We all get a little stressed, even on days when the sun is shining, we’re on vacation or just got a job promotion. Sometimes you just need to release a bit of tension to find a state of equilibrium. The following poses will not only help you find some physical balance, but mental clarity and stress release, as well.
Tilt your head to the right, pulling your right ear towards your right shoulder. You’ll feel a stretch down the left side of your neck. Hold for five breaths then roll your head over to the left (left ear to left shoulder) and hold for five breaths. Roll your head to centre so your chin tucks in towards your chest to stretch the back of your neck. Pull your shoulders back and hold for five breaths. Tilt your head up and back to stretch your throat and hold for five breaths.
STANDING FORWARD FOLD
Stand with your feet wide apart. If you stretch your arms out to the sides, your fingertips and the edges of your feet should be in line (your toes are pointing forward). Hinge forward at your hips and keep a little bend in your knee. When you reach your edge (the point of feeling sensation in the hamstrings, but not pulling or stress), release your hands to ground. You can keep your hands planted under your shoulders, reach your hands back between your legs, or interlace your hands behind your back to open the shoulders.
Root down through your left foot. Lift your right leg and place your right foot on either your ankle, inner calf or inner thigh. You want to avoid putting pressure on your knee joint here. Raise your hands to heart centre or lift your arms up to grow your tree. Repeat on the other side.
Arms: Cross your right arm underneath your left so your elbows are stacked on top of each other. Option one is to hold onto your shoulders with opposite hands, or you can wrap your arms up and press your palms together.
Legs: Root down through your left foot and lift your right leg to cross over the left. Bend both knees so you’re in a sort-of squat. If you’re able, you can wrap your right foot behind your left calf, or press your foot into the side of the calf to help with balance. Another option is to rest your right toes or foot on the ground, with your legs still crossed.
Sweep your right leg forward and rest your knee behind your right wrist. Extend your left leg long behind you. (It’s good to take a look behind you to make sure the leg is in line with the hip). Tuck your front foot close to your groin, eventually working you shin horizontal on the mat. Stay up on your hands, or lower yourself down onto the forearms, or rest the forehead on stacked fists or a block.
Lie on your belly with your legs outstretched behind you. Press the tops of your feet and toenails into the mat. Bring your arms forward to rest on your forearms; shoulders are stacked on top of your elbows and your palms face down. Pull your chest forward and shoulder blades together, and engage your belly.
You can work these poses into a flow, or do them individually – just make sure to balance out both sides. Hit us up at #MyInnerFire to show us your favourite posture for balance.