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Simple Yoga Exercises to Stretch and Strengthen

It is believed that yoga originated over 5,000 years ago with the Indus-Sarasvati civilization. The basic principles remain the same today, although the practices have changed and, more recently, there has been a variety of offshoots, such as ashtange yoga, Bikram, and even yin.

Yoga can be a valuable part of recovery or simply part of your everyday routine. In fact, many reputable physio practices are incorporating yoga into your recovery schedule, because the effects have shown to be so positive. That’s why you’ll find practices like this physio botany offering yoga, acupuncture, and a variety of other methods. The aim, after all, is o get you as healthy as possible as quickly as possible.

Yoga can help you to stretch muscles which improve flexibility, and to strengthen them, ensuring you retain core strength, especially as you age.

The Mountain Pose

In essence, you’re just standing. But, you need to adopt the right position to ensure your legs are being used, your shoulders are directly above your hips, and the crown of your head is risen. It’s surprisingly easy to do but difficult to hold for a long period of time.

Raised Arms

Having mastered your perfect posture Mountain Poseyou can raise your arms directly above your head. Keep your arms straight, palms together, and tilt your head back slightly. Your shoulders should move away from your ears.

This is a great stretch to start the day with, especially if you focus on getting the alignment right.

The Forward Bend

You’ll be surprised at how difficult this is, although it looks simple. From your standing mountain pose, you simply bend at the waist and put your hands flat on the floor next to your feet. Your head won’t touch the floor but it shouldn’t be too far away.

You probably won’t be able to do this on the first attempt so try moving your hands away from your body. Each time you can bring them closer to your feet. You can also bend your knees slightly to prevent stressing your spine.

The low Squat

Again you should start in the mountain pose, but your hands in front of your chest, palms together. They need to stay there while you do this yoga pose.

It’s a good idea to adopt a wide stance before you move downwards. Now squat, but not the bodybuilder style squat. Your bottom should be nearly touching the floor as you bend your knees, keep your feet flat on the floor, and try to get your thighs parallel to your calves.

It’s actually a great way to counteract sitting all day.

The Lunge

From your standing position step forward with one leg only. Keeping your body straight you should be able to drop down until your hands touch the mat. At this point your back is straight and your hands, shoulders, front foot, and head are all in the same line.

You’ll feel the stretching right through your legs.

The Plank

There are many different variations of the plank and you can try all of them. They will all help to strengthen and stretch your muscles. With daily practice, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve in a few short months.

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