Stress happens. In different ways, we all hold unnecessary tension in our bodies all day long. Shoulders, neck, wrists, hips, hamstrings, back, oh my! Luckily there's still time to hit the reset button. We can release the stress from our bodies and come back to our lives from a restored place.
Yoga-girl Confession: to be honest, I came up this with routine for myself. I needed it badly. My schedule has gone bonkers in the last few months. I just opened my yoga studio, Strala. This comes with all the excitement and stress of getting any business started, plus I teach six classes a week in addition to a few one-on-one lessons. Pile on random photo shoots, a bunch of weekly meetings for press stuff, writing deadlines for Rodale, , and that's my life right now. I'm not complaining at all. . . I love my life. I'm doing exactly what I want and the direction I'm headed is so thrilling, but I need to find a few moments to hit the reset button. We all do.
Shoulders. Do you find your shoulders raising up and choking your ears as you watch the debates? Are they rounding forward for hours as you search for the latest Sarah Palin videos on YouTube? (I know mine are.) Maybe your upper back aches from carrying your computer, books, and all other essentials that we insist on schlepping around the city all day, every day.
Schlep: a Yiddish word used several times a day by NY natives and adopted by transplants after the first six months of city life. To carry clumsily or with difficulty; lug. I schlepped a shopping bag around town.
Hips: Are your hips tight from sitting at the computer for most of the day? Walking around the city can lead to tight hips also. It's nice to get into parts of our hips that we haven't used since we climbed a tree!
Hamstrings: Unless you're a principal with ABT or Ailey your hamstrings are probably a little tight. I'm sure the prima ballerinas even suffer from tight hamstrings now and then, but they have a full-time job of maintaining them through training and rolling around on tennis balls. The rest of us have to squeeze in what we can during our days.
Spine: You know you're on a slippery slope when you start to develop back pain on a regular basis. We all know a main component to a healthy back is to keep the belly from growing too much in front of us. A swollen belly is a lot of pressure on the back. Practice your core work and I've also got a nice restorative position for you in the video!
Wrists: Too much time spent at the computer researching the latest political or economic news, or maybe checking your Facebook page? However you spend your computer time, there is a wrist stretch in the video aimed to prevent any funky stuff happening in the joints.
Stress Confession: I raise my eyebrows when I'm in a stressful situation. It's a strange almost-tick that I've developed over the last year and I'm determined to rid myself of it for good. Weird, I know. They only rise up when the stress comes on, and they can perform a whole eyebrow ballet if the stress levels shoot up.
What is your stress habit?
Check out the video and follow along. Hopefully you'll feel refreshed and recharged in a few minutes, and you can come back to your life relaxed, breathing, and happy. For me, it goes a long way to ditching the simultaneous shoulder-eyebrow raise. Repeat as necessary!