Your struggle with midlife weight gain, mood swings, and sleep issues may be over with these six gentle yoga poses.
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Start with feet parallel and one leg-length apart. Turn right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly. Keeping torso facing forward, bend right knee so thigh is parallel to floor and stretch arms out to sides. Turn head to right and gaze over front fingertips. Hold 20 to 30 seconds or for 3 to 5 breaths. Repeat on opposite side.
Lie on a bolster with head and back supported, knees bent, and feet flat on floor. Bring soles of feet together and let knees fall out to sides. Rest and breathe deeply at least 1 minute. If you feel any muscle tension in your legs, place blocks or folded blankets under thighs for support.
Sit on edge of folded blanket, legs extended at about a 90-degree angle (or as wide as is comfortable). Keeping spine straight, hinge at hips and walk hands forward between legs. Stop when you feel a stretch in back of legs. Hold 1 minute or longer. Place bolster between legs for support if needed.
Sit on floor with one side of body grazing wall. Swing legs up against wall and slowly lower back and head to floor. (If it feels more comfortable, place bolster or pillow under lower back.) Breathe deeply. Hold 3 to 5 minutes.
Lie on back and bend knees. Shift hips to one side and let knees fall to opposite side. Keep upper body flat with shoulders on floor, arms spread away from body, palms up and head turned away from knees. Hold 30 seconds or as long as is comfortable. Repeat on opposite side.
Start on all fours, wrists under shoulders and knees apart and slightly behind hips, toes tucked under. Press hands into mat and straighten arms and legs, raising buttocks into air to form an upside-down V. Press heels toward mat. Hold 1 minute. For supported version, rest forehead on blanket or bolster.
First published: 16 Apr 2018