Creating calm in the midst of madness and movement
The classic picture on the ‘gram accompanied by the envy-enducing hashtag #OOTD or office-of-the-day depicts the digital nomad lifestyle to be all beach and lifestyle nirvana..
Yet if you’ve even managed to keep this lifestyle going long enough to make it more than a pipedream, you are probably aware that it easily involves hours hunched over a macbook oblivious to the beach and palm trees at your doorstep. Here are three effective and simple yoga postures you can do whether on a beach chair or waiting for your next flight.
1. Seated Eagle pose (Garudasana)
A combination of hunching over your macbook and hours in the surf will gift you with habitually tense and sore shoulders and a tight back. This is my favorite posture in the office or on a plane/train as you can do it even seated to loosen everything up.
- In a seated position, inhale to extend the arms straight out to the sides.
- Exhale and give yourself a big hug, crossing the right elbow over the left.
- Then place either the backs of the hands together or the palms of the hands together if you have the space.
- With your hands at the center of your face, relax your shoulders and keep the spine long.
- Stretches the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back
- Improves concentration and focus
- Improves balance
- Relieves tension in shoulders and base of neck
- Improves upper back posture
2. Cat/cow Pose (Marjariasana-Bitilisana)
While Cow Tilt and Cat Stretch may look “easy,” it is a powerful pose for mind and body. The breath-synchronized movement increases coordination, fosters intentional focus, and invigorates prana (the vital life force in the body)as well as embues physical benefits in a simple opposing stretch.
- Sit on the edge of your chair with the spine long and both feet on the floor.
- Place your hands on your knees or the tops of your thighs.
- On an inhale, arch your spine and roll your shoulders down and back, bringing your shoulder blades onto your back. This is cow position.
- On an exhale, round your spine and drop your chin to your chest, letting the shoulder and head come forward. This is cat position.
- Continue moving between cow on the inhalations and cat on the exhalations for five breaths.
- Increased emotional balance and stability of the mind.
- Lengthens the spine
- Relieves stress from the back
- Increases flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and spine
- Stretches the muscles of the hips, back, abdomen, chest, and lungs.
3. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
This is one of the most recognized poses in Yoga and is one of the first standing postures introduced to new students to work on balance and grounding.
Even just a few breaths in Tree Pose help ground you if you are having a whirlwind week. It creates peace in your mind and in your body, and is a wonderful way to slow down when life gets overwhelming.
Curbing anxiety and stress is just one of the emotional responses this posture encourages, and it naturally cools you off and balances the fight or flight response.Take Tree Pose first thing in the morning to help deepen your ability to concentrate on your mat, and in life.
- Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your arms at your sides.
- Shift your weight to your left foot.
- Bend your right knee, then reach down and clasp your right inner ankle.
- Use your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh.
- Do not rest your foot against your knee, only above or below it.
- Then, press your palms together in prayer position at your chest, with your thumbs resting on your sternum.
- Fix your gaze gently on one, unmoving point in front of you.
- Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
- Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
- Improves sense of balance