“What great stamina!” says Aubrey Lampkin, yoga teacher at exhale, as the five nurses hold their reverse warrior pose for five breaths. Not surprisingly, these ladies who regularly endure 12- to 14-hour shifts know a thing or two about endurance. Lampkin guides them through some energizing postures, such as King Dancer, a challenging one-legged backbend balancing pose that requires balance, power and grace as yogis extend one leg behind them and catch it in one hand, then stretch the other arm in front of them. The class—and the day—draws to a close with calming forward bends.
Living It Up in the City
She’s a foodie and proud of it. Of course, there are few better places to indulge this obsession than the Big Apple. So Miller, 31, meets friends once a month at a new restaurant. “We go crazy, ordering lots of dishes to share, and have so much fun,” she says. “One favorite is a small restaurant called Caracas, and I just went to Mia Donna, an Italian place that has the best meatballs.” New York also obliges with the perfect antidote to the never-ending culinary delights: “I love to walk around the city!” says Miller. She takes Jackson, a longhaired dachshund, to the dog park or power-walks with a friend. One thing about NYC—there’s never a dull moment!
At-home spa tips: Targeted yoga
These easy postures don’t require fancy yoga pants or a teacher’s step-by-step prompts, and you can even do them while you’re watching television, according to exhale yoga instructor Aubrey Lampkin.
Soothe lower back tension.Try cobra pose. Start by lying on your belly, your forehead on the floor, legs straight behind you, hands placed palms down directly beneath your shoulders. Tuck your chin slightly and lift your upper body gently off the ground by extending your arms. Repeat two or three times, breathing deeply and taking care not to overextend your back. Even a little stretch does a lot of good. “Any action where you stretch your upper back will help release your lower back,” Lampkin says.
Reduce hip, knee, ankle and foot pain.Hero pose can help. Lay a folded blanket on the floor and kneel on it, knees hip-width apart and thighs parallel. Place your heels a little wider than hip-distance apart and gently sit down on them. (If you’re feeling tightness, place a pillow on your calves.) Sit tall, breathe deeply and stay in the position for up to three minutes.
Calm down after a stressful day.Try a forward bend, such as a simple butterfly stretch. Sit cross-legged, the soles of your feet together, hands holding them together. Lean forward slightly from the hips, keeping your back straight. Breathe.
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