There’s a lot of juggling going on in life, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned in our 25+ years in the health and fitness industry, it’s that the first ball we let drop is our own self-care.

Inertia is a Powerful Force

If you start each day with plans to get some exercise in but find yourself not doing it, it may be because you’ve run out of time or energy. Another possibility is that you’re feeling overwhelmed and that’s preventing you from getting moving.

When the body is open and unblocked, energy moves through it more freely. If you can get the energy flowing, you’ll feel more energetic overall.

Yoga to Unlock Energy and Relieve Pressure

This yoga sequence is designed to help you release energy and relieve the pressure you’re feeling in your head and heart that’s locked up inside your body. It’s simple, slow, and low-stress, and is designed to feel like an exhilarating and relaxing deep sigh.

We all need to take a deep breath right now.

You don’t even need a yoga mat to do these easy, feel-good postures. Do as many as you can for as long as it feels good.

Your Hips Hold Your Tension

Yogis believe that the hips are where we store a lot of our emotional and spiritual tension. Even if you’re skeptical of that, there’s no denying that yoga poses that open up the hips feel great.

We’ll focus mostly on the large hip joints while also flowing through some spinal rolling. Let’s get your energy flowing again. The whole sequence can be done in less than 30 minutes, which is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to spend on yourself.

practice is meant to be enjoyable and relaxing, not rushed. I have made short instructional videos for each couplet for you to follow along. I encourage you to take your time in each pose and linger as long as you want. You will see that I move through the poses more quickly in the videos, but that is because I want to be concise. This practice is meant to be enjoyable and relaxing, so take your time and don’t rush.

This type of exercise isn’t meant to be one that gets your heart pumping. It’s more about being kind to yourself and going slowly and gently.

I hope it helps you feel better!

Easy At-home Yoga Sequence to Relieve PressureWarm-Up Yoga Sequence

  • Spinal roll down
  • Forward fold with a dead hang
  • Garland pose (or child’s pose)
  • Spinal roll up

Do this sequence several times until your back and hips feel warm and flexible. Notice how it feels the first time you do it, and how it gets better with each subsequent round.

As you curl your spine, focus on moving each vertebrae one at a time, as if they were pearls on a string.

Allow your head, shoulders, and arms to hang down as if they are dead weight. This will create a sensation of traction within the spine.

Try pressing your knees out with your elbows in garland pose, dropping your tailbone toward the floor, and lifting the crown of your head toward the ceiling. If garland pose is too difficult today, do child’s pose instead by sitting on the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you and your hips pushed back.

Lunge Sequence (Front of Hip)

  • Upright reaching lunge
  • Low lunge

Extend the same arm as your downward leg upward as far as possible. You may choose to lean away from the leg to add more length to the stretch in the front hip.

In the low lunge, bring your arms close to the inside of your forward leg. You can stay up on your hands with your arms straight, or try bending your arms to lower yourself even more. You may even be able to rest your elbows on the floor. Don’t feel like you need to push yourself. This is supposed to be gentle.

Stay in each lunge for as long as you like and then repeat the sequence on the other side.

Frog Sequence (Inside of Hip)

  • Frog pose
  • Wide child’s pose

To do frog pose, put your elbows and knees on the floor, with your ankles and toes wide. Press into your elbows to tilt your hips and tailbone back. This pose can be intense, so come out of it whenever you need a break.

Sit on your heels in the frog pose, then lean forward and bring your toes together behind you while keeping your knees wide. Reach your arms out in front of you as far as possible. Let your body settle between your knees onto the floor.

Repeat this sequence as many times as you like.

Pigeon Sequence (Side of Hips)

Half lotus

Pigeon/Extended pigeon

Even if your half lotus or pigeon doesn’t look as good as what you see on Pinterest, don’t worry. You’re working with what your body can do today and that’s enough. Focus on how it feels, on letting go of any tension in the hips, and on your breath.

The first way to do half lotus is to stack your ankle on top of the opposite knee. If that is too difficult for you, you can try putting your ankle on the opposite calf instead. If you cannot do either of those, you can sit with your legs crossed, with one leg in front of the other.

In pigeon pose, try to extend your leg back behind you as far as you can, so your kneecap and all five toenails are anchored to the floor. You can do this pose standing upright, or by folding down to your elbows, or by bringing your forehead to the floor.

Rest your pigeon on the floor and let gravity work its magic. After a few moments, repeat on the other side.

Intense Side Stretch (Parsvottanasana)

This stretch benefits your spine, hips, legs, posture, balance, and digestion.

To do this pose:

  1. Stand with your left foot in front facing forward and your right foot back, turning out your toes at a slight angle.
  2. Square both of your hips to face forward.
  3. Place your hands on your hips.
  4. Bend at your hips to fold your torso forward, tucking your chin into your chest.
  5. Drop your hands down to the floor, or place them on a block.
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Switch the position of your feet and do the opposite side.

Head to Knee (Janu Sirsasana)

This is a great pose for all levels to improve flexibility in your back, hips, and thighs. The increased blood flow in the lower abdomen can also be a great stress reliever.

To do this pose:

  1. Sit on the ground or a yoga mat.
  2. Extend your right leg, and press your left foot into the inside of your thigh.
  3. Inhale and raise your arms overhead.
  4. Exhale and bend at your hips to fold forward toward your outstretched leg.
  5. Place your hands on the floor, or hold on to your outstretched leg or foot.
  6. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Switch legs and do the opposite side.

Cat-Cow (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)

This pose helps improve your flexibility and movement in your core, neck, shoulders, and spine.

To do this pose:

  1. Start this pose on all fours, making sure your wrists are beneath your shoulders and your knees are beneath your hips.
  2. Keeping your weight balanced evenly across your body, inhale as you allow your belly to fall toward the floor. Raise your chest and chin as your belly moves downward.
  3. Exhale as you press into your hands to round your spine up toward the ceiling, tucking your chin into your chest as you do so.
  4. Continue this movement for 1 minute.

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

This pose is good for people who spend a lot of time sitting, as it helps stretch many of the muscles used in that position. Stretching the muscles in your core, back, chest, buttocks, and legs can help increase flexibility.

Do not do this pose if you experience pain or discomfort in your neck, shoulders, or back.

To do this pose:

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms alongside your body.
  2. Bend your knees and reach back with your hands to grasp the outside of your ankles.
  3. Try to lift your shoulders and chest off the ground if you can, but don’t push beyond what’s comfortable.
  4. Keep your head looking forward while taking long, deep breaths.
  5. Try to hold for up to 30 seconds, then release.
  6. Repeat 1 to 2 times.

Low lunge (Anjaneyasana)

This pose is good for lengthening your spine, opening your hips, and building muscle strength. It may also help with sciatica.

To do this pose:

  1. Kneel on the floor on your left knee. Bend your right knee and place your right foot flat on the ground in front of you.
  2. Lengthen through your spine and out the crown of your head.
  3. Lift your torso and arms. Or, you can extend your arms to the side, perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Gently push into your right hip.
  5. Try to hold this position for at least 30 seconds.
  6. Switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.

To avoid having your front knee move past your ankle, keep your hips square by drawing your back hip forward.

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)

The following forward bend can help improve flexibility in your hips, low back, hamstrings, and calves.

To deepen the pose, you can sit on the edge of a cushion or block to tilt your pelvis forward.

To do this pose:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs open as far wide as they’ll go.
  2. Extend your arms overhead.
  3. Hinge at your hips to fold forward, walking your hands forward toward your feet.
  4. Hold this position for up to 1 to 2 minutes.

If your toes are pointing outwards, bring your legs in closer so that they are pointing straight up.

Why Is Flexibility Important? 

Flexibility is key to maintaining good physical health, but as we age, stress, lifestyle choices, and bad posture can lead to a loss in flexibility.

If you frequently participate in yoga, you will likely see an increase in your flexibility.

In addition to increasing your flexibility, practicing specific yoga poses may also help you build muscle strength and reduce feelings of stress or anxiety.

We will look at the benefits of being more flexible and go through some of the best yoga poses to improve flexibility in your back, hips, core, neck and shoulders.

Increasing your flexibility is good for you in many ways. Some of the most important benefits include:

  • Greater range of motion. Increased flexibility makes it easier to move your joints in a normal direction with less effort.
  • Less muscle tension. Stretching your muscles can help release tension and tightness, making it easier to move.
  • Better posture. Tight, tense muscles can lead to muscle strain and poor posture.
  • Less pain. When your muscles aren’t tense, there’s usually less stress and pressure on certain parts of your body and, as a result, less pain in your back, neck, and shoulders.
  • Lower risk of injuries. Greater strength and flexibility in your muscles and joints may make you less prone to injuries.
  • Less stress. When tension is released in your muscles, it may help you feel more relaxed. In turn, that may lower your stress levels.
  • Improved circulation. Better blood flow may help your muscles recover more quickly after a workout and also prevent stiffness.

 

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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

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