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Nikki Yazxhi

lara bingle's yoga routine


her glow shines from the inside-out, and yoga plays a part in that. To get you glowing, here’s the routine our yoga contributor, Charlotte Dodson created for Lara…

Yoga is a reflection of yourself, and is a hidden secret to allowing you to be true and shine in every way. When you appreciate and love life, that’s what everyone sees around you.

How often does Lara work out / practice yoga? Lara is such a lovely person. She’s passionate about health, well-being and truly understands the depth of the yogic philosophy. She practices regularly, whether this be a 20 minute dynamic routine, an hour or simply sitting quietly in meditation. It’s all a form of yoga – ways to live and cherish every single moment.

lara bingle yoga

To work your ‘whole body’ like Lara {like in the workout I created for her, below} – yoga is the perfect toning tool. It’s a muscular practice that creates strength and length at the same time, creating a sculpted toned body. We naturally use our body weight, so it’s perfect at any given time. Try to practice yoga and/or walk every day or even second day to allow the beneficial changing effects to take place in your body. That way you’ll see results quicker.

How does Lara’s routine change during (and after) pregnancy – do you have any tips for doing yoga while pregnant? 
That’s the beauty of yoga, it comes to you, wherever you are, and at whatever stage of life you’re at, including pregnancy. There are certain movements and poses to add and avoid when pregnant. B-R-E-A-T-H-I-N-G is the most powerful part of your yoga practice. Your breath is the bridge between your body and mind. It anchors you into the present moment, helping you with any situation. You can sit in a cross-legged seat and breathe deeply for the count of 1-2-3 (4 or even 5) on both your in-and exhale. Keep your spine upright and chin tucked into throat. Feel free to use a wall for support if you need.
Always give yourself nurturing space to rejuvenate and embrace your body. By putting your ‘legs-up-wall’ (Viparita Karani) it’ll calm your nervous system, rest your heart (and give your legs and feet a rest).

I also recommend for new mummas:

to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. It may have been a long labour experience, and any amount of prolonged pushing can understandably compromise your pelvic floor. Come into ‘child pose’, an innocent and passive posture. From kneeling, sit back heavily onto your heels, and lengthen your spine forward, by reaching your arms out in front of of you, elbows slightly bend to remain soft. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and neck long as you rest your forehead to the floor, or alternatively, onto a cushion. Mindfully, squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of your urine. In doing this, you’ll feel your pubic bone draw down and your tailbone tuck under – the meeting of the two – draw up, and that’s the same muscle you want to feel lift up. It may be a quick squeeze or, if you can, make the contractions progressively longer: squeeze for five, hold for five, and release for five. Repeat 10 times.

to release aching neck and shoulders. 
Whether you are feeding or carrying, a lot of time can be spent bending down and forward with your child in your arms, putting pressure on your neck and shoulders. This could cause lower back pain and headaches as a result of constant pressure. A great way to release and stretch-out built-up tension is to perform ‘gomukhasana’ arms. Mindfully roll your shoulders away from your ears, and lift your chest forward (to counter balance any hunching). Bring your right arm overhead and turn the palm inward. Bring your left arm out to the side and parallel to the floor and turn the palm outward. Bring palms together behind the back, using a strap if they don’t touch. Breathe deeply into any tension areas, hold for 5-10 breaths, exhale to release, and repeat to the other side.

to release your lower back pain. 
This is a common area of concern, whether or not you’ve given birth. However, the lifting, bending forward, and lack of core strength can put more pressure on your lower back. Along with building your pelvic floor muscles, here are other ways to help you relieve your lower spine. Try and keep your knees bent, especially when you’re lifting or moving from sitting to standing position. Most of us know this common rule, but don’t always apply it! Lift from the pivot of your hips using your pelvic floor muscles, rather than bowing forward and lifting from your lower back. Use the power of your INHALE to carry you upwards.

to relieve pressure in your lower back,
can normally result from a hunched upper back, and tight hamstrings. By bending your knees can take the pressure off your hamstrings, and by laying over a bolster or spagetti roller (swimming float) placed along your bra area can help open up a tight upper body. Start by coming onto your sitbones, place your feet into the floor hip distant apart. Place the bolster or better, a roller (longways) where your bra area is and slowly lay back over it. This acts like a wedge to open up your upper chest. You can place a cushion under your head to take pressure away from your neck. Bring your arms out to the side, above the roller, and keep your shoulders relaxed and chin tucked into your throat. Take long deep breaths up into your upper body. This will open you up, and as energy flows freely, it should take pressure out of your lower back. As your breath can now freely and fully flow up and down the whole length of your spine, you should become pain free. Our breath has the power to open, heal and release any body tension, as long as you direct the breath to the particular area, rather than avoiding it. Lay over the bolster for 1-10 minutes. Build this up kindly and slowly, remembering ‘less is more’.

to build stamina and endurance. After nine months of nurturing yourself – and changing your routine – during pregnancy, you’ll find your stamina maybe not be as sharp as it once was. Your endurance levels may differ, so it’s time to build up and make carrying and lifting your baby easy to do. A wonderful posture for patience and inner strength (and one most of us can perform) is the warrior II. Start with your legs four feet apart, turn the right foot in and the left foot out 90 degrees. Bring your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor, as you bend the left knee over the left ankle. Reach out with your arms and hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side. Keep your belly active, spine long and your chin tucked into your throat as you take your gaze to your front middle finger. Keep all your muscles enthusiastic and alive, and you’ll soon see the benefits of this challenging pose.

finally, Savasana. From legs-up-the-wall, slowly shuffle yourself back to lay flat (place a cushion under your knees if lower back tender). Completely relax into the earth, with a blanket covering you to stay warm and an eye pillow to remain inward. Let your breath be long, deep and let your whole being surrender into the floor. Relax completely for 5-10 minutes before rolling out to the right side. Come to a cross legged sit for a positive intention, or dedication of love to someone. You can now cherish your day with a calm and tension-free being.


Any yoga practice is a great place to start, whether it’s at your local gym or yoga school – you’ll always take something home from the experience. You can always join my Yoga TV site – charlottedodson.tv and ask me any questions along the way via the Live Chat option.
With your teacher and yoga style, it’s a personal choice – so if you haven’t yet found a yoga you resonate with, please keep trying! Yoga is for every shape, size and background, and once you find your ultimate yoga space, you’ll be forever grateful.

CLICK HERE to find out more about Charlotte


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