Yoga Release for Those Stuck at Home

By yoga guru, Robyn McLaren.

This week has seen a dramatic shift for all of us; working more at home and spending time away from friends, family members and our normal routines. This change has provided us with less opportunity to get movement and exercise into our days, more time to sit still on the sofa and the sometimes even the chance to work from bed! With this change, not everything needs to stop: we need to adapt and be creative to find ways to work with space and movement built into our daily routines!

To start you off here is a simple yoga routine to get you moving, lower stress levels, avoid those stiff aches and pains, and to release stress and tension.

  1. Breathe
    • Come into a comfortable seated position. Sit up tall, close your eyes and allow your shoulders to get heavy. Observe your breath. Without force or strain, try to make your breath a little fuller, and see if you can take your breath down into your stomach so the whole body is relaxed and heavy. Stay here for a minimum of 5-10 slow breaths.
  2. Neck Release
    • Whilst remaining seated and keeping a long spine, allow your head to soften forwards to your chest. Keeping movements slow and steady, with the chin heavy, take the head to one side, and to the other. Repeat a couple of times to each side, noticing areas in the neck and shoulders that feel tense. Finally, pause to each side for 3-4 slow breaths working into the spots of tension.
  3. Lunges
    • Come up into an all fours position. Step the right leg between the hands and slowly edge the left leg back as far as comfortable to feel a stretch in the thigh/hip. You can pad up the back knee for support if it’s uncomfortable. Keep slight pressure into both feet so your full weight is not into the front hip and sit with the stretch for 5 breaths. Alternatively take slow pulses straightening the front knee and re-bending to work in a little stretch for the back of the thigh. Repeat on the left side.
  4. Seated pigeon
    • In a seated position, step your feet in, soles of the feet to the floor and knees up to the ceiling. Cross your right ankle over the left knee and let your right knee drop wide, making sure there is no discomfort in the knee. To soften the hip, move the hips and your left heel further apart: to deepen move them closer. Hold for 5 breaths and change sides.
  5. Forward Fold
    • When seated, stretch both legs out long in front of you, if your spine curves backwards sat upright raise the hips onto a cushion. Fold forwards without force or strain and allow the body to be soft. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  6. Twists
    • Laying on your back, bring the knees to the chest. Let the legs drop to one side and turn your head to face the other direction. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the second side.
  7. Reclined Butterfly
    • Laying on your back, draw the soles of your feet together with knees wide. Let your hands rest on your stomach and content to the rhythm of your breath. Stay for 5-10 breaths.
  8. Savasana
    • Laying on your back, stretch your arms and legs out, close your eyes and take a big breath. Be as soft and still as you can and try to stay here for 3-5 mins.

Feeling good? Then why not join a live yoga class with me from home? In these unusual times I have moved my yoga class schedule online. Check out upcoming classes from my website, or follow me on Instagram for more ways to get both mental and physical space during what is sure to be more days of unfamiliar circumstances. Hope to see you online in class soon!