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3 Everyday Ailments You Can Relieve With Yoga

We asked Kate Gillespie, a yoga instructor and legacy ambassador for Lululemon, to impart her yogi wisdom to soothe what ails us. Here, how yoga can help treat stress, bloating, and fatigue.

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yoga poses ailmentsPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Pose for stress: Reclined bound angle pose

How to do it

Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet together as your knees fall to either side. Place two yoga blocks or pillows under your outer thighs for support. Rest your arms by your sides, with your palms facing up. Close your eyes. Inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of six or eight. Repeat.

Why it works

This restorative move calms your nervous system. With the support of the floor and props, this pose gently open your hips by allowing gravity instead of physical force to do all the work. Deep, calm breathing is the magical ingredient to de-stress.

(Related: 10 Ways to De-Stress After a Hectic Day)

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yoga poses ailmentsPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Pose for bloating: Cat/cow

How to do it

Start on all fours, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. As you inhale, bend your back from your tailbone to the crown of your head. As you exhale, do the opposite and round your whole spine. After a few cycles, change your breath pattern and pair inhaling with a rounded spine and exhaling with a back bend. Shake things up by moving your spine in different circular ways to flush your whole torso with breath. Add a twist by threading your arm behind the wrist of your opposite arm for a few breaths on each side.

Why it works 

Each movement stretches and contracts your abdomen in different directions, increasing blood flow and circulation. This can help with bloating and digestion.

(Related: 10 Yoga Stretches That Help Banish Belly Bloating)

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yoga poses ailmentsPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Pose for fatigue: Seated sun salutation

How to do it

Sit on a cushion in a cross-legged position. Inhale and lift your arms overhead. Exhale as you lower your right hand to the floor and bend to the right. Inhale as you move both of your arms back up. Exhale as you bend to the left. Inhale as you move back to the middle. Exhale as you fold forward, reaching for the floor in front of you. Inhale as you lengthen your spine and look forward. Exhale as you fold down. Roll up and slide your fingertips behind your seat as you inhale to bend your back. Exhale as you grab your knees and lean back as you round your spine. Inhale as you reach both arms overhead and repeat.

Why it works

This simple sequence dynamically connects your breath with your movement to wake up and energize your body. Daily patterns cause most of us to be stuck in the same position all day long. This sequence is designed to move your body into new territory and bring it back to life with breath. Explore this move while standing, if you prefer.

Tip: Hold each stretch for 60 seconds. Can’t hack it? Hold that stretch for 15 seconds, break and repeat it three more times.

Next: Amazing Canadian Yoga Wear Brands (That Aren’t Lululemon)

Best Health Canada
Originally Published in Best Health Canada