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Kitchen Yoga

28 March, 2016

Classed under: Well living


Our increasingly busy lives have us constantly rushing. Ironically, this ultimately promotes a sedentary lifestyle. We're constantly sitting at work, on the bus, in the car and in front of the TV, locking our body in the same predictable posture. It should come as no surprise when shoulder, back and hip problems start to creep in.

Looking for a clever way to make up for all the inactivity? Why, kitchen yoga, of course ! When you can't afford  the time to go to the gym, a few minutes of exercise in the kitchen can greatly improve your well-being.

Here's how:

  1. Arrange for time slots of 2 to 5 minutes to do your exercises; for example, you can fit them in while marinating meat, baking muffins or reheating a soup.
  2. Reduce any background noise (TV, radio, etc.) and/or put on some soft music to create the right atmosphere.
  3. Ignore any interruptions: don't answer the phone, and tell those around you to wait.
  4. Slow down and breathe! Try to empty your mind of distracting thoughts before you begin, as if you're entering a meditative state.
  5. If possible, wear comfortable clothing and remove your shoes. In the morning or at night when you're in pyjamas is a great time for your exercises.


3 exercises or basic asanas*

 

Warm-up and relaxation
Mountain pose
1 to 3 minutes

  1. With your eyes open or closed, stand up straight with your feet parallel and aligned with your hips. Relax your knees and hips, then transfer all your weight to the soles of your feet, as if you were pushing off the ground with your toes.
  2. Push out your pelvis and tuck in your abdominals toward your spine. Lift your chest toward the kitchen ceiling. Pull the shoulders back and down, letting your arms hang. Relax your wrists and fingers.
  3. Tilt your head very slightly forward to relax the neck muscles.
  4. Breathe deeply from the belly. Hold this position, while breathing, for at least 1 minute.
Kitchen Yoga

Back stretch
Kitchen table
1 minute

Do the Mountain pose to warm up.
Place your hands and wrists on the kitchen table, palms facing down.
Back up until your arms are straight and your hips are aligned with your feet. Lower your torso until it's parallel to the floor, lower your back, and let your head drop. Your body should be at a right angle with the kitchen table.
Breathe deeply, pushing the buttocks back and tucking in the stomach toward the spine. (You should have the feeling of your body lengthening.) Breathe 3 to 10 times in this position.
Straighten up as you walk slowly and adopt the Mountain pose to centre your weight.


Leg swing
Kitchen counter
1 to 3 minutes

Do the Mountain pose to warm up.
While standing 1 foot from and parallel to the kitchen counter, rest one hand on the counter and the other hand on your hip. Lift your torso toward the ceiling and tuck in your abdominals toward your spine.
Move the leg opposite the kitchen counter in a swinging motion from front to back so that it coincides with your breathing; inhale deeply while swinging your leg forward, then exhale deeply while swinging your leg backward. Repeat 3 times.
While inhaling, bend your knee. While exhaling, bring your bent leg backward. Repeat 10 times.
Switch sides and repeat with the other leg. To finish, assume the Mountain pose to centre your weight.


* These exercises are provided as examples and for entertainment purposes only. They may not be recommended if you suffer from a medical condition. If you feel pain at any time, it's important that you stop the movements immediately.

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