Stress is an inevitable part of our daily lives. We all know that stress can cause countless health issues and have all been advised to reduce our stress-levels, but as with most things, this is way easier said than done. I am a huge yoga-proponent for many reasons, especially the fact that it drastically helped reduce my level of stress and anxiety and all the body aches and pains associated with the two. Yoga isn’t just about increasing strength and flexibility, as you learned last week, simple yoga poses can be done at any time to combat daily aches, pains and frustrations. To help your days become better and brighter, I’m sharing 5 more poses to try, straight from YogaWorks instructor Irina Oviannikov.
Read on to find out how you can alleviate pain and tension in your wrists, hips, back, and shoulders and for an amazing technique to overcome your mid-day slump without a trip to Starbucks.
1. Goodbye Carpal Tunnel Wrist Release
What It Does: Helps relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, tension in the wrists and palms.
How to Do it: Extend the right arm straight out in front of you. With the left hand and grasp the right top of the hand and gently press the hand toward your chest keeping your arm stretched forward. Hold for 5-8 breaths. Try to keep your spine lifted your chest open. Repeat with the left hard.
2. Stress-Free Forward Bend
What It Does: Releases lower back and hip tension. Also stretches the back of the legs and helps relieve stress when the hip is higher then the heart.
How to Do it: Face away from your table and bring your hips on to the edge of the table top. Step your feet wide apart (hip distance or wider) and bend your knees, make sure you feel stable support from your table.
– Take a full breath in and as you exhale bring your torso down toward the floor. Take hold of the opposite elbows and relax your head in between your upper arms. Take 8-10 breaths here. at the end of breaths, slowly roll up to an upright position one vertebra at a time.
3. Be a Friend to Your Feet and Back Stretch
What It Does: Helps relieve lower back and hip pain associated with sitting in the office chair for a prolonged period of time. Soothes the heels and feet from walking/wearing high heels or tight shoes.
How to Do it: Sit straight in the middle of your chair, both feet on the floor. Bring your right ankle on top of your left knee and flex your right foot. Keep your foot flexed thru the whole stretch. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale slowly tilt your chest forward in the direction of your right foot. Hold for 8 breaths, close your eyes if comfortable. Switch sides.
4. Detox Spinal Twist
What it Does: Twisting detoxifies the body. It also helps relieve back pain and discomfort and helps relieve shoulder tension. This is great after a night out.
How to Do it: Sit straight on your chair, both feet on the floor. Take a breath in and as you exhale twist your body to the right first. Bring your right hand behind you, hold the back or side of your chair and bring your left hand on to the right knee. Let your head follow. Hold for 5 breaths, come back to center and then repeat the same twist to the left.
5. Mid-Day Pick Me Up Seated Stretch
What it Does: Expands the chest for more optimal breathing, helps revive you mid-day when feeling sleepy
How to Do it: Sit up straight on your chair with both feet on the floor. Inhale both arms overhead and interlace your fingertips. Turn your palms toward the sky, keeping your fingers interlaced and breathe for 5 breaths. Think of length in the torso as you breathe, and soften your front ribs, reach for the sky. repeat a few times a day as necessary.
Instructional Images by Heather McLaughlin (www.heathermclaughlin)