anusara yoga

Midday Stretches :: yoga stretches for office work

I recently have been doing more computer work than usual and my body is telling me that I need to break up my work with stretches. Do you sit long hours at a computer? Is pain or discomfort in your body telling you that there is something out of alignment?  

It is easy to blame our modern lifestyle, but I like to remember that our orientation to our front body allows us to create more beauty in the world. We can use our hands to write an inspiring book, create a beautiful painting, or develop a program that creates a more just world.  Front body orientation also connects us to our ancestors. Can you imagine your 4th great-grandmother weaving a basket or dandling a baby? Her posture might be pretty similar to you writing a text message on your phone…

 This orientation to the front body isn’t bad…it just needs to be broken up with complimentary actions that create more balance in your body and connect you to the universality of your back body. The alignment principles of Anusara Yoga can help relieve tension in the neck, shoulders and hips.  

Here are a few of my favorite chair stretches that can be incorporated into your day. Just spend a few breathes in each pose and this 3 minute break will leave you feeling refreshed and more at ease in your body.

ChairYogaShoulderStretch.jpg

SHOULDER OPENER WITH OPTIONAL LUNGE – The perfect antidote to neck and shoulder tension! Bring the back of your right hand to your sacrum (the bony area at the back of your pelvis). Press your hand into your sacrum and mover your right shoulder back. Now straighten your left hand above your head. Palm faces inward and draw the upper arm back towards your ear. Keep on drawing both shoulders together on your back body as you raise your face, heart, and upper lungs towards the sky. Release both arms to pause and feel.  Do the other side.

ChairYogaLunge.jpg

 This can also be practiced with a lunge. Sit on the edge of your chair facing to the side. Sit on the left buttock and bend that knee. Stretch the right leg behind you and hug both legs together strongly and follow the above directions for the arms. You might be surprised how challenging this chair pose can be! Hold for a few breaths and then do the other side.


ChairYogaForwardFold.jpg

BACK BODY OPENER – AKA a forward fold. Sit at the edge of your chair and take your feel wide. Press them firmly into the ground as you drape your upper body on your thighs. Let your arms dangle towards the floor. Let your breath find the sensation in your legs, hips, or back.

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SEATED TWIST – This pose is helpful for relieving lower back tension and balancing your nervous system.  Sit at the edge of your chair and firmly connect your feet to the ground. Keeping your hips stable and facing forward as you twist your upper body to one side. Press your hands into your chair to get taller and glide your shoulders back. Breathe.

 

ChairSavasana

FRONT BODY OPENER – AKA a back bend. Lay your body over the back of your chair. Spread your legs out and let your arms drape down. Breathe into the expansiveness of your front body. This can also double as a mini-savasana.

Thanks for reading! I hope these are helpful. Be in touch if you have any questions about the poses! Pictures were taken at the Well-Being Healing Center.

Summer Pause Button for Summer Fatigue

Image Description : A woman is laying on her back in a restorative yoga pose in the middle of a field. Her legs and head are supported by yoga blankets. 

Image Description : A woman is laying on her back in a restorative yoga pose in the middle of a field. Her legs and head are supported by yoga blankets. 

Recently I’ve had several clients share with me how tired they are.

Here in the Northeast we are enjoying our narrow window of warm weather and we all want to take advantage of every last minute of it.  This often means long days that melt into nights, extra social activities, yard work, blueberry picking, and all that on top of our usual work and family responsibilities.

It’s no wonder we are exhausted! The Japanese have a word for summer fatigue - NATSUBATE which describes the lethargy that may result from too much sun exposer, not enough sleep, and the bodies difficulty in adjust to the fluctuations in temperature as we go in and out of air conditioning.  Summer fatigue is a real thing.

How can we let the fatigue of July give way to the beautiful light of August?! With the impending back to school and fall weather, I am often called this of year to reconnect to presence.  

Try this exercise which I call the YOGA PAUSE BUTTON.

1.) Stand outside. Feel your feet on the ground and the air on your skin.

2.) Listen to the sounds around you.  What do you hear? In front of you and behind you. Listen to the 3 dimensional sound landscape.

3.) Identify the furthest sound away from you that you can hear and then the closest.

4.) Take 3 deep breaths.

5.) REPEAT as needed!

Listening to the sounds of nature is very healing.  On a daily basis we process vast amounts of sensory input, which can lead to SENSORY OVERLOAD.  Tuning into one sense at time, in this case our hearing, gives our nervous system a chance to “catch up”. In combination with our breath we send a signal to our nervous system that we can rest in this moment. Push your YOGA PAUSE BUTTON whenever you feel tired or overwhelmed to bring your body towards a more healing parasympathetic state.

Spring Equinox Retreat!

What is your vision for yourself, your family, community, for the the world? These questions seem so important now more than ever. Almost everyone I speak with is really struggling with finding steadiness in this time of unease and transition. Setting aside time to tune in to quietude and connect to community can lead to potent transformation. Denise Hatch and I are creating a space to support you in this process. Deepen your practice and find harmonious clarity in this time of unsteadiness and plant the seeds of your vision for the future!

Come join us at Lakshmi Living Arts March 17-19th for our Spring Equinox Retreat. Through the practices of Asana, Meditation, Contemplation, Divine Dining, Restorative Yoga, and Self-Care, we will explore what it is to restore and stay steady in our own power and move forward with intention. Retreat includes a fabulous candlelit dinner with Iron Owl Kitchen. The retreat is open to all - including beginners so please share with anyone you know who may be interested. 

Reserve your seat at our table and add your voice to our conversation!