With stressful holiday travel just a few weeks away, it's time to arm yourself with quick ways you can feel better that don't take much time. Yogi Tara Stiles, who's partnered with W Hotels to offer guests on-demand workout videos right in their hotel rooms, has just what we need to face any holiday stress with ease and energy. Do both of these stretches every morning as you wake up and be amazed by how much better you feel, no matter how anxious, tired, or stressed you are.
Legs Up the Wall
Source: Megan Wolfe Photography
You can do this pose almost anywhere — your hotel room, by your desk, even while you're stranded in an airport. Inverting your body so your legs are elevated helps increase blood flow and improve circulation. "It really gets everything going on the inside," Tara says.
- Place a folded bolster, blanket, or pillow against a wall, if needed.
- Sit down as close as you can to the wall, next to the blanket. Lie down on your back, place your feet on the wall with your knees bent, and scoot your body over so that your bottom and lower back are on the blanket.
- You want to adjust your body so that your bum is touching the wall, and then place your feet straight up, resting your heels on the wall. You can keep your arms by your sides, or by your head (this position will stretch your shoulders).
- Close your eyes and allow your entire body to relax, feeling gravity pulling you down as the wall and blanket support you.
- Hold like this for a couple minutes or longer. Once you've had enough, walk your feet down the wall. Roll your body over to one side with your knees bent, and rest your head on the inside of your arm, staying like this in fetal position for a minute or so. Then you can roll up onto your knees and come to standing.
Photo: POPSUGAR Studios
This is one of Tara's favorite ways to energize in the morning. "It helps your energy level and your immunity," Tara says. The best part? You don't need a yoga mat — you can do it in bed.
- Lie on your back on the right side of your bed. Lift both knees into your chest, and then cross both over to the left side of your body. Let it hang slightly over the edge of the bed.
- Extend your arms in T-position, palms facing down. Turn your head to the right and gaze over to your right side to increase the twist. Bring your left hand to your right hip, and gently press your hip to the left to increase the stretch.
- Stay like this for 30 seconds or more, feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some "cracks."
- Then use your abs to lift your knees back to center. Shift your body over to the left side of the bed and do this stretch with your right side (turning your head to the left).
- Stay here for at least 30 seconds and then lift your knee back up. Hug both knees into your chest to release your lower back.