Ali Bastian’s favourite yoga moves
Elongate your muscles and improve your posture with these three yoga moves from Strictly Come Dancing contestant and actress Ali Bastian.
Why you should do it: Opens the chest, tones the lower back, builds arm, leg and core body strength.
How to do it: From a seated position, bend your knees bringing feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Keep your arms behind your hips with the fingers pointed away from your body. Lean back, shifting your weight onto your hands. Slowly inhale and lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Make sure your toes and knees are pointing straight ahead. Look straight ahead, up at the ceiling or carefully drop the head back. Press into your feet, squeeze your thighs and buttocks and lift your hips high. Draw your shoulderblades towards each other to lift up high. Breathe and hold for two to six breaths.
Why you should do it: Stretches the thighs, groin, back, and hip flexors. Opens the chest and shoulders.
How to do it: Start on all fours, with knees directly below your hips, and your hands on the floor slightly ahead of your shoulders. Bring the right knee forward until it touches the right wrist in a straight line. Slowly move your right foot directly below your left hip. Straighten the left leg toward the back of the mat. Lower your hips towards the mat. Keep your hips straight and level or rest on a folded blanket for balance. Press your fingertips firmly into the mat and sit up straight (A). Inhale deeply and walk the hands forward as you lengthen in the midsection. Exhale as you fold forward and lower the elbows to the floor if you can (B). Stay in this position for five to 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Why you should do it: Stretches your calves, hips, ankles and lower back.
How to do it: Shift all your weight onto your left foot, and lift your right knee up toward your chest. Cross your right knee in front of your left knee, and bend both knees slightly, trying to wrap your right toes around the back of your left calf. Keeping your eyes fixed on one point in front of you, cross your right elbow over your left elbow. Bring your left fingertips toward the base of your right palm, and then lift your elbows straight up toward the ceiling. Stay in this position for five breaths. Repeat on the other leg.