Tax Day Relief Yoga Poses!
Ah it’s tax day! That magnificent (hold the enthusiasm) time when we compile a plethora of financial figures together to accurately e-file taxes, hopefully getting a refund in return. No matter how organized you are, it’s still a stressful time. It’s interesting we have such negative views on taxes. On one hand, paying taxes is a way of being a part of society and doing what we can to keep our country going strong; on the other hand, sometimes the money doesn’t always go exactly where we would like it to, nor do we have much control as to how it’s really being spent. It’s important to try and stay positive towards the entire process, because as Benjamin Franklin says, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We will always have tax day, so it’s best to try and gain perspective, and to deal with what we can control–our attitude towards the process.
To stay positive and to stretch out some of the tension in the back, shoulders and neck, here’s some yoga postures that can bring you relief on tax day. The first part of the sequence you perform 3 backbends to open up the lungs and help you breathe out any anxiety or stress you have. These poses also help you stay focused; and they are heart openers, so we can feel better about giving and opening up our hearts. All of the postures relieve stiff necks, shoulders and backs as well as strengthen the core muscles. Extended child’s pose is a great place to chill out and breath away all tension in the body.
Crescent Lunge. Start on all fours (you can warm up with some cat/cow breaths if you’d like), then lunge your right foot forward. Slide your let knee back a bit on the mat, and shift your hips forward as you lift your arms up and arch your chest back. Keep your lower back long, your abdominals and pelvic floor engaged, and arch out of your upper back. Keep your shoulders soft as you reach long through your arms. Hold 5 to 8 breaths.
Bow from all Fours–Bring your right leg back to all fours (do a few more cat/cow breaths if you wish), then extend your right arm forward and your left leg back. Reach around behind you and catch your left foot with your right hand and bow the leg. You just stretched the front of the left leg in crescent lunge, so this should feel good. Hold 5-8 breaths.
Bow Pose–Come back to all fours and go through knees/chest/chin to lower to your belly. Slide forward to baby cobra, then rest your head on the mat. Bend both knees, reach around with your hands to catch your feet, and lift up in to a full bow pose. Breathe in to your heart center, open up your shoulders, feel the tension releasing in the front of your hip flexors and quads. Hold 5 to 8 breaths. Lower down.
Child’s Pose–After releasing your feet in bow, place your hands by your shoulders and press back to extended child’s pose. Hold for as long as you wish before coming up to all fours and repeating the entire sequence again. This time, start with your left leg in lunge, bow the right leg on all fours, and practice your full bow pose again.
This is a great sequence to welcome in the Spring as well. We are shedding our winter coats and opening up in to our potential. Like a flower starting to bloom, backbends are wonderful to do this time of year. Backbends help us blossom open, bask in the sunlight, and radiate out our energy from within!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!