02 Dec Release emotional stress and feel lighter with these poses
Sometimes emotions can feel incredibly overwhelming. It’s part of being human. Fortunately, yoga gives us tools to navigate these states. You can meditate on, breathe through, and flow with your emotions, and use your practice to mindfully decipher your feelings’ underlying messages. Your practice can create a space of inquiry where you can authentically show up for yourself and affirm a healthy relationship with your inner world.
To manage emotional overwhelm, unroll your mat with the intention of listening to what your body is truly longing to be liberated from. Allow this interlude of introspective movement to reveal and release any stimuli that are limiting you. These poses are designed to ease the weight off of your shoulders, the tension from your hips, and to help you let go of any energies no longer serving you. Explore this sequence in a quiet, peaceful space that helps you feel comfortable with your vulnerability.
Three-Part Breath (Dirga Pranayama)
Start in Sukhasana )(Easy Pose) Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) and place one palm over your heart and your other palm over your belly. Close your eyes and notice the ebb and flow of your natural breath and heartbeat. After observing this natural state of your body for a minute or two, take a deep inhale first into your belly, then into your ribs, and finally, into your heart space. Exhale slowly to empty all of this air through your nose, drawing your navel toward your spine as you breath out. Repeat this 3-part breath for about 7 rounds at your own pace.
Place your palms onto your knees. Begin to circle your upper torso in a clockwise direction. Use your breath to guide the pace of this movement. Try to move your body forward as you inhale, and move your torso backward as you exhale. Move through 7 to 8 breath cycles in this direction, then take 7-8 more cycles going counterclockwise. These movements offer you a chance to notice the energy you are cultivating.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend)
Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) at the centre of your yoga mat facing one of the mat’s long edges. Slowly walk your feet apart until they’re slightly wider than hip-width apart. Your feet can be parallel to one another or slightly turned out. Inhale and lift your chest toward the sky. Exhale and fold forward from your hips. Ground your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders. Lengthen your torso, relax your neck, and keep a small bend in your knees. You can stay here, or bend your elbows to lower your head toward the mat to experience a deeper hamstring stretch. Stay for 5 breaths
Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)
From Prasarita Padottanasana, keep your hands grounded as you walk or hop your feet close to one another. Turn toward the short edge of your mat and unfold your body into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) with your spine lengthened and feet hip-distance apart. Inhale and shift your body forward as you place your right foot outside of your right hand. Exhale and ground your left knee down. Just for this practice, stay in this variation of Lizard Pose with a long spine. Try using your breath to release tension in your hips and legs, and setting your gaze at the top of your mat. Hold this pose for 5 breaths. Return to Downward Dog. Repeat on the other side.
Begin in Down Dog. On an inhalation, shift your weight forward as you place your right foot in between your hands. Then, heel-toe your right foot over toward your left hand and lower your torso until you can comfortably ground your shin onto the mat. You may find comfort with your shin completely parallel with the top short end of your mat or your knee could be centred between your hands. Exhale to extend your left leg back with your toes untucked. Now place a pillow, bolster, blanket or block underneath the lifted right hip to offer more support. Bring your forehead down to the mat or a prop. You can stretch your arms toward the top of the mat or place one hand on top of the other to form a pillow for your head. Melt into this pose for 5 breaths. To move to the other side, unwind your body into Tabletop then shift into Down Dog. Repeat on the other side.
Original Article Written by yoga journal