Healthy Hollywood: Get Movin' Monday – Celebrate The New Year With A New OM!

Yoga instructor Kristin McGee in the Dancing Shiva pose Yoga instructor Kristin McGee in the Dancing Shiva pose

We all know yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress and makes our bodies feel good head-to-toe! We’ve all seen photos of celebs, like Madonna, Natalie Portman, and Gwyneth Paltrow, lugging their mats to yoga class.

Why not do as the stars do and strike a pose in the New Year with an even stronger, more dedicated practice. Or, if you’ve never tried yoga – give it a go!

Celebrity yoga instructor, Kristin McGee, who trains Tina Fey and Bethenny Frankel, says yoga is user-friendly for everyone. “Just like brushing your teeth, yoga is something that you can do every day and you feel refreshed every time.” Kristin adds, “Yoga helps us get centered and strong and it helps us focus and get in touch with our own body’s cues.”

Kristin’s 5 New Oms for the New Year!

1. Walking Your Dog:
Come to all fours (hands and knees) and tuck under your toes to lift your hips up and back into a Downward Dog pose. Inhale, roll through plank and into Upward Facing Dog. Keep chest lifted, arms straightened and also flex feet with balls of feet pressing into floor. Don’t let anything touch floor and keep your abs strong. Exhale, press back to Downward Dog. Continue moving back and forth through Upward to Downward Dog. Repeat 5 to 8 times. Feel your body warm up. You will work your abs, legs, back, shoulders, and feel an incredible stretch and opening all over.

2. Set the Table:
Have a seat and place your feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart out in front of you. Walk your hands 12” back keeping fingers facing forward and lift your self up into a Table Top position. Press firmly into your feet and feel the hamstrings in the back of your legs and entire body working. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths. Set your table physically and it will better help you do the same mentally and spiritually when you feed yourself well.

3. Row Your Own Boat:
Sit on the floor and keep feet flat on the mat and legs together. Lean back in the upper back as you lift your legs out in front of you to a 45-degree angle. If it’s too hard to keep legs straight, then bend at the knees so shins are parallel to the floor. Lift your abdominals in and up and engage your shoulder blades down and back. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths. Resolve to stay true to your self this year. Listen and trust your own instincts. Boat pose strengthens our core physically and mentally like no other posture!

4. Dancing Shiva:
Stand tall and bend in your right knee holding the top of the foot with your right hand. Lift your left arm up at an angle and bring the thumb and forefinger to touch. As you tip your body forward, press your right leg back and lift it as high as you can while keeping your chest lifted and heart open (see photo above of Kristin). Dancer’s pose will help remind you to find joy in life and dance to the beat of your own drum.

5. Light a Candle:
Lie down on your back and lift your legs up overhead into Candlestick or Shoulder Stand pose. Place your hands on your upper back near your shoulder blades or as high up as you can and let weight fall into elbows. Keep your shoulder blades contracted and the back of the head pressing into the floor (not the back of your neck). Use your legs and core to keep yourself in one straight line and resist letting the legs fall towards the head. This pose engages the entire body. It is good for your thyroid, lymph system, immune system and circulation. Some yogis refer to it as the anti-aging position. I like its significance as a candlestick. It makes me think of keeping the flame of desire alive.

For more yoga tips or information on Kristin, head to www.kristinmcgee.com.

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