Helen Mirren is now my hero. She is not only an amazing actress with more than a few years of experience under her belt, but she has struck envy in her bikini. She is just a few days away from turning 63. Her flat stomach and curves make me want to put down the donut and hit the gym. Sometimes a gym is just not in the budget or perhaps your goal is to have a workout that is flexible and easy to do.
Yoga has become popular of the years and has maintained it’s appeal thanks to it’s easy, relaxing and low impact movements that anyone can do. Something to remember before starting any type of workout is know your limits. Only push your body to what is healthy for you. Also don’t fall victim to running out and buying all the fancy yoga gear. Only a mat is needed to begin with. This is simply to prevent you from slipping while holding poses. Also, always consult your doctor before starting any kind of exercises if you have medical conditions or you are unsure of what your body can handle.
Some basic yoga poses combine flexibility with muscle toning movements. The key is to take deep breaths and breath slowly and deeply. Breathing will be your clock and counting.
Start with the Easy Position also known as Sukhasana. Sitting with your legs crossed and hands on knees remember to straighten your back. Raise arms while allowing your knees to gently lower. Take 5-10 slow deep breaths. On the next inhale, raise your arms over your head. Exhale and bring your arms down slowly. Repeat 5-7 times.
Move to the Mountain or Tadasana. This is basically standing with your back straight, shoulders back and feet shoulder width apart. Take several deep breaths raise your arms take another deep breath and bend forward. Grasp your ankles if you can. If not the lower as far as you can hold this position and take several more breaths.
Now try Trikonasana - the Triangle. Start with your spread 3-4 feet apart, feet parallel. Turn your left foot 90 degrees to the left and your right foot about 45 degrees inward. Inhale and raise both arms so they’re parallel with the floor. Exhale, turn your head to the left and look down your left arm toward your outstretched fingers. Check that your left knee is aligned with your left ankle. Take a deep breath and stretch outward to the left, tilting the left hip down and the right hip up. When you’ve stretched as far as you can, pivot your arms, letting your left hand reach down and come to rest against the inside of your calf, while your right arms points straight up. Turn and look up at your right hand. Breathe deeply for several breaths. Inhale, and straighten up.
Next is Warrior. Begin in mountain pose with feet together and hands at side. Step your feet 4-5 feet apart. Turn your right foot about 45 degrees to the left. Turn your left foot 90 degrees to the left so that it is pointing straight out to the side. Slowly bend the left knee until the thigh is parallel with the floor, but keep the knee either behind or directly over your ankle. Raise your arms over head. Then slowly lower them until your left arm is pointing straight ahead and your right arm is pointing back. Concentrate on a spot in front of you and breathe. Take 4 or 5 deep breaths.
Finish off by laying flat on your back in a resting position taking slow deep breaths.