Stress. Anxiety. Many of us are feeling both of these as we continue to quarantine ourselves during the Coronavirus pandemic. Some of us may be feeling helpless and that can cause our stress levels to rise. During this time it’s important to center ourselves and refocus. While we all want to get back to our normal (although we’re not sure what that is anymore) it’s best to utilize this downtime to calm ourselves. Yoga offers many benefits that can help us feel less anxious as we continue to adapt to the ever-changing situations around us. Here are four easy yoga poses to try in your spare time to help you realign and distress.
The Child's Pose is an easy pose for beginners (hence the name) that helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing fatigue and most importantly, stress. This pose gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while calmly stretching the back muscles and the torso.
- Kneel on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart. Rest your palms on top of your thighs.
- On an exhale, lower your torso between your knees. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders toward the ground. Rest in the pose for as long as needed.
Seated Forward Fold
The Seated Forward Fold yoga pose provides a deep stretch from the heels to the neck for the entire backside of the body. The forward fold helps to ease the body and calms the nervous system and emotions.
- Sit on the floor with your buttocks supported and your legs straight in front of you. Press actively through your heels.
- Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis.
- Lengthen the front torso into the pose, keeping your head raised.
- With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend.
- Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. To come up, first, lift the torso away from the thighs and straighten the elbows again if they are bent. Then inhale and lift the torso up by pulling the tailbone down and into the pelvis.
Standing Forward Fold
The Standing Forward Fold has many benefits that include relieving stress, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, mild depression, and even insomnia. It also deeply stretches and lengthens your hamstrings and calves while opening the hips and can relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Stand with your feet together. Bend your knees slightly and fold your torso over your legs, moving from the hips, not the lower back.
- Place your hands next to your feet or on the ground in front of you.
- Inhale and extend your chest to lengthen your spine. Keep your gaze directed forward.
- Exhale and gently press both legs toward straight. Lift the kneecaps and gently spiral your upper, inner thighs back. Remember to keep your legs straight without hyper-extending.
- On exhale, extend your torso down without rounding your back. Stay long throughout your neck, extending the crown of your head toward the ground. Draw your shoulders down your back.
Lastly is the Corpse Pose, our favorite! This pose helps to calm the brain and relieve stress and mild depression. By relaxing the body, it also reduces headache, fatigue, insomnia, and can also help to lower blood pressure. And don’t worry, if you happen to fall asleep we won’t tell anyone. We could all use a nap nowadays.
- Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides. Let your feet drop open. Close your eyes.
- Breath naturally.
- Let your body feel heavy on the ground.
- Relax your face. Let your eyes drop deep into their sockets.
- To exit the pose, first begin to deepen your breath. Wiggle your fingers to bringing gentle movement and awareness back to your body. Roll to your right side and rest there for a moment. With an inhale, gently press yourself into a comfortable seated position. Let your head be the last thing to come into place.
We hope these four simple yoga poses will help you relax and bring your mind some ease as we continue to face the unknown impact from COVID-19. And as always we appreciate your support with small businesses like us. It brings us so much joy as we continue to help people embrace their inner spirit and style!