Image Source: Courtesy of Martina Gebarovska
Juliana Spicoluk knows that the stress of everyday life can manifest in physical ways — and she's a pro at relieving the body of that burden through yoga. The cocreator of the Boho Beautiful brand, whose YouTube channel has over 1.5 million subscribers, is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher with lessons you can check out on that YouTube page or on Patreon (where she and her husband, Mark, currently offer weekly full-length livestream yoga classes).
Due to a back injury from rhythmic gymnastics, Spicoluk had to quit the sport, and that's when she found yoga and Pilates — she told POPSUGAR that she used them both as a form of therapy and to build strength. "I was a 17-year-old girl who could barely walk, it was that bad. So yoga definitely saved my life," she said. She's also learned to utilize yoga for easing stress, and one of her favorite poses is Pigeon Pose.
Some people hold tension in their shoulders, but it's also common to hold tension elsewhere, such as the lower body, Spicoluk said. She finds that she personally harbors stress in the glute muscles and piriformis muscle, which can also cause lower-back pain, she noted, and Pigeon Pose gets deep into that area. The worst thing that we can do is suppress stress and anxiety, "so if it needs to leave our bodies, we've got to let it go." Pigeon, she said, is a great way to activate the release of those emotions.
Spicoluk added that many of her students, both in person and online, write to her saying that they've felt a similar type of release through the pose. Pigeon is popular especially in Yin Yoga, where you hold postures for minutes at a time, and people get very emotional, she noted.
How to Do Pigeon Pose
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson
- Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended behind you. Pull the right heel in toward your left hip, or keep your right leg bent at an angle in front of you.
- Spicoluk said that people usually try to keep their hips square, so make sure your left hip is pointing down toward the mat and your chest is facing forward.
- Stay here with your hands resting on your right thigh or your hips, or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.
- Hold here, breathing into any areas of tightness and tension for at least five breaths.
- Repeat this pose with the left knee bent and the right leg extended.