While Ariana Grande writes kiss-off anthems and songs of self-empowerment to get over a break-up, fitness enthusiasts may find that yoga is a more effectual way for them to cope with heartbreak. In her #1 smash hit “Thank U Next”, Ariana sings that her ex-lovers taught her love, patience and pain. In light of Ariana headlining Coachella and Lollapalooza and embarking on a sold-out world tour, I wanted to offer yoga lovers a few moves that can teach them the same values and have them saying “Plank U, Next” all summer long:
One pose taught me love… Reclined, supportive bound angle pose
Angle and support the torso up on a couple of blocks or (better yet!) a bolster. Draw the soles of the feet together and allow the knees to drape wide. If there is any strain on the inner groin, use slide blocks, blankets or bolsters under the knees to give the body permission to truly relax. Rest one hand on the belly, connecting with the rise and fall of breath, and the other hand over the heart, feeling the steady drumming of the amazing organ that supports you every second of every day. Stay for five to ten minutes (or longer!) and connect with a sense of gratitude and love towards yourself and the people in your life.
One taught me patience… Low Plank/Chaturanga
The most common misalignment in the classic yoga push up transition often known as Chaturanga is rushing through and letting gravity do all the work. Instead of flopping down low, s-l-o-w it down. Move with control. Keep your upper arms hugging in towards the ribs, as you hinge the elbow joints back toward your hips. Stop when the shoulders are either at or over the elbow line, avoiding the “stripper dip” which can wreak havoc on your rotator cuffs. Knees can always be on the ground to support this mindful transition without sacrificing form.
One taught me pain… or rather how to relieve it – Downward Facing Dog
Sure, down dog can be challenging, and isn’t appropriate if you’re nursing a shoulder injury. But the fastest way for me to feel better in my body is to move into Down Dog for 5-10 rounds of breath. It decompresses the spine, all the way up through the neck, letting the head hang heavy. While also, lengthening the hamstrings, which is a great counter for those who either sit a ton, or are super active (think marathon runners and cyclists, whose hamstrings are always firing). Down Dog opens the chest, allowing for easy and smooth breath. The post is both grounding and energizing, and will leave people feeling better in their body with just a minute or two of practice.