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Five Yoga Poses to Incorporate into other daily tasks

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

We live in a fast-paced society which often times requires focused and planned time for self-care.

Also, with the challenges of the pandemic many of us do not feel comfortable to practice yoga in a public space. I don’t know about you, but I often need an accountability partner and the other students within a class to encourage me to find the time for a half-hour or hour-long physical yoga practice.

Rather than completely falling away from what may have been a regular routine, we can easily incorporate poses throughout our day within other activities so that we may still experience the physical benefits.

Also, with the challenges of the pandemic many of us do not feel comfortable to practice yoga in a public space. I don’t know about you, but I often need an accountability partner and the other students within a class to encourage me to find the time for a half-hour or hour-long physical yoga practice.

Tree Pose – while watching TV, cooking dinner, or participating on a Zoom call we can stand behind a sofa, stove or chair for support. While stepping onto the heal of one foot and then spreading the toes as you bring the top of your foot to the floor you can create a stable foundation for balance and support on that leg. Holding onto the object in front of you, lift the knee of the opposite leg, rotate the hip outward, and place that foot along the inside of the standing ankle. Start by keeping the toes of the bent leg on the floor while the foot, rests on the ankle. Focus on an object 3’ to 4’ in front of you while externally rotating both knees outward. Once you find balance here you can start to move your hands away from the object in front of you. If you would like a little more of a challenge then remove the foot from the floor and ankle, place the foot on the inner calf. Continue pressing the foot into ankle or calf while externally rotating both knees. You can place your hands in a prayer pose at your heart or raise your hands towards the ceiling making a Y shape with your arms and body. Remember the earth is moving below us so it is natural to move like the trees outside. If you fall out of your tree do not fret, just climb back in it! After you feel like you have had a nice challenge working on the stabilization muscles of the standing leg, switch and repeat for the other side.

Seated Pigeon – while sitting at your desk or maybe your kitchen table, scoot up so you are sitting in the center of your seat. Take your left leg and slightly lift it, bending at the knee, place the left ankle right behind the right knee. Sit up nice and tall, bend from the hips, with a flat back, bend your chest towards your left leg. You should feel a stretch in your hip flexors. If this is enough stretch for you then great! If you want to increase the stretch then make a fist with your left hand, place your left elbow right behind the left knee, allow your cheek to rest into the fist. This movement will add a light weight and increase the stretch. If you want to continue to increase the stretch the take your left arm and rest on top of your left leg, place your right arm on top of the left, creating equal pressure between the left knee and ankle. Continue to allow your chest to move a little more towards the left leg. After you have been in the position 30 to 60 seconds release the left leg and tap out both feet on the floor. Repeat this with the right leg bent. Remember every side is different and every day is different. Be kind to yourself and listen to your body to determine how far of a stretch each side is telling you it needs. It is perfectly normal to be tighter on one side than another and therefore you may choose a different upper body posture depending on the tightness in each side. It is best if you use a chair without arms. If you are seated in an office chair that has arms beside it then you may need to modify by placing your sit bones closer to the very front of your seat. Be mindful of your stability if sitting this way or on a chair with wheels so that you do not lose your balance.

Plantar and Dorsal Flexion – our feet and ankles flexibility and mobility will help provide us balance and support as we age. Often times when we are younger, we participate in sports or activities that may create injury which limit the mobility of the ankle joint as it flexes backwards towards the body and extends forwards toward the floor. Again, we can practice on increasing this range of motion while watching tv or sitting in our office chair. Sitting up nice and tall, draw the belly button towards the spine (let’s add a little core work in here too J ). Keep your right leg bent, foot on the ground, actively press into the floor with the right foot. Extend the left leg straight out in front of you. Hug the muscles of the left leg to the bones (helping create stronger bones) and flex the toes of the left foot toward your face. Hold your foot and leg like this for 10 seconds and then point the toes of the left foot toward the wall in front of you. Keep the muscles still into the bone and hold this extension for 10 seconds. Repeat two or three times and then do this same set of movements on the right leg, tapping your feet on the floor in between each side.

Warrior 1 with a toothbrush – everyone has to brush their teeth each morning and night, right?!?! Why not add a little stretching into your routine, even if it is just one additional minute or so each time you are in the bathroom brushing your teeth? Take the right foot and step towards the base of the sink, grab a hold of the cabinet with your right hand. Step back 1’ or 2’ with the left leg, placing the foot at a 45-degree angle towards the left while keeping the left leg straight and your hips forwards towards the cabinet. Make sure that your right knee is bent so that is directly over or slightly behind your right ankle. Take the dry toothbrush into your left hand and lift your arm straight overhead creating a straight line from your hand to your shoulder. Focus on drawing your belly button towards your spine, shifting your tailbone to the ground as with purpose press both feet into the floor. Hold this while breathing in and out for 30 seconds. Once complete repeat this pose in the same fashion on the opposite side.

Wrist stretches – we use our wrists throughout the day and often overuse them without stretching while typing on our electronic devices. A simple way to give your wrists some love and increase range of motion is to do a couple simple stretches while sitting in front of the tv, at the kitchen table, or from our office desks. First make a fist with both hands and fully extend our arms, create a circular motion outward for approximately 20 rotations and then switch the direction of the rotation inward. After completing this circular motion, shake out your hands and wrists in front of you. Then place your palms together into Anjali Mudra (or prayer position). While pressing your palms into one another, bring your elbows up towards the sky as you create a straight line from your left elbow, hands, to right elbow. Hold this pose for 60 seconds. Once complete, gently spin you fingers down towards the ground, while maintaining the same straight-line elbow to elbow while pressing the palms together. Again, pressing your palms together for 60 seconds and then shake your arms, wrists, and hands. If you find this to be painful then decrease the pressure as you begin incorporating this into your daily routine. You will likely find over time that you are able to create greater wrist flexibility and add to the amount of resistance while not feeling pain, but a healthy stretch.

Remember the most important thing is consistency and listening to your body. The best yogis modify each pose and really hear what the body is trying to tell us! Namaste’ with the latest social features built in. Readers will be able to easily share posts on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, view how many people have liked a post, made comments and more. With the Wix, building your online community has never been easier.

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