To help boost your mental and physical wellness through yoga practice, Inspirations & Celebrations recently created a 5-part original fitness tutorial series called the “Yoga in the Vines Series”, in collaboration with our friends, Yoga Instructor Kate Balog and Folktale Vineyards & Winery in Carmel, California.
Yoga in the Vines – Part 3
Since most people contend with anxiety at some point in their lives, yoga practice can benefit everyone, both mentally and physically. To relieve anxiety, in Part 3 of this 5-part Series, Inspirations & Celebrations’ Fitness Contributor Kate Balog (a certified Yoga Instructor) shares 5 yoga exercises to help you unwind among the vines.
Yoga to Relieve Anxiety
Anxiety seems to be a favored word these days. The world of information is at our fingertips, and days seem to merge together in one big rat race. The anxiety we feel because of this is a sign that the direction we’re moving in is not aligned with the highest human potential. Even though we can’t change an entire civilization overnight to create peace and well-being, we can take care of ourselves in a way that rises above the status quo.
Different from stress which depletes energy, anxiety actually gives us more energy than we know what to do with. These strong postures will help direct our abundant anxious energy in a positive direction, creating an internal peace. Take your time moving through each posture allowing your body to self-adjust. Pay attention to your breath, making sure to breathe deeply. It is recommended to sit in meditation for at least 5 minutes after the series for maximum benefit.
Vrksasana – Tree Pose
- Correct Posture: Begin in Tadasana (Standing Mountain Pose) with your arms at your sides. Ground down equally through both legs. Bring your hands to heart center and start to shift your weight into your right foot. Bend the left knee and lift the foot off of the floor. Use your hand to draw your foot to the inside of your right thigh, shin or ankle. Do not place foot against knee joint. Lengthen your tailbone towards the mat and bring your hands together in front of your heart. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
- Benefits: Strengthens the core and legs. Calming and meditative increases physical and mental balance.
- Avoid If: Not advised for people suffering from a headache or low blood pressure.
Virabhadrasana I – Warrior I
- Correct Posture: Begin in Tadasana (Standing Mountain Pose) with your arms at your sides. Step right foot back and pivot inwards at a 45-degree angle. Turn left foot out 90-degrees with toes pointed towards the top of the mat. Align the front heel with the arch of the back foot. Bend the left knee over directly over the left ankle, do not go beyond. Raise both arms next to ears with palms facing together or slightly apart. Turn the hips to face the top of the mat. Press down through the back foot and root down through both ankles. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
- Benefits: Builds concentration, balance, and focus. Strengthens the whole body, mind, and spirit. Fierce and powerful.
- Avoid If: Not advised for people suffering from low blood pressure or heart problems.
Prasarita Padottanasana – Standing Wide-Legged Forward Fold
- Correct Posture: Begin in Tadasana (Standing Mountain Pose) with your hands on your hips. Take a wide step back with your left foot and turn all toes to face the side of the mat, aligning the heels. Lengthen torso and reach head towards the sky and then fold forward at the hips. Bring your hands rest on the floor between your legs, or grab your big toes with your fingers. Keep the hips aligned with the ankles. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Repeat.
- Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the hamstrings, calves, hips, lower back, and spine. Calms the mind and releases stress.
- Avoid If: Not advised for people suffering from low back pain.
Balasana – Child’s Pose
- Correct Posture: Begin on your hands and knees. Spread the knees as wide as the mat while keeping the big toes touching. Lower the buttocks back onto the heels, resting the torso on the thighs. Reach the arms forward with palms facing down. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
- Benefits: Stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. Relaxes muscles in the front body and stretches the back body. Reduces stress and fatigue.
- Avoid If: Not advised if pregnant or suffering from diarrhea or knee injury.
Viparita Karani – Legs up the Wall
- Correct Posture: Begin by sitting with your left side against the wall. Lower the torso to the mat and lengthen the legs up the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shimmy your hips against the wall. Relax the thighs and close the eyes. Hold for 5-10 breaths. *If you don’t have a wall, you can practice this inversion on a rolled up mat.
- Benefits: Brings relief to the legs, feet, spine and nervous system. Brings body into a deep state of relaxation and renewal.
- Avoid If: Not advised for people suffering from serious neck or back pain.
How to follow the ‘Yoga in the Vines’ Series
To follow this 5-part yoga tutorial series, subscribe to Inspirations & Celebrations by email, RSS, or Bloglovin.
If you’re in the Monterey Peninsula, to participate in a live “Yoga in the Vines” class, head over to Folktale Vineyards & Winery in Carmel. “Yoga in the Vines” is hosted weekly on Saturdays at 10 am and includes a 90-minute yoga class followed by a complimentary glass of wine (for $20 per person).
For more exercise tips and tutorials from fitness experts and celebrity trainers, check out the Fitness section on Inspirations & Celebrations. Be well and stay inspired on your fitness journey!
Fitness Contributor: Kate Balog
Kate Balog holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, a Holistic Health Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and a 200-Hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification through Vinyasa Yoga School in Rishikesh, India. She has been trained in Hatha and Vinyasa yoga- asana, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, and yoga therapy. She is also a Reiki 1 & 2 practitioner. Kate’s teaching combines ancient yogic technique with modern understanding to create a felt energetic experience of alignment and balance. She currently teaches in Monterey & Carmel, California. Stay up to date on upcoming posts, classes & retreats at www.yogarise.org