So you want to get limber, calm and centred for a jam-packed conference?
There’ll be lots of sitting around and craning your neck for a better view of the great speakers and craning to find that blogger you really want to meet amidst the crowds at morning tea.
Then there’s standing up half the night in high heels (well probably not the guys or the sensible girls) for the cocktail event, and just trying to find some calm, confidence and clarity amidst the buzz (and sometimes chaos) of a big event.
There’s lunch, and morning tea, and afternoon tea, and while yoga may not be a weight-loss solution, it’s good to be able to have your cake and eat it too.
Stiff neck, sore shoulders, numb bum, brain fog! Yoga can help.
And of course Problogger, like all great conferences, is about stretching ourselves with our goals and life in general. Same as yoga.
Regular readers will know I love yoga, and sometimes cake too, and I start an intensive course in yoga teacher training the very next day after #pbevent. Yep, no rest for the wicked – my head is certain to be buzzing big time by the time I complete ten days straight of full-on learning.
So here’s some yoga to help prepare you for Problogger, or just life.
Pranayama – we’re talking breathing, but if you think you’ve got that basic bodily function sorted, you probably haven’t. There is so much to learn. From a yoga point of view, pranayama, or proper breathing will bring more oxygen to the brain and blood, and help control the flow of prana, or life energy through the body. There are numerous breathing techniques that you can try, that generally slow down the breathing. Yogis believe we are born with a certain number of breaths – think about that.
A full yogic breath will be in four parts, the inhalation moving from filling the stomach and diaphragm, up into the rib cage, into the chest and lungs and thoracic spine, then rising up into the collarbones, throat and nose. Then there’s the hold, retaining the air, followed by a slow exhalation in reverse, smooth and continuous, and finishing with an empty pause that you feel in the bottom of your stomach.
This breath should calm and re-energize you at the same time. And if it all gets too much you can try ‘lion’s breath’ – stick out your tongue and sigh out loud and fast!
Tadasana – Mountain Pose – this is one you can take with you wherever you go. It’s about standing tall and straight (be a proud blogger). It really is better to do it in bare feet, but if you wear flats it’s fine and heels at a pinch. Bring your feet together, toes and heels touching. Engage your kneecaps upwards and feel your thigh muscles rolling in. Tighten your butt and tilt your pelvis (under) forward and down. Straighten your back and make sure you roll your shoulders back and down so you can feel it between your shoulder blades. Bonus chest puff-out. Even bigger bonus – heart open! Maintain a straight head, chin forward and imagine someone is pulling on the crown of your head. You really do feel taller and can maybe foresake those heels!
Supta Vajrasana – Fixed Firm or Hero’s pose – I’m not going to lie to you, this one is harder than you think. And you can’t just lie down in the middle of a conference and do it (well you could sit the first part of the posture if you are wearing pants). Sit with your knees bent backwards and your bum between your knees. Now sit. Feel the muscles and ligaments around your knees unwind, or feel your knees scream, and maybe your ankles too. Don’t sit in pain. If you can comfortably sit, you can recline back on your elbows and eventually you can lie back on the floor. Or not. I can actually lie back (for a little while at least) but thought I’d get a better model to demonstrate.
The hero bit is just sitting there. The reclining hero is just showing off.
Ardha-Matsyendrasana – Spine twisting pose. This one is great for getting the toxins out of your system, like on Saturday morning after the night before. Spine twists can be like wringing out an old dishcloth. You get the picture. But they are also very good for challenging your current perspective. Nothing like twisting to get a different view. Oh and make sure to twist to both sides – it’s all about balance people.
Savasana – corpse pose – best for lying around the QT pool. Or lying down in your room on Saturday morning before facing the second day. Just make sure you have your palms facing upwards in an attitude of giving and receiving.
You can sit in full lotus, or maybe you can’t. Slight pose with this pic.
DO NOT TRY THESE AT #PBEVENT. Unless of course you can do them, and impress the socks off everyone! Any excuse to show off (again) for this proud Mum.
Hope to see you at Problogger – where I’ll probably practice my favourite posture. And here’s to stretching ourselves – on or off the mat.