Stress is overtaking my life. If deadlines weren’t enough we are now coming into exam season. I have a beautiful color coded exam timetable now on my bedroom wall but if anything it reminds me of how much I have left to do! EEK! I believe that health is the basis for all things. Without good health you really can’t tackle the crap life chucks at you – I know I’ve been there. For good health you need to eat the right food, do some exercise, get some sleep and try to stay organised. If you are disorganized you don’t stand a chance – sometimes lists are key.
I’ve been working on the food part, I sleep like a baby (most of the time) and I’ve made a revision timetable to get myself in check. But because I walk about a mile to uni and a mile back – I often kid myself that I don’t need to do any other exercise. We recently got an exercise bike which is a lot of fun and now the weather is getting better I might even get out and go running soon. Sometimes it gets to the evening and I still haven’t done any – so I need something I can do before bed. I love yoga and I’ve been doing it for quite a while – I do find it difficult to stick to but doing it in the evening has become a bit of a routine – and in my opinion is easier to stick to – not to mention Savansa makes you nice and sleepy and ready for bed ^_^ If you like yoga and are interested in my evening routine – carry on reading! I hold each pose for a few seconds to a minute – it really depends what you want to do – but for me at the end of the day I want to feel like my muscles are nicely stretched! Don’t keep holding onto the pose if it hurts – you should feel like you’re stretching but you shouldn’t do it if its painful. Please stop and move onto the next pose because not all these poses will be suitable for everyone – this is just what works for me. Find what you like! I’ve tried to find most of the poses on yoga.com so click through if you don’t understand my instructions or are not familiar with the pose!
- Seated Meditation Pose
- Staying Seated, Breathing Stretch – Breath in, clasp hands together, cross fingers and slowly reach up to the ceiling, breath out and let your arms slowly come down to your sides. Repeat 3 or 4 times
- Right Seated Twist, Left Seated Twist or this if you prefer
- Repeat seated breathing stretch x 3
- Left leg straight in front of you, right leg bent (flat to the ground, close to the body) – stretch forward
- Repeat with right leg in front of you, left leg bent
- Soles of the feet together (legs making a diamond shape) – inner thigh stretch
- Knees together and hug knees up to the chin, slowly slide feet forward (straightening the legs), leaning forward with the legs, holding on to the legs with your arms for as long as you can, slowly let go of your legs and let them lie straight on the floor.
- Cat/Cow Pose with breathing. Slowly move between the two breathing in on cat pose and out on cow pose.
- Puppy pose. Also known as hare pose. I hold this for a few minutes because it helps stretch out my shoulders – I’m a serial sloucher!
- Downward Dog – or this variation if you’re up for a challenge. Transition into the next pose by stepping your feet forward a couple of steps. Use your hands to step back towards your feet and slowly roll your body up to standing position, nice and slowly with your head coming up last.
- Tree Pose
- Warrior Pose (do one side then step your feet together and then do the other side!)
- Left Triangle
- Right Triangle
- Half moon on both sides then get back down onto the mat.
If you’re a beginner I would stop here and skip to savasana because I use this last section to practice a few poses that target specific muscles that I want to work on – or to practice poses that I’m not very good at! At the moment I’m doing:
- Right Legged Pigeon Pose (sometimes called one-legged king pigeon which I find hilarious for some reason! and then repeat on the left side.
- Bridge – to practice working those muscles!
- Easy Camel Pose
- Seated twists – right then left – these are different to the previous seated twists and just help stretch those muscles after the bridge and easy camel!
Then savasana – lay like this for a couple of minutes and relax, when you want to get up, slowly start moving your wrists and feet in small circles, then start slowly moving your arms and legs and bring your body up slowly!
All done! 😀