No time for yoga?

Movement is so important for us. I think we all know that human beings weren’t meant to be sedentary and stagnant – we are meant to move!

Sadly, our lives have become busier and busier. An eight-hour workday never really is “eight hours”, and sometimes our work bleeds into our weekends as well. This leaves little time for family, friends, let alone exercising and movement.

However, if we let ourselves go, it is most likely to our detriment – whether short- or long-term. Our body doesn’t only contain stress occurring from our physical activities (and non-activities!), but also our emotions.

Emotions and our body.

We retain emotions in our bodies, especially our fascia.

The physical response to emotion is through the soft tissue, … The fascia is the emotional body. . . . Ideally, feelings are felt in the total body—emotions travel through the fascial web. We then interpret the physiological sensation as anger, affection, love, interest and so forth. . . . The reason your neck can’t straighten and lengthen may be because of the shock of being continually bullied in childhood. Physical work will only partially open that problem unless there is recognition that there may be an emotional origin.

Shultz, R.L. and Feitis, R., “The Endless Web: Fascial Anatomy and Physical Reality”

So it’s best to try to get in some time for some movement. Here’s the lowdown from me on the four main areas we should work on during our movement – whether a workout or a yoga practice.

The core.

The core is our powerhouse of mind and body. It keeps our body upright, holds our organs in place, maintains the integrity of our spine and minimises postural deviation when healthy.

Our core also stores our emotional energy to shine, to have a strong personality and confidence.

Rotational movement.

This is an extension of general core work, as rotation is one of the key functional movements that the core enables us do. Twists in yoga poses helps us with spinal mobility and back health, helps our organs to digest and detox better, and helps to rid us of stuck energy.

Heart-openers / Backbends.

Yoga backbends or heart-openers are one of the movements that most other fitness workouts do not include (except Pilates – but I count Pilates as an extension of yoga, so … 🤷🏻‍♂️). These yoga poses and movements are incredible and work on relieving stress, opening up our airways and also strengthening our back.

Opening up our chest is paramount, now that most of us are sitting in front of our computers working virtually. An open chest / heart also helps us to breathe better, and helps to energise us and lift our mood.

Backbends also help us feel more courageous, be more willing to be vulnerable, and helps us to relate – the last of which is so important, now in this time of pandemic when we have so few opportunities to socialise and commune.

The hips.

Our hips are one of the places we tend to store a lot of tension and stress. It supports our spine and is the intersection between our upper and lower body. If we are sitting all day, it is in a shortened position for an extended time.

Our hips are also the body part that helps us to either move forward / freeze / run away, and emotionally we can store a lot of stale energy there.

This is why opening up our hips is so important, especially during these troubled times. Opening up our hips also energetically helps us to consolidate our identity.

You don’t need much time!

Here’s a short yoga sequence that hits all four areas outlined above.

Practise this everyday for a week and let me know your experience in the comments.