Okay, so I am not claiming to be a master yogi. BUT I KNOW the value of yoga. And by the way, even trying to do yoga counts as doing yoga. When I was thinking of ways to support a healthy community within Signature Primary Care and Wellness, I knew yoga needed to be a part of it. There is not much else I can think of that addresses total health – mobility, strength, relaxation and even gets your heart pumping if you choose to practice a certain way.
Let’s start with something I hear the most which is the need for RELAXATION!
Yoga is often recommended as a way to manage stress. It can help stimulate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system (what I call the “everything’s okay side of the nervous system), which is super effective for calm and relaxation. Doing relaxing yoga poses on a regular basis helps to relax your mind and body and can prepare you for sleep too. When you need to wind down, try a few of these poses:
Nighttime God(dess) Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your heels together. Let your knees fall open and allow your arms to fall loosely around you. (Now you are a God(dess), it’s that easy.)
Three Part Breath (Dirga Pranayama): Sit or lie down for this pose. Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, feeling the lift in your belly and ribs. Move your bottom hand to your chest, below your collarbone and focus your breathing on this area. As you breathe in, feel the rise in your belly, ribs and chest and as you breathe out, feel how they all contract and lower too. This is a great process for focusing your awareness in the present moment and quieting your mind. Basically your breath serves to entertain your mind enough to keep it from running away, but is boring enough to help you relax.
Knees to Chest Pose (Apanasana): This pose helps to release tension in your spine and calm your mind. Lying on your back and breathe out as you draw your knees towards your chest. Clasp your hands around your chest and try to hold each elbow with the opposite hand. Keeping your back flat, release your shoulder blades and bring your tailbone towards the floor to lengthen your spine. Gently rock to and fro to massage your spine. Tuck in your chin and focus your gaze down the middle of your body. This one takes a moment to visualize, but is easier than it sounds..the double chin stretch feels so good.
I am so excited to have Kelli Parrish, RN leading our yoga sessions starting March 31st. She will lead sessions on Sundays at 4pm and Tuesdays at 4 and 6:30pm. Kelli’s goal is to introduce yoga to as many people as possible! She was initially reluctant to try it herself, but after experiencing back pain 10 years ago she decided to give step outside her comfort zone. She fell in love with it in just a few short months and realized that yoga was so much more than just the physical practice! Her classes are based on the fundamentals and she loves introducing yoga to new clients.
Can’t wait to see you at one of her classes!