Join Rachel Stentiford, Accredited Sports Dietitian and qualified yoga teacher, as she takes you through a short sequence yoga activity!
This short yoga sequence combines breathwork, poses and a short body scan, with the intention to slow down and connect inwards. You can do these on a yoga mat, carpet or on your bed. The sequence can be carried out with eyes open or closed.
20 minute practice:
Sit comfortably, cross legged on a cushion or sitting on your heels with a straight spine.
Box breathing, 8 rounds
Remaining seated, follow the box, starting with an inhale. Repeat for eight full rounds. The eight rounds can be counted by gently moving your thumb along each finger on your right and then left hand.
Seated Cat Cow, 8 rounds
To warm up the spine, remain in a seated position. Inhale for four seconds while lifting the head up towards the ceiling and opening the chest forward, feeling the stretch at the front of the neck and the chest. Exhale for four seconds while pulling the belly button inwards, curving the spine and dropping the chin to chest. Repeat for eight rounds.
Thread the Needle, 2 minutes either side
For a spinal twist, come to all fours, hips stacked over knees with hips square to the ground, take your right arm and thread it under your left, then reach your left arm out in front, stacking your shoulders, left on top of right. Hold for two minutes and then slowly switch sides.
Butterfly, 4 minutes
To stretch the hamstrings and lower back, in a seated position with legs in front of you, bring soles of feet together, knees opening out. If you take your feet further from the groin, this allows for more stretch in the lower back as you lean forward. You may wish to have a cushion to rest your chest on for support in this pose. Hold for 4 minutes while continuing with a steady breath.
Lie on your back, legs out long and arms relaxed by your side, and take a moment to allow the stretch to rebound.
Bananasana, 2 minutes either side
To open up the side body, lying flat on the ground reach your arms along the ground above your head, keeping the pelvis centred and facing up, take your feet to the right side of the body and do the same with your arms. For a greater stretch, cross your left foot over your right and take hold of your left hand with your right hand and pull gently. Hold for 2 minutes and then repeat on the left side.
Body scan, approx. 4 minutes
If you have time while lying down, returning to legs out long and arms relaxed by your side, slowly move your consciousness around the body, starting at the fingers of your right hand, moving up to the shoulder, down right side of body, hip, thigh, knee, ankle and down to the toes on the right side. Follow this sequence on the left side also. Once complete, allow a moment to lie and be aware of how your body and mind are feeling. When ready, wriggle your fingers and toes and slowly come back up to sitting, ready to continue mindful practices into the rest of your day.