Photo credit Alan Rowlette Photography www.alanrowlette.ie.
Dee Buckley is a bit of a force to be reckoned with. The driven entrepreneur is a qualified yoga instructor teaching classes in studios and corporate locations Dublin-wide, runs her own cafe + health food store, Urban Health in Ranelagh alongside her husband Darragh, books classes 7 days a week in her upstairs yoga + pilates studio, and is currently 5-and-half months pregnant!
When she and her husband returned home to Ireland after a 2-year stint in Australia, they found themselves missing the outdoorsy lifestyle that comes with living in the South Pacific (which rings so true for us here at G+C), and the two started looking into opportunities for business ownership. When space came up in Ranelagh, they took a leap, and there’s been no shortage of fresh juices, salad bowls, wraps, healthy ingredients, treats and yoga classes in Ranelagh since!
“My favourite way to unwind is with a hot yoga class, followed by brunch with friends/family... it’s all about balance for me, a little of what you love is always a good thing.”
Dee takes a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle, mixing lots of physical activity with a solid dose of social catch-ups with the people that make her life richer. She enjoys forest hikes as much as she does glasses of prosecco with mates and though her life is packed with activity, she always finds time to take stock and relax a bit, saying “My favourite way to unwind is with a hot yoga class, followed by brunch with friends/family… it’s all about balance for me, a little of what you love is always a good thing.”
This energetic entrepreneur kindly took a bit of time out of her schedule to give us 5 simple yoga poses you can do in less than 15 minutes each morning, in order to start your day off right. Get ready to stretch!
Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
Benefits: This pose releases tension from the shoulders and neck, creates length within the spine and opens up and stretches out the hips.
Hold for 5 breaths
- Come into a seated position on your mat, crossing at the ankles + shins, allowing your knees drop out either side of your mat. Your aim in this is to have your knees at a lower level than your belly button so if your knees are pointing up towards the ceiling, put a block or a rolled up blanket underneath your hips
- Keeping your spine straight + long, roll your shoulder blades down your back away from your ears
- Keep your tummy muscles engaged
- Bring your hands to rest on your knees or your thighs without letting the shoulders round forward
- Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath
- Hold here for 5 breaths, breathing in and out through your nose.
Prasarita Balasana (Wide Child's Pose)
Benefits: Stretches out the spine, hips, shoulders & chest
Hold for 5 breaths
- From position 1 (Easy Pose), gently open your eyes and stretch your arms straight out in front of you
- Roll your bodyweight forward coming into an all-fours position, and then sink your hips back down towards your heels before coming into an upright kneeling position
- From this kneeling position, keep the hips on the heels, toes touching and separate out the knees as wide as you can
- Keeping the tummy nice + tight, hinge all the way forward from the hip creases keeping the spine as straight as possible
- Bring your forehead to your mat or you can put a block underneath your forehead to support the back of the neck
- Keep the knees separated out as wide as you can so that you’re feeling a nice stretch into the hips
- Focus on pressing the hips back onto the heels keeping the spine nice and long
- Hold for 5 deep breaths in + out through the nose.
Marjaryasana Bitilasana (Cat Cow Pose)
Benefits: Warms up the spine, stretches out the shoulders and helps to open up the chest. Massages the internal organs in the belly.
Repeat 5 times
- From position 2 (Wide Child’s Pose), push up into an all-fours position, hands underneath the shoulders. Separate out the knees hip distance apart, keeping them in one line underneath the hips. Keep the top of the feet flat to the mat, with toes pointing backward
- On an inhale, start to look up towards the ceiling, arching into the spine, dropping the belly towards the floor and lifting the tailbone high up towards the ceiling. Hold this for a couple of seconds.
- On your exhale, start to round the spine up towards the ceiling as you tuck your chin to your chest looking towards your belly button, tucking the tailbone under
- Repeat 5 times
Adho Mukha Svanasana ( Downward Facing Dog)
Benefits: Stretches out all the muscles in the back, hands, shoulders, arms, hamstrings, and calves.
Hold for 5 + 5 breaths
- From position 3 (Cat Cow Pose), spread the fingers out wide, pressing all knuckles down into your mat. Roll your shoulder blades back, releasing any tension in the neck
- Start to curl the toes under, engage your core muscles and start to lift your knees off your mat, pressing your tailbone up + back into an upside down “V” shape from the side
- Hold here for 5 breaths, keeping the fingers wide, the core engaged, and shoulder blades back
- Continuously press into the hands, hug the upper arms into the shoulder girdles sending the tailbone up and back towards the ceiling
- Continuously press the heels down towards the mat. Don’t worry too much about getting your heels to touch your mat - heels can be up + off the floor as long as you have the sensation of pressing them down towards the floor, feeling a stretch into the calf muscles
- After holding for 5 breaths, start to walk the heels up and down towards the floor for another 5 breaths feeling a deeper stretch down the backs of the legs.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
Benefits: Releases tension and stiffness in the lower back and stretches + lengthens the hamstrings + muscles in the backs of the legs, upper back & shoulders.
Hold for 5 breaths
- From Downward Facing Dog, shift your gaze forward and step your feel forward behind your hands
- Keeping your feet hip distance apart, soften the knees, keeping a slight bend in them
- Hinge forward from the hips (never from the belly) so that your fingers are grazing your mat or you can grab your opposite elbows
- Aim to get your belly to your thighs
- Hold here for 5 breaths
- While holding you can also sway right and left several times feeling a gentle stretch into the hips.