We all have tension and stress. It can build up and create physical knots in the body that can keep us from living the happy life you want. If we let that tension fester, it can get worse and can often lead to horrible sickness and chronic pain that never seems to go away.
The trick with dealing with stress is to catch it early.
Take a few moments in tense situations and get your body moving.
Here is a 10 minute routine filled with poses dedicated to open your body and break through tension that could be settling in the hips and back:
I know dead pigeon sounds like a weird pose, but it feels really good especially at the beginning of your practice.
While sitting, keep your left foot planted firmly on the ground and then cross your right ankle over your left knee. Lay back and then weave your right arm through the space made between your thighs. Wrap your left arm around the outside of your left leg and lace your fingers together and then give that knee a tug, lifting the left foot off the floor. Then drop the left foot back onto the floor and then give a twist, letting your right foot come down to the floor. Come back to the center and do all that on the other side. This starts opening up your back, shoulders, and spine.
From dead pigeon you can lay on your back and lift your hips, coming into a bridge pose. This is a great shoulder opener and hip flex. Roll the shoulders under your body and lace your hands together.
Then, lower your hips and then rock forward until you’re standing. Fold inward over your legs and then slowly, one vertebrae at a time, come up to stand. Lift your arms all the way out and up and then dive back down. Do this two more times, warming up the spine and warming up the body as you tune in and start moving with your breath.
When you’re ready step back into down dog. Be sure to make your down dog super wiggly. Sway your hips and bend your elbows. This opens up your lower back and your hips.
From down dog inhale your right leg and then shift that foot forward so it’s between your hands. Sink into your hips and allow your body to adjust in your low lunge. Gently lower your back knee down. You can stay like this, being gentle with yourself. You can always lift your arms up and maybe do a twist. Just stay easy and open.
Press your left fingertips down to the floor and then open your chest as you lift your right arm.
Open your hamstrings and plant both palms as you lift your hips and straighten both knees. Fold over your knee and breath deeply.
Step back into down dog and do that all on the other side.
When you’re in down dog again, inhale your right leg all the way back up and then sweep your foot forward and plant it on the outside of your right hand, so it’s outside of your shoulder alignment.
Sink deeper into your hips. You can stay up on your palms as you gently lower your back knee or you can go down onto your forearms. Be easy and know your body. Never push. Then, when you’re ready you can lift your back knee and, while planting your left hand down, lift your right hand up for a deeper twist and opening in the chest, hips, and shoulders.
Do that all on the other side.
Plant both palms down and step back to plank pose. Then, lower your knees and sink back into a child’s pose. Stay here as long as you want, breathing deeply and allowing your body to adjust.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Stacy Porter
Editor: Renée Picard
Images: via the author