It’s no secret, this southern girl is no stranger to a good sweat. Whether it’s just STANDING in the Texas or Florida sun, running (in either), or getting a good workout in, I’m no stranger to “glistening.” It’s no surprise, then, my new workout obsession is hot yoga. It’s an hour I dedicate to me where I can clear my mind tone my muscles.
Don’t get me wrong, a good day of pampering can be just as relaxing. But there is something about getting a good workout that busts my stress like nothing else. Last night after my class, I talked with Pure Yoga and Fitness instructor Jennyris Nieves about her top stress-buster moves.
I love this pose, mainly because when you’re doing this pose it’s the end of class! While you may look at it and say “but you’re just LAYING there,” as always in yoga, you’re doing much more. Resting pose should get your body, from your eyebrows to toes, relaxed. Lie down on the mat and let your legs fall naturally with your arms by your side, palms up. Make sure your shoulders are slightly tucked and your back is in a natural position. If this does not feel comfortable, then bend your knees with your feet still planted on the mat. Focus on your breathing – it does not have to be the ‘yoga breath’ but should still be deep and relaxed. Take five to 10 minutes in this pose while clearing out your mind’s clutter
Reclining Bound Angle
Similar to Resting Pose, Reclining Bound Angle starts out on the mat. Bend your knees and let them open out with the bottoms of your feet touching. I sometimes do this pose while I’m trying to fall asleep to make my body relax. Both of these poses are good to do with your eyes closed to help block out what is going on around you.
Child’s Pose is one particularly used in class for rest. If a move is too much, you can always be in this pose. Start on all fours, with your knees and hips, and shoulders and wrists aligned. Then take your hips to meet your heels, resting your body between your knees. You should really feel this stretch in your back as you breathe into the position. Connecting to your yoga breath is important in this pose; take five counts to breathe in and at least five counts to fully breathe out.
Because of the position, I suggest you don’t do this at your office! (It would be just a little embarrassing for someone to walk in on you) Lie down on the mat and bring your legs above the hips. Take your peace fingers (pointer and middle) around your big toe and pull your knees down and keeping the bottoms of the feet flat towards the ceiling. You should literally look like a baby grabbing for his toes. You can move around in this pose, if it feels comfortable. If nothing else, it’ll get you to smile!
This is really one of my favorites. Not only can you do this just about anywhere, it can make you feel centered. Start by standing with your feet and knees together and take a deep breath in lifting your arms in a reverse circle straight above your head. As you exhale, bend at the waist bringing your arms our and around down to the mat or floor. Stay here for a few deep breaths, then inhale your arms up to a standing position.
While you’re meditating, try mixing coconut oil with soothing eucalyptus and rub on your temples. This can help ease any stress-related headaches while providing a scent associated with relaxation. You can also make Kayla’s DIY Candle with essential oils for a calming experience. Of course, you should also thank your body with a healthy post-work out shake, like my favorite strawberry one!
What is your best stress reliever?