Can you feel the tension rising? Shorter daylight hours, more errands then you can bear, and the parties, commitments and invites are starting to pile up. What is there to do? Well, there is yoga. Sure it’s all the rage and yeah it’s been coined trendy but what’s wrong with that? It’s also like magic on your body & mind. As a yoga instructor I’m a little biased but I’m also a yoga instructor who believes that yoga doesn’t have to mean fancy yoga pants and a yoga studio.
Yoga can be done anywhere at anytime. You just have to intend it. What’s that mean? Hop off your chair and fold over at the waist and bend your knees as much as you need. Now take a deep breath. Can you feel your heart rate start to calm? Maybe a subtle tingle throughout your body – it’s like you can feel the chemistry inside begin to shift. You just did yoga. Uttanasana to be exact – a standing forward fold. Folding postures are some of the very best stress relieving postures you can do, standing or seated.
Want more – here are our five favorite yoga postures to calm you down as the world tries to rev you up. You don’t need an hour long class, you just need a few minutes. But hey, if you can spare the hour – ALL the better!
1. Fold. Just like I shared above. Standing or seated. Take a deep breath, raise your arms above your head and as you exhale begin to fold. This is not a straight legged contest. Bend those guys. It will help release compaction in your spine.
2. Childs pose. This is all about turning in. Hop on the floor and spread your knees wider than your body, toes touch behind you and then walk your hands out long in front of you. Make sure to fully rest your forehead on the floor or mat. Now close your eyes. There’s nothing to see here anyway (and that’s the point.)
3. Put your legs up a wall. Yep, up a wall. It’s really called legs up the wall pose – Viparita Karani – and this one is like dessert it’s so sweet. You can do this with or without the wall, but I suggest scooching your rear end right up to a wall, stretching your legs up and just hanging out. If you can, for 5 – 15 minutes. All day long your body is in the ‘feet down’ direction, time to refresh by reversing blood flow! You’ll feel like a million bucks after. This I promise.
4 & 5. Cows and cats. The rotation of cow/cat pose (Bitilasana/Marjaryasana) releases tension in your spine and when you release tension in your spine – you release it ALL over. Table top pose is where you’ll start. Hands and knees on the floor and spine neutral. Then sink your belly and lift your gaze up (that’s cow pose), then reverse it and arch your spine towards the ceiling (like a scared cat) – It’s the b.e.s.t. Go on, try it.
Now, how easy was that. Stress this season doesn’t have to take over your life. We, at Prescribe Nutrition, want to support you inside and you so you can make the post of this holiday season. You deserve it!
Photos by Barrett Loving Photography