Is wedding planning causing you stress? Today is the International Day of Yoga and we have Yoga Expert Katie Ann Stewart sharing with us ways to unwind and destress before your wedding day with yoga. Katie is a qualified Yoga Teacher specialising in Vinyasa Flow Yoga and teaches weekly classes in Braintree, Essex so we were thrilled when she shared her expert stage-by-stage advice! Take a look, try the poses and find your zen…
“Yoga is an effective tool to help manage stress by promoting relaxation and holistic wellbeing. The power of yoga has a whole host of benefits for both physical and mental health. Too much negative stress is associated with mental health imbalances, chronic pain as well as many other conditions. Yoga helps to regulate our emotional responses to stressors and improves our mind-body connection, leading to more positive health and wellbeing”
Balasana – Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is a deeply calming restorative posture and allows us a period of intentional rest and quiet. In Child’s Pose, we disconnect the external and turn our attention inwards, focussing our awareness on our breathing, allowing the mind to calm. Child’s Pose is calming for the brain and relieves stress and fatigue.
- Come to a kneeling position on hands and knees, bring your big toes together, knees a little wider than hips distance and sit back on your heels
- As you exhale, fold your torso down between your thighs and walk your hands out in front resting your forehead to the floor.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply resting your awareness in the flow of your breath.
- Enjoy this posture for 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog strengthens the core and improves circulation while providing a wonderful full-body stretch. This energising inversion helps boost energy and fight fatigue, perfect after a long day in the office or wedding planning!
From Child’s Pose
- Transition to all fours in tabletop position, with your hands slightly forward of your shoulders, knees directly below your hips
- As you exhale lift your knees up off the floor and lift your hips up and back to come into the pose.
- Press the tops of your thighs back, and lower your heels towards the ground as you lift the sit bones up high towards the sky.
- Focus on your breathing. Once familiar with the pose, you can introduce movement to aid the stretch by peddling the feet out lifting one knee and then the other, or leaning the hips side to side, exploring whatever movement resonates with you in your body.
- Stay in the pose for 10 or more breaths, then bend your knees on an exhalation and lower yourself back into Child’s Pose.
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Fold
Uttanasana stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips. Uttanasana helps to soothe anxiety and combats depression, calming the brain and helping to relieve stress.
- Begin standing up tall with your feet hips distance, hands resting on your hips
- As you exhale begin to fold forward your torso over your thighs, hinging from the hips with a soft bend in the knees and bring your hands to rest either side of your feet or in front of you.
- Align your sitting bones over heels, shifting the weight into balls of feet with your forehead facing the shins
- With every exhale, let your torso soften towards your thighs
- Option to clasp hold of opposite elbows and take a gentle rock from side to side, releasing and letting go in this wonderful stress-relieving pose.
Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Bridge pose strengthens the legs and hips, massages the spine, and opens the heart. This posture calms the mind, and the body becomes energised, leaving you feeling revitalized and refreshed.
- Begin lying down on your back, bend your knees and bring your heels towards the sitting bones. Position the legs and feet hips distance and rest your arms either side pelvis, palms facing down.
- Press down through the inner edges of feet, forearms, and palms and on your inhale lift the hips up into Bridge Pose
- Press down through the mounds of the big toes as you keep lifting the hips, keeping the knees together
- Squeeze the shoulder blades together and close the eyes, feeling an opening across the chest, staying here for 5-10 breaths
- To finish, on your exhale lower to the floor. Allow your back to rest in a neutral state as you observe spaciousness within your chest, feeling energised and uplifted.
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