2 minute yoga on the escalators
If you’re one of those people that sneaks exercise into your daily routine, then you probably steer clear of escalators and aim for the stairs instead. We’re a big fan of getting extra exercise in wherever you can.
But sometimes though, escalators are just unavoidable.
Don’t despair when faced with an escalator, they’re a brilliant excuse to stretch out your legs in the middle of your shop (or your airport run).
Next time you find yourself facing an escalator, try out these calf stretches. They’ll increase your flexibility and improve your balance, plus they’ll help you to forestall the guilt of avoiding the stairs.
Step on to the escalator slowly, with both feet onone step. Hold onto the hand rail (you’ll need it for balance), and edge backward on the step so that the middle of your foot is on the back edge of the step. You’ll want to balance your weight equally between both legs and concentrate on not moving your feet forward or backward. Straighten your back and breathe in deeply.
Keeping your weight on the balls of your feet, raise your heels up as high as you can. Hold for one deep breath, then lower your heels, so they fall below the edge of the step you’re standing on. You’ll feel this stretch in the back of your calves. Hold for a breath and then return your feet to a flattened position. Repeat this set as many times as the escalator will allow.
Of course, this exercise only works in one direction (going up), but you can always work on your mountain pose on the way back down. This will help your posture and revive your brain power.
Not sure how a mountain pose is different from standing? Here’s a quick checklist to align your body properly in this yoga position.
Place your feet so that your big toes are touching. If your ankles are uncomfortably close, allow your heels to shift out slightly.
Widen your toes as much as your shoes will allow and then balance your weight onto each of the four “corners” of each foot.
Straighten your kneecaps while turning your thighs inward towards each other.
Tuck your bum in between your pelvis while drawing your belly in towards your back.
Straighten your spine so that your shoulders are parallel to your pelvis.
Lengthen your neck and breathe. The stance should feel well aligned and relaxing, rather than stiff and formal.
Try not to move from this position until it’s time to disembark.
(This pose works really well in a lift!)
Take a moment to breathe
And, if you’re laden down with parcels, you can always use the escalator to practice your meditative breathing.
Lightly grip the rail while you straighten your spine. Inhale deeply so you feel as though you are taking it all the way into your stomach.
Hold your breath for a moment and concentrate on just being still.
Then exhale all the way out, pushing from your stomach.
Repeat your breathing for as long as the escalator will let you, and try to maintain that calm after you disembark and return to your shopping.
Take action right now!
You’re probably reading this nowhere near an escalator – but you can still improve your posture by sitting well. And take a minute to take a few deep breathes. See? You feel better don’t you!
Want more quick exercise ideas to take with you to the shops? Try out some of our previous posts about sneaking yoga and Pilates into your day:
Or visit the complete 5 minute series page
Don’t see a routine that suits you? And we’re adding more all the time. And don’t forget to join us next week for some inspiration from one of our coaching clients.