Although yoga is a strengthening and balancing technique, it will not correct or fix existing postural issues that result from excessive sitting or lack of movement. Yoga is an ancient practice that was created during a time when humans did not spend their days sitting. For the modern day body to reap the great benefits of a yoga practice, one must do something to counteract the effects of sitting and lack of movement. As well as yoga, these exercises will support anyone who has a mobility practice that is similar.
The exercises featured in this video are designed to promote balance and proper function of the eight load-bearing joints of the body: the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. These exercises will put the body into a better position in order to get the most benefit from a yoga practice.
The exercises are:
- In-line gluteal contractions
- Three-position toe raises
- Standing arm circles
For best results, incorporate these exercises both before and after your yoga practice.
In-Line Gluteal Contractions
This exercise works the stabilizing gluteal muscles around the hip, all while challenging your balance.
- Stand with your feet in-line with each other so that the toes of the foot behind are three inches away from the foot in front.
- It is very important that your feet remain pointed straight ahead through out the exercise.
- In this position, squeeze and release your buttocks muscles, keeping your thighs and stomach muscles relaxed.
- Repeat three sets of 20 on each side.
- Remember to keep your feet straight and keep your balance.
- Keep your upper body relaxed throughout the exercise.
If you have trouble keeping your balance at first, stand next to a table and periodically hold onto it for support.
Three-Position Toe Raises
This exercise activates and strengthens the musculature of the feet, ankles, and lower legs. It also strengthens the relationship of the eight major load bearing joints (the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles), which work together to hold your body in the vertical position.
- Stand with your body aligned straight up and down, with your hips directly over your heels.
- For the first set, point your toes straight ahead.
- Roll up onto the balls of your feet, keeping the weight evenly distributed over all five toes.
- Lower you heels back to the ground in a smooth motion.
- Repeat three sets of 10 reps.
- For the second set, point your toes outward at about a 45 degree angle.
- Repeat the above directions for another three sets of 10 reps.
- For the third set, point your toes inward so your big toes are touching.
- Repeat the above instructions for the final three sets of 10 reps.
- It is essential to maintain your body alignment, with your hips directly over your heels
- Do not let yourself lean forward.
Standing Arm Circles
This exercise balances the shoulders and promotes function of the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine.
- Stand with your feet pointed straight ahead and hip-width apart.
- Place your finger tips into the pad of each hand and point your thumbs straight out.
- This is referred to as golfer's grip and maintaining this hand position is important for the exercise to be done correctly.
- Pull your shoulders back by squeezing your shoulder blades together and down, then bring your arms out straight from your sides up to shoulder level.
- With palms facing down and thumbs pointing straight forward, rotate your hands up and forward in approximate six inch circles and continue for 50 reps.
- Then reverse direction: palms should now face up, with thumbs pointed straight backward.
- Rotate your hands up and backward, continue for 50 reps.
Lately, several yogis have come to me asking for support with reducing pain and tension resulting from their yoga practice. This prompted me to create this article for people who practice yoga regularly. I hope this short routine helps you to maintain balance and to gain greater benefit from your practice. If you have any questions or comments feel free to send me an email.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this article is to promote broad reader understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.