Way To Release Tension & Unwind

By Carolina Cuartas - December 5, 2019

Our day-to-day habits can cause serious tension in our bodies. Here are some ways to unwind and realign the body for a fresh start. 

1. Deep Breaths. 
One of the most important ways to release tension is to allow space for the body to expand. As a society, we spend a lot of time sitting and contracting our muscles. Take a deep breath into your belly. This breath pushes the diaphragm down into the organs and expands the pelvic floor. From there, the fluid in our nervous system can feed the nutrients in the brain and release toxins. Each time you take a deep breath is an opportunity to cleanse your system. Repeat this breathing exercise three times or as much as needed.  

2. Foam Roller
Foam rolling can help your range of motions of joints and reduce muscle soreness. Using a foam roller for consecutive days can also reduce muscle fatigue. It also helps jump-start circulation and hydration. Start with some basic foam-rolling techniques and your muscles and fascia will thank you. 

3. Epsom Salt Bath
Sitting in a bath with magnesium chloride salts will help relax your cells and fascia. A magnesium bath can help frim over-exertion of muscles and can speed the healing of minor injuries such as muscle strains and tendinitis.   It also relaxes your nervous system which helps you sleep better.  You could also take magnesium in supplement form as well.

4. Pigeon Pose 
Since tight hips can worsen lower back pain, it’s important to add this to your flow. This moderate level pose works deep into aids in stretching the glutes and hamstrings by working the connective tissue. In addition, it helps increase range of motion and work often-ignored areas.

Pigeon pose, which can be a little challenging for yoga newbies, stretches hip rotators and flexors. It may not seem like the most obvious position to treat a backache, but tight hips can contribute to lower back pain. 
"Start in Downward-Facing Dog with your feet together. Then draw your left knee forward and turn it out to the left so your left leg is bent and near perpendicular to your right one; lower both legs to the ground. You can simply keep your back right leg extended straight behind you, or for an added hamstring stretch — seasoned Pigeon posers, only! — carefully pull your back foot off the ground and in toward your back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed (Source)"

5.  Cat and Cow Pose
These complementary poses are essential for reducing tension (mainly back pain). Downward-facing dog helps improve lower back form, spinal support, and improve posture. Flow your way to Upward-facing dog to make it a power combo. This pose opens your chest and back and engages your core muscles. 

"Upward: Start by lying flat on the floor with your palms face down by the middle of your ribs. While drawing your legs together and pressing the tops of your feet into the floor, use the strength of your back to lift your chest off the floor. Leave your legs extended straight out at first. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as needed. 

Downward: Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees away from the floor and lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling. For an added hamstring stretch, gently push your heels toward the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat the pose five to seven times" (Source).

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