Have you ever had a crazy chaotic moment half way through the day where you feel like you need to step away from your desk, from the line at the grocery store, from your seat in the movie theatre.. anywhere really.. to take a deep breath and let it all go?
We’ve all been there. It happens to me at least twice a day, even when I’m feeling super energized and at my best. Any human being with limbs, blood pumping and a heart beating needs a good pose to help them reset from time to time.
Here’s the deal: I’m going to challenge you to take this pose and strike it anywhere. I’m talking the meat aisle at Wal-mart, the train, a coffee shop, on an airplane.. anywhere you intuitively feel over the next week you need to drop it likes it hot and reset.
Quick story for you: my brother has bipolar disorder and struggles with energy highs/lows, depression and anxiety. His greatest challenge is actually his energy highs. The guy could run a marathon and beg for more. So sometimes, what he needs is to chill out, breathe, get some blood flowing through his legs, find his feet and release tension in his upper body.
The best way to do that: a standing forward bend or uttanasana.
I can remember a few months ago shopping with my brother at Wal-Mart and he starting jumping up and down because he was excited and had lots of energy. I immediately smiled and starting laughing because I am obsessed with the fact that he just owns it and doesn’t care what other people think. I turned my attention back to shopping and then I heard him sigh, ridiculously loud. I starting laughing and turned to see him… picture this.. in the middle of an aisle at Wal-mart, bent over in a forward fold, eyes closed, yogic breathe in full swing. It looked so juicy I decided to join him. My back was killing me from my purse being too heavy (and the lack of core work I did that week) and so the release was exactly what I needed.
I know what you might be thinking.. were people looking at us funny?
Maybe. I wasn’t really paying attention.
Seriously.. who cares!
Our health, our energy and making ourselves feel good should be our #1 priority. When we take full responsibility for taking on all the little things that make us feel good (like a forward fold in Wal-Mart) we are able to then show up differently for the cashier that greets us, the Wal-Mart greeter we faced on the way out and my parents who welcomed us for dinner later that evening. It seems so simple with such powerful results. It is! We laughed, we had a good stretch, my back released, my energy shifted and it also reminded me how much I love my brother for exactly who he is.
Here is how to take on a juicy forward fold, anywhere:
Step 1: open your feet hip distance apart. Bend your knees!!! This is key – it doesn’t matter how flexible your hamstrings are. Your knees are like a release valve for your hamstrings. The more you bend, the more you actually release the tension in your low back. Hallelujah.
Step 2: fold forward, draping your chest and upper body over your legs. Think of your upper body like a rag doll. Allow your arms to drop and completely relax. Optional, catch ahold of opposite bicep with opposite arm. Allow your chin to relax in towards your chest and the crown of your head to get super heavy.
Tip: ensure your feet are firmly rooted into the floor, with balanced pressure coming from both heels, the outer and inner edges of your feet and the mounds of your big toe. Activate your quadricep muscles. Don’t worry, you can still activate these muscles while keeping your knees bent.
Close your eyes. Sway gently from side to side. Feel the blood flow trickle down towards your heart. Breathe deeply with a big exhale. Fire up your legs, lift the inner arches of your feet, possibly pressing your thighs back gently to really maximize the stretch.
Stay for 10-25 breaths.
You are refreshed and ready to take on your day!! We would LOVE to see YOU post a pic of your forward fold in a fabulously creative, out of this world location.
What other poses help you bust through the mid day blocks? Tell us about it below.