves are simple to do and easy to build into your own wellness routine.

Table top

table top

First things first: before starting with the stretches below get into the table top position to lengthen and align your spine. You should also aim to return to this position between the cat and cow poses that are shown below. This will settle the pose and help you bring awareness to engaging your core muscles.

Cat pose

cat pose

This simple yoga move helps to improve flexibility and mobility in the spine. It also stimulates the stomach organs resulting in better digestion.

Being aware of your centre – by this we mean your belly button or mulha bandha – will help you to synchronise your breathing as you do this move.

Cow Pose

cow pose

Just like the cat pose, this move can improve flexibility and mobility into the spine and stimulate the tummy organs for a better digestion. Give your centre the attention it needs by pulling in your core muscles. This will help you connect your breathing to your movements.

Child’s pose & variation

childs pose variation

Regressing back to your younger self takes on a new meaning with this pose. This move is simple, but super important to help realign the spine after any back bend pose, such as the bridge or camel pose.

Use this pose to calm the mind and stretch back muscles. If you feel you can, place your hands above your head on the mat for an extra stretch in the back. If not, simply relax your arms and hands at the sides of your body. It’s child’s play.

Cobra pose & variation

cobra pose 1

cobra pose 2 variation

cobra pose 2

cobra pose 3

Our lead therapist, Nadège, loves this pose. Why? Because it’s an especially effective stretch to do if you sit (or slump) at a desk all day. It helps to realign the spine and release stiffness in lower back, opening up the chest and shoulders. Top tip: squeeze your buttocks to feel the stretch in your core muscles.

Downward dog

down facing dog

Woof! Downward dog is probably the most well-known yoga pose, and for good reason.

It brings vitality to the entire body, increasing blood flow into the brain by oxygenating the brain cells. This will help to enhance concentration and balance. This pose also stretches the hamstrings, back muscles and shoulders.

Upward-facing dog

up facing dog

This move looks similar to the Cobra pose, but the key difference here is keeping your hips and pelvis off the ground. Upward-facing dog helps to open up the chest and shoulders, and stretches the rectus abdominis (abs). It also helps to strength the back muscles and glutes too.

Happy baby pose

happy baby pose

How can you possibly resist a pose called ‘happy baby’? This joyful move helps to relieve pain and stiffness in the lower back and stretch the glutes and hamstrings. Give yourself a little bit of lower back massage by rocking from one side to the other. This swaying motion can also help calm your mind too.

 Lower back stretch

Lower back stretch

Hamstrings too tight for the happy baby? This is a great variation on it. It helps open up the lumbar area and stretch your overworked gluteus. Adding some movement to this stretch by rocking in a circular motion one way and then the other will massage the lower back area too. This pose helps calm down the nervous system, easing pain you might be experiencing in your body.

Iliopsoas stretch

ilipsoas stretch

Bad news: the majority of people suffer from knee or back pain. Good news: this pose will give a gentle stretch to the iliopsoas – a pelvic muscle that works to support both those places. This move stretches deep-buried muscles in your hip and maximus gluteus and can also help to relieve lower back pain if you suffer from it.

 

Who are we? We’re Urban Massage – on a mission to make wellness rituals convenient and accessible without compromising on quality. So from just £49 an hour, you can enjoy a range of massages from an expert therapist at a time to suit you. Download the app or go to urbanmassage.com to book 60 minutes of restorative me time.

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