It’s International Women’s Day and here we’ve rounded up the best yoga positions for a healthy and happy mind, body and soul. So, share with your friends, mums, sisters and daughters and roll out those mats!
How to: Stand tall, on one leg, and engage the quadriceps bringing the opposite foot to the inner thigh. Keep the pelvic floor and abdominals lifted as you press the foot into your leg to create a firmer support. Soften your gaze, find a single point to focus on and smile as this relaxes the mind. Remain here for 5-10 minutes cultivating the strength and steadiness of a tree as it waits patiently to grow.
Benefits: The tree pose is perfect for overactive minds as it helps to calm and harmonise. Holding this position helps to strengthen and tone leg muscles, ankles and feet. Your inner thighs and groin areas are stretched and your pelvic floor and abdominals are toned.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana)
How to: Stand with your feet together and step your right foot back about four feet turning towards the side of your mat. The heel of your left foot should be in line with the heel (or arches) of your right. Extend the arms so they are in line, with your left forwards and your right backwards. Then turn your palms face down. Keep your gaze focussed on the left hand and hold this position for up to 60 seconds before you alternate arms and legs.
Benefits: Warrior II is a strengthening pose that improves physical and mental endurance. It allows you to stretch your upper legs and ankles whilst opening your hips and chest. Holding this pose also develops concentration and balance.
Yogi squat (Malasana)
How to: Bend both legs and squat so that both knees are pointing to the ceiling. Rest the elbows on the inner knees and hold yourself in that position. If you cannot keep your feet flat on the floor, due to stiff legs and tight calves, use a towel or cushion as support.
Benefits: This position is a perfect pre-natal posture for both mother and baby as it helps to relieve tension from the hips and pelvis. Holding this position helps to lengthen the spine and if you keep the weight distributed to the outer edges of the feet your glute is activated.
Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
How to: Use a pillow or yoga bolster as support when holding this position and keep your sitting bones towards the edge of the bolster. Lie back and lift the legs upright, using the wall to support them.
Benefits: This is a restorative posture ideal for balancing your energy, or to rest if needed. It can also help to relieve tired legs and feet.
Revolved head to knee (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)
How to: Take a wide legged seated position, lengthen the spine and press down the sitting bones. Fold your right leg into the groin. Now, inhale sitting tall and lifting the arms then exhale whilst you lean your torso to the left leg reaching both arms over head. Keep the right side pressed down as you lean away and engage the thigh of the left leg. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Benefits: This posture can help aid digestion as well as stretching your spine, shoulders and hamstrings. As well as this your rib cage is expands and improves your breathing.
Goddess pose (Utkata Konasana)
How to: Stand as wide as possible with your feet turned out and press your knees back and the hips forward. Lengthen your spine and lift the lower belly. Bring your hands either to your heart or over the head (whichever is more comfortable). Hold this position for 5-10 breaths.
Benefits: This is an empowering pose great for pregnancy and can help prepare the pelvis for childbirth. Practicing this position can open the hips, inner thighs and chest. It also strengthens the legs and promotes healthy blood flow around the stomach and reproductive system.
If you’ve got any questions about any of the positions featured in this blog, don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you’d like to develop your yoga skills, or spend time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life on a Tranquillité retreat, you can view the full list of available dates here.