06 Dec A Home Yoga Practice to De-Stress
We understand that sometimes life can get in the way of hitting the yoga mat. But we also understand that stress can get the better of us. So how can we take back control of our stress, even when life is busy? One of our favourite things to do, is develop a home practice. With a few small activities and small chunks of time, suddenly you have the skills and resources available to you, to take back control of your day and reduce your stress levels.
One of the easiest ways to start working on your stress is to simply sit still. It doesn’t require any equipment or knowledge of poses, but it does require you to have the control to do it. Sitting still, eyes closed, and breathing for five to ten minutes a day (or when the need strikes) is going to change how you feel. Lot’s of people think that they cannot do this as their mind races the entire time, you’re not alone. Over time, this will get easier. But the simple act of sitting with your eyes closed and breathing deeply, will help your parasympathetic nervous system kick in (rest and digest) and slow your sympathetic nervous system (fight and flight) that causes stress. If you struggle to do this alone, you can download the 1 Giant Mind app that can guide you through meditation until you’re comfortable on your own.
Yoga Tune Up®
Stress can start to take its toll on the physical body. You start to get a sore neck, tight hip flexors, or a sore and tight lower back and you’re not even sure why. Stress very easily transfers into muscles and joints. That’s why we love Yoga Tune-Up. These balls have been created in the same density as our fascia tissue (ligaments and connective tissues) to allow for the greatest relief with no damage to muscles and joints.
You can grab a pair from us at the studio and have them with you at all times. Notice where it is you’re feeling tension and use the balls as you may have used a foam roller or a tennis ball in the past – massaging the target area with the balls to release tension. One of our favourites for complete body relaxation is to target the muscles and connective tissue in the neck, right near the connection to the skull. Grab a block or a few books, place a pair of small tune-up balls on the block and lay the back of your neck on them, so the balls press right into the base of the skull. You’ll be able to feel the tension straight away. You can find stillness here or take gentle movements with the head to target different points.
For more tips and tricks, visit us in studio for a class or head to the Yoga Tune Up website for tutorials.
A handful of yin poses
Time is often lacking. So a whole hour-long practice is out of the question. But sometimes all you need is a few stretches to re-set your day and get you back on track.
If you’re feeling low on energy, sphinx pose is your go-to. Lie on your belly resting on the elbows. Here you should feel a gentle compression of the low back, for more sensation, straighten the arms. This pose gives energy back to the body without you having to give much effort. We recommend staying here for around three or four minutes.
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, a reclined twist will instantly calm the body down. Lie on your back, hug one knee to chest, and then use the opposite hand to guide it across your body. Keep both shoulders on the ground if you can. Then switch sides. You can hold this pose anywhere from five breaths to four minutes.