It’s okay if you don’t want to work out. We get it. These are trying times, and we’re right there with you learning to navigate this new world. Some of us get relief from exercise, some from a great show, some from a gratitude journal. And sometimes it’s all of those or none of those at various times of the day. “You do you” has never felt truer.
But if you’re itching to move your body or looking for a way to relieve stress and anxiety, yoga can be incredibly beneficial. In addition to being a great workout you can do at home, yoga can help regulate emotions and bring awareness – all of which make it especially helpful during this challenging time.
We asked our Senior Customer Care Manager, Hannah Danto-Dorafsha, who is also a yoga instructor, to share some tips with you.
Best Yoga Poses for Stress Relief
During this period of unknown, many of us are carrying stress in our bodies in the form of aches, tight muscles, and racing thoughts. A lot of us are also sitting more, or sitting in different ways, causing discomfort that we may not be accustomed to. A great way to get your body moving and relieve lower back or hip tightness is Cat-Cow pose.
You can take this movement a step further by adding Child’s pose after your Cat pose. Start from Cow, move to Cat, and then keep your back rounded as you sit your hips to your heels for Child’s pose. Repeat the flow 5-10 times.
If you’re feeling tight in your hips, Low Lunge is a great pose to bring relief, especially to the front of the hips. This pose can be done with your back knee up or down and your feet hips-distance apart. Use blocks or sturdy books under your hands to make space between your knee and your chest. Keep your spine elongated.
Downward Facing Dog is a common pose in yoga. Skip the yoga mat and take this pose to the wall or your kitchen counter! With your feet hips-distance apart, brace your hands (shoulder-width or wider) and make an L-shape with your body. This is a great way to start the day while you wait for water to boil or coffee to brew.
One of the key parts of yoga is breathing. In each pose, bring awareness to your breath. Focus on taking full breaths and try to make your inhale and exhale even. Hold each pose for at least one breath.
Tips for Doing Yoga If You've Never Done It Before
Take it easy and be really conservative! Even if you feel you can easily go deeper or further into a pose, it's not always a good idea. There are a lot of yoga resources offered online for free or a small fee; search for a trained teacher if you want to explore yoga more deeply.
The cardinal rule in yoga is to not do anything that doesn't feel right. If it makes you feel icky, stop.
Yoga for Anxiety
This is a great time to try out meditation and work on breathing. Many of us go through our days breathing (to stay alive, of course!) without really being aware of our breath – the quality, length, depth, frequency, or speed. The simple practice of sitting still and breathing intentionally can have profound effects on anxiety, stress, emotional regulation, and more.
Click the photo to check out Hannah's favorite workout clothes!
Favorite Workout Clothes for Yoga
Exercise can be an incredible way to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health – and help you contend with the new stressors you may be experiencing. However you choose to practice self-care, know that we’re here for you, and we want to hear from you. Let us know how you’re doing – and how we can help – in the comments below.
Hannah is our Senior Customer Care Manager and also a trained yoga instructor. She lives with her husband, seven-year-old son, and three-year-old daughter in Northern California. She thrives on mindfulness, farmers markets, nature, and plenty of coffee and chocolate.