To Lengthen and Strengthen in Yoga

Lisa Mitchell
To Lengthen and Strengthen in Yoga
We all know the words that start with L when it comes to our bodies – we want to be lean, some of us want a long body while others are in need of lithe. We would like to share with you today, some great lengthen and strengthen moves used in Yoga, Pilates and even dance to stretch your body while toning at the same time. With these six exercises, you can move one-step to the next without even needing to stop. You can start by doing up to 3 rounds while taking a one-minute breather in between, and feel a little taller when reaching the end (only joking) will take some time if you keep to your routine. Step One the Grand Pliay When doing this exercise you need to remember that this one is more than just your regular squat it actually works your inner thighs. Start by:
  •          Standing with your feet spread out a little wider than the width of your hip, and turn those toes in an outward position,
  •          Now go down into a squat the lowest and most comfortable pose that you can, remember to keep your chest up high and let your arms loosely hang in front of your body,
  •          Once you start pressing your heels to start standing up, take your arms and swing it out to your sides and into the up position keeping them curved above your head,
Repeat these positions for a count of ten times! Step Two the Trivet With the Trivet, you will be working both the lower and upper section of your body, with a slanting twist to work on your waist.
  •          Start by standing and bending forward to the ground as if you are going into a V position by stretching your hands out as far as you can and still feeling comfortable,
  •          Start by lifting the one leg and stretch it out up into the air behind you,
  •          Now bring your leg that you have stretched out behind you by turning your hip slightly to your shoulder and bringing the leg forward to your opposite elbow,
  •          Now press yourself back out of the Trivet position by placing it back as you had started, repeat with the other leg.
Do this step by repeating it 10 times (5 times for each leg).   Step Three Get Ready to Start Swimming This exercise is great for your back and your glutes.
  •          Lie on your tummy with your arms extended in front of your body,
  •          Now using your back muscles start lifting all your limbs from the ground and begin to flutter as if you are swimming by kicking both the arms and legs in an up and down movement,
Do these steps while counting slowly to ten, take a breather, and repeat this for a count of three reps.   Step Four Get Ready for the Scissor Kick This will help to make your core stable and strengthen your thighs as your legs move in different directions.
  •          Lie on your back and place your arms by your sides, now lift up your feet a foot off the floor and keep it there,
  •          Now you should know the scissor move, start moving them in an up and down position for about ten reps,
  •          Wait for a little without resting you start the same scissor in the side to side motion by alternating your feet when crossing over each other for another 10 reps,
  •          Rest your legs on the floor and repeat for three sets.
  Step Five Far-Reaching Elevated Plank This step is great to stretch out your side and helps to make your moving parts relaxed.
  •          Start by lying on one side with your forearm bent beneath you and your elbow comfortably placed in line with your shoulder,
  •          Now bend your knee a little and contract your feet,
  •          As you start pressing up into the elevated plank, take your free arm and stretch it out right over your head,
  •          Hold it and lower down gradually,
Do this step on both sides for a count of ten reps.   Step Six the Bridge Expansion The bridge expansion is great for that booty!
  •          Lie on your back with your arms stretched out by your sides, now bend your knees and bring the heels as close possible to your butt,
  •          Now start raising your hips up high to the sky while keeping the weight on the heels move your arms up and back overhead – tighten your butt and thighs at the top and press in an upward motion,
Now gradually unlock this position and start lowering your hips while bringing the arms to the start position – repeat this for a count of ten reps.