Health

Stretches to relieve aches and pains

Celebrity yoga teacher and Reebok ambassador Tara Stiles, who trains personalities such as Deepak Chopra, shows us how to combat tightness and stiffness in the body with simple poses

1. STANDING FORWARD BEND

For stiff neck and shoulders

Stand tall with your feet parallel to each other. Interlace your hands behind your back. Take a deep breath. Soften your knees as you exhale and fold your torso over your legs. Relax your arms overhead. Hang there for five long, deep breaths. Relax your arms and slowly roll back upwards to stand.


2. BRIDGE

For stiff neck and shoulders

PHOTO: SHAPE / TARA STILES

Lie on your back. Hug your knees into your chest and plant your feet on the ground hip-width apart. Press your arms on the ground by your sides and lift your hips. Hold for five long, deep breaths. Lower yourself one vertebra at a time. Rest for three breaths and repeat twice.


3. COW FACE

For sore back

PHOTO: SHAPE / TARA STILES

Sit with your knees on top of each other. Rest your hands on your feet and stay upright for 10 long, deep breaths. If there is no pain in your knees or back, fold your torso forward. Hang there for 10 long, deep breaths. Slowly roll upwards and repeat for the other side.


4. RECLINING TWIST

For sore back

PHOTO: SHAPE / TARA STILES

Lie on your back. Hug your knees into your chest. Open your arms out. Let your knees fall to your right and gaze towards your left. Stay there for five long, deep breaths and repeat for the other side.


5. DOWNWARD DOG

For tight hamstrings or calves

PHOTO: SHAPE / TARA STILES

Go on all fours. Tuck your toes in and lift your hips upwards. Relax your head, neck and shoulders. Pedal using your feet and allow your body to move any way it feels good. Hang there for 10 long, deep breaths.


6. SINGLE LEG FORWARD BEND

For tight hamstrings or calves

PHOTO: SHAPE / TARA STILES

In the downward dog pose, place your right foot forward. Press your fingertips on the ground alongside that foot. Fold your torso over your right leg. Allow your torso to sway a little to loosen things up. Hang there for five long, deep breaths and repeat for the other side.

Taken from Shape, the only women's health & fitness magazine in Singapore is now available in both print and digital formats. Log on to www.shape.com.sg to subscribe.

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