To inspire positive routines for improved physical and mental health, we’re chatting to women around the country on the workout and mindfulness practices they manage to squeeze into their day, and finding out how you can too.
This week we’re taking health cues from Exercise Physiologist Jennifer Smallridge, who practices simple yoga sun salutation to destress, revitalise and get a better night’s sleep. This is the kind of sun worshipping we can get behind!
Why We Need To Make Some Serious Lifestyle Changes STAT!
If you’re struggling to maintain a social life, keep your boss happy, drink enough water and get to the gym occasionally, you’re not alone.
Though Australian women are doing their best to prioritise their health, many are coming up short – according to the 2017 Jean Hailes Woman’s Health Report.
Surveying over 10,000 women, the report found that 60% of ladies are not taking part in at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity each week, with participants pointing the finger at both a lack of time and fatigue.
Yoga Moves with Excercise Physiologist Jennifer Smallridge
Image via Destress Monday
We’ve discovered the ‘no excuses’ routine that you can do at home, in your pjs, anywhere in the world.
Exercise Physiologist Jennifer Smallridge explains why the simple ‘Sun Salutation’ is the answer to every busy woman’s health needs.
Boasting a heap of mental and physical health benefits, sun salutations are great for beginner yogis and can be practiced from almost anywhere.
What Is a Sun Salutation?
Jennifer: Sun salutation is a series of yoga poses that flow into each other, generating energy. There are some great videos which outline the specific poses of sun salutation – some of my go-to poses are the Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and the Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute) – but once you’ve got the hang of them, you can add in whatever you like! The underlying principle is that every movement has an inhale, or an exhale.
What do you love about this workout?
Jennifer: The flow is like mindfulness in motion – if your mind wanders, you bring it back to the physical pose. It’s also amazing for flexibility and helps if I’m feeling tight from the day’s activities. I try to do a set of sun salutation poses most mornings of the week as it helps to get me up and going.
How does this simple yoga move improve your health and wellbeing?
Jennifer: Yoga helps to rebalance the nervous system – if my day has been high energy with lots of interaction, it helps me to turn inwards and be with my body and my breath. Physically, it’s a beautiful stretch of the front and back of the body, and mentally, the meditation quiets the mind and settles any fluctuating emotions. It also helps with deep sleep and regular practice of yoga and mindfulness can lower inflammation levels in the body.
Where do you practice?
Jennifer: Mainly in my lounge room! You don’t need much room or special equipment to get the flow happening.
What are your workout wardrobe essentials?
Jennifer: I love compression leggings. My favourite pairs are quite high-waisted and come down to near the ankles for good movement. I find that for yoga, tight sports bras can actually impact deep breathing as the ribs can’t fully expand. A beautiful soft cup option from Simone Perele, like the Caresse, offers perfect coverage and comfort for everyday yoga.