I’ve said it before, wedding planning is exciting and rewarding, but also stressful.
Here are four simple yoga poses that will help you release stress, and feel more relaxed and grounded.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
This pose is brilliant when there are just too many decisions to make, — think wedding invitations, specialty cocktails, bridesmaid dresses. Ok, stop thinking about that now, we’re trying to relax!
- Balasana represents the shape of the spine for babies in utero, which is a pretty chilled-out, warm and comfy place.
- Resting the forehead to the mat helps to calm our minds by putting pressure on the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for cognitive thinking and decision making.
- This position also gently stretches your spine and gives your abdominals a chance to relax, allowing you to finally take those deep belly breaths your nervous system has been craving.
How To Do Balasana:
Kneel on the floor with the big toes touching together and the knees open as wide as your hips, sit on your heels. Walk the hands forward and lay your torso down between the thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from your pelvis, and list the base of the skull away from the back of the neck. Arms can stay reaching forward, or place them alongside the torso, palms up. Rest in Balasana for up to 3 minutes.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist)
A healthy spine is a strong and flexible spine, yet it’s not often that we pay it that much attention. Enter Ardha Matsyendrasana.
- Gentle twisting is great for digestion, energizing the spine and it can relieve period pain.
- This pose also stimulates the liver and kidney, two organs responsible for processing toxins, including stress, a real boost for detoxification and relaxation.
How To Do Ardha Matsyendrasana:
Start seated on a folded blanket with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slide the left leg under the right, allowing the outer left thigh to rest on the floor and the foot to come near the right side of the hip. Press the right hand to the floor slightly behind the hip, and use that resistance to lengthen the spine even more, before you rotate towards the bent right leg, wrapping the left arm around the right outer thigh. Check that you’re still sitting on both sit bones. Breath comfortably and gently press the torso into the inner thigh, and vice versa. Stay here for 30 — 60 seconds.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Feeling grounded isn’t always a byproduct of wedding planning, which is why it’s useful to take a few moments each day to find stillness, stability and a sense of calm control.
Vrksasana restores your sense of balance and draws attention inwards to the heart center. It’s calming and energizing (and can be done anywhere).
How To Do Vrksasana:
Start standing with the feet parallel. Bend your knee and place your right foot just above your left ankle, or use your hands to draw the foot to the left inner thigh (do NOT place it against the knee). Press the foot into the leg and the leg back into the foot. Connect your palms at your chest and, optional, close your eyes. Pay attention to rooting down through that standing leg, and lengthening through your spine. Stay here for 30 — 60 seconds.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Is it wrong that I often go to yoga just for Savasana? Technically it would be easier to stay at home and take a nap, but there is something so deeply relaxing about bending, twisting and strengthening your body for 60 minutes, and then being able to just lay still.
- Savasana is calming for the body and the nervous system. It rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit while reducing stress and tension.
- The key is to soften the mind, the muscles and the organs. Relax your tongue and behind your eyes, find a natural breathing pattern, allowing the belly to expand and deflate, and feel the weight of the body relaxing into the floor.
How To Do Savasana:
Start laying on the floor with the arms slightly open by the side, palms up. The feet are a little wider than hip distance. Allow the legs to naturally rotate open. Make sure that you are comfortable and warm (grab an extra blanket if needed) and then close your eyes and take slow deep breaths through the nose. Briefly scan your body for any areas of tension. Release them. Release control of the breath and enjoy this time of relaxation for 5 — 15 minutes.
Now I’d Love To Hear From You
What are some of your favorite yoga poses for relaxation? Let me know by leaving a comment below!