By Michael Chi
Whether you’ve got deadlines, social events or gift buying a plenty, it’s the time of year when we review our resolutions and realise that many are still unchecked. Trust us – we’ve been there! we know this stifling feeling, and the tightness zipping in around your chest as the year starts to wind down. Hence, we’re big believers that taking time out to slow down, and declutter the nerves are necessary to tide us through anxieties.
In our rat-race culture, we are programmed to believe doing more helps to fulfil more, which in turns keeps us always moving. But moving without grooving fuels anxiety. So now we encourage you to slow down with these 4 restorative yoga poses for us to tune out, to tune in, as we soothe the nervous system from our fight or flight mode, to get grooving.
Easy Sit (Use Sugarmat block)
This pose is a gentle release for the hips, groin, and adductors, as well as promote spinal strengthening. It provides a therapeutic space to release stress. Come to a cross legged seat on the ground, or on a block to elevate the hips and spine for a better posture. Rest the palms on the knees or bring the index and thumbs together in chinmudra. Soften the facial muscles, and tune inwards to your breath, as you begin your meditation.
Fish Pose (Use Sugarmat blocks)
This pose is a gentle chest opener, that relief tightness in the chest, back and neck. Place 2 blocks in a T shape, one under the head (lowest height), and one between the shoulder blades (medium height). Allow the rib cage to be lifted by the blocks, the arms to lay by the sides with palms facing up and fingers relaxed. Allow the throat to open by resting back of the head on the block. Straighten the legs allowing heels to rest mat width distance. Close the eyes and soften the breathing.
Recline Butterfly Legs (Use Sugarmat Strap and blocks if needed)
This pose stretches the groin and adductors, while releasing tension on the lower back. Prepare your strap by looping one end of it through the buckle and reversing the loop to ensure it is adjustable. Bring the soles of the feet to meet and allow the knee to fall outwards creating a diamond shape. Sling the strap behind the lower back and allow the strap to drape down both the inner knees and the buckle side of the strap to land under the outer feet. Relax into the pose, allowing gravity to open the hips. Do place blocks under the outer knees for support if hips are tight.
Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (no props)
This pose allows for complete relaxation of the mind and body, and allows blood to drain back to the heart, relieving lower back, hamstring, and hip tension. Sit with your right side against the wall, as you lie back down, and swing both legs up along the wall. Inch the buttocks as close to the wall as is comfortable for you and soften, the back, chest, and neck. Allow your body to melt into the floor and breathe.