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3 Best Yoga Poses for a Lean, Healthier & Limber Body

Can you do yoga?

With many subjects, the answer is probably “yes” or “almost.”

But what if you only have a few minutes to spare each day?

You can find workout moves on how to blast fat in five-minutes, but what about actual yoga poses you could do in five-minutes?

So I’m going to share with you 3 yoga poses for a healthier body that makes you more malleable 😉

Today, I’ve invited Lindsay Foreman, a yoga teacher at Equinox, to share with you her thoughts.

All you have to do is keep reading…

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Q: Hi, Lindsay, thanks a lot for taking the time for speaking with us. So, can you please share with us your background since I’ve been going to your classes regularly, and I’ve really been inspired by your yoga style.

Lindsay Foreman: Yeah, thank you for having me. I started yoga when I was 14 in high school, and it became a tool for me to really to discover who I was and work through a lot of challenges as a teenager, and kind of stuck with me all through college and was a way that …it really kept me grounded through the ups and downs of school and really brought me so much more into a place of feeling comfortable and confident.

It became something that I felt really passionate about sharing with others, and through my classes, I try to bring people into that space of connecting to who they are and feeling, you know, the bliss and the love from this practice to help them move through what can be challenging, what can be hard or scary, and really use yoga as a tool for life.

Q:   So, can you tell us a little more about your point on connecting with people in terms of connecting with themselves, connecting with who they are, as well as empowering themselves through yoga, because I know that that’s a theme in your class? So, if you can please elaborate on that, that would be useful.

Lindsay Foreman: Yeah, I think yoga though movement is really interesting for people as a way to express their own creativity.

And often times when we are on the streets or we’re just in our normal life hanging out with peers or strangers, we feel very confined by self-judgment, you know, the judgment of what we expect others on us.

And when we get into a room and we’re told to just be who we are in that moment and with the body and with the breath, I think that it elevates people to this place where they feel limitless, they feel free, and they’re able to move their body in a creative way.

That creative movement that comes from intuition, that comes from the self is incredibly empowering and when people let down their walls, they open up more into their heart in a place that much more soft.

And I think that softness is really important for the development of us as individuals and as a community to be able to make sure that we’re all reaching to our highest potential in becoming who we want to be and creating a community of what we want to see.

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Q:   Now, you talked a little about creativity earlier. So, how can we put more creativity in our classes, especially since you mentioned earlier that you thought that sometimes people can be a little too rigid in their practice?

Lindsay Foreman:  

Yeah, I think that has a lot to do with letting go of expectations, and it has a lot to do with listening to yourself.

There’re days when we need to push harder and sweat and find our strength, and there’re days where we really just need to slow down and nurture.

The ability to not compare ourselves or practice to other people in the room is really important.

So, working on creativity, it’s an understanding of how the body wants to move. It’s a connection to intuition, and we all have our own inner voice that becomes our guide.

So it’s a practice of learning to listen to that, and through yoga and through the postures we have a way of connecting to that voice that either speaks loudly when something feels really good, speaks loudly when maybe we don’t need to, speaks loudly when we need to go harder or softer, and I think that ignites this process for creative expression.

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Q:   So, when we connect with ourselves, obviously, I guess, we can sit with our emotions, and perhaps heal ourselves from injury. However, I’ve seen some people who injure themselves doing yoga. What are your thoughts on that since you’ve been teaching yoga for a while?

Lindsay Foreman:   Yeah, I think it’s a very interesting aspect to yoga because ego can come into play.

I think ego can potentially bring people past an edge that may lead to injury in the classroom–an injury they may not have walked in with, but have created because they are stuck in this idea of having to look a certain way or go deeper into a posture or push beyond a place where their body is ready.

And I think that can be a dangerous thing whether it’s physically though yoga, and also even outside in our lives.

I think it’s a journey of understanding our boundaries and where we’re at in the moment. And as I said, really connecting to that deeper truth of who we are and what we need in that space.

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Q: What are a few tips that you would give for us to prevent injury doing yoga or any other sports in general?

Lindsay Foreman: Yeah, preventing injury is really important.

Doing yoga, and especially in a safe and mindful way is really valuable, and so stretching for release, not stressing to add more tension because you want to touch your toes can be incredibly transforming on the body and on the mind.

Meditation and breath, I think breathing through a physical discomfort, say, low back pain or really tight hips of when we practice connection to the breath, we can relax, and relaxation is very important, especially in this high-stress society.

Stretching and yoga is beneficial for all the sports that way do, say we’re runners or bikers or we’re basketball players, whatever that is, our body needs time to stretch to release.

The more we stretch, actually, our muscles can get a lot stronger, so there’s a beautiful balance keeping stretching to both health for the ligaments and the joints and the tendons and for the muscles, and also for the health benefits of your sport or whatever else you practice. They go hand in hand.

3 Best 5-minute Yoga Poses for a Lean, Healthier & Limber Body

Q:    What are a few of your favourite poses for busy people who only have a few minutes a day to stretch?

Lindsay Foreman:

1) Perform 5 Sun Salutations When You Wake Up

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I think the best thing to do is, right when you wake up, before you have your coffee, before you have your breakfast, is to perform at least five sun salutations, which is just a way to really bring up the heart rate.

It’s a very dynamic and strength-building routine. It’s very simple, it’s very easy, and it gets you moving and working in the whole body, and if that’s primary focus is to stretch out, it’s going to get every single muscle in your body and a great way to wake you up before you need your espresso shot.

2) Do Forward Folds at the End of the Day

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I think at the end of the day, what’s really nice to do is sit on the ground and do a few forward folds with your legs straight or with your knees bent, and getting into your hips after a day of sitting in your desk.

3) Shoulder Stand

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One other thing I think is really beautiful, and it’s a shoulder stand. It’s getting upside down, an inversion is really empowering to the body, and it can be very invigorating and relieving to the nervous system.

A shoulder stand is a very supportive way to bring yourself into that, so even if you’re not flexible, we can all get there, and feel the benefits of going upside-down and how healing that can be.

Q:  Well, thanks a lot for your time, Lindsay. Now, tell us a little about your retreat before we leave this conversation.

Lindsay Foreman:  Yeah, my retreat is August. It’s the weekend of July 31st to August 2nd. It’s in Sebastopol, and I’m very excited to offer it because it’s on a farm, and it’s taking people out of the city and back to the land.

The title of the retreat is called, “Sacred Roots.” The idea is a weekend to return back to things that are simple: learning how to eat from the garden, learning to make raw chocolates, we’re going to make bath and beauty products from essential oils.

I think it’s a way to teach people that it’s important to slow down. It’s important to make things from natural ingredients, and the bounty from the land can be both medicine for the body through food and medicine for the body through beauty products in keeping our skin and internal well-being balanced and pure.

I’m really excited to offer a very dynamic weekend away, both of yoga and all these other creative activities. You know, I think we all need to be in nature every once in a blue moon. So, I’m excited to take a big group out there, and play, and have a great time.

Q: So, thanks a lot for your time, Lindsay.

Lindsay Foreman: Thank you.

For more information on Lindsay Foreman yoga San Francisco, please visit her site here.