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Be part of the yoga movement.
By Suzanne Duckett, Health and Beauty journalist and children-to-teens yoga teacher

If you were filmed for a day for a reality TV show about the power of body language how do you think you would come across? Self-confident? Insecure? Someone who is excited or anxious about life?

"Your posture is your emotional signature and reveals stacks about how you feel about yourself," says Jo Manuel, renowned yoga teacher from The Special Yoga Centre London who discovered the power of yoga when she was a teenager. "When your posture is poor, slumped and folded in on itself affects your mood too - you are closed, shut down emotionally," says Jo. "People are not attracted to you like this. Whereas if you walk tall and straight you look more alert and are in what yogi's call in your power, not only does this make you more attractive to others you feel instantly better about yourself and your world too. You become more open and receptive to positive things in life."
Yoga helps improve every aspect of your life helping you look and feel healthier, stronger, more flexible, taller and leaner in nanoseconds plus calmer and more relaxed too. And it isn't just for bendy-Wendy hippies! Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, and even the boxer Evander Holyfield are just a few of the many superstars who regularly practice yoga. It's for everyone; even those who can't even bend over and touch their toes, yet!

It's also a brilliant antidote for computers! "Most of us have appalling posture when we sit at a computer," says Jo. "Plus you are not connected to your body when you are in the teccie glare," says Manuel. "You are locked in your chattering head." Jo recommends taking regular breaks to do some stretches and deep breathing if you're spending long periods of time online.

The following yoga techniques below are so simple you can do them anywhere, even in your bedroom.

The shoulder releaser
Stand or sit straight in a chair. Take a deep inhale and stretch both arms out in front of you and link your hands. As you exhale, keep stretching your arms. Breathe and hold for about 15 seconds.

Next inhale take your arms behind you so that your hands are near the base of your spine, link hands again and as you exhale gently stretch your arms rotating your shoulders back and slightly sticking out your chest. Breathe and hold for about 15 seconds.



Do the twist
Spinal twists stretch, release tension and make the body more alert. They even massage your inner organs and gently detox you too!

Sit up with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee placing your foot on the outside of your left knee. Inhale a lovely deep breath and as you do so, lengthen your spine as if a piece of string is attached to the top of your head gently pulling you upwards. Slowly exhale and as you do so, rotate to your right hugging your bent knee with your left arm (you should feel your tummy against your right legs inner thigh).
Place your right hand flat on the floor close to the base of your spine in a twist posture. Now do the same on the other side.

And breathe...
Get out of your head (in a healthy way!) and back in your body by simply sitting for a few moments and breathing. Sounds crazy as after all we breathe all the time without thinking about it right? Wrong. We mostly breathe badly without thinking about it. So get in a comfy position and sit quietly for a few moments with your yes closed and focus on nothing but your breath going slowly iiiiiiiiiin, pause for a second, and oooooooout.

Investigate:
Online yoga postures to try:
www.santosha.com/asanas/
www.appleyoga.com/yoga/yoga-exercises/

Book:
Yoga Exercises for teens by Helen Purperhart
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