With the busy lifestyles many of us lead, it’s really important to take some time out to relax. It can help you feel calmer, more in control and make a big difference to your wellbeing.

With that in mind, we’ve collaborated with Emma Vasquez, the leader of Carlisle’s Ashtanga Mysore programme. Emma has created a really inspiring guide for anyone wanting to get into yoga or simply take some time for themselves. All you need is a non-slip floor and some comfy clothing.

Some of the poses are quite simple, others are more complex. Even if you can’t recreate them yourself, you can have fun trying – just remember to take care and warm up first!

Triangle Posture – Utthita Trikonasana

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This is a great pose to begin with as you can take the stretch as far as you’re comfortable.

  • Standing upright, take a jump out to the right hand side with the arms wide.
  • Feet about 3/4 length of your mat, turn your left toes in and your right toes out. Hips facing forward.
  • Inhale and reach your right arm forward and slide it down your leg.
  • You can lightly rest your hand to your shin, the mat or grab hold of your big toe.
  • Turn your gaze to look up to your left fingers and open the chest. If you have low blood pressure, keep your gaze to the floor.
  • 5 deep breaths here, inhale, lift up and turn the feet around, then repeat on the other side.

Trikonasana can be used to relieve backache, improve flat feet and stimulate the digestive system and abdominal organs.

Warrior 2- Virabhadrasana 2

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One of the most fierce and powerful yoga postures, inviting you to find your inner warrior.

  • Standing upright, take a jump out to you right hand side with arms out to the sides.
  • Turn your left toes in, right toes out and position your hips to face forward.
  • Bend your front knee in line with your heel and make sure you can see your first big toe.
  • Keep the back of your left foot grounded and your left thigh externally rotated to protect your knee.
  • With the arms strong, gaze down your right fingers. Keep a strong stance.
  • Take 5 breaths then turn your feet and repeat on your left side.

Warrior 2 is a full body strengthener which can help to tone your legs and stabilise your lower back. 5 breaths here will feel like hard work, so this pose can really help to improve your stamina.

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend – Upavistha Konasana

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  • Starting from a sitting position, take your legs out wide and keep your feet flexed.
  • Make sure your knee caps are facing up towards the ceiling, not facing inwards or outwards.
  • Take a moment seated upright to see how the stretch feels – for some this will be enough. It’s all about feeling comfortable and ensuring the pose works for you.
  • If your hamstrings feel ok, you can begin to lower yourself slowly, tilting your pubic bone down and lifting your abdominal muscles to help your spine stay straight.
  • Once you are in a comfortable stretch, pause for anywhere from 5-50 breaths.
  • Inhale slowly and come up, take the hands behind the knees and slowly bending your legs as you ease out of the pose.

Konasana is a relaxing posture for the nervous system and calms the mind. A deep stretch for the hamstrings and back of the legs which can help to free-up tension and tightness.

Thinking about starting yoga or taking part in more classes? Take a look at The Yoga Studio, Carlisle, and explore some of the great classes they have on offer – sign up for some free online classes. Yoga is a great way to support your wellbeing and take some time for yourself every day.

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