As well as being the secret to healthy, glowing skin, yoga also has a number of other health benefits to enhance our body, mind and soul. Research has shown that yoga reduces symptoms of anxiety. With life as we know turned upside down at the minute, looking after our mental health is just as important as staying in tip top physical condition. Heres a simple 10 minute Yoga Flow to help calm the mind and reduce signs of anxiety. See version of this flow on Metro.co.uk and yourfitnesstoday.com
Instructions for this Yoga Flow
1. Inhale & Exhale
Stand with feet under hips, lengthen the muscles of back and move crown of head towards the ceiling to gain as much length in the body. Place hands on either side of hips with palms facing outwards. Inhale as you take your hands out to the sides and upwards and over your head. Once all the way up, turn palms outwards and exhale as you bring arms down the side of body and back to hips. Repeat this inhalation and exhalation sequence 3 times.
2. Standing forward bend
Inhale to take hands above head then then exhale as you push buttocks back and fold forward from the hip bringing hand to feet or just hanging down towards feet.
3. Downward dog
Bend your knees, place hand on the ground and then walk hands forward into downward dog pose. Stay in this pose for 3 to 6 breaths.
From downward dog, slowly bend your knees and bring them to the ground into table-top pose. Take a deep breath in.
5. Cat & Cow Stretch
As you exhale bring your chin to your chest, contract your chest and contract your belly into cow pose. This deepens the upward curve of your spine. Then begin to inhale by pushing out the upper belly, then the chest and extend the neck by looking forward into cat pose. This deepens the downward curve of your spine.
Gently lengthen your legs behind you and come down to lie on your belly, hands on either side of your chest. Then as you inhale slowly raise your head and chest off the ground, while you push your hips and thighs into the ground. This is cobra pose.
7. Child’s pose
From cobra pose, keep the hands firmly grounded, then bring the head and chest downwards as you push your buttocks backwards toward your heels. When buttocks touch heels, lengthen your spine and bring forehead to rest on ground. Relax in child’s pose for a few minutes.
Repeat this flow 2 or 3 times daily or whenever feeling anxious of overwhelmed.
You can use this sequence at anytime to clear the mind, feel calmer and happier.