Seven yoga moves to improve your wellbeing during lockdown

Seven yoga moves to to improve your physical and mental health during lockdown.

Seven yoga moves to to improve your physical and mental health during lockdown. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

You don’t have to be mega fit, flexible or spiritual to enjoy the benefits of yoga. 

From focusing on your breath to releasing tension in your muscles, yoga can help to improve your physical and mental wellbeing and might be a good hobby for you to take during lockdown. 

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, gives seven moves for you to try at home. 

Easy seated twist

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'easy seated twist'.

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'easy seated twist'. - Credit: Lexi Spall

Mrs Spall, 34, said: "This pose lengthens your spine and opens up your chest, back, hips and shoulders. It can also can improve digestion.

"Begin in an easy lotus position, sitting with your legs crossed. If you find this a little difficult you could use a cushion or a yoga block to sit a little higher.

"Place your left hand behind you, close to your sacrum and your right hand on your left knee.

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"Use your left hand to push down onto the ground and lengthen your spine, take a deep breath in as you exhale twist, by looking over your left shoulder. Hold this for five to 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side."

Cat-cow

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'cow position' from 'cat-cow'.

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'cow position' from 'cat-cow'. - Credit: Lexi Spall

"Cat stretches your spine and cow your front body. These two pose work wonderfully synched together and with the breath. It also stimulates the wrists, increases spinal fluid and circulation.

"Starting in an all four position, wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Small softness in your elbows as to not lock the arms out.

"From here, start to inhale as you draw your tummy down towards the ground and gently lift your chest bringing your shoulders away from your ears.

"Arch your back, (this is our cow position) and as you start to exhale begin to round the spine like a cat, pressing the floor away with your hands and knees (this is our cat position).

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'cat position' from 'cat-cow'.

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'cat position' from 'cat-cow'. - Credit: Lexi Spall

"Continue these movement's linking it to your breath.. inhale in cow and exhale in cat."

Easy Camel

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'Easy Camel'.

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'easy camel' stretch. - Credit: Lexi Spall

"This pose is fantastic for your posture and opening the chest. This will increase your lung capacity which will then in turn help you breathe deeper. As a heart-opener, its considered to be energising.

"Starting in a kneeling position, bring your hands to your lower back, finger tips pointing down. Try to hide your elbows behind your back, opening your chest.

"From here gently guide your hips forward. You can look forward, maybe diagonally ahead or if you feel comfortable look up. Just make sure you feel in control.

"Coming out of this pose, start to lift your chest and look forward. Hold this for five to 10 breaths."

Crescent lunge (low lunge)

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, gives seven moves for you to try at home during lockdown.

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'crescent lunge' or 'low lunge'. - Credit: Lexi Spall

"This pose will stretch your hip flexors, quads and open out your chest, shoulders and torso. A great for runners or cyclists.

"Crescent lunge will also help with your balance and stability.

"From a kneeling position, set your right foot forward. Allowing your left knee to stay on the mat (If you have sensitive knees, you could roll the mat over to create a cushion or even use a small towel).

"Edge your right foot forward a little so you start to feel the stretch in your left hip flexor. Be sure that your right knee is directly above your right foot.

"If this feel enough you can stay here, or if you feel stable, begin to lift your arms over head with your inhale.

"Drop your shoulders away from your ears and settle into this pose. Breathing deeply for five to 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side."

Tree pose

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, in a Tree pose.

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, in a Tree pose. - Credit: Lexi Spall

"A balancing pose, to quiet the mind. This will help bring stability to your feet and ankles. Also a hip opener.

"This pose will help you to find focus and concentration.

"Begin standing tall, arms relaxed beside you. Find your focal point. Something still that you can focus on. This will help you with your balance.

"Start to shift your weight into your left foot, and maybe begin with resting your right foot on top of your left foot. Pause here, see how you feel, how is your balance?

"Going further, you can slide your right foot up to your ankle. If you feel you can go even further take hold of your right foot and bring it to your left inner thigh.

"Press your foot into your thigh. Tuck your tailbone, and lengthen your spine.

"Try and hold for five to 10 breaths. Gently lower the right foot and relax, repeat on the other side."

Head to knee pose

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'head to knee' pose.

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'head to knee' pose. - Credit: Lexi Spall

"This is a seated forward folding pose, so it will stretch and release your calf and ham strings also your spine and shoulders.

"Forward folds are wonderful for calming the mind and helps to relieve anxiety. This is also a gentle hip opener.

"In a seated position with your legs forward begin to bend your right knee bringing the sole of the foot to the inner side of your left leg, your left toes will be pointing up.

"Place your hands either side of your left leg and begin to lengthen your spine, lifting all the way through the crown of your head. Shoulder drop away from your ears.

"From here, keeping your spine lengthened, start to crawl your fingers forward, drawing your tummy towards your left thigh.

"Find your edge here and settle, holding for five to 10 breaths and repeat on the other side."

Child's pose

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'child's pose' position.

Lexi Spall, a yoga teacher from Gorleston, showing the 'child's pose' position. - Credit: Lexi Spall

A calming, grounding and restorative pose. Calming the mind, relieving stress and anxiety. Gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles.

"Begin by kneeling, bring your big toes together and then sit back on your heels.

"Bring your hands down on to the mat and take your time working your way down, bringing your chest and tummy towards the mat. Find space around the hips and legs. Widen your knees if needed.

"Relax your shoulders and find a comfortable position for your arms. Whether they’re reaching forward, or your hands are stacked so your can rest your forehead. Or maybe reaching back, past your toes.

"Relax here as much as you can, soften your body with every exhale. Hold here for as long as you wish.

"Please be mindful of any injuries or areas in your body that you know could be a little tight. There should be no pain just a stretch. If you feel any pain what so ever, gently come out of the pose."

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