Lockdown 3.0 is proving a struggle for so many of us. While we embraced the novelty of the first lockdown and its slower pace of life; dark nights and grey days are dragging the joy from our daily lives.
With no clear end date, a gloomy 24-hour news cycle and a large majority of us working, living and exercising in the same space – it’s no wonder we may get overwhelmed.
Practising yoga can help relieve stress and anxiety by combining deep breathing with mindfulness (a focus on the here and now) and flowing sequences to guide our minds and find much needed space.
Eastnine trainer Iona Lim has shared a simple yoga sequence you can do each morning to incorporate the practice into your everyday life.
BREATHE – sitting in a comfortable position, take a deep breath in for six seconds, hold for a further six seconds and then breathe out deeply for a further six seconds. Repeat 10 times.
CAT COW STRETCHES – get into the all-fours position with your arms directly under your shoulders.
Press into yours hands, tuck your tail bone in and chin in to chest, arching your lower back. Then move your shoulder blades back, your chest forward and let your belly button drop to the floor. Repeat the flow 10 times.
THREAD THE NEEDLE – from all fours reach the right arm up, twist the chest to the right side and open upwards.
Then bring the right arm down to loop under the left armpit, bringing the outer right shoulder and ear to the floor. Repeat on the left side.
PUPPY POSE – from all fours, ensure the knees stay under the hips. Reach your arms out and sink your chest to the floor. Keep your gaze forward until your chin touches the floor. Stay in this position for five long breaths.
DOWNWARD-FACING DOG – from the all-fours position, tuck your toes under, press into your hands, lift your knees off the floor and send the hips up and back.
Bend the knees and lift the heels as much as is necessary. Stay in the position for three long breaths in and out.
LOW LUNGE TWIST – from Downward-Facing Dog step the right leg forward inside the right hand and place the back knee on the floor.
Reach the right arm up, twist the chest to the right side and open upwards whilst pressing the left hand into the floor. Repeat on the left side.
COBRA – lying face down on the mat, place your hands in front of your shoulders. Straighten your arms to lift the chest.
Press the hands, hips and feet down into the ground, roll the shoulders back and down and shoot the heart forward.
BRIDGE – lying on your back with your arms by side, bend your knees with your feet hip-width apart and tuck your tailbone under.
Press through the feet and arms, lifting the hips away from the ground and walk the shoulder blades closer together.
HAPPY BABY- lying on your back, pull your knees into the chest. Hold the outside of the feet, placing the knees wide and keeping the soles of the feet flexed up to sky, gently rock from side to side. Relax.
Eastnine is a fitness app which motivates, supports and guides people working out.
Consisting of experienced personal trainers, professional athletes and even Olympians, the audio and video app is packed with workouts and programmes to support users in getting fitter, toning up and becoming more confident.
The app is currently offering a free trial to new users.
Follow Iona on Instagram: @ionanacrolim