17) Lunges (Stretches your thighs and groin, and lengthens your spine)
While on all fours with your knees below your hips and your hands below your shoulders, step your left foot forward, placing it next to your left hand. Your left shin stays perpendicular to the ground. On the inhale, bring both hands up onto your left thigh. Keep the front of your knee behind your big toe. Don’t raise your shoulders toward your ears. Keep them broad. If this is too hard, leave one hand down until it feels easy, and then come up. On the exhale, gently twist your right hip toward your left heel. You should feel a stretch along your back thigh. Inhale and exhale four times. Switch sides.
18) Down Dog (Strengthens and stretches the legs and shoulders; energizes the whole body)
Start on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Tuck your toes under. While inhaling, lift your knees from the ground and straighten your legs. Lift your hips back and up. Spread your fingers out, pressing palms flat to the floor. Keep your neck relaxed. Your head should be in a neutral position. Lift your quadricep muscles. Draw your heels toward the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and release back down to the mat while exhaling.
19) Cobra (Develops strength and flexibility in your back)
Lie on your stomach with your hands palm side down under your shoulders. Keep your fingertips directly underneath your shoulders. Your legs are pressed together tightly. Point your toes and put your toes and your elbows flush against your sides. While looking at the ceiling, use your spine strength and lift your torso off the floor just to the navel. Resist pressing with your hands, and arch your back as much as feels comfortable. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down away from your ears. Hold for 20 seconds.
20) Diagonal Reach (Strengthens your back with emphasis on your lower back and butt; improves coordination)
While lying on your stomach, place your right hand, palm down, underneath your relaxed forehead. Bring your left straight arm beside your left ear. Then lift it off the ground while simultaneously lifting your right leg. Focus on stretching your left fingers as far as you can away from your right foot and feel, as your whole body lengthens. It’s more important to elongate than to lift higher. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides. Do twice.
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