This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.
When you feel stressed, your body becomes tense as a reflex reaction. Imagine a tug-of-war between muscle and mind. When your body succumbs to stress, your neck and shoulders become strained. And if you are guilty of sitting all day? Expect a stiff back and shortened hip flexors.
Instead of relaxing for a few minutes while meditating, stretch yourself into Zen with this two-minute yoga flow. "Short physical breaks improve all body and mind functions," says Kristin Condon, yoga instructor and producer at Daily Burn 365. Even better, "be creative! Make shapes and become stupid, "says Condon. "It helps to change your perspective and sets your body in motion in a new way."
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Stretch with this 2 ̵
1; Minute Yoga Flow into the Zen Zone
Condon's Meditative Flow includes three poses that will help you to sensitize your tense body parts and to learn how to use your breath to release them. The result? You feel more relaxed, rejuvenated – and ready to face the challenges ahead of you.
Condon recommends starting this river in the crescent lunge (high lunge) to stretch the legs, align the spine, and balance. "This is a wonderful counter-position after sitting for hours at a desk where you're likely to be bent over a computer," says Condon. Take three to five breaths for each pose and remember to keep breathing during the transition.
1. Crescent Lung
This heart-opening posture helps lift your tension from the chest as you stretch your back and legs and balance.
Instruction: Stand with your hips apart at a hip width. Step forward with your right foot, align your right knee just above the heel. Hold your left foot with your heel raised but your toes firmly on the ground. Stand up with your upper body straight and hold your hands behind your back. Deepen your stretching by stretching your back, pressing your shoulders down and lifting your chest to the sky. Look up and exhale a few times.
. 2 Warrior III
Would you like to order in the meeting room? This attitude gives you the backbone by working your entire buttock, which tends to weaken as you sit for hours. "Be an office warrior as you release work-related stress and anxiety with this attitude that focuses, focuses and energizes," says Condon.
Instruction: From the high lunge position you need to balance your weight on your right leg and lift your left leg so that it becomes parallel to the floor. Bend your left foot and imagine pushing the wall behind you. Keep your hips upright while bringing your upper body forward and arms outstretched in front of you. You can bring your hands together and point your index fingers forward or have them in Mudra (prayer). Hold this pose for about 30 seconds before returning to a crescent-shaped lunge and bringing your left foot forward to hit your right foot.
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3. Side Bend
The key to getting the most out of this pose is pulling energy from the floor through your leg seam, your torso, and your index fingers, says Condon. "Lateral bends help with breathing by stretching the intercostal muscles. Better breath means more oxygen in your blood and brain, which reduces stress, "she notes.
Instruction: Place your feet and hands in mountain posture ( tadasana )) and interlock your fingers. Point your forefingers in the sky. While keeping your feet firmly on the floor, lean slightly to the left and exhale for five minutes before changing sides.