Lie on your right side with the upper body supported by the right elbow and tricep, which should be flat on the mat at your side. Stack the legs and hip, and bend the knees. Lift the top bent leg, keeping it level, and then lower it. Straighten both legs and let them fall into a small split position (with one leg split over the other). Hover the bottom leg about 1-2 inches from the floor with knees facing forward. Return to starting position to complete one rep.
Do 30-40 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
This V-Position is similar to a ballet plié.
Stand holding the back of a chair with one hand. Place your feet in a V position, toes should be about 4 inches apart and heels stay pressed together. Bend your knees and lift the heels a few inches off the floor. Then, lower your hips until you feel your quads intensely working. Pulse up and down.
10-15 pulses up and down completes 1 set; do 3 sets.
Lie on your back with knees bent and facing up. Plant your heels into the floor and lift the toes toward the shins. Raise the buttocks off the ground until your back forms a straight line from the knees to the shoulders. Hold for 1 second before lowering down.
Repeat for 15 reps.
This squat incorporates dumbbells and works to tone the thighs.
With a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand at your sides, stand with the left foot forward and right foot back in a wide stance. Bend both knees keeping the left knee over your ankle, while lowering the right knee nearly to the floor. Return to standing.
Do 8-10 reps on each side.
Start by standing with feet together. Bend the knees and push the hips back, while making sure the knees stay behind the toes. Lower the thighs until they’re almost parallel with the floor and raise the arms forward and up. Then, rotate the torso to the right side and place the left elbow on the outside of the right knee. Hold for 3 breaths and return to the starting position.
Repeat on the left side to complete one rep; do 3 reps.
Want some tips for your legs? Check out this easy, quick article.
Although originating as a Buddhist belief, I’m Christian and still find energy work with the Chakras useful. With a few stretches, you focus on each of these centers and what they represent. It works for anyone. You always finish feeling energized. Take a few minutes as you concentrate on each energy center and do a yoga pose while you think on what they teach and how it applies to your life.
ROOT CHAKRA / RED
This chakra is based on being physically aware and feeling comfortable in many situations. If opened, you should feel well-balanced and sensible, stable and secure. You don’t distrust people around you for no reason.You feel present in what is happening right now, and very connected to your physical body. Think about:
– Accepting all that has been
– Forgiving yourself and others for mistakes and releasing bad energy
– Holding onto wisdom you’ve learnt
– Remembering where you come from
– Anchoring yourself in all that you are: your history, your culture, your religion, your nationality, your family, your education.
SACRAL CHAKRA / ORANGE
This chakra deals with feeling and sexuality. If open, feelings are released with liberty and are expressed without you being over-emotional. You are open to affinity and can be passionate as well as outgoing. You also have no problems based on sexuality. You are free without comprimising your integrity or health. Think about being open to receive the romantic energy of a partner in your life; the idea of power in collaboration and strength in unity. You feel comfortable in exploring and expressing your sexuality with someone. Work on believing there is a committed, good, loyal person who will compliment you and love you unconditionally.
SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA / YELLOW
This chakra encircles confidence, especially when in a group. When open, you should feel in control and have a good feeling of dignity in yourself. This is because you recognize your self-worth and take pride in all the achievements, victories and triumphs you’ve enjoyed in life. Spend time on this chakra honouring yourself and what you’ve built – that which you have created and manifested. It’s important to thank yourself for what you have worked hard to achieve. Think on the opportunities you have taken hold of. It’s about the success of inspired action, progess, reputation and good intentions towards others. Part of your self-worth is standing your ground on your values and moral principles. Through this power chakra, you feel confident in life and embrace the endless possibilities of the future.
HEART CHAKRA / GREEN
This chakra is all about love, caring, and endearment. When open, you seem to be compassionate and friendly, always working in amicable relationships. This chakra is about emotional empowerment, including that which you give yourself and that which you give others. It is nurturing and kind; seeing only the beauty in others. It’s acknowledging all the good people you’ve met along the way. It’s focusing on the abundance of people in the world who are happy in themselves; balanced, supportive and sweet. It’s asking God to send you more of them. It’s agreeing to honour others if they honour you; practicing mutual give and take. It’s caring for the planet and loving your environment unconditionally. The heart chakra sits right in between the three lower chakras and the three upper chakras. The three lower chakras have everything to do with your physical body, while your upper chakras are more about your spirit. It’s a deeply balancing chakra.
THROAT CHAKRA / BLUE
This chakra is based on self-expression and communication. When the chakra is open, expressing yourself is easy. Art seems to be a great way to do this. You express your truth with comfort. You also receive others’ truth well and can assimilate information with clarity and deep understanding. It’s listening and communicating clearly, maturely and equally. It’s knowing what you want out of life and not being afraid to ask for it. It’s focusing on offering creative, helpful advice. It’s receiving the thoughts and opinions of others with humility. It’s taking responsibility for your needs and what you need to say. When it’s open, any blockages in your speech and communication dissipate and the peace of God flows through you. It’s about the nourishment of authentic communication so you can live a happy, enriched life communicating and receiving ideas freely. It’s about the potency of prayer and talking – to yourself, to others and to God.
3rd EYE CHAKRA / INDIGO
Like it’s name, this chakra deals with insight. When open, you have excellent clairvoyance and tend to dream a lot. You are sensitive to your “gut” feelings of intuition and follow its promptings where you can. You know your intuition has your best interests at heart. As a result of work on this chakra, you have a “knowing” of what to do or how to act in any situation. You bring out the best in any person you’re with. You adapt to situations as your intuition tells you to. You sense emotions when you’re with people and change your energy to suit the mood so you leave them feeling good about themselves. You know you can give your peace and love freely because it will flow back to you from God’s limitless fountain. As a result, you enjoy fruitful interactions and productive outcomes. It’s about versatility through higher wisdom. It’s about flexibility in thought and connecting with people in a way that generates the best result. In helping others, you enjoy the mastery that deep spiritual intelligence brings. By the same token, this chakra is about sensing danger and “seeing” ill-intentioned people so you can avoid disaster. It’s your compass to navigate through the world; sticking around the good and steering clear of the bad.
CROWN CHAKRA / VIOLET
This is the seventh and most spiritual chakra. It encompasses a person’s wisdom and being one with the universe. When this chakra is open, prejudice disappears from your “To Do” list, and you seem to become more aware of the world and it’s connection to yourself. You access a higher wisdom; a connection to the Divine. You acknowledge your potential; all that you could be. You welcome God’s plan for your life, knowing it is good. You acknowledge that all manifestations are a result of what you think and believe. It’s about being open and asking for Divine guidance. Subsequently, it’s about receiving messages from God through people and nature. It’s owning that we’re all dreamers with the power of intention within us; creating our own reality via our thought life. We are equal parts of the same whole that is humanity. This chakra is about integration; of us with ourselves and of us with the universe God created. It is connection to lower, middle and higher self. It’s perspective on life and the ability to see the bigger picture. It’s transcendence, spiritual awakening, growth and ascension.
My dogs really make me smile. It’s one of the reasons I love coming back home. My Chocolate Labrador, Bella, gets up to all kinds of mischief when we go walking. She’s not like my Golden Retriever Joe Fox who is happy to just sit in the sea and never wants to leave! I cherish every moment I’m with them.