yoga

Yoga For A Shitty Day

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Ashley

Ashley is a yoga instructor empowering women to live purposeful lives through yoga and mindfulness-based practice.

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Sometimes we have days that smell, look and feel like shit. For example, one day last year, I received the pleasant gift of poop raging from below my toilet thanks to a city sewage backup. That’s the kind of shitty day I’m talking about.

In these instances you have two choices. Sink to the bottom of the toilet bowl and swim in shit all day long or choose to flush it and get on with your day.

If you’re leaning toward the latter, here are some yoga poses that will help you build the strength to touch the flush.

Pleasant Yoga Poses to Get Over Your Shit

Check out the YouTube channel for a video demonstration!

forward pose, yoga, yoga for a shitty day, The Indie ChicksForward Fold

This pose may well be a universal cure-all. The benefits of forward folds are numerous, plus it just feels great. Turning your world upside down reverses your blood flow and relieves pressure and tension in your shoulders, head, neck and spine. Bend your knees if you have tight hamstrings. Interlace your fingers behind your back and stretch them overhead to get all the extra baggage you’re carrying off your chest.

yoga, yoga for a shitty day, The Indie Chicks, chair poseChair pose

Have you ever found yourself wishing you could punch someone in the face on a particularly shitty day? Redirect all that negative energy to your thighs in this bun burner. Chair pose will help strengthen your legs, force you to move back away from the situation and help you forget what you were all bent out of shape about in the first place. Don’t forget to breathe.

yoga, yoga for a shitty day, The Indie Chicks, easy poseEasy Pose

Speaking of breathing, taking deep inhales and exhales is the best way to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and corral in all your excess cortisol (the stress chemical), on a shitty day. Since you’ve already had it rough, take a break and just sit down for a moment. Concentrate on your breathing and see if you can extend your exhale longer than your inhale. After taking 10 breaths, you’ll start to feel like it’s a whole new day.

yoga, yoga for a shitty day, The Indie Chicks, runners poseRunner’s Lunge

Many people dump all their unwanted negative emotions into their hips, leading to a boatload of long-term problems – some experience minor daily annoyances that we can live with while others suffer serious issues requiring major surgery. Hip replacement anyone? To flush your pain out right away, keep your hips open and sink into any of the discomfort that arises. Runner’s lunge is like the Jaws of Life, prying open those hard to get connective tissues and freeing you from deadly consequences.

seated twist, yoga, yoga for a shitty day, The Indie ChicksSeated Twist

Avoid holding on to shitty-day anger with a seated twist to rinse out any remaining toxins hanging out inside your blood stream. Toxins can enter your body through the atmosphere (think second-hand smoke), the food we ingest (pesticides) or through holding on to negative emotions. Think of your negative thoughts as those overzealous, slightly annoying party guests that you really didn’t invite and who won’t leave. You’ve got to get them out, and it might take everything out of you. It’s worth it though.

corpse pose, yoga, yoga for a shitty day, The Indie ChicksCorpse Pose

Don’t skimp on the best pose in yoga. Wishing you were dead may seem like the best alternative when things just aren’t going your way; scientific research shows that visualizing states of being help strengthen neural pathways, plus release chemicals that the brain would release if you really were in the visualized situation. So when you visualize yourself relaxing, the brain starts releasing dopamine and serotonin and you’ll actually, physiologically start calming down even if you’re in the midst or a stressful situation!

Lie down on your back, close your eyes and give yourself permission to breathe. You’ve done the work. The shit is behind you. Rest in peace knowing that when you open your eyes, you’ll be better prepared to flush your shit, light your favorite scented candle and smile because it feels so good to let it go.

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  • Rene

    Thank you for the poses. I recently started doing yoga poses for better sleep, and it really helps. I will have to add these poses to my repertiore! Do you have poses to help with body aches and headaches?

    • http://ashleyjosephine.com Ashley

      Hi Rene! So glad you’re going to add these to your list. Forward folds are great for headache relief as well. A seated forward fold will probably be your safest best for body aches, or corpse pose but it just kind of depends where you’re achin! I post a free video almost every week with poses for a different theme, so if you want to check out my website and Facebook page you can get even more! Hope you’re day has not been a shitty one.

      With gratitude,
      ashley

      • http://habitsofthinking.wordpress.com/ Rene

        I will definitely check those videos out!

  • http://chaosandwords.wordpress.com/ Ashley

    Ah, an article on yoga! My physical therapist got me doing particular back and hip/leg stretches to manage chronic pain, and I’ve fallen in love with it ever since. I’m big on meditation as well, so the combo has been magnificent and has really helped me relax (and deal with stress). The seated twist and the easy pose are two of my favorites (as well as child’s pose). Breathing out negativity and shitty days is great for the body and mind – also great for your core! Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed your take on these poses. I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I’m going through my routine! :]

    • http://ashleyjosephine.com Ashley

      Hi Ashley. I’m glad you’ve grown to enjoy yoga just as much as I do and that you’re finding some relief from chronic pain. You’re right – yoga and meditation work magic on your body and mind. If you head over to my website, you’ll find a section with more free videos. Definitely take a look if you’re interested in seeing some more routines and poses.

      With gratitude,
      ashley

  • http://myfittblog.com Veronica

    Great poses! I haven’t made time for practice lately; I’m working on my Level 1 Certification currently. Thank you for this beautiful flow, Ashley.
    Namaste

    • http://ashleyjosephine.com Ashley

      Hi Veronica! Congrats on getting into level 1 training. Making time for practice can be really tough when we have so much going on in our lives, but eventually I learned that I just have to make it a priority because it changes the course of my entire mood and day. If you ever have any questions for me about training or yoga in general, feel free to drop me a line over on my Facebook page or send me an email!

      With gratitude,
      ashley

  • http://katybkatydidnot.blogspot.com/ Katy B.

    Thanks for sharing! It’s obvious when I’m slacking on yoga, because my neck and back start to hurt right away. Yoga is the only way I conquer tinnitus on a weekly basis. If only I would make it daily!

    The “Patrick Star” (think Spongebob) is my savasana … ah, peace!

  • http://www.samadhisun.com how to be yoga instructor NJ

    Its a Mind-body connection. Few other exercises offer the same mind-body connection that yoga does. As you match your controlled breathing with the movements of your body, you retrain your mind to find that place of calm and peace that long-time yogis know.