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 up the strength to touch the flush.
Pleasant Yoga Poses to Get Over Your Shit
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 of 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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