Craft show season is getting close, and that means all of you green crafty biz owners are probably working overtime to get merch ready for the upcoming fall shows! Any sort of repetitive action is tough on your body, and crafting is no different. Rather than pop an over the counter pain medication, why not take some time to relax and stretch the soreness away with yoga poses targeted at the places that take the most abuse?
As with any new exercise, please be cautious and consult your doctor before trying anything too terribly strenuous.
This week, we’re taking a look at the aches and pains that come with metal- and wood-work. All of that sawing, filing, hammering, and drilling is rough on your arms and shoulders, and you’re probably feeling pretty groggy after focusing for so long. Here are some yoga poses to help you bounce back!
Start out in a seated position with your legs crossed. Close your eyes, and imagine a string coming up your spine and pulling the top of your head toward the sky. Rest your hands, palms facing upwards, on your knees, and let your thumb and pointer fingers lightly touch. Stay here in easy pose, breathing in and out through your nose, for a few moments.
Now, bring your feet together and let your knees fall apart to the sides. Gently lay back, keeping your feet and legs where they are. Try to get your back flat on the floor, then lay your arms by your sides, palms facing up. Stay here and breathe in reclined bound angle pose for around 15 breaths. No need to push yourself here. Just relax and let gravity do its thing.
Roll over onto your stomach with your legs straight an your arms by your sides. On your next exhale, bend your knees grab hold of your feet. As you inhale, raise your thighs and chest off of the floor, arching your back. Press up and back with your feet and feel the stretch through the front of your body and in your arms. Tilt your head back slightly and gaze toward the ceiling. Stay here in upward bow (pictured above) for 10 breaths.
Come back to a seated position with your legs out in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing your foot as close to your butt as you can. On your next inhale, reach your arms forward and then bring your arms behind you. You’ll want to nestle your right knee in your right armpit. Try to clasp your hands together behind you, then let your head hang forward. Breathe here in Marichyasana I for about 10 breaths. Repeat this pose on the other side.
Come to seated once again with your legs out in front of you. This time, bend the right knee but bring your foot so it’s just beside the left knee. Inhale, and as you exhale rotate your spine and place your right hand on the floor behind the left buttock. Now, bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee with your elbow bend and your palm open wide. Turn your head gently to look behind you, and stay here in Marichyasana III for 10-12 breaths. Repeat this posture on the other side.
Bring your legs back out in front of you. Cross your legs so that your knees are stacked on top of each other by bringing your left foot by the right buttock, then crossing the right leg over and bringing the right foot by the left buttock. If you’re having trouble stacking your knees, put a rolled up towel or small pillow under your butt for some additional support. Now, sweep your right arm out to the side, then behind you. Bend your elbow so that the back of your right hand is resting on your upper back. Lift your left arm up, and bend your left elbow so your palm is now resting on your upper back. Try to clasp your hands together behind you. You may not be able to at first, and that’s OK. Just stay here in cow face pose, feeling that good stretch in your shoulders, for about 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Bring your feet out in front of you again, placing your palms on the floor just behind you. As you inhale, lift your bottom off of the floor, flattening your back into a sort of reverse pushup. Let your head relax backwards, and stay here in reverse plank for 10 breaths.
Come to standing with your feet about 4′ apart. Put your hands on your hips, and as you inhale, dive forward. Release your hands to the floor and settle into this forward bend. Once you’re feeling comfortable here, grab onto your ankles and relax here in wide legged forward bend for around 30 seconds. To come out of this pose, first lift your head, then bring your hands back to your hips and come up with a flat back.
Bring your feet together so you’re standing with your feet just under your hips. On your next inhale, lift your right foot off of the floor and grab onto your right knee. Focus on a spot out in front of you. Once you’ve found your balance here, lift your knee a bit higher so that you can grab onto your right ankle. Slowly place your right foot onto your left inner thigh. Now, bring your arms up over your head, stretching toward the sky. Stay here in tree stand for about 12 breaths. If you lose your balance, no worries! Just get back into the pose. With practice, your balance will get better and better. Repeat tree stand on the other leg.
No yoga practice is complete without a final relaxation. Lay on your back for a few moments with your eyes closed. Notice how your body feels different after your practice, notice your breath. Try to carry this feeling with you even after your practice is over.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo via My Yoga Online