Today we'll be practicing two exercises using a Thera-band for the legs and arms. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most stores that carry workout equipment. I like these poses for most students so I included them in the "Yoga Minute" videos.
If you do not have a strap or are not able to purchase one, you can use a tie. Use one that will slide so when its being tightened around your legs it slides and compresses your muscles a little without the fiction. You won't get as much movement but each pull gives you several inches of movement with the right muscles being worked. Different colors are different strengths. I'm using green and most of my Chair Yoga classes use the green band with great results.
From a seated posture with the legs close together, start by placing the band across the top of the legs and draping down the sides. Then take the ends under the legs crossing with each end coming up on the opposite side and hold each end with thumbs facing up.
Begin the first pose by opening and closing the legs. This works the outside of the upper legs and buttocks to pull the legs apart, away from the center line. These are the hip abductor muscles in the buttocks and upper outside of the legs.
The main purpose for these muscles is to assist in walking. They balance the adductors on the inside of the upper leg to give stability and keep us walking.
The main reason for practicing this pose is to keep those abductor (outside) muscles strong and engaged to counter our overly tight adductors (inside) muscles, giving us balance for smooth walking. The adductors (inside) are the primary muscles for walking and without the balance of the abductors (outside) our hips would be completely unstable making it difficult to walk. This may be one reason I see so many residents in Assisted Living Facilities using canes and walkers as they slide their feet not lifting the feet when walking.
I'm demoing the next pose since the straps are in place to work the arms. Begin by keeping the upper arms close to the body and lifting the hands straight up as high as comfortable then releasing the hands back to the legs. This works mainly the upper arms (bicep muscles) and the shoulders, forearms, wrists, hands and fingers.
Practice both poses with 6 to 10 reps and 2 sets if comfortable. You'll work both poses without letting go taking a couple breathes before beginning the second set.
These videos are designed for inactive beginners, seniors and people with most any illness or injury. The majority of these poses are in a chair and most can be done from a wheelchair. I’ll also be posting these videos on my You Tube Channel “Yoga Chuck” and Facebook page “Real Yoga, LLC”. All poses should be a No Pain No Pain practice and avoid having discomfort.
Happy & Healthy,