You’re confused. I get it. Yoga? Psoriasis? WTF?
We all know Psoriasis loves stress. It’s like a fat guy finding an unlimited buffet for Free. Whaaaaaat? Get me on that line! (sorry, that was my inner fat, buffet-loving person). So how can we relieve it?
I can totally give you a list of 100 things. O.K. maybe like 28-ish. But my point is that yoga is a definite stress reliever. A According to a survey conducted by the International Journal Of Yoga, “of nearly 4,000 people, Australian researchers found that more than 58 percent of yoga practitioners started yoga for stress-reducing benefits, and nearly 80 percent continued in their yoga practice for this benefit.” Can anyone say #TeamYoga ?
Here are 5 Yoga poses/techniques to start your day (or finish your day) with. A little body bending never hurt anybody. Never mind, I take that back.
This pose looks easy, because it’s basically just standing. But it’s the basis for all of the other standing poses and inversions. If you do this actively, you will be working your torso and legs, and you will be grounding yourself. This can be great for confidence and easing anxiety.
- Stand with your big toes barely touching, and your heels slightly apart. A good way to gauge your stance is to see if your second toes are parallel. Press into all four corners of your feet: big toe, little toe, right side heel, left side heel. As you push into your feet, feel how that engages your entire leg and keeps those muscles active.
- Take a deep breath and roll your shoulders up and back, releasing them down, so your shoulder blades are resting toward each other and your neck is long. Take a few deep breaths here. Close your eyes if you like.
2. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
When you’re ready to move on, take a deep breath.
- On your inhale, lift your arms to the sides and up, over your head. On your exhale, release your arms (either in front of your body or out to the side, like a swan dive) as you fold your torso over your legs. On the first time through, have at least a slight bend in your knees. No matter how flexible you are, your hamstrings will be cold when starting out, and you’ll want to be gentle with them.
- As you relax into the pose more, begin to straighten your legs as far as feels good. Anything that pinches or is a shooting pain should immediately stop your movement. Let gravity do the work here; don’t pull yourself down and try to force the fold. You can put yours hands on your shins, your feet, or the floor. This passively lengthens your spine and your hamstrings, and it’s also a great way to work on balance.
3. Plank Pose (Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana)
This is a very active pose that works all the muscles of your front body.
- From Forward Fold, put your hands flat on the floor, bending your knees as much as needed to do so. Step one leg at a time back, until you are in a high plank pose.
- Press into your hands, keep your legs parallel and engaged, and pull your bellybutton toward your spine. Take a few deep breaths here, working your core and your arms.
Press into your hands, keep your legs parallel and engaged, and pull your bellybutton toward your spine. Take a few deep breaths here, working your core and your arms.
4. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose elongates your spine, stretches your back leg muscles, and aids in digestion. Since it’s a mild inversion, it can release stress, help with headaches, and calm the nervous system.
- From Plank Pose, push into your hands and lift your hips up and back on the inhale. One thing that can be tricky with this pose is, again, keeping your shoulders engaged but not working too hard, and keeping a neutral spine.
- Your legs should be straight, and your heels working toward the floor. There will probably be some space between your heels and the floor. You could be very flexible, but if, for instance, your legs are a bit on the long side, you probably won’t have your heels all the way to the floor. That’s fine. Keep your legs active and heels reaching toward the ground. Your first time in this pose, pedal out your feet a little to warm up your leg muscles.