Yoga expert Bee Bosnak demonstrates three yoga moves to help you release stress and muscle tension before starting the new year

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December 29, 2016 07:16 AM

Want to enter the New Year free of stress and muscle tension?

Yoga expert Bee Bosnak breaks down three simple yoga moves to help you ease into 2017.

1. Seated spinal twist
Try this move to release any stagnation and congestion in the thoracic spine, and to strengthen the spine and increase flexibility.

Extend your legs forward, and then pull your right knee towards your chest. Find a tall spine. Bend your left knee, and take your left foot to the outside of your right hip so that your left knee is forward. Take your right foot over to the left, and place your right hand behind you. As you inhale, reach your left arm up to the sky, and then as you exhale hook your elbow to the outside of the right knee. Gently rotate the upper back.

“The power in the pose is coming from your right foot, so imagine standing on that leg. With each breath in, create more length in your spine, and with each exhale, create a little bit more rotation in your spine,” says Bosnak. “This will help you to rinse out any negative energy from the spine or anything in your thoughts or mind that is holding you back, and will help you to let go.”

2. Pigeon pose
Pigeon pose stretches the hip flexors, and helps unlock fear and anxiety.

Begin the move on all fours. Step your left leg back, and then step your right leg back. Bring your right knee towards your right wrist, and then send your left leg as far back as you can. Relax your left toes on the ground. Walk your hands back and balance out your hips. As you inhale, push the ground away and open your chest, and as you exhale, very softly move closer to the ground. You can keep your elbows down on the ground, or your arms can be completely straight.

“This will help you to create more space and expansion in the capsule of your hip as well as release any kind of stored energy that needs to go in the hip joints,” says Bosnak.

3. Upward facing dog
This classic yoga pose strengthens the spine, arms and wrists while stretching the chest, lungs and abs.

Begin on all fours. Step your left leg back and then step your right leg back. Push the earth away as you slowly start to hover your belly towards the ground. Use the stability of your hands to create space in your chest and your shoulders. Relax your toes down and squeeze your inner thighs. Let the back bend happen from your upper chest rather than from your lower back. Take a full breath in and a deep breath out.

Bosnak says doing an upward facing dog “will help you to create more expansion in your shoulders, pecs, and sternum, and keep you open, free and relaxed.”

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