But what if I told you that you can do minimal yoga for maximum results with hardly any movement? ‘Sweet!’ you’d be saying! And probably, ‘I don’t believe you Helen, I’ve got to get moving in some way to achieve maximum results’. And yes, that’s true, you do have to move off your seat but not far, and you only really have to stay in one spot. You could stand up next to your laptop and do this and feel great, physically and mentally within 5 minutes. Wanna give it a go? Lazy yoga, let’s go.
There are certain minimal yoga, maximum results poses you can try to get your heart rate up, get your blood pumping, get your core working and get your muscles smiling. They’re perfect for the days when you really can’t be bothered but know you should do something for your health, for the days when you’re aching or sore but want to shake of some stagnation and they’re ideal for those days when 5 minutes between meetings is all you have - lazy yoga is the way FORWARD.
Here are 3 simple poses for minimal yoga, maximum results to get you feeling strong, healthy and satisfied on those days when you really don’t want to move.
Chair pose (or Utkatasana) gets your thighs and arms strong whilst improving balance, tightening your abdominals yay flat belly if that’s what you’re after and helping with all the smaller muscles around your ankles, calves and spine.
Come to stand with both feet together. Take a big breath in and reach your arms up to the ceiling (you can keep the hands apart of bring your palms together, I’ll let you decide on that one. As you exhale, bend your knees deeply. You can either bring the knees to stack over your toes, or pull back just a little until you can see your toes (this is to keep the weight in your heels). Create length through your spine by drawing your tailbone towards the ground and away from your head (no booty tooch here!). Hold for 30 seconds or 6 rounds of breath and finally stand! You can also drop your arms now ;)
If you can do this, you can say you can do an arm balance ;) and you don’t even need to get off the floor - hurray lazy yoga! Side plank (Vasistha) is a powerfully simple pose that can be done anywhere. It strengthens core, arms and wrists (so is fabulous for those of us who are typing all day) whilst increasing your sense of balance.
Get yourself into Downward Dog and shift your weight onto the right foot. Lift up your left foot as you shift onto the outside edge of your right foot. Pick your left hand up and pop it either on your waist or reach it up to the sky if you want an extra stretch. You’re now supporting your weight on the right hand and foot. Ensure your right hand is a little in-front of your shoulder and not directly below it, push into the floor with that hand to lift up and firm the body. Push your heel into the floor and lift up through the hips and waist so that you’re making a nice diagonal line with your body. Stay here for 30 seconds or 6 rounds of breath before coming back to downward dog and repeating on the other side. Voila!
Dolphin is my nemesis but only because I have tight shoulders (from carrying my world on them), and I always feel better after it. It strengthens arms, legs and core whilst opening those darn tight upper backs.
Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips. Lower onto your forearms and shuffle your arms forward until your elbows are below your shoulders. Pull your hands together and clasp them tightly. Tuck your toes under and begin to lift the knees off the floor, I like to keep the bent and straighten right towards the end but you’re welcome to straighten right away if your hamstrings are feeling open. Lift your bum and hips up the ceiling whilst lengthening through your spine (draw your tailbone towards your hips to do this). Keep pressing your forearms into the floor whilst lifting through the shoulders (just try not the let your shoulders creep up towards your ears). Stay here for 30 seconds or 5 rounds of breath then drop on down onto your knees and head into childs pose if you fancy!
There you have it. Three lazy yoga poses for maximum results that you can do anywhere. Whether you’re too hot or too cold, can’t be bothered or only have 5 minutes - these poses will strengthen your entire body and get you feeling fabulous.