6 Weird Places to Do Yoga to Reduce Stress
By Lynn Roberts, Columnist
Most of us know that practicing yoga is something we should be making time for. Yoga has several health benefits and we quite often read about the importance of having a consistent yoga practice. But in today’s fast-paced world, who really has the time? There’s laundry to fold, wok to get to and kids to take care of. With summer quickly approaching and those warm, sunny days calling our name, exercise seems to quickly become our last priority.
However, if you have even done yoga ONCE before you know all too well how effective it is at relieving back pain, reducing stress, quieting your mind and improving flexibility. So when you’re short on time, here are six places where you can squeeze in a few minutes of yoga – places you probably already spend time every day anyway. Five minutes is all you need to feel a difference!
(1) IN THE SHOWER
I think it’s safe to assume most, if not all of us start our day in the shower. And we’re usually not fully awake yet so I’m certainly not going to suggest you break out into headstand pose during your morning routine. However, just letting the warm water hit any areas of your body that feel tight or restricted can help to relieve stress and tension. For exam- ple, try pointing the shower head at your back and as the warm water massages you, breathe in and out to help dissolve any tension and wake your body up.
(2) SITTING AT YOUR DESK
When your shoulders start to creep up around your ears and you’re feeling the stress of your work day, try these Shoulder Rolls: Inhale, lift your shoul- ders up to your ears. As you exhale, roll your shoulders back and down. Do this 3 times. For a more intense experience, as you inhale, lift your shoulders up, and as you exhale release your shoulders quickly down as you open your mouth and release an audible sigh. Do this 3 times. You’ll feel better instantly.
(3) IN THE CAR
While we certainly don’t recommend you do yoga while your vehicle is in motion, you can do yoga while you’re stopped at a red light. A simple twist in your seat, shoulder rolls or even just long deep breaths and immediately you’ll feel calmer on your ride home.
(4) AT THE PLAYGROUND
If you have young kids you may find yourself at the playground after work or on the weekend. Instead of sitting on the bench the entire time, do yoga! There are lots of ways to do yoga at a park or playground so be creative. Find a way
to stretch a part of your body that feels tight, do pushups on the ground, stand in Tree Pose to improve balance or just sit on the bench and lean forward over your legs, allowing the blood to drain from your body to your head and giving your spine a great stretch.
(5) IN THE KITCHEN
If you prepare meals for yourself or your family, you’ll inevitably find yourself in the kitchen at some point during the day. There are lots of ways to do yoga in the kitchen but try Downward Facing Dog. Holding on to the counter, walk your feet back until your spine is parallel to the floor. Draw your hips back as you press your hands into the counter and enjoy the deep stretch in your spine. Breathe deeply.
(6) IN BED
Yoga in bed is a great way to end your day. Not only will it give your tight muscles a fabulous stretch at the end of the day, it promotes a deep sense of relaxation and you will have the best sleep of your life. Lie down with your head on your pillow and draw the soles of your feet together into reclining butterfly pose (or do this against the wall), allowing your knees to fall outwards. Place one hand on your chest, the other on your belly. Close your eyes and practice letting go using deep breaths in and out. Stay as long as you like. Let go of all of your efforts. Let go of your day. And just be.
So … If you just can’t find the time to get to a yoga class, do yoga wherever you are. Yoga is portable and can be done just about anywhere!
About the Author: Lynn Roberts is a yoga teacher and the owner and CEO of Innergy Corporate Yoga. Innergy’s yoga teachers go into offices all across Canada to teach yoga to stressed out, busy professionals who sit at their desks all day. Got questions? Email Innergy at firstname.lastname@example.org.