A little goes a long way with yoga practice, as international teacher Adriene Mishler reveals the poses to solve the common stresses that affect our bodies, and our lives
The demanding nature of everyday life can make it hard to find time for yourself amongst work and family commitments. Introducing yoga into your daily routine can help you future-proof your body and mind, and make you become more present. Finding what style of yoga works for you is important, but some poses are more beneficial than others. “Through experiment and practice, I’ve discovered how you can use yoga as a tool,” says Adriene Mishler, who runs yoga and mindfulness classes at (yogawithadriene.com). You don’t have to have the perfect outfit, yoga mat, or practice window and you don’t have to be the most flexible person around to reap the benefits of yoga – which is what makes it great for people who are just starting out. “On my yoga journey, I’ve found that it doesn’t take a lot to change the course of how you feel. Whether you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or in need of a quick and natural digestive aid, yoga has your back. Here are some of my favourite everyday remedies and there’s no prerequisite required to get started with them.”
The Forward Fold calms the nervous system and hits the reset button on a stressful day.
• Stand tall with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Take a deep breath in as you lift your chest and find extension through your spine.
• Exhale as you bend your knees and slowly melt into your fold. There is no need to force your legs straight.
• Keep your feet grounded as you take three rejuvenating breaths.
Tip: This can be done seated in a chair.
Try the Seated Forward Fold for a comforting remedy when you are riding the wave of your cycle.
• Lie on your yoga mat and extend your legs out in front of you.
• Take a deep breath to find length in your spine.
• Reach up to find a gentle stretch.
• Exhale to melt into the fold. Bend your knees to help your lower back.
• Let your belly be soft and your head be heavy. Take three to five breaths here with your gaze soft or your eyes closed.
Tip: Place a pillow on the tops of your thighs, and fold your torso over to rest.
The Anxiety Cat Cow can soothe a busy mind.
• Come onto all fours, bringing your wrists under your shoulders and knees under the hip points.
• On an inhale, gently drop your belly down to the earth as you lift your head.
• On your exhale, draw your navel in and up to create and arc in your spine.
The key here is to synchronise your breath with the movement.
Tip: End with an extended Child’s Pose by sending your hips back and taking a moment to surrender. Rise when ready.
Reduce bloating with the Wind Relieving Pose.
• Lie on your back with your legs extended.
• On an inhale, draw your right knee up into your chest, wrapping your arms around your shins.
• Gently lift your head up, drawing your nose to your knee.
• Take three slow breaths here as you feel the gentle compression on the right side of the digestive organs.
• Release and switch to the left side.
Tip: Be sure to start with the right side and keep your shoulders relaxed.
Sleep Supine Spinal Twist is a restorative posture to help you let go of the day and wind down for healthy rest.
• Lie flat on your back with your legs extended.
• On an inhale, hug your right knee into the chest, wrapping your arms around your shin or behind your thigh.
• On an exhale, gently guide your leg to the left side, crossing your leg over the body and welcoming a gentle twist.
• Turn your head to the right and breathe.
• Close your eyes and start to signal to your body that it is time for rest. After 5-10 breaths, gently release and switch sides.
Tip: Put your phone away while you do this exercise.
Use the Low Lunge Twist to get your gut moving and promote healthy digestion.
• Start in a forward fold with your knees slightly bent.
• Inhale and step the right leg back into a low lunge.
• If your hips are tight, you can lower your back leg to the ground here for support.
• Inhale to reach the arms high and exhale palms to the centre of the chest.
• Inhale to find length and exhale to twist to your left.
• Take three cycles of breath and then switch to the second side.
Tip: Hug your inner thighs in toward the midline for stability.
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