Yoga, meditation, or watching a highbrow documentary have been found to be the best way to unwind after a stressful day at work, so here we have a quick routine to help you de-stress.
The research from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany was published in the Journal of
Communication found that slumping in front of the TV to de-stress after a difficult day only leaves people feeling more worried and depressed.
Cheryl MacDonald, founder of women’s yoga franchise YogaBellies comments: “In the age of technology that we live in today, it’s often hard to set aside half an hour to concentrate on your own wellbeing. However, practicing yoga in the evening is ideal as it takes you towards being able to control your mind and helps you forget all the worries of the day, focusing on the here and now. Yoga helps to promote the circulation of blood and oxygen around the body which relaxes your mind as well as your body. Breathing is a huge focus in yoga and, as simple as it sounds, learning to breathe properly can calm the mind, body
and soul, even in frightening or stressful situations.”
The beauty of yoga is that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. Unlike running there’s no need to brave the wind and rain outside and you can practice breathing techniques and postures whilst watching your favorite soap.
There are five key positions that you can learn and use by yourself at home to help tone your body and relax after a stressful day.
Here’s what to do:
Bidalasana – Also known as cat curls this position helps relieve lower back pain and lengthen your spine. To start with get down on your hands and knees with hands placed directly under your shoulders and
knees under the hips. Inhale and lift your heart, stretch the back through your tail and concave your spine. Exhale and roll your spine, lowering the head, pressing through the hands, and return to straight back. Inhale as you curl the spine up and exhale back to flat back.
Paripurna Navasana – This is one of the most effective positions to build core strength and endurance. Sit on the mat with both legs in front of you. Place your hands behind your hips and keep your back long as you lean back slightly and lift your legs off the floor, holding your belly in and up the entire time. Reach both arms out to the sides of your thighs. Lower your legs about 45 degrees, until your body resembles a wide ‘V’. Hold this position for 10 long, deep breaths and feel the results.
Vrksasana – Also known as the tree pose, this position will have your abdominals working overtime as you will be balancing on one leg. Shift your weight onto your left leg. Draw your right knee into your chest, grab your ankle, and press the bottom of your right foot onto your left thigh. If you’re finding balancing very easy then press your palms together in front of your chest. Brace your abdominals in tight to your spine, making sure you can still breathe easily. Hold this pose for 10 long, deep breaths and repeat with the other leg.
Adhomukkhasvanasana – Probably the most well know yoga position, ‘downward facing dog.’ Feet should be no further than hip-width apart (the closer together the better!) Push down and into your palms and raise the seat bones. Push your heels to the mat. Focus on the stretch from hands to hips, lengthening the back. If you ever feel dizzy then come back down onto the mat and into Child’s pose.
Malasana – These are effective yoga squats and are great for building strength and stamina. When practicing the squats focus on relaxing and letting your breath drop deeply into your belly. Stand facing the back of a chair with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed outward. Squat toward the floor as though you were going to sit down in a chair. Contract the abdominal muscles, lift your chest, and draw the shoulders back and down. Most of your weight should be directed toward your heels. This can be practiced against a wall for support.
Whatever time of day or night it is you can enjoy and relax with these yoga postures and positions in the comfort of your sitting room.
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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.
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