Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Exercise of the Month: Squats

Squats or Chair Pose (utkatasana) in yoga are so good for you, that I recommend doing some every day. Not only do they strengthen and stretch muscles, they are good for your cardiovascular system and also line up your digestive tract.

Here's a variation that helps keep the spring in your step.
CAUTION: Only squat as far as you can without any pain. If you have knee problems, check with your health care provider to see if this is appropriate for you.
  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart or a little wider and your toes pointing straight ahead.
  2. Sit down and back with your spine straight and low back long, Move slowly as you sit back so you can focus on your alignment.
  3. Keep your knees in line with your toes and don't let them go forward of your toes. Concentrate on keeping your hips back more than your knees forward.
  4. As soon as you reach your comfortable deepest squat, press evenly into both feet and stand up quickly.
The more frequently you do squats, the deeper you will be able to go, eventually being able to sit back on your heels.