Enjoy Autumn’s arrival with Yoga-Quickies!
Go outside and enjoy the weather as often as possible before winter drives you inside. Natural sunlight is a key to the cyclical depression syndrome known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which occurs in the fall when daylight hours start to diminish. Depression and overeating (especially carbs) often begin in the fall when daylight lessens. Great Autumn exercises include aerobic walking, cycling, and of course, rebounding!
This is an ideal season for detox and that means it’s now more important than ever to get your lymph moving on a daily basis. My Yoga-Quickies help to stimulate the lymphatics and release any backed-up waste that may be building up in your colon. Incorporate these simple poses into your daily routine – aim for 5 to 10 minutes, 5 days a week.
Here are two of my favorite Yoga-Quickie poses:
1. Lymph Bridge –
Duration: 15 seconds while practicing Belly Breathing*; do 5 times
This posture is a backbend and a gentle inversion. It is designed to move the hard-to-reach lymphatics that are adjacent to your intestinal tract.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet directly underneath your knees. Make sure your feet are placed about hip width apart. Lay your arms directly at your sides, palms facing down. Lift your hips into the air so that your weight is on your shoulders and feet. Without straining your neck and back, try to raise your belly button as high as you can and tighten your core. Your hips should form a straight line all the way to your shoulders. Lift your hips as high as you can without placing undue pressure on your neck and lower back.
Modification: If you have weak core muscles, this pose will be somewhat challenging to hold at first. To adapt the post to your comfort level, you can easily slide a blanket or a yoga block underneath your hips and/or shoulders for added support wherever you feel it’s needed.
2. Downward Facing Dog –
Duration: 10 seconds while practicing Belly Breathing*; do 2 times
This pose brings fresh blood and oxygen to your head and your stomach area, clearing out the cobwebs, relieving stiffness, and aiding digestion.
Start out on all fours, place your hands with fingers spread on the floor directly underneath your shoulders. Make sure your knees are directly under your hips. Turn your toes under, lift your hips up and straighten your legs into an upside-down V shape. To come out of the pose, bend your knees and return to all fours.
Modification: If you have tight hips and/or flexibility issues, this pose can be modified by bending your knees or placing your feet two to three feet apart.
*Yoga-Quickie Belly Breathing:
This simple breathing technique starts by contracting the diaphragm; this places pressure on the abdominals, which causes the lungs to expand, thereby encouraging lymphatic flow. When you practice Belly Breathing, you are helping to detoxify the lymph and boost cellular metabolism by elevating oxygen in your cells. This makes Belly Breathing a surprisingly powerful weight loss aid, plus it clears your head – no more foggy thinking. The very movement of contracting and expanding your abdomen works to tighten and flatten your belly. Begin by placing one hand on your belly and another on your chest. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and on the inhale, feel your belly rise higher than your chest. Now exhale slowly through your mouth while contracting your abdominals and completely releasing all of the air in your lungs. Elongate your breath as you exhale. The exhale breath should last twice as long as the inhale.
Virtually an “excuse-proof” exercise, these Yoga-Quickies can be done anytime, anywhere. Make this your season to be more limber, calmer, and handle stress better than ever!
For more of my Yoga-Quickie Poses and my complete Autumn Fitness Plan, check out Fat Flush for Life!