As published in Juicing Healthy Magazine:
With the holidays bringing stress, there is no better time to make us more aware of what yoga has to offer. A full-length class is for sure a good way to let go of what is worrying us, but if you don’t have time for that, here are a few good poses that get right to it.
Who doesn’t love to lie on the floor with legs elevated? This pose takes it to an extreme by holding our legs vertically, with the support of the wall. This then pumps the most amount of blood to the heart. Not only does this relieve tired or cramped legs and feet, but also it gently stretches the back of the legs, front torso, and the back of the neck. In addition, it relieves mild backache and calms the mind.
As a kids’ yoga expert, I am often asked what is a great go-to pose that calms the little ones in times of anxiousness or stress. I immediately respond with any type of forward bend and especially a seated one. This type of pose calms the nervous system and helps us get focused on the here and now.
Obviously, this pose is great for adults. Not only does it help us find our inner peace, but it also helps with hypertension. Hypertension comes from blood causing stress on the heart. Here is a free video clip from Livestrong that not only explains the benefits, but also explains the pose:
It may sound like a broken record, but the words are true. When we take a few moments to quiet us amid the constant chatter, the world looks brighter, we feel like we have less on our shoulders, and the path forward is clearer. Here is a simple technique to get you started. It works for adults and children too!
Close your eyes, sit up straight in a chair, and relax the shoulders. Then, start to imagine your favorite place to go on vacation. Think of three or four things about it, such as the color of the sky, any particular landscape (mountains, sand, trees, etc), and what the weather is like. Don’t think of any slight annoyances such as travel inconveniences or how you paid for it. If that seeps in, just let it pass.
Then think of whom you would like to bring with you. Think of the feelings you get when you bring these people to mind. Imagine partaking in some of your favorite activities when you are there and embrace any feelings of joy or excitement that come up. For the remaining minutes, keep that visual in your mind to help keep your mind from jumping back to daily activities and concerns.