Right now, helping your immune system feel as supported as possible is definitely key to living a little more easily during a pandemic. This can be through eating food that nourishes you and adding supplements if need be, as well as taking time to relax and nurture your soul each day.
One of our picks for a little self-care for the soul is yoga, and it doesn’t have to be a dynamic, fast-paced style AT all. In fact, the yin side of yoga is just as essential as the yang and is also perfect if you’re new to yoga practice and just want to take five or ten to seriously chill out.
We’ve detailed a little about our favourite poses for de-stressing and boosting your system below – just focus inward on your breath or play some relaxing music, and you’ll be ready to de-stress and detoxify from all the crazy out there before you know it.
Legs Up the Wall Pose
This is a simple way to relieve tired legs and feet from a long day at work, as well as just melt into your surroundings. Since it’s an inversion, this pose can help drain lymphatic fluid from the lower extremities, reduce swelling in the feet and ankles, and improve circulation.
- To begin, lie down with your hips close to a wall and stretch your legs up towards the ceiling.
- If you feel any strain in your hamstrings, move your pelvis a few inches away from the wall.
- For an even more relaxing stretch, place a looped belt around the outer edges of your feet, with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. The belt relieves your muscles from the effort to keep your legs up, and it also gently rolls the thighs in to create more space in your lower back.
This is great for those who spend more time that is recommended at a keyboard and need to open up and lubricate the upper back. It stretches the abdominal muscles, opens the chest and shoulders, and strengthens the spine.
- Lie flat on your stomach.
- Place your elbows under your shoulders, then begin to lift your chest.
- Draw your shoulders down your back and press your forearms down.
- Look forward and allow your chin to drop slightly.
Give this pose a go whenever you’re feeling a little frazzled, or when you’ve spent way too much time snacking on those post-lockdown treats. It aims to restore the spine into neutral alignment, stimulate your abdominal organs, and improve digestion.
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and up toward your chest.
- Stretch your arms out into a T position on the floor, maintaining alignment between your elbows and shoulders.
- Lower your knees gently to the right, up as high as your belly button, while trying to keep your left shoulder blade pressing into the floor.
- Create length along the left side of your torso by focusing on your left hip and your left shoulder reaching in opposite directions. Your head and neck should stay where you are most comfortable.
- After a few deep breaths, switch sides.
Child’s Pose is a very relaxing and grounding pose, and it alleviates lower back pain. Pop into a Child’s Pose when you’re feeling vulnerable, and just let the goodness wash over you.
- Start in a seated kneeling position and bring your big toes together while keeping your knees roughly hip-width apart.
- Hinge from your hips, keeping your spine elongated, and gently extend your body forward to rest your lower abdomen on the inside of your quads/inner thighs.
- Your hands can either extend out in front of you with palms facing down or behind you with palms facing up, whichever is more comfortable.
- If you want, focus on the point between your eyebrows — your third eye — to find a deeper connection within yourself and feel more grounded.
Corpse Pose – or Shavasana – may look like you’re taking a cheeky nap, but it actually allows you to quieten down your thoughts. This position is most beneficial in a warm and quiet room.
- Lie on your back with your legs and arms slightly apart.
- Bring your shoulders down away from your ears and elongate your body.
- Close your eyes and picture your whole body relaxing. Feel how heavy the back of your body is, while the front of your body opens.
- Maintain stillness.
- Your mind will most likely be filled with thoughts, so focus if you can on your breath.