Stressed? Here’s an idea to help you relax...
Your email inbox is out of control. Your smartphone is ringing nonstop. Your manager is asking about that report – again. On top of all that, you have family responsibilities and your friends want to see you. If this resembles your life at all, you might be stressed! We have an idea that might help you relax and quiet some of the craziness: hot yoga – fireside, of course!
Almost anyone can do simple yoga poses, and they can be quite beneficial to your mental and physical health. Yoga involves the mind and the body, combining controlled stretching exercises with breathing and relaxation. It’s been proven to reduce stress and even lower blood pressure.
Like yoga, a gently burning fire can contribute greatly to calming frazzled nerves. So, why not combine them for the best experience? It’s easy. Fire up your Heat & Glo fireplace, grab a yoga mat, put on some soft music, and follow these instructions for simple yoga poses. (Please note: when doing these and all yoga poses, it’s really important to breathe.)
Sit straight on the floor and stretch your legs out in front of you. Bend your left leg and put your left heel at your groin. Then, slowly bend your right leg and rest your right heel near your pubic bone, as shown below. In this pose, sit as straight as possible and relax your shoulders. When you’ve achieved the pose, put your hands on your knees facing up. Shut your eyes and hold the pose for a few breaths. Open your eyes, gaze at the fire, then relax and repeat.
Lay on your stomach with your legs together, arms at our sides, and your chin touching the floor. Squeeze your thighs and gluteus maximus (your buttocks!). Lift your head off the floor without using your arms, keeping your neck and back straight. Then use your arms to lift your upper torso off the floor, pressing your chest forward while looking first at the fire, and then at the ceiling. Hold this position for a few breaths, then slowly lower your upper torso back down to the floor, and put your hands at your sides. While in this resting position, you can relieve tension in your back by turning your head and resting it on the floor in both directions, and by gently rocking your hips gently from side to side. Then repeat the pose from the beginning.
It helps to have shoes on for this pose. Position yourself on your hands and knees on the floor. Your hands should be under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Lower your elbows to the floor and keep your forearms parallel to each other. Step back with your feet, one at a time, balancing on your toes. Keep your head in line with your spine and try not to let your hips sink down. Hold this pose for a few breathes, and then drop your knees to the floor and rest. Repeat.
Bound Angle Pose
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your legs and position the heels of both feet near your pelvis – pull them in as close as you can comfortably. Use your hands to press the soles of your feet together, while trying to keep your back straight. Hold this pose for a few breaths (while gazing at the fire!), relax and repeat.
You can repeat these poses every day, once a week, or once a month – whenever you can carve out a little time. In addition to benefitting your overall health, yoga strengthens muscles and improves balance, and it can really help to get into better tune with your body.
Note: If while doing any of these exercises you feel pain, we’d recommend you discontinue the pose.
From all of us at Heat & Glo, relax and enjoy the fire!