Hey! Dan here with Incense Falls.
With the holidays in full swing, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed & stressed out. Shopping for everyone on your list, dealing with traffic, meeting work deadlines before the end of the quarter... I totally get it.
Being a certified yoga instructor, it's easy for me to unwind from my daily practice. But I understand that most people don't have time for a traditional 75 minute practice, so here are 5 easy poses that anyone can do to help relieve stress.
The best part? It only takes less than 5 minutes.
4. Child's Pose
This is the easiest yoga pose, and easily to most calming.
Spread your knees right to the edge of the yoga mat. Bring your toes together, and slowly sit back onto your feet as you stretch your arms all the way straight out in front of you, shoulders-width apart. Allow your neck to totally relax.
Stay here for at least 5 breaths, in thru the nose & out thru the nose.
It's okay if your glutes don't touch your feet or your head doesn't touch the mat. Just totally relax your neck and lower back, and over time, you will reach the full pose.
This simple yet powerful pose is excellent for lower back, neck, and shoulder discomfort.
3. Cat & Cow
Come to your hands & knees on the mat. Have your hands directly beneath your shoulders, fingers spread wide, and place your knees directly beneath your hips. This is neutral position for this pose.
As you inhale thru the nose, arch your spine & look up to the sky. This is cow pose.
As you exhale thru the nose, round the spine & bring your chin to your chest. This is cat pose.
Alternate between these poses at least three times. This mini-sequence is really good for lower back & shoulder tension.
2. Standing Forward Fold
This is another very simple yet profoundly relaxing and pain-relieving pose.
Stand up & come to the front of your mat. Keep your feet as wide as your hips.
Take a big inhale in, and as you exhale, slowly fall forward. If you feel tense in your lower back or hamstrings, bend the knees.
Totally relax your neck. You might feel a tension between the base of your skull & middle of you back, this is normal. Just slowly release your neck more & more, and over time the tension will disappear.
Bend the arms & grab opposite elbows. Stay here for at least 5 breaths. Again, in thru the nose & out thru the nose.
1. Seated Spinal Lubrication
This one is very similar to cat & cow pose, you're just sitting down instead of on your knees.
Come to a comfortable sitting position on your mat. Legs crossed, on your knees, whatever is comfortable for you.
Bring your hands on top of the knees.
As you inhale, arch the spine & look up.
As you exhale, round the spine and bring the chin to the chest.
Repeat this alternation at least 3 times. Again, this is very similar to cat & cow. Lubricating & "waking up" the spine is essential to well-being, so in the classes I lead I'm sure to loosen up the spine many times.
Do you have any yoga poses that work for you that I missed? Let me know in the comments!
Have a great week,