5 poses to relieve anxiety/stress - Dedicated to all War Vets and/or in service

Recently I met a woman who has been to Irak, a real warrior, a soldier threading through life with serious issues like those of the Baghavad Gita. I want to dedicate this post to her, honoring her path and all the men and women in the line of fire.

I worked in the corporate world for a long time so I know that moment when it all gets confusing, adrenaline rushes, politics are at their hight, tension goes to the shoulders, and all one can do is go to the "client bathroom" (the one in an enclosed space with an actual door as it was called in my last place of work), and take a breather.

This is a short routine of poses I performed in that very client's bathroom usually at around 4 pm on Thursdays, (sometimes also on Mondays or Wednesdays).  It worked wonders, helped me to come out with a straight spine, a better disposition and calmer eyes, not to mention a clear mind.

The 3:30 minute video includes a few basic poses which you can do fully dressed and even with shoes on, although if you are a female wearing heels it is best to remove them.

The setting of the video is not a bathroom this time, I thought that the winds of the beautiful Hudson valley might help ease and carry away the tension, that is my wish.

It consists of:

1.- A simple forward bend:  use this opportunity to let go of all the tension in your jaws, shoulders, head, even hair.  Bend the knees if you have to, and just play with letting the back roll down and relax.  You can hold on to your elbows if you want.  I found that just this pose had a tremendous relaxing effect for me.  Let me know how it goes for you.

2.- A modified version of Prasaritta Padotanasana:  again a forward bend, but this time the legs are wider apart which gives a better range of play for the legs to bend.  The release of tension will begin to reach the hips.  If you keep on remembering to relax the face, eyes, jaws, head, hair, shoulders and back you will get a nice feeling when you come back up, just do it slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae.

3.- A basic triangle:  Work on stretching the sides of the body, while keeping grounded and rooted on the earth by engaging your quads.  Feel the strength of the connection with the ground while remaining flexible up on top as you stretch on each side.

4.- A twist:  The video shows a very simple twist.  It helps if you breath in and lengthen the spine and then twist on the excel.  Keep on repeating the inhalation/lengthening and exhalation/twisting.  Some days I would go further and borrow from Tai Chi, I would swing my arms around my body and twist as in a dance, being careful of course not to hit the walls of the confined bathroom space, you get the idea.

5.- A modified version of Utitta Hasta Padangustasana: Raising the bend leg and making it turn releases the hips.  I have found a link between emotional tension and the area where the legs meet the torso.  The hips store tension, as we slowly turn the legs the they begin to loosen up, and as we open the leg towards the sides (which you should do on both sides), they open.

Centering: Always return to a pose of centering before leaving a practice.  Savasana or resting would be ideal and if you can do it by all means relax and enjoy a few minutes of laying down.

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