Christian Ruggeri, co-founder of Kaya Health Clubs, has spent the last seven years in Sydney working at the very successful Elixr Health Clubs ,which has Sydney-based celebrity followers including Lara Bingle, Sally Obermeder and Annalise Braakensiek. Ruggeri identified a demand for a similar experience in his hometown Melbourne and returned to the city last year, with his business partner and wife Koula Ruggeri, to establish what is set to be one of Melbourne’s most exciting additions to the health industry.
We caught up with one of Kaya Health Clubs Yoga teachers Jane Vasey to learn the top 5 yoga moves that will to relax the body and calm the mind for a good night’s rest.
Try these 5 yoga postures in the evening
1. Half wind-removing pose
Begin lying on your back in a comfortable position. Bend your right knee and drawn it in towards your chest, lacing the fingers on the shin. Gently draw the knee closer towards your chest, compressing the front of the hip joint and massaging the internal organs. Roll your shoulders down to the floor and lightly tuck your chin in, allowing your cervical spine to lengthen into the mat. Tuck the tailbone down and press it into the mat. Hold for 5 breaths before moving into the supine twist.
2. Supine twist
From half wind-removing pose, draw the right knee across the body with your left hand, and extend the right arm towards the side of the mat. It may help to shimmy your hips a little into the middle of the mat to be comfortable in the twist. Place your left palm on the right outer thigh to release the knee down towards the floor, and at the same time, work your right shoulder down towards the mat. The breath has a tendency to become shallow in a twist as in this action the diaphragm becomes compressed, so deepen your inhalations and exhalations, extending your full breath into the body.
Repeat postures 1 and 2 on left side before returning to a seated position.
3. Separate leg stretching
Extend your left leg straight, maintaining a gentle to deep bend in the knee depending on the availability of your hamstrings. Inhale and raise your arms above you, interlacing the fingers, and as you exhale fold towards your extended leg. Maintaining the thread of the fingers, take your grip over the ball of the foot. Activate the leg by flexing all five toes back towards the shin. Gently press your left heal away from you to straighten the leg, maintaining a micro bend through the back of the knee. For the first few breaths, continue to lift the heart forward to extend through the spine and stretch the back of the legs; then, lightly soften the chest and allow the stretch to migrate from your leg and more into your spine.
Repeat on left side.
4. Legs up the wall
Move to area in your room with free wall space. Start seated with your waist against the wall, hips shuffled as closely as you can to the wall. Take your arms behind you and lower your back down as you allow your hips to move up, so that your legs slide up the wall. You may like to support the very bottom of the sacrum with a rolled blanket for a lumber spine release. Allow your arms to rest at a comfortable distance from your waist, fingers relaxed and palms facing up. Take at least 10 calming breaths here, to absorb the calming effects of this pose, as you reverse of the flow of fluid to your legs. This posture is said to create a change from sun energy to the moon energy, allowing a cooling sensation through to permeate the body and mind. Perfect for evening time.
5. Childs’ pose
Come to a kneeling position to complete the series in childs’ pose. With knees together or lightly separated, lower the forehead to the floor (or onto a block, book, rolled blanket, etc. for support and elevation). Allow your spine to round and the shoulders to release alongside the body toward the floor. Lay your hands behind you, palms facing up and fingers soft. Focus on extending the length of your exhalations to positively affect the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates the relaxation responses in our body. On each exhale, feel as though you are melting a little closer towards the floor. Stay here for 10 breaths, before slowly coming up.
Take a few moments in a seated position to absorb the effects of these postures before slowly and consciously moving into bed. Reduce external stimuli such as music or TV to carry this state of mindful relaxation into your sleep. Enjoy!
Do you have any questions you’d like to ask Kaya Health Clubs Yoga teachers Jane Vasey. Just enter your question below and we will run a follow up to ensure all your mind and body fitness questions are answered.
Melbourne’s first mind and body health club, Kaya Health Clubs, opened its doors in November last year providing the city’s health conscious and active consumers with an entirely different experience to the usual health and fitness service.
Kaya Health Clubs offers members authentic yoga classes run by teachers who nurture their practice and have extensive local and international training in their field, as well as specialised Pilates group reformer classes run by instructors trained by the Elixr School of Pilates, Australia’s leading Pilates education provider. Kaya Health Clubs also offers fitness classes as well as technically advanced and design-inspired cardio and weight areas, which are fitted with the most advanced exercise equipment available in the country.
Kaya Health Clubs offer a holistic approach to wellbeing and has a nutritionist, remedial massage therapist and personal trainers on-site. The health club also provides regular and customised fitness programs for its members. One of the major benefits is that Kaya Health Club members receive specialised attention and unlimited access to all classes.
Kaya Health Clubs is located at Pran Central – 325 Chapel Street, Prahran (the old Strike Bowling location)
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