While planning a summer holiday can be exciting, it can have you in a bit of a tizz at the end of it all.
Most people say it takes them at least two days to unwind and settle into the holiday vibe. But, by that time, half your holiday could have passed you by – not a soothing thought.
To de-stress and settle in, try our mini anywhere-anytime-yoga session. It’s suitable for all fitness levels, and the physical poses will work to release muscular tension, while some deep yogic breathing will help get your mind and body out of fight-or-flight mode and into a rest-and-digest state.
Here are our top 3 relaxing yoga poses:
Puppy pose (uttana shishosana)
This gentle bend releases tension in your neck, shoulders, upper arms, and spine.
Step 1: Begin on all fours, with your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees.
Step 2: Keeping your hips stacked directly above your knees, walk your hands forward as far as you can, allow your chest to sink toward the floor, and rest your forehead on the ground.
Step 3: Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, channelling every inhale into areas of tension, and with every exhale softening deeper into the pose as your muscles relax.
Step 4: Slowly shift your bottom to your heels and rest here for a little while before rolling up into a seated position.
Extended triangle pose (utthita trikonasana)
This is one of yoga’s foundational poses and stretches out the whole body.
Step 1: Begin by standing with your feet about three to four-feet width apart, and extend your arms out from your sides up to shoulder level (your palms should face down).
Step 2: Turn your left foot in slightly and your right foot out at 90°, turning your right thigh outward too.
Step 3: Exhale, and slowly bend your upper body from the hip to the right directly over the plane of your right leg, until your right hand touches your shin, ankle, or the floor outside of your right foot – whatever feels comfortable for you.
Step 4: Gently twist your torso to the left, stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, and turn your head to look up at your left hand.
Step 5: Hold for five deep breaths – about 30 seconds.
Step 6: Inhale to come up, pressing your back heel strongly into the floor.
Step 7: Reverse your feet and repeat on the other side.
Child’s pose (balasana)
This resting pose can help quieten the mind, easing stress and anxiety, while gently stretching out the back.
Step 1: Begin by kneeling with your legs together, sitting back on your heels.
Step 2: Exhale and lay your torso down on your thighs, resting your forehead on the floor.
Step 3: Curl your shoulders forward and let your hands rest, palms up, next to your feet.
Step 4: Feel how the weight of your shoulders pulls the shoulder blades wide across your back.
Step 5: Stay in this position for anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Step 6: To come back up, lengthen your torso and then, with an inhale, lift from your tailbone as it presses down into your pelvis.ation of gentle stretches, acupressure, reflexology, and aromatherapy to stimulate the flow of blood, oxygen and chi (energy) around your body to induce a deep relaxation and leave you with a lingering sense a well-being.