With the holidays fast approaching, it can become more challenging to find some peace and stillness in our lives. Our senses may become heightened, and we may begin to feel overwhelmed. Yoga is a great way to rid yourself of extra stress and tension. As we move towards the busy holiday season, taking the time to practice yoga can become a challenge. So, even if you can find a minute to yourself to draw inward and come into a pose, you are doing yourself and your nervous system a huge favour.
One posture that is great for relieving stress and anxiety is Uttanasana, also known as Standing Forward Bend. This posture is also great for anyone who is looking to soothe the nervous system.
From Tadasana (Mountain pose), stand with your feet either close together or apart, allowing yourself to feel balanced.
Inhale your arms up overhead, extending from the soles of your feet all the way up to your fingertips. Get long and lengthen, keeping length in your spine. As you exhale, bend forward from your hips (not your belly), with a gentle bend in the knees, bringing your belly to your thighs. Your arms can come to your shins, toes, blocks, or the floor. In this position, you are improving your digestive system, opening up the hips and groins, as well as stimulating your liver and kidneys. This posture will also aid in relieving headaches, insomnia and fatigue. Hows that for a perfect holiday combo! As you continue to fold forward, you can begin to release the straight spine and allow for a bit of curvature to open up the back body. Stay here for as many breaths as you have time for, and are comfortable sustaining.
To release from the posture, bend your knees a little more deeply and slowly roll yourself back to standing, your head being the last thing to come up.
*For those of you who may be pregnant, it is suggested that you widen your stance and keep your knees bent. For those of you with a back injury, also keep your knees bent. This posture is not recommended for people with low blood pressure.
Enjoy the posture, hopefully it brings you back to a place of balance!
After learning first-hand the impact that yoga can have on your life, Olivia knew she wanted to explore this path further. Over the years, she absorbed as much information as she could. In 2013, she took the Street Yoga teacher training in hopes of being able to offer more to the youth she serves through her role as Youth Worker. This training left her wanting more. When the opportunity came to do the teacher training, she knew she could not pass it up.
Olivia is a mom to two boys, and because of them she wants to make the world a beautiful place. She strives to lead by example, and do her best to maintain a yogic lifestyle. She has dedicated a large portion of her life to empowering others, especially some of our most vulnerable members of society. It is her hope, that she can help others find their authentic selves. Olivia believes we all have an important role to play and that being able to bring her passion for life and yoga to a greater audience is her own contribution to society.