The 5 Stress-Reducing Yoga Moves Every New Yorker Needs to Be Doing
Poses to keep you sane in the city
Some days, living in the city is awesome. Other days, it’s so stressful and exhausting and frustrating, you’re seriously tempted to give up and move into your parents’ basement in Missouri.
On impossible days, don’t flop into bed with a pint of Davey’s Ice Cream and cry. Bethany Lyons, co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga, has five seriously stress-busting yoga moves to help you relax and regroup.
You’ll be back to brunching and shopping in no time.
AFTER NAVIGATING PENN STATION DURING RUSH HOUR
The pose: Side Plank, which will bring your concentration back to center when you’re feeling scattered.
How to do it: Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, then bring your feet together and roll to the outer edge of your right foot. Plant your right hand on the ground and lift your left hand to the ceiling, keeping your legs together and feet flexed. Hold for five deep breaths in and out through the nose. Switch to the opposite side and repeat until you feel centered.
AFTER SCHLEPPING A 30-POUND BAG 15 BLOCKS
The pose: Dancer’s Pose, which will relieve your aching shoulders and open your heart.
How to do it: Start in Mountain Pose, then drop your right arm down with your palm facing out. Transfer the weight onto your left foot and kick your right leg back as you hold onto your right foot, moving into a standing backbend. Lift the quadriceps of the standing leg so it is firm and press the foot down from all four corners. Kick into the back hand to drive your posture and lift your chest. Take ten deep breaths, then repeat on the other side. Alternate as necessary until you feel relaxed.
AFTER CLOMPING AROUND IN HEELS ALL DAY
The pose: Warrior Two, to stretch and strengthen your thighs, calves and ankles and give your feet some much-needed R&R.
How to do it: Step into a lunge with your right foot forward and your left foot behind, pivoted on the floor parallel to the back edge of your mat. Reach your right arm in front and your left arm behind, parallel to the floor, with your palms down. Hold for 60 seconds while breathing in and out through the nose. Follow the same steps on the other side and repeat as necessary.
AFTER GETTING TRAPPED UNDERGROUND ON THE G TRAIN
The pose: Reverse Warrior, to reenergize and find your center when absolutely nothing is going right.
How to do it: Standing in Warrior Two (see above), open your hips and shoulders to the left side of the room and drop your arms parallel to the floor. Flip the front palm and reach the right hand up toward the ceiling while stretching up and back, letting the back arm drape down. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Continue until you feel centered.
AFTER THE WORLD’S WORST DAY AT WORK
The pose: A Handstand, to help you rediscover your inner five-year-old.
How to do it: This one sounds tough, but trust us, you can do it. Bend at the waist, press your palms on the ground and walk your feet back into Downward Facing Dog. Press the balls of your feet into the floor to raise your heels high. Keep your hands planted flat into the mat and with straight arms, walk forward on your toes until your shoulders are stacked over your wrist creases. Hold for three to five breaths. When you feel secure, lift your right leg straight up in the air. Gently kick the left leg to meet the right leg. Practice against the wall, holding ten seconds at a time. Bam, inner child released.