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Strengthen with Pilates

This calming sequence helps balance introspection and extroversion, the inhale and the exhale, dreams and reality.

Pilates Roll-Up and Leg Stretch
Body
Works your abdominals and stretches your hamstrings.

Mind
Turns the mental gaze inward.

What You Need
A yoga mat (optional).

How to Do It
Lie with your back on the floor, legs and arms fully extended, feet parallel and heels flexed. Pressing your navel into the mat, exhale slowly as you roll up one vertebra at a time. Keep your back and shoulders rounded in a C-curve, rounding forward over your legs. Inhale, then reverse it, exhaling slowly as you roll back down, keeping your core engaged. Repeat 10 times, rest, and do another set of 10.

Modification
Come up as far as you can, hold, then release back down. Do three sets.

  

Pulling Down the Sky
Body
Increases lung capacity.

Mind
Helps create a sense of balance.

How to Do It
Begin this qigong exercise with your feet shoulder-width apart. On an inhale, extend your arms, palms face up, to the side and over your head. As you exhale, bring the hands together but not touching, palms facing you, and lower your arms down in front of your torso to the starting position (as if you were drawing two half-circles toward your midline). Repeat three times.

  

Bamboo in the Wind
Body
Cultivates a sense of deep relaxation.

Mind
Helps you stay centered while adapting to life's changes.

How to Do It
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and place your hands over your lower abdomen. Take a few deep breaths. Relax into your legs. Gently rock back and forth or left and right, as if your body were bamboo in the wind; while your body is rooted to the ground, your mind is free and flexible.

More of Our Confidence-Boosting Workout
Energize with Quigong
Strengthen with Weights
Tone with Pilates

Read More

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