By Alia El Saady
Want to turn back the clock to a time when you were more limber and flexible? Well, Yoga might just be the thing you need to keep you looking and feeling younger. A few of these poses and you’ll find that you’re getting a natural face and body lift without all the creams or nipping and tucking! Just make sure you have a mat, pillows and a nice open space so you can get started with these poses.
1- Warrior II Pose
Stand with your feet shoulder apart; move your right foot pointing to side and left foot turned in slightly. Keep your torso facing forward. Exhale and bend your right knee. Inhale and raise your arms out to the side. Turn your head to the right and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch directions to stretch the other leg.
This pose is great for strengthening your arms, thighs, legs and ankles. It’s also good at relieving back pain and increasing levels of stamina and endurance.
2- Tree Pose
Stand with your feet together, toes forward. Place the sole of your right foot on the inside of your left thigh, your calf (not on the knee joint) or the inside of your ankle, with the toes of your right foot lightly touching the floor. Place your hands in prayer position in front of your chest and look straight ahead. Hold for 15 seconds.
This pose is great for developing balance and strengthening your posture.
3- Seated Twist
Sit cross-legged with your arms extended so your fingertips touch the mat on either side of your hips. Inhale, lengthening your spine and lifting your arms overhead. Exhale and twist gently to the right; lower your left hand to your outer right thigh and your right hand behind you. Look over your right shoulder. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
This pose is really good for decreasing pressure on your spine and hips and known to improve flexibility.
4- Cow Pose
Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists. Elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor. As you inhale, lift your sitting bones and chest toward the ceiling, allowing your belly to sink toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward.
This pose stretches your back muscles and abdominal muscles as well as your neck and increases the mobility of your spinal vertebrae.
5- Mountain Pose
Stand with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (so that your second toes are parallel). Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly down on the floor. Rock back and forth and side to side. Gradually reduce this swaying to a standstill, with your weight balanced evenly on the feet.
This pose is the basis of all standing poses and is great for strengthening your thigh muscles.