By Kim Ratcliff | April 20, 2021 at 5:00 AM EDT – Updated April 20 at 5:00 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Yoga adds an overall mind and body health benefit using poses to combine strength exercises with breathing techniques.
Co-worker and certified yoga instructor Isabella Gano takes Gabe Ross and myself thru a few beginner moves.
Gabe is one of several WECT employees who have made a commitment to staying fit.
”Several years ago, when I was first starting out in the business, I had a real problem getting out and getting exercise. I was overweight, pushing close to 275 pounds. It wasn’t until I came to Wilmington, I finally got control of my health and things really turned around for me. I was able to drop 40 to 50 pounds and now fitness is a big part of my life. First thing I do, usually on my days off is go out running in the morning. I also supplement my cardio with some weightlifting, usually in the evenings to give myself plenty of time to recover. So, I’m not breaking the bank. I’m not at the gym 12 hours a day doing workouts but, little things really make a big difference,”said Gabe Ross WECT First Alert Weather Team.
Child’s Pose: Kneel on the floor with your knees mat width distance and big toes touching. Extend the arms out in front and press the ground lightly through the palms. Exhale and lower your torso and chest towards the ground in between your upper arms. Aim to sink the butt down onto your heels.
“This itself is a nice upper back and lower back stretch. I always like to start yoga practice here so we can set out intentions. So, we’re not worrying about what happened yesterday. We’re not worrying about our to do lists we’re coming into the present moment,” said Gano.
Table top: While on hands and knees, stack hands directly underneath shoulders and knees underneath hips. Eye gaze is about 1 foot in front to keep the neck at spine neutral. Try to maintain a flat back.
Cat/Cow: From table top, exhale and tuck the chin to chest as you round the back like a cat spreading the entire upper back. Inhale and reverse this stretch by arching the back, dropping the belly and lift your chest and eye gaze towards the ceiling. Repeat this flow numerous times.
Plank: Find table top, spread the fingers and press through the hands lifting the legs off the ground to hold plank. Option to drop down to knees for a modification. Keep eye gaze down between hands or one foot in front to keep the head, neck and spine in proper alignment.
Down Dog: From plank, press firmly through the palms and push the butt up and back towards the ceiling making an inverted V shape. Aim to press the heels to the ground – You can walk feet up or back to help achieve this.
Forward Fold: From down dog, walk your feet in to meet your hands and hang like a rag doll. Option to bend the knees a lot if flexibility in your hamstrings is limited.
Flatback Extension: After forward fold, inhale straighten the arms and bring the hands half way up the shins lifting the chest away from thighs until your back is flat. Looking forward with chin tucked, brace your core to stabilize. Exhale return to forward fold.
Extended Mountain Pose: While in forward fold, ground the feet firmly, brace the belly and begin rolling up one vertebrae at a time – moving very slowly. The last thing to come up should be your chest, chin and top of the head. Once standing, inhale to circle the arms above the head to extended mountain, exhale to press the palms together and bring the hands down to heart center.
“There are a bunch of different breaths in yoga but I’d like to introduce to you guys something called nostril breathing. So, we breath in thru the nose and out thru the nose. Sometimes it helps to find a pattern of breathing, five seconds in and five seconds out,” said Gano.
Yoga exercises are meant to foster harmony in the body and mind. It has been proven to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
Yoga techniques are also used in health programs to treat substance abuse, anxiety, depression, heart disease, cancers, and HIV/AIDS.
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