Here is Cat, our resident Meridian Yoga Teacher, as well as Shiatsu Practitioner, demonstrating some quick and simply yoga mudras and postures to help you release your stress and anxiety.
Bring your palms to touch in Prayer position at chest level.
Then swivel your hands so that your fingertips point toward opposite elbows, with your right palm facing your heart.
Bend your fingers and slide your hands across each other until your fingers lock. Keep the shoulders softening down the ribs at the back and the spine growing toward the sky. Repeat on the other side. This can be done sitting (on the floor or a chair) or standing. Take a few breathes in each Mudra.
Benefits of Ganesha Mudra are: to lift your spirits, boost your confidence and to relieve stress and tension.
It is named after the Hindu deity who removes obstacles!
Garuda Mudra / Eagle Seal
Sitting or standing, turn your hands so that the palms face up while keeping your elbows dropped towards the ground. Cross your right hand over your left, clasping your thumbs. Creating an Eagle image. Take a few breathes here.
Benefits of Garuda Mudra/Eagle Seal are: to cultivate perseverance, commitment and discipline and to help balance your energy.
Garuda Mudra is named after the eagle ridden by that Vishnu, the lord of preservation.
Kneeling on the floor - if ankles are tight please use a rolled up blanket under the top of your ankles and possibly one on the floor to cushion the lower legs. Touch your big toes together and send you pelvis towards your heels, then separate your knees to about the width of your hips - or play around with where feels comfortable for you.
Exhale and lie your torso down between/on your thighs. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and allow the front of your pelvis/hip bones to nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck. You can place your forehead onto the floor or play with letting your head turn from each side.
Lying your hands on the floor alongside your torso, with palms up, try releasing the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Feel how the weight of the front of the shoulders draws the shoulder blades wide across your back. You can also explore moving your arms forward, palms on the floor, lengthening away from your head.
Balasana is a resting pose - try staying and breathing for 30 seconds to a few minutes. To come out of the pose, first lengthen the front of your torso: head gently lifting off the floor, then with an inhalation walk your hands on the floor and up your thighs to bring you upright back to a kneeling position. Or you can bring the palms to the ground, so you can press into your hands and come up onto all fours/'table top'.
Benefits include: gently stretching the hips, thighs and ankles; calming the brain; helping to relieve stress and fatigue. It also helps to relieve back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported - perhaps with a bolster.
bala = child / asana = posture or pose
To end - rest comfortably with your legs up against the wall.