LUX Wellness Week: Coffee Talk With Jamie Lugo
Ahhhh Spring! The time of year we clean out our garages, purge our closets and switch it up with a new hairdo’s. But while we are busy Spring Cleaning our outer worlds we forget that spring cleaning is essential for the inner world as well. During the winter months we can get caught in patterns that cause stagnation in the body. Our feet are stuck in boots and our bodies are covered multiple layers of clothing. When we feel stuck in our bodies sometimes our minds go down that same path as well. Just like a pond that grows algae when it sits still long enough- so do we. Here is a practice shes uses to clear out cobwebs in the body and mind.
1) Calf Release: Our calves are responsible for pumping the blood back up to the heart so tightness in the calves is NO BUENO.
HOW TO: Kneel on shins. Tuck a blanket or towel behind the knees. Sit down on heels. Rock the seat side to side so it feel like a calf massage. Stay for at least 10-15 breaths.
2) Sun Salutations: Salute that gorgeous sun and MOVE those legs.
Inhale arms up
Exhale forward fold
Inhale step to plank
Exhale life hips to down dog (stay for 5 breaths)
Inhale step or hop forward
Exhale forward fold
Inhale stand up, lift arms up
Exhale stand tall, release arms alongside body
Repeat 3-5 times
3) Flexed foot lightning bolt pose: This pose is called lighting bolt pose because of the shape it makes with your legs. However, you might remember it because of the lightning sensation it creates in your feet. All the more reason to practice it everyday.
HOW TO: Start on hands and knees. Bring knees together and feet as well. Tuck toes under and sit back on heels. I like to reach my arms overhead but you can choose an arm variation of your choice.
4) Twisted lunge: Twisting has so many benefits! For starters, it’s an excellent way to detoxify the body. When you twist you wring out the abdominal organs (like you would a sponge) and have an opportunity to eliminate any excess toxins lingering in the belly. The spine also is very happy to twist! It’s the spines main functions! I chose a lunging twist because you have an opportunity to ground the feet, utilize the legs and open the hip flexors.
HOW TO: Start in down dog. Step right foot between hands. Plant left hand firmly to the floor beneath shoulder. Reach right arm to sky. Turn your gaze up to right hand. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on other side.
5) Upright Pigeon: Clear out the hips and the front body! Most of us sit a lot. Maybe too much. Couches, cars and computers are to blame! Sitting can cause stagnation in the hips and a closed off front body. This pose can help!
HOW TO: Start on hands and knees. Place right knee behind right wrist and turn shin at an angle across the front of your space. Extend left leg back and slide pelvis back as well. Walk hands back alongside hips and extend arms. Lift chest and expand the chest wide like a pigeon. Breathe for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on other side.
6) Legs in the air: THIS IS MY FAVORITE POSE. Did I tell you it's my favorite pose? If I choose one pose that everyone should do EVERYDAY… it would be this one. It clears out the legs like no other posture. You get the benefits of an inversion without having to stand on your head.
HOW TO: Find a wall. Scooch your bum close to the wall and then lie down. Roll onto back and swing the legs up the wall. I like to stay until my toes get a little tingly but you can stay as long as you’d like!
7) Seated Meditation: Now that we have cleared out the physical body it’s time to work on our mental hygiene. However, the body and the mind get unstuck in different ways. While the body likes movement our mind already does that. So to clear the head the body needs to still so the mind can do the same.
HOW TO: Find a comfortable seat. Preferably where the hip creases are slightly higher than the knees. If you choose to sit in a chair, sit at the edge of the seat and place the feet flat on the floor. Set a timer for 5- 10 minutes depending on how much time you have. Close the eyes, sit still and watch your breath. When the mind wanders (which it will) gently bring it back to the breath. Focus your mind on the sensation of you breath in the body. Resist the urge to move. Staying put trains the mind to respond instead of react. A powerful tool to remaining clear.