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Yogatox with Laura Schwartz

Sharon Height
Everyday stress can take its toll on the body and impact how you look and feel. A natural remedy to combat this is to maintain an open and flexible spine. By doing so, your posture will improve–making you look taller and leaner—and the toxins and tension in your body should be reduced significantly. (Look at this pic where you see I gained over an inch in height after doing the following exercises!!)

To “Yogatox” Follow these Steps!
1. Sit in a sauna for approximately 20 minutes and breathe deeply– inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.

2. Begin to loosen the hamstrings with some forward bends. The heat from the sauna helps muscles relax, while sweating removes toxins from the body. Loose hamstrings can alleviate tightness and pulling in the lower back.

3. Stand with your feet hip width apart, slight bend in your knees, suck in your abs towards your spine, and bend forward as if you’re going over a bar. At the same time grab hold of your opposite elbows and dangle down.
Relax your neck. Hold this position for approximately 2-4 minutes. The longer you hold the better!

4. Keeping the chest open helps to loosen and relax your upper back and neck. A physio ball is a fantastic tool! Lie face up over the ball so your chest is lifted, arms should be airplaned out to the side, or placed over your head. Hold for 3-5 minutes while taking deep breathes. Feel free to roll your spine along the ball while dropping and raising your hips. If you do not have a ball, lie face up on a bed while dangling your arms out to the sides and hanging your neck off the bed. Hold for 3-5minutes.

5. To release the lower back, lie on a flat surface with yoga blocks or a foam roller under your ankles. You can also place blocks under your hamstrings close to your sit bones. This allows you to continue to drop, lengthen, and loosen the lower back.

6. To help lengthen the entire spine from the lower to upper back sit in Child’s Pose. Start with your shins and knees on the ground and lower your glutes/butt to meet your heels. If your knees feel any pain, open them wider apart. Reach your arms forward in a V position on the ground, wider at first to help allow the shoulders and neck to open. Start with your chin tucked and then extend to feel various stretches in your neck. Hold 3-5 minutes.

7. To create more space in the lower back and spine as well as to keep the hamstrings loose perform V sitting forward bends. Sit on the floor with your legs open in a V like position, bend and lean forward at the hips, extend your arms and “walk” your hands forward little by little while breathing. Make sure you push your glutes and legs down into the floor to create an extra stretch. Hold 3-5 minutes.

8. To keep on improving your posture throughout the day get a yoga block, place it on your seat (desk chair/any chair) and then sit on it throughout your day! Once you get used to sitting this way, you’ll find that it’s an easy technique that helps alleviate pressure in lower back/hips.

9. Remember all stretches should be held for 3-5 minutes. As you advance you will be able to hold longer and go deeper into the positions reaping even more of the benefits. Most importantly, stand tall, proud, and keep breathing!

Contact Laura Schwartz for a personal session! lrschwartz11@gmail.com 

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Sharon Richter, RD
200 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.977.7779

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