Whenever we feel stuck, it is common to continue to grind away at something or get lost in thoughts of “stuckness”. I find myself saying things like “this is impossible”, “I’m completely stumped”, or “I don’t know what to do!”. One of the best ways to get UNSTUCK is to stop thinking and do something physical. Getting out of your head and ruminating thoughts can help get you off the Ferris Wheel of stuck and back in flow. The key is to allow for some play. Move your body through its full range of motion. Feel into your body and notice what it wants to do. Linger when a deeper stretch is calling to you. Maybe add a bounce here or there, pause for a moment longer than usual, add a swish or sway, or throw in a variation or movement that you’ve never done before. One of the biggest hurdles we face when we feel stuck is learning how to get out of our own way and tune into the flow of the present moment. Whenever we are finding ourselves lacking the imagination to pull out of a spiral, we can always come to the yoga mat to move some energy around, stir the pot, and distill the mental chatter.
This sequence taps into our creativity center, helping us to feel grounded and steady, stimulates the self-expression, and taps into our energy to help increase motivation and confidence. You could even start and end with some journaling to help you get clear or add in some moments of breathing and meditation. Let’s jump right in and get unstuck!
1. Fish Pose with a Block
My favorite way to fish. This pose stretches the front of the neck, opening through the throat and heart, and creating space. Lie on your back with your shoulders supported by a block or thick book (think old encyclopedia or a Harry Potter book). Press your forearms into the ground just below the ribs to safety extend the spine and the chest lifts. This also creates space and stretches the psoas (the muscles connecting the spine and legs). Let your head fall gently toward the ground without constricting your breath.
2. Triangle Pose
This post gives a sense of length, opening the chest, and creates more space for your breath. Start standing. Step your feet apart, then turn the left toes to the side, and the right toes to a 45-degree angle. Exhale and extend your torso to the left directly over the left leg, bending from the hip. Rest your left hand on the shin, ankle, or the floor outside your left foot, whichever is available to you without twisting the torso. Be careful not to hyperextend your knees. Hold for 30-60 seconds then repeat on the other side.
3. Tabletop with wrist stretch
This stretch opens through the throat, allows for increased airflow to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and calm the mind and body while it also releases tight wrists and forearms. Come to all fours, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Then rotate your hands outward a little at a time (right hand moves clockwise, left hand counterclockwise). Turn your wrists until your fingers point to the knees, OR until you cannot comfortably continue to turn them.
4. Goddess Pose
An empowering pose that builds balance and stability while providing a deep stretch to the inner thighs, hips, and groin and helps the energy get flowing. Take your feet out wide left to right, then bend your knees. Keep your knees in line with your toes and raise your arms overhead.
5. Arrow Lunge
A variation of a lunge - bring one foot forward and come down onto the other knee. Extend through your head, retain a strong neutral spine, and take the arms stretched out behind you. Make this a dynamic, creative move by lifting the lowered knee as you raise your arms overhead, then lower the knee and swing your arms back behind you. Repeat on the other side.
6. Easy Pose
Come to seated with one leg in front of the other. Stimulate the brain as well as the hips and thighs by placing the opposite leg in front that you normally would. This might feel really funky. That’s how you know you’ve got it. Breathe into this position for a few breaths. Notice any sensations that come up in your body. Then focus on your breath.
Finish up with a sweet meditation or a nice long resting pose laying all the way down. Get creative! Prefer a video? Try this 20 minute Energizing Flow that will have you flowing, moving and grooving and clearing out the cobwebs: https://youtu.be/fuZTPzv6hFg