Yoga and meditation have been proven time and time again to reduce stress and tension. Here are 5 ways yoga and meditation can help. Enjoy these 6 poses to gently wake the body up after sleeping and get ready for your day, during lunch, or after work to unwind. This focuses on dusting off the cobwebs in the hips and shoulders so you can feel nice and loose before, during, or after your work day. Or join for a quick yoga routine for focus and energy here.
Upward Salute with Side Bend
Stand in Mountain Pose with feet hip width distance apart. Deep inhale arms overhead into an upward salute so your biceps frame your ears and gaze upward. Drop your land hand toward your left leg and extend the right hand and arm up and over for a gentle side bend in the right side of the body. Send your hips to the right. If you have discomfort, widen your feet slightly. Inhale arms back up to upward salute. Exhale drop the right hand to the right leg and extend the left hand and arm to the right for a stretch in the left side of the body. Don't collapse through the torso or chest.
Wide Legged Forward Fold with Clasped Hands
Feet are 2-3 feet apart with toes facing forward. Clasp your hands behind your back beneath your sacrum. Inhale lengthen in the spine gaze upward and shine your heart forward. Exhale and hinge at your hip joints and fold over your side legs. Send your hand sup and over for a stretch in the shoulders. Bend your knees generously if you have any discomfort. Release the hands and bring the palms to the ground.
Standing Forward Fold / Rag Doll
Heel toe your feet back to hip width distance apart. Bend your knees generously and let your torso and chest rest on your knees. Group on to opposite elbows to hang over in rag doll pose. Release the head and neck and hang over loosely.
Inhale, lift halfway with a flat back, long spine and neck, gaze downward. Place your hands on your ankles or shins. Feel this in the back of your glutes and hamstrings.
Yogi Squat with Side Stretch
Bring your feet just wider than hip width distance with feet angled outward. Bend your knees and drop your hips towards the ground. Do your best to keep you heels on the ground. Bring your hands to prayer position, and use your elbows to push you knees away to gently open up the hips. Draw the tailbone down towards the ground, elongate through the spine, and open up the chest so you are not rounding through the spine. It's okay if your heels come off the ground after you make these adjustments.
bring the left forearms and hand beneath the left knee and place the palm on the floor out wider than your knee. Inhale the right arm arm towards the sky. Feel this in the hips, the side body, the lats, and the armpit. Inhale to come back through center, and then do the opposite side.
Downward Facing Dog
Place your hands on the ground and walk your feet back about 4-5 feet. Hands are shoulder width apart and feet are hip width apart. Use your core muscles to lift the hips up and back into downward facing dog. Peddle the heels towards the earth to stretch the calves, and bend the knees generously to flatten the spine and release the lower back. Release the head and neck fully and let the shoulders and face be soft. Stay here for as long as you need.
Set Your Intention
End with an intention for your day. It can be as simple as taking a 5 minute walk, eating something healthy, or meditating. You can also check out the Meet Me Where You Are podcast for brief guided meditations and yoga flows. Give yourself gratitude for carving out a tiny sliver of time for yourself to stretch, breathe, and feel good.