Stress Management

A Yoga Sequence to Reduce Stress

In need of an at-home yoga sequence to help you reduce your stress levels? This latest yoga sequence is designed to soothe a tired-but-wired nervous system and to calm those feelings of overwhelm and unease.

The great thing about practicing at home is that you are not tied in to a studio schedule and can practice WHEN you need, whether that be first thing in the morning before heading to work, or last thing at night before dropping into bed. Either way this sequence is designed to help you feel rested, soothed and clear-headed.

 

In addition, this short 20-minute practice will specifically:

– decrease tightness and gripping in common zones of tension such as the shoulders, hamstrings and hips

– improve diaphragmatic breathing through constructive rest and crocodile pose which in turn switches on the body’s natural relaxation response

– promote better circulation to the digestive organs (an area where many of us ‘feel’ our stress!)

– invite restoration, grounding and a sense of calm through supported forward bends

– gently enliven you if fatigue is present through gentle energising inversions and supported backbends

– create more mobility and stability in the spine – particularly useful if you’ve been sitting in front of a computer for too long!

 

Don’t forget to breathe deeply and smoothly throughout and end your practice with at least 2-5 minutes in final relaxation/corpse pose to seal in and save the benefits of your practice physically, mentally and energetically.

 

Yoga Relief at Your Desk

As a yoga therapist a big part of my job is trying to encourage clients to incorporate more movement into their day. As a business owner, however, I know first-hand the reality of what it’s like to spend too many hours sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen, and the toll this takes on the body and mind.

Many of my clients struggle with chronic pain, tension and stiffness in their necks, upper back and shoulders bought about our sedentary, screen-based jobs. Over time this can lead to postural imbalances and more chronic health issues such as tension headaches, diminished circulation, poor digestion, difficulty concentrating and even low mood.

In an ideal world we would have the opportunity to roll out our yoga mats to practise daily, but I understand that it’s not always easy to carve out the time. This is why I’m a big believer in mini-movement breaks.

The following short sequence is designed to give your body and mind a quick 10 minute reset. You can do this practice at your desk – no equipment is required other than the chair you are currently sitting in. Throughout the poses ensure that you maintain a relaxed, even style of breathing, if possible breathing in and out through the nose. It might also be nice to practise some of the poses with the eyes closed to help soften and relax the muscles around the eyes which often become tired and tense with too much screen-time.

This yoga practice will:

  • Ease tension and stiffness in the neck which may help ease headaches
  • Promote circulation and mobility to the upper back and shoulders
  • Improve breathing function which in turn will boost energy
  • Maintain a healthy spine through all 5 ranges of motion: forward-bending, side-bending, twisting, back-bending and extension or gentle traction
  • Gently stretch and strengthen the major muscles of the legs and hips, including hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes.
  • Enhance focus and concentration which will improve productivity and efficiency

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