Let’s face it – from now until January we are in a haze of food coma after booze coma. Rich foods we don’t normally put into our system are haphazardly thrown in our faces and it’s the nature of the seasonal beast that we partake. As much as as we tell ourselves that we’re going to take it slow and just have a tiny bit of each thing – rarely do we stick to that.
So if you’re not in this predicament of having a full belly of turkey and all the fixings, FEAR NOT!! There’s a yoga routine for that my friends 🙂
I’ve designed post indulgent meal stretches to aid your digestion, intestinal flow. stress relief from cooking (or hanging with unexpected relatives) and bloat.
You can plop right down in front of your TV for a relaxing easy start to feeling awesome. Kneel on your hands and knees, hands shoulder width apart. Sit your hips back onto your heels as you extend your torso forward, lying your stomach on your thighs. If you want a deeper stretch you can spread your knees apart and allow your forehead to rest gently on the floor. Stretch your arms over your head and rest them out in front of you. Relax any tension you may be holding in your jaw and face. Open up between your shoulder blades as you breathe.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Relieves back pain
Stretches ankles, back and hips
Begin on your hand and knees with your hands should er distance apart and your knees hip distance apart. Tops of your feet on the floor. Align your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Find a neutral pelvis, neither tucking or arching your back. Spread fingers wide, grounding down through your thumb and index fingers. Drop your head down as you round draw your belly into your spine. Gaze down at the floor or toward your navel. Hold for 1-5 breaths.
On your inhalation, lift your sternum and arch your upper back lift your sitting bones toward the ceiling. Arch your back and draw your stomach muscles toward your spine to keep from sinking in your lower back. (try to avoid letting your stomach hang down). Hold for 1-5 breaths.
This dynamic flow jumpstarts your digestion, stretches chest, neck and spine, and strengthens the abdomen and arms.
3. Downward Dog
This pose strengthens the entire body… begin on your hands and knees, with your hands aligned under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck your toes under, and “walk” your hands forward about palms distance in front of your shoulders. With hands and toes planted, lift your hips up as you straighten your legs and draw your heels toward the floor. Press your chest toward your thighs, and bring your head down between your arms. Lengthen up through your tailbone and keep your thighs slightly internally rotated, finding a neutral pelvis. Gaze between your feet or toward your navel. Ain to hold for at least 5-10 breaths.
- Strengthens arms and legs
- Stretches spine, hamstrings, calves, and arches of feet
- Aids Digestion
- Helps to relieve menstrual cramps
- Helps to relieve headaches
4. Standing Forward Bend
Walk forward from plank so your feet come in between your hands. Shift your weight to your heels and lift your tailbone up towards the ceiling. Inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale as you fold forward. This will feel so good to let everything go. Grab on to opposite elbows and hang heavy, maybe gently swaying back and forth. Take precautions if you have lower back issues.
- Stretches hamstrings, hips and spine
- Strengthens thighs and knees
- Reduces stress
- Aids Digestion
5. Wide Legged Forward Bend
Step 3-4 feet apart in the middle of the mat with your hands on your hips. Exhale hinge forward from your hips until your palms are on the floor (or on blocks) Keep your knees soft. Walk your hands back until they are in line with your heels. Bring the crown of you head toward the floor. Shift your weight to the balls of your feet. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
- Strengthens the spine
- Stretches inner and outer hips
- Released groin
- Calms mind and body
6. Revolved Triangle Pose
Coming up from the previous pose, Turn your right toes about 45 degrees so they face the upper right corner and walk your left foot to the left several inches – coming into heel to heel alignment. Inhale both arms above your head into upward solute. Exhale and bring your left hand to your left hip. Inhale and extend your right arm as high as possible, finding length along the right side of your body and hinge forward with a flat back as you twist to the left. Place your right hand on to the floor on the outside of your left foot (or block). Reach your left arm up to the ceiling, broadening across your collarbones. Exhaling, twist the right side of your torso to the left and gaze toward the thumb of your upper hand. Hold for 1-5 breaths and continue to square your pelvis. Switch sides.
- Aids digestion
- Stretches hamstrings, hips, shoulders, and arms
- Strengthens thighs and core
- Improves balance
7. Boat Pose
Come down to the floor and sit with your knees in front of you. Lift your feet up off the floor in line with your knees so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Extend your arms forward with palms facing inward. Find your balance. Slowly try to straighten your legs so that they are in a 45 degree angle. Squeeze your legs together and lift your chest while dropping your shoulders back. Engage your stomach muscles and hold for 1-5 breaths.
- Strengthens stomach, back and hip flexors
- Aids digestion
8. Knees to Chest
Lie on your back and on an exhalation bend both knees into your chest. Grasp your shins. Hug your knees closer. You can gently roll back and forth – holding for 1-5 breaths.
- Aids Digestion
- Helps to alleviate lower back pain
9. Reclining Twist
Transitioning from the previous pose, extend your arms into a T position with your palms facing downward. Drop both of your knees to the right and hold onto them with your right hand. Twist your upper back around to the left. Turn your head to the left and gaze toward your left fingertips. Hold for 1-5 breaths and switch sides.
- Encourages intestinal flow
- Aids Digestion
- Stretches the spine
10. Corpse Pose
Surrender to the quieting of the mind and body. it’s been a big day and you deserve this. Release your arms and legs, hands and feet out wide. Ensure that your shoulders are fully supporting your spine. Let your eyes, jaw, tongue and throat soften.
- Encourages deep relaxation
- Calms the mind and body
- Decreases depression
- Reduces anxiety, headache and insomnia
- Helps to treat high blood pressure
I hope you can take 15-20 minutes to feel the benefits of these poses before you crawl into bed and maybe even brace for the insane black Friday sales. Happy Thanksgiving!!!