Tame tension in 10 minutes with these simple stretches
Erin Stokes, Naturopathic Doctor, MegaFood Medical Director | March 2019
Your weekday is flying by, and before you know it, that precious opportunity to fit in a one-hour yoga class at lunch has come and gone. But wait! Don’t roll up your yoga mat just yet...
If you have just 10 minutes to spare, try these 5 simple poses to rejuvenate Body, Mind and Spirit.
- Child’s pose - Start here. Your initial urge might be to get up and get moving fast, but first give yourself a chance to decompress and get grounded. Chances are you’ve been leaning your head forward all day while driving, or working on a computer, texting, or just plain living! Now it’s time to take the strain out of your neck, place your forehead to the mat, and just breath deeply for one minute. While you’re there, remember to relax your jaw, a classic place where we all hold tension.
- Cat-Cow - There is a natural transition from child’s pose up to cat-cow. Cat-cow is actually two poses that are often paired together. They are excellent for bringing movement and flexibility into the spine, while relaxing for the nervous system.
- Downward Dog - An all time yoga classic; this is a great all-over stretch. No wonder most dogs start every day with it! If you are tight in your hamstrings, be sure to bend your knees a bit while in downward dog so you can gain the benefits of the stretch in the spine.
- Plank - Steady yourself in plank and build both your core strength, as well as arm strength. While holding in plank, perhaps count to 5 or 10 (or maybe even 15!). From plank, lower yourself back down to your yoga mat. Take a moment, and stretch each leg further back behind you, placing each foot firmly down.
- Cobra - After that downward movement, it feels good to rise back up! Rise up into cobra, and for the first cobra, take it easy. Then, as you continue, rise a little higher each time. If you want to keep the pose completely out of your low back, try subbing out sphinx instead of cobra. Then as time permits, cycle through poses # 3-5 a few more times to warm up the body and relax the mind. This allows a flow to happen where you can just move, instead of thinking.
When you’ve rotated through these 5 poses, and your work project -or kiddo pick-up- is calling you back:
- Come to the the front of your mat
- Stretch your arms out to each side, then overhead
- Bring your hands together and down in front, meeting at heart center to close out your short, tension-relieving practice
Take a moment to notice how different you feel 10 minutes later.
This short time investment can help you bring your best self to your work day, to your friends and to your family. I’d say it’s a valuable 10 minute investment!
When tension is a tiger...
Still tense? To further tame tension, consider botanical support as a means. I look to Adrenal Strength® to promote a healthy stress response and help fight fatigue and tension.*
Tension is just one of many potential drains on your energy levels. Want to elevate YOUR energy to new heights? Start here.