It was a long, hard week. You met deadlines, solved problems, put out fires, and kept your head above the water (for the most part). You started to T.G.I.F on Thursday after work, and kept going until Sunday morning.
Hangovers happen when we partake in excess. Regardless of what that behavior might entail — be it alcohol, travel, work, exercise, or otherwise — here are a few wonderful responses for when your body tells you it's done partying.
1. Child's Pose (Balasana)
Take a knee, team. In fact, take two. This grounding pose is a wonderful way to calm the mind and rest the body. There's a reason yoga teachers around the world tell you to come here when practice gets too intense. If you've got a cloudy brain, tight back, achy hips, or a scattered mind, a few minutes in Child's pose can help cure what ails you. If this is too much on your knees, place a rolled towel up behind your knees and feel the tension melt away.
2. Seated Twist, aka Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
After a long night of garbage in, this detoxifying pose is a good start to help the garbage out. By stimulating the kidneys, liver, and digestive fire, this gentle twist is also a great way to unwind any spinal tension built up after a night of social acrobatics. Don't worry about twisting your head off. Use a slow, deep exhale to rotate from the spine to keep the neck and hips happy.
3. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandasana)
If your hips are tired from a weird cocktail of bar hopping, jet setting, and crunching numbers, Bridge Pose can work wonders to open up a body on lockdown. Not only does it soothe a sore back and tired thighs, but it will help open the chest and shoulders when supported. For maximum comfort, stack a couple of pillows under your lower back to align your hips with your knees and shoulders.
4. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
This restorative inversion has something for everyone. By helping to increase blood flow to parts of the body that need it most (liver, kidney, lungs, and brain), Viparita Karani both calms and nourishes the body of a waylaid weekend warrior.
5. Cat / Cow Poses
These two poses are great for opening up the spine, connecting with your breath, and stretching out all those little nooks and crannies in your torso that you might otherwise never get a chance to explore. Your shoulders, hips, back, and lungs will thank you. It also gives you a great reason to whine loudly.
6. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
Take your feet hip distance apart. Fold forward over your hips. If your legs are tight, bend the knees until it's comfortable. Grab your elbows. Keep a gentle tone in your belly. Breathe. Deeply. Over and over. If the spirit moves your, gently sway from side to side. This will help increase blood flow to the brain, activate your legs and back, and get your focused on your breathing. Be careful not to come up to quickly, and once you do, stand as tall as you'd like with your eyes closed. Observe how you feel. Follow the breath in and out. Flutter the eyes open, take a moment to be thankful you've made it this far, and consider the possibility of a bloody mary. Brunch is calling!
How do you take care of yourself after long bouts of excess? Share your ideas in the comments below!