5 Yoga Poses to Unwind and Chill

Editor’s note: I’ve always been very active and healthy. That being said, I had been a bit skeptical of yoga’s effectiveness for my personal fitness goals – was breathing exercises and focusing on the space between my eyebrows really going to keep me fit? Then I discovered there’s more to it than that when a good friend of mine changed my perspective with power yoga. I began taking private lessons with Sara and realized how crucial this practice is for both my physical and mental wellbeing. She gets the “busy working woman” syndrome, and knows what we need to de-stress and find time for ourselves. I’ve asked Sara to share some simple poses that will help us find peace after a hectic day. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do, and I strongly encourage you to reach out to her (www.saralouyoga.com) for questions, or to even take her yoga Skype class! Namaste.

– Brittany Seki, Senior Editor 

Sara

– By Sara Loureiro, Yoga Instructor –

It’s been a long week, hasn’t it? Why not take a bit of time to relax and unwind? You deserve it. It’s hard to go about one day in our busy city lives and not hear about or feel stressed out. You don’t have to practice yoga for hours on end every day to feel the benefits, either. Just a quick 5 minutes a day can make all of the difference. Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize this and think that we don’t have time to work out or do a yoga routine during the day. This small sequence will bust that myth right out of your office window (if you even have a window)!

Forward Fold

ForwardFoldWe’re starting this off with our feet hip-width apart. Come to a standing position and inhale. On your exhale, engage your core (pull your bellybutton in towards your spine) and exhale to lower your torso towards your legs. Bend at your knees if needed. Breathe deeply here, focusing on releasing all of your breath.

Twisting Forward Fold

HalfForwardFold

From your forward fold, wrap your right hand around your left shin and inhale. Exhale to stretch your left hand up towards the sky, feeling a beautiful stretch in your spine. Repeat on the other side.

Extended Puppy

Extended Puppy

From your forward fold bring your knees down to the ground, still hip-distance apart and gently start to walk your hands forward until they are fully stretched out in front of you, shoulder distance apart. Exhale to gently lower your chest to the ground, feeling a stretch in the backs of your arms and in your shoulders.

Thread The Needle

Thread the Needle

From extended puppy bring your arms to a 90 degree angle with the ground in your table top pose. Adjust your body as needed so that your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders, your knees directly underneath your hips. Inhale to bring the right arm out in front of you and exhale to walk to the right fingers underneath your left arm. Gently bring your right ear down towards the mat, feeling the shoulder blades come apart from each other. Repeat on the other side.

Child’s Pose

Childs pose

From thread the needle, gently bring your sit bones down to your heels, hands outstretched in front of you, chest all the way down to the ground. Breathe here as long as you feel necessary to just chill.