It’s been one of ‘those’ days. You know the ones I’m referring to, right? A non-stop, running-on-high-speed sort of day. Energy pumping through your veins. Who needs coffee when you’re running on this much adrenalin?! Constantly reacting to what needs to get done there’s no time to pause because you still haven’t ticked everything off your list. Not to mention that your boss is working you to the bone. Or maybe it’s all self-inflicted. Either way, you are wired up and in need of a chill-pill.
Sometimes the burn-out goes so far that going for a run or pump class might just tip you over the edge. What you’re really craving and yearning for is something nourishing, revitalising and refreshing. Something to free you mind, refuel your body and feed your soul. Thankfully yoga has got it all. We like that!
These yoga poses will turn down the volume. The aim is to switch into the parasympathetic mode within your nervous system, creating a more grounded, settled and restorative state. The result is a quiet mind, steady and even breathing and a revitalised body.
Try this mini-sequence. Aim to hold each pose for one to three minutes.
1 & 2. Cat and cow poses
Working gently into the spine. Synchronise your breath as you arch and curve your spine.
3. Downward facing dog
A full front and back body stretch. Also a gentle inversion, with the head below the heart, which relaxes the nervous system. You’ll iron out areas of tension in the hips, legs and upper back.
4. Standing forward bend.
Folding in on yourself, holding your elbows and hanging forward. Feel the deep stretch and and release of the hamstrings, glutes and lower back whilst your mind starts to settle and quiet.
5. Wheel Pose
A back bend to open the heart and stretch open the chest. Rather than holding one bridge for a few minutes continuously flow with the breath. As you breathe in raise the hips up and open the chest and breathe out as you release the spine and sit bones back down.
6. Child’s pose
Restorative and gentle. Take your attention inward and focus on slowing your breathing down.
Stress-busting power poses!
For something a little more dynamic try these poses to literally shake the stress right out of you!
Headstand, handstand or shoulder stand
Inversions instantly flip your world upside down and give you a new perspective. All that fresh oxygenated blood rushing to your head will give you a feeling of lightness, euphoria and exhilaration.
Heart opening. Clearing. Awakening. Backbending literally cracks the heart space wide open. They stimulate the nervous system while reversing the forward slumped posture many of us have from sitting in front of our computers too much. The energetic impact of backbending can be so profound. You can almost feel the life-force reigniting within you. Go for belly backbends like cobra, locust or bow pose and more dynamic versions like a full wheel or camel pose. If it’s late in the evening, or you have trouble sleeping, avoid backbends as they are quite stimulating.