Yasmin El-Saie offers her tips on how to introduce yoga into your life

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These are my top tips as a yoga teacher, Reiki practitioner, and holistic wellbeing guru.

You don’t have to be a yoga expert to introduce some simple yoga practices into your routine; these are some favourites of mine; they take little time but, with regular practice, will benefit your health and well-being:

Switch Your Morning Coffee for Something New

The practice of Kapalabhati Pranayama clears out the stale air in your lungs and respiratory system with rapid-fire breathing, invoking fire and energy. It will cleanse and invigorate your system*. Sitting cross legged or on a chair, place your hands on your knees and bend your upper body ever so slightly forward. Exhale all the air out of your system, inhale to a comfortable level (through the nose) and begin short, forceful exhalations through the nose. You will find that your belly contracts and pulls inwards with every sharp exhale and in between those, the air automatically flows back into your belly without effort. Do a round of 50 exhalations, slowing them down before you stop. There are plenty of instructional videos for this online.

*avoid if you suffer from constipation

Do a headstand & Change Your Perspective

Any yoga pose that involves being upside down will give you new perspectives and make you see the world or a situation close to you differently—you may be surprised by what you choose with a new perspective. Prioritise Your Digestive Health We often make the wrong food choices or grab lunch on the run – give your digestion some support to help your essential gut health, ease digestion, beat bloat and settle your stomach. Twists are the best way to “wring out” any toxins in your digestive tract and to stimulate a good digestion. Sit on your matt with knees bent and feet on the floor. Wrap your left arm around your knees and twist from your naval to the right, placing your right arm behind you. Breathing in, elongate and exhaling twist a little more from the naval. Hold for 5 breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Find Your Strength. Be a Rock!

One simple yet highly effective yoga posture is Tadasana or Mountain Pose. It teaches us the basic principle that to be strong and rise up, we first need to be firmly rooted in the ground. Stand on your mat, feet hip-width apart. Activate your legs and flex your thighs. Then, feel the spine rising upwards as you gently draw the abdomen inwards and let the tailbone extend towards the mat. Feel your shoulders rolling back and down your back, and feel the head balancing freely at the tip of the spine. Your arms are active and flexed. Now feel the rock-solid strength within you!

Breathe Better – It’s A Stress-Buster!

The quality of our breathing affects our state of mind, emotions and health: it is life. Take a moment to observe your breathing. The deeper and slower we breathe, the more relaxed and nourished we are. Deep belly breathing: lie down on your back and place your hands on your lower abdomen. Imagine there’s a balloon underneath your hands and as you inhale slowly inflate the balloon, feeling your hands rise. Then, gradually release the air and feel your hands sinking towards your spine. Repeat this deep breathing for 5-10mins and see how you feel!

Will you make these changes in 2024?

Yasmin El-Saie

www.yasminelsaie.com

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