Slash your stress levels with this quick and calming yoga flow from Adriene Mishler
1. Begin in Mountain Pose. This simple, but powerful starting position will allow you to connect with your breath and slow the heart rate. You can begin with hands in prayer pose at your heart centre and your feet parallel, or flush together. Activate your thighs and rotate them slightly inwards toward one another. Lift your sternum towards the sky. You can press the thumbs of your hands into your chest, and lift your chest into your thumbs. 2. Close your eyes and take a few seconds to notice your breath. 3. Once you’ve had a few moments in Mountain pose, you can work your way to your mat or the floor (no mat necessary), onto all fours – also known as tabletop position. Spread your fingers wide, feeling a stretch in the palms of the hands. Make sure your knees are directly under your hips and your wrists and elbows are directly under your shoulders. Your head is in a neutral position and your shoulders are away from your ears. 4. From here, we’ll begin to move into Cat-Cow pose – a stress relieving posture that works as a gentle massage for the spine and internal organs.
1. Inhale deeply in tabletop position and on the exhale, round through your back, pressing it towards the sky as you drop the head, letting the chin drop to the chest. 2. Tuck the tailbone and press into the fingertips and keep the knuckles grounding down. Draw your naval up to your spine. 3. From here, come back to a neutral tabletop position in preparation for Cow pose.
1. On an inhale, drop the belly and open your chest for Cow pose. Arch the tailbone up toward the sky and keep your head neutral or look up. Draw the shoulders away from the ears. Take a few rounds of Cat-Cow, linking each of the movements with the breath to loosen, lengthen and stretch the spine. 2. Next, we’ll prepare for Downward Facing Dog.
1. Keep a slight bend in the knees as you begin to straighten them, taking your hip creases back as you lift your hips into downward facing dog. You can walk your hands forward and a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath here and melt your heart towards the floor. 2. Peddle out the feet to feel a stretch in the calves and hamstrings and loosen up any stiffness in the ankles and feet. Don’t worry about your heels touching the floor or your knees being all the way straight. Your hands are active as they press into the floor and your inner arms are rotating out. You can shake the head “no” and nod the head “yes,” releasing any tension in the neck. Make sure the shoulders are away from the ears. Once you feel settled here, take five long, slow, deep breaths. 3. From Downward Facing Dog, begin to lower the hips down so that the body is in one straight line, the top of a push up pose – also known as Plank Pose. From here we’ll prepare for Upward Facing Dog.
1. Inhale and pull your weight forward into your upper body as you come onto the tops of your feet from your toes. Lift the thigh bones away from the floor. Take the heart forward as you roll the shoulder blades back and drop your pelvis towards the floor, keeping a soft blend in the elbows. Press down through your hands and lift through the top of your head, pulling your shoulders away from your ears. Breathe here as you feel the stretch in your back and front body. 2. Upward Facing Dog is a mild backbend and is great for keeping a healthy back, especially with so much of our daily positions promoting the forward folding of the torso and a rounding of the shoulders. It is also great for toning the arms, stimulating the organs of the stomach and opening up the chest and front body. 3. You can repeat these poses and continue to deepen your breath each time. Finish in a comfortable seat of your choice, or lying on the ground. Allow you breath to return to its natural rhythm. Give thanks for your body, your breath, and this time you have carved out for yourself. Namaste.Adriene Mishler is an actress, writer, international yoga teacher and entrepreneur from Austin, Texas. Adriene hosts the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene, an online community of over 5.5 million subscribers. She has been recognised as one of the 100 most influential people in health and fitness two years in a row and travels to host classes and workshops across the globe. Follow her on Instagram: @adrienelouise Facebook: Yoga With Adriene
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