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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tip of the Week: The Sit Up

The Bikram sit's that sneaky little pose that works its way in just when you're all nice and comfortable in savasana. It may be as welcome as a fog horn waking you from a dream with Ryan Gosling, but it does have its benefits.

Benefits of the sit up:
  • Reinforces and strengthens the abdominal muscles.
  • Firms and trims the lower body, where many problem areas, especially for women, reside.
  • Increases flexibility of the spine.
  • Provides the body with energy.
  • works the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the legs and improves circulation there as well.
  • Stimulates digestion. 
  • Open mouth exhalation stimulates diaphragm and eliminates toxins from the lungs. 

Bikram Yoga SLC instructor and 2013 Utah Regional USA Yoga Asana 
1st Place Champion Carolyn Valencia

Raise your arms over your head, cross only your thumbs with your palms facing the ceiling. Flex your feet and contract your leg muscles. Inhale and contract your abdominal/core muscles. Exhale and press the lower part of your spine to the floor (this will help to protect your back and actually make it easier to come up), and reach "up" as you sit up, keeping your legs straight and your heels on floor. Grab the big toes with your first two fingers and lay your whole body out flat on your legs, touching forehead to knees (it's important to touch forehead to knees as this the compression part). Touch the floor on either side with your elbows and stretch forward twice. Double jerk, double exhale. Note that this is one of the few times when you are exhaling through your mouth and not your nose.
Try to stretch further and further with each sit up you do.

For those with back issues, roll to your side and push up on your hands and knees.

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