Five Yoga Poses for Health with Monica Rude from Kaya Health Clubs

kaya_0707 featureYoga is super good for you, right? Correct you are. It helps with relaxing, strengthening, toning, stretching. All good things. But what is it that really gets to the heart of health concerns? We chat to Monica Rude, from Kaya Health Clubs about the benefits of Yoga and what poses we should be doing to maximise the health benefits.

Here are her top five poses for health. You can start incorporating this sequence into your day to give your health a little kick up the downward dog.


Pose 1 – Cat Cow

The how to:
Come to 4-points kneeling with the hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. On inhale drop your belly down, arching the spine creating the ‘cow’ part of the move.  On exhale round your spine up to the ceiling as you tuck your chin into the chest, the cat. Repeat.

The why:
Cat Cow awakens the nervous system and warms the body. It also realigns the spine after a day of sitting, as well as lightly stretching the abdomen, which helps with healthy digestions.

2. Seated Spinal Twist – aka Ardha Matsyendrasana

The how to:
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.  Bend your left leg and place you foot outside your right knee. Then bend your right knee and place the right ankle beside your left hip. Place your left hand behind the back and extend your right arm straight up to the ceiling. Take a moment to lengthen the whole of your right side, and then slot your right elbow outside your left knee. Lengthen the spine and twist, gazing over your left shoulder.  

The why:
The seated spinal twist is a great detoxification pose. The pose stimulates the gall bladder, compresses the internal organs, namely the spleen, stomach and liver, and when released creates extra blood will flow to the previously compressed area. This aids in detoxification and healing of our digestive system.

3. Low Lunge aka Anjaliasana

The how to:
Come to a kneeling position and step your right foot forward. Make sure your right knee is over your heel. Place your hands on either side of the foot and slide the left back until you feel a gentle pull in your inner thigh. Press into your left shin as you bring your torso upright and lift your arms toward the ceiling. You’ll feel it into your abs.

The why:
This is a classic pose and great for desk workers. It counteracts the shortening of the front of the thigh caused by long hours of sitting in a chair. The psoas, a muscle connecting the legs to the torso is also affected aiding digestion and posture.  Other benefits include a light compression of the kidneys supporting proper kidney health, and stimulation of the lymphatic system by opening across the chest.

4. Child’s Pose- Balasana

The how to:
Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching, knees together and sit back over the heels.  Lay your torso down on top of your thighs. Place your hands on the floor alongside your hips, palms facing up, and relax the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor.

The why:
The kidneys cleanse the blood and a forward fold like this can remove any toxins collected in the previous pose (twist) by flushing them out. The compression of the belly and the abdominals is also a great way to eliminate toxins and keep things moving as they should. If you get our gist.

5 Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose Viparita Karani

The how to:
Sit with you right hip next to a wall. Lay down on your left side and swing your legs up the wall.  If you are stiff through the legs, sit further away so the legs can be a 45-degree angle.   Take the arms wide, palms face up and tuck the chin in slightly so that the spine can be long.

The why:
The pose is great for bloating of the lower legs, and can give the body a cooling sensation as the parasympathetic nervous system begins to relax. There is a pooling of blood in the pelvis and lower back, which is also very healing for this region. Stay in this pose for up to 5-10 minutes to get the full benefits.

Thanks to Monica Rude and Kaya Health clubs for sharing these poses. Kaya Health Clubs offers a range of yoga, Pilates and fitness classes including Spin and Zumba. They will get your but into shape while healing the body at the same time. 

About the author

Yoga teacher, writer, blogger, and marketing whiz – it’s safe to say Amy Collins is a busy little lady. Her idea of a stellar evening is yoga class followed by a glass of wine. Her favourite quote: “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”


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