From the day after Thanksgiving up until the very last minute on Christmas Eve day, we find ourselves frantically racing around in our cars and walking for miles in the shopping mall. This tight schedule of spending, wrapping, stacking, and mailing off gifts in a busy post office where the line doesn’t seem to move at all can wreak havoc on our lower back, legs and feet if we are not careful. The following yoga poses will offer a reprieve from the stress our bodies endure while we are trying so hurriedly to be prepared for the big day.
Standing Forward Bend
It doesn’t matter if you are in your work clothes or donning your favorite shopping sweater; practice forward bending every chance you can get. Standing for hours while perusing the isles of robes, slippers and neck ties can tire out the muscles of your low back in a heartbeat. Take the stress off of it by doing a simple forward bend with both knees slightly bent and your feet hip width apart. When you are ready to come out of the pose, roll up slowly vertebra by vertebra and then roll your shoulders back and down upon standing.
Are you perpetually hunched forward while reading chocking hazard labels on the seemingly endless stacks of kids’ toys? To offer some relief for your back, reach both hands behind your hips and interlace your fingers. If this is not possible, take the handles of your shopping bag and hold it behind your hips with hands a few inches apart. Next, simply pull your shoulders back and down as your arms lift away from your hips. Take a gigantic deep breath and feel the heaviness of the Christmas Eve deadline release.
Legs up the Wall
You might notice your ankles a bit swollen after trekking through the mall and standing in long lines at check out counters. Provided you don’t have any type of heart disease, which could be causing your puffy lower legs, practice resting in legs-up-the-wall pose. You will want to do this after you return home, in comfortable clothes. To begin, come onto your back with your hips as close to the wall as you can. Extend both legs up the wall with your feet facing the ceiling. Relax and let gravity assist in flushing excess fluid from your legs. Stay in this pose for up to five minutes.
November 29th, 2011