Yoga in Brief: Quick Sessions for Work and Travel

One of the best ways to get rid of stress, get calm, and feel better is doing yoga. But what about when youre at work or traveling? Don’t worry, you can do yoga anywhere, with a few modifications. In this guide you will learn a yoga session that you can do anywhere, at any time.

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Easy Beginner Yoga Poses

 

Find a Quiet Place

Adapt your practice to fit your location—you’re probably not going to want to sit on the floor in your office. Instead, you can do the seated poses in your office chair. When traveling, try to find a quiet corner of the airport to practice while youre waiting for your flight. Or take a break from driving and do a few poses at a rest area.

Seated Pose with Full Yogic Breath

You can do this in a chair if you need to.

  1. Take a comfortable and tall seated position.
  2. As you inhale through your nose, feel your breath washing up your spine. First your diaphragm and belly fill with Prana, then the breath moves into the lower half of your lungs, and finally into your upper chest.
  3. As you exhale, feel the breath washing down your body. It releases first from your upper chest, then your lower lungs, and finally your diaphragm and belly.
  4. Make your inhalation and exhalation even in length. Your epiglottis, inside your throat, constricts slightly so your breath even sounds like ocean waves washing up and down the shore.

Forward Bend Flow

You can do this in a chair.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Bow forward, hinging at your hips.
  2. Touch the floor with your fingertips, hands on either side of your feet. If you can’t touch the floor, rest your hands on your legs.
  3. Inhale and open to receive your fullness, lifting to a flat back with your chest parallel to the floor. Your arms lengthen as you extend.
  4. As your body swells from the inside out, extend your heart out in offering, elongating your spine.
  5. Keeping this expansiveness, exhale and bow in a self-honoring fold forward.
  6. Continue this a few times: inhale and lift; exhale and bow.

Child’s Pose

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Bring your buttocks back to your heels, and release your head onto the floor (or toward it if you can’t make it all the way to the floor).
  3. Your arms are over your head, along the floor. Place your fingertips on the floor.
  4. First, plug into the energy that feeds all things by drawing from your fingers into your heart.
  5. Keeping your shoulders in their sockets, create an offering. Stretch from your heart back out through your arms.
  6. Draw your buttocks back to your heels to open your whole spine. Enjoy the freedom of your breath as you elongate your lungs. Hold for at least five breaths.

Downward Facing Dog

You can do this standing or with your hands against a wall.

  1. From Child’s Pose, curl your toes under. As you inhale, receive your birthright and draw that energy from your fingers into your heart, allowing your shoulder blades to come flat onto your back as your heart is strengthened and nourished.
  2. By lifting your elbows and armpits away from the floor, engaging your shoulders will be easier. Keeping your shoulders on your back, exhale and allow your energetic heart (sternum) to soften graciously.
  3. Stretch your legs straight, reaching your hips up and back.
  4. From your heart, offer back your strength as you extend out through your hands and elongate your whole body.
  5. Extend your heels back and down. Hold for five breaths to one minute.

Mountain Pose/Tadasana

  1. Stand with your feet an inch or two apart and parallel. Open to receive your inherent fullness, allowing your breath to fill your body as your chest lifts and expands. As you exhale, your outer body softens over your internal brightness.
  2. Align with your innate strength; isometrically hug your legs in toward each other; and draw from your feet up into the core of your pelvis.
  3. Keeping this engagement, turn your thighs slightly in toward each other and back. The top of your thighs move back and the back of your pelvis broadens in Inner Spiral.
  4. Scoop your tailbone and extend out through your legs down into the Four Corners of each foot.
  5. Place your hands together over your heart, and offer out your intention that you set for your practice.

Warrior I or Lunge

  1. From Mountain Pose/Tadasana, step your right foot forward, bending your right knee over your right ankle. In the full version of this pose (see Warrior I Variation), your back foot is completely grounded. If your back foot is parallel to the wall behind you, turn your toes slightly in, as it will be easier to square off your hips.
  2. Drawing your feet in toward each other and up into your pelvis, reach your left hip forward. As you line up physically, you align with your intention.
  3. Balance hugging in with extending out from your pelvis through your feet, pressing them into the earth. Extend your arms up to the sky, reaching out that desire.
  4. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Don’t forget to do Warrior I on the other side.

Extreme Side Stretch

This pose counterbalances sitting for long periods.

  1. Standing in Mountain Pose/Tadasana, step your right foot 3 feet forward. Adjust your width so your back heel remains on the floor.
  2. Isometrically hug your legs in toward each other. Reach your left hip forward, and pull your right hip crease back and down to square off your hips.
  3. Open to your breath, and bow forward, lengthening your spine.
  4. Place your hands on the floor on either side of your right foot. If you can’t reach, place your hands on your shin or ankle.
  5. Keep your shoulder blades flat on your back as your heart reaches out its desire for absolute freedom forward. Be mindful not to hyperextend your knees.
  6. Try holding this for at least five full breaths before releasing. Repeat on the opposite side.

Cobra Variation

Do this standing.

  1. Lie face down on the floor. Align with your power, hugging your shins in and down, scooping your tailbone toward your toes to engage your legs.
  2. Interlace your fingers behind you. If you have tight shoulders and cannot reach your hands, try holding onto a strap with each hand. Place your hands as close together as possible on the strap.
  3. As you inhale, root your pelvis down and lift your chest. Feed the pose by drawing from your toes into your pelvis and then extending from the pelvis back out from the toes.
  4. Celebrate the gift of life, your heart shining out. To enhance this celebration, you can also draw energetically from your fingers into your heart balancing the action by extending out through your fingers and heart. Hold for a few breaths.
  5. Can you melt your heart without losing the lift in your chest?

Simple Seated Pose

  1. Sitting up on your blanket or pillow, bend your knees, crossing your legs at your ankles or shins. Your hands rest comfortably on your thighs. Focus on your breath, and allow it to fill you.
  2. Hugging your legs in toward each other, gently turn your thighs in toward each other and down toward the floor. Now scoop your tailbone, and you’ll feel more back support.
  3. Continue drawing your tailbone down as you expand again, extending through your crown. Your sternum lifts, and your shoulders and ribs soften.
  4. Focus on your breath, and create an intention for your practice.

Simple Seated Twist

  1. Sit in Simple Seated Pose, using a blanket if your lower back needs support or if your hips are tight.
  2. Place your right fingertips on the floor (or blanket) directly behind your right hip. Rest your left hand on your outer right knee.
  3. Hug your legs in as you receive your inherent fullness. With this inhalation, root your tailbone down and lengthen through your crown.
  4. As you exhale, turn to the right and twist, releasing toxins, stale air, and tension.
  5. Each time you inhale, draw in your legs and sit up taller.
  6. Each time you exhale, move into a deeper twist.
  7. After five or so breaths, twist to the other side.

Wide-Legged Forward Bend with Hands Clasped Behind Back

  1. Stand with your legs wide apart and your feet parallel. As you inhale, your heart and lungs expanding, let your arms ride the wave of your breath, interlacing your fingers behind you, palms facing each other.
  2. Isometrically hug your legs in toward each other. Turn your thighs slightly in and back so your buttocks widen behind you.
  3. Keeping the top of your thighs back, scoop your tailbone and extend through your legs into your feet.
  4. Let your heart lead the way as you bow forward, honoring your uniqueness, stretching your arms away from your back.
  5. Enjoy your breath fully, holding the pose for five breaths or longer.

Meditation

  1. Sit in a comfortable seated position. If you need support, sit on a blanket, chair, or even with your back against a wall. Sit up tall, with your hands resting on your thighs and close your eyes.
  2. As you inhale, open to receive your fullness. Your heart and chest expand as your spine lengthens.
  3. Draw the back of your ears behind you until the base of your skull is over your tailbone. Your shoulder blades magnetize to the back of your heart.
  4. Keeping your internal brightness, allow your outer body to soften. Your skin releases and your shoulders and ribs soften.
  5. Bring your awareness to your breath. Focus on your nostrils where the breath enters and leaves. Allow this sensation and the sound of your breath to be at the forefront. Move all other sounds, thoughts, and distractions to the background. Your mind will wander. When it does, acknowledge the thought without judgment and then let it go with your next exhalation. Return to the sensation of your breath with your next inhalation. Continue concentrating on your breath for a few minutes or more.

Savasana

Can do seated if necessary.

  1. Lie flat on your back. Start out in a prone Mountain Pose/Tadasana, with your legs together and your body straight. Your shoulder blades are flat on your back, and your arms out to your sides with your palms facing up.
  2. Close your eyes. Focus your awareness on your breath.
  3. As you exhale, allow your body to relax and let go. Your feet will probably drop apart. With each inhalation, your body receives. With each exhalation, your body becomes heavier as it releases fully.
  4. After settling into your breath, you might want to concentrate on progressively relaxing your whole body, each part at a time. Start by relaxing your feet, and work your way up your body to your head.
  5. When you finished this progressive relaxation, soften into your breath and into this moment. This is your time to receive. You have nothing to do and nowhere to go. Just be.

Release the pose gently.

Now, don’t you feel great? Do this session any time you need to de-stress, stretch, and feel better. Namaste!

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