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Yoga Poses to De-stress and Revitalize Your Work Day

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2016.02.24_giga_blogcover2When the 8 to 5 grind (probably more for some of you) has just been too much to handle, and your stress overload is at the max, sometimes you just need an hour to yourself to unwind from your hectic day. At Gigasavvy, we are always on the go and when our bodies are not moving our brains definitely are. So what better way to let go of all the creativity and busy schedules than to take on the journey of finding your inner yogi and incorporating easy-to-do yoga moves to de-stress your work day.

Yes, I said yoga! Now, before you quit on me here and think that yoga is too hard or you think that you’re just not flexible enough (or any other cliche that comes to mind), I am going to testify that I thought so too. Until a yoga instructor by the name of Kellie Johnston walked into Gigasavvy prepared to show us the ways of yoga.

Kellie has always been on the go. From her 30 years of dance to being a full-time mom, and now taking on the role of becoming a certified yoga instructor, she too has found the need for alone time to distress her day. She has taught the Gigasavvy team that yoga is beyond just the flexibility and the crazy moves, but it’s about honoring yourself and your body. See Kellie share these five yoga poses that you can incorporate into your life to de-stress and revitalize your day.

Pose #1: 90 Second Meditation in Tailor’s Pose (Sukhasana)

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How To Do Tailor’s Pose (Sukhasana) 

  • Find a calm area and take a comfortable seated position that honors the natural curve of your spine while allowing your thighs, hips, feet, and knees to soften.
  • Ground yourself through your tailbone and lift tall through the crown of your head, with your navel gently pressing back towards your spine.
  • Set positive intentions and affirmations for yourself and your day. For example, “I am patient,” “ I will make myself and others feel good,” or  “I am strong and confident,” are all good morning affirmations to set the tone for the day.
  • Focus on your intention (a.k.a. mantra) while taking slow deep breaths through your nose.

Benefits of Sukhasana

  • Meditation sets a peaceful tone to your day, calms your mind, and centers your thoughts.
  • Deep breaths provide circulation and blood flow throughout your body. In addition, this pose helps stretch your hips and align your spine.

Modifications for those with injuries or who need additional support

  • Sit on blankets or blocks to provide a softer place for your hips, legs, and back.
  • Sit with back against the wall if you need more stability for your spine.
  • Sit in a chair if you are unable to sit on the floor.

Pose #2: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

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How To Do Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

  • Lie on back with your knees bent and feet firmly on the earth.
  • Press down into your feet as you peel your spine off the floor.
  • Imagine a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders.
  • Engage your core to support your lower back while your tailbone reaches toward your heels.
  • Soften your shoulders and neck.
  • Breathe! (Hold for 5-10 breaths)

Benefits of Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

  • Strengthens buttocks and back muscles
  • Opens heart and lungs
  • Stretches chest muscles

Modifications for those with injuries or who need additional support

  • Place block or blankets under lower back for support
  • Only lift hips a couple inches off ground if needed 

Pose #3:  Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

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How to Do Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

  • Start standing with feet hip-width apart.
  • Slowly roll down bone by bone letting all the tension in your neck and shoulders go until your entire spine is folded over. 
  • You can stay still or place hands on opposite elbows while swaying slowly side to side (Ragdoll pose).
  • This can be done with legs bent or straight.
  • Focus on reaching the crown of your head toward the earth while your tailbone rotates to the sky.
  • Hold for 10 slow deep breaths.
  • When finished, slowly roll up with your head last to lift. 

Benefits of Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

  • Relieves tension in back/neck/shoulders
  • Opens hamstring muscles
  • Promotes gentle blood flow/circulation to head
  • Calms nervous system, angst, and stress in body and mind

Modifications for those with injuries or who need additional support

  • Keep legs bent
  • Do this sitting on a chair or resting your upper body on chair
  • For additional support, place blocks on outside of each foot on height setting that is most comfortable 

Pose #4:  Pigeon/Sleeping Swan Pose (Kapotasana)

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How to do Pigeon/Sleeping Swan Pose (Kapotasana)

  • Bring one leg bent in between your hands while stretching through your back leg.
  • Square hips so they are in one line across. 
  • Stay upright or walk hands forward, folding over your front leg. 
  • Focus on softening hips, chest, shoulders, and neck.
  • Hold for a few minutes focusing on your breath (10-15 inhales/exhales through nose).
  • Slowly place hands by your shoulders and press yourself up, shake out legs and repeat on the other side.

Benefits of Pigeon/Sleeping Swan Pose (Kapotasana)

  • Hip opener releases tension in knees, back, and hips
  • Stretches hip and glute muscles in front leg, and hip flexor in back leg
  • Calms the mind/body as you focus on slow inhales and exhales 

Modifications for those with injuries or who need additional support

  • Use a blanket under either both hips (perpendicular to body) to soften pose
  • Place blanket or block under hip of bent front leg

Pose #5: Child’s Pose (Balasana)

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How to do Child’s Pose (Balasana)

  • Come down to your knees and sit back on your feet. 
  • Roll down, bone by bone until your forehead meets the earth.
  • Everybody is different, so find a position that works for you. Legs and feet can be together or your knees can be in wide “V” with big toes touching.
  • Hands can be down by sides or in front of your body. Find position where your forehead, chest, and belly are able to soften.
  • Breathe! (Hold as long as you need) 

Benefits of Child’s Pose (Balasana)

  • Calms nervous system
  • Releases tension in back and hips
  • Promotes circulation to kidneys and adrenal glands

Modifications for those with injuries or who need additional support

  • Place blanket under any part of body that is sensitive (forehead, knees, feet, etc)
  • Place blanket between hips/heels for more support and cushion

Wow! Wasn’t that just relaxing? Don’t you just feel revitalized? Now that you have taken the time to honor yourself and your body, get back out into the world and radiate life with nothing but positive energy.

From our hearts here at Gigasavvy to yours, namaste.

 

Sources

Yoga Journal – Yoga Poses, Classes, Meditation, and Life – On and Off the Mat -Namaste. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016, from http://www.yogajournal.com/

Farhi, D. (2000). Yoga mind, body & spirit: A return to wholeness. New York: Henry Holt.

Special thank you to Cloud 9 Yoga Studio