This simple cross-legged posture is most commonly used for meditation and pranayama (breath control) practices.
• Good for grounding and spine lengthening
• The external rotation of the hips is great relief for hours spent at desk chairs
• Connecting with the floor and practising stillness brings a sense of calm
Focus on staying grounded on both sit bones, drawing the belly in towards the back, shoulder blades towards one another to keep the chest proud and open.
*Place a block or book under your seat, a cushion under the knees or just come onto your knees in hero pose for any knee injuries.
Half lord of the fishes pose
This is a dreamy pose to strengthen and improve the overall health of the spine.
• Stimulates the digestive system and organs
• Helps to release any back pain and stiffness
• Practice at the end of the day to release tension after long periods of sitting
Inhale as you lengthen the spine up through the crown of the head and exhale through the nose to draw you deeper into the twist. This variation of hugging the knee in towards the chest helps keep the spine tall and engages the inner thighs.
*Be more cautious if you have back/shoulder injuries or if you’ve recently had any operations to the abdominal area or are pregnant.
Extended puppy pose
This pose can will help bring a sense of calm to the body and with 4 points of the body touching the earth, it can feel really grounding.
• Known as “heart-melting pose” as it provides a deep heart and chest opening
• Do this in the morning to start the day feeling grounded and connected
• A delicious way to stretch out the length of the spine and alleviate stiffness
Try coming onto the fingertips to allow you to draw the chest towards the earth and to encourage an opening to the upper back. Focus on drawing the belly in to activate the core and keep drawing the ribs down to avoid putting pressure on the lower spine.
*Place a cushion or roll up the mat under the knees for any discomfort here
This is a really gentle backbend that can be taken in preparation for more challenging postures.
• Great for opening the lungs, chest and shoulders
• Truly accessible, it can be done anytime and anywhere
• Strengthens the spine and helps firm the booty
Focus on actively drawing the elbows in towards one another. If you’re ready to take the pose further, come onto the balls of the feet and into a forearm plank.
*Avoid if pregnant or have any back injuries
A classic balancing posture that helps build a strong foundation before you tackle the rest of your physical practice and other balances.
• Ideal for improving focus and concentration from within.
• Builds strength in the ankles and calves
• Helps tone up abs
Simplify the pose by placing the raised sole of the foot by the ankle and drawing the hands in at the front of your chest. Or, to strengthen the posture, try to close the eyes and raise the arms.
*Practice with caution if you suffer from any hip or knee issues or high/low blood pressure.
Lord of the dance pose
A beautiful pose that really works all areas of the body, just don’t forget to do both sides!
• Encourages greater flexibility in your spine, shoulders and hamstrings
• Strengthens the legs and stretches almost everything
• Improves overall balance (it helps to try to keep the gaze at a fixed point)
Focus on drawing the leg up and the foot back against the hand, whilst using your hand to draw the foot closer to the body in this two-way resistance.
*Practice with caution if you suffer from low blood pressure if you have any hip injuries
This is another great balancing posture that’s slightly more challenging than the previous options but one that is truly satisfying once mastered.
• This pose twists you up in knots whilst loosening the mind
• Increases circulation to all other joints and improves balance
• Helps to aid digestion
Simplify the pose by tackling the upper body and arms separately before trying the full pose. Take a strong bend in the legs to help wrap the top leg around the base leg.
*Practice with caution if you have or have had any recent any knee or shoulder injuries or if you suffer from low/high blood pressure
This gorgeous squat pose is ideal for stretching through the groin whilst actively lengthening the spine.
• Helps tone up abs
• Improves colon function
• Can regulate sexual energy
Focus on drawing the palms together at heart centre as your elbows draw the knees further apart. Try placing a cushion under the knees if your feet don’t touch the ground.
*Careful of the lower back and avoid if you suffer with any knee injuries