Most of us woke up feeling a bit (oh, okay, hideously) fragile at some point this Christmas, thanks to a few too many festive drinks. But now that Christmas and 2010 is over it's probably time to make some changes.
Take control of your hangover and feel better again with a little help from these simple yoga poses suggested by Helen Noakes, a yoga teacher for the retreat company Reclaim Your Self.
Helen teaches Scaravelli inspired yoga, a style of yoga that aims to gently increase the suppleness of the spine, making it easier to unwind and relax into your body. This Scaravelli inspired yoga sequence can help relieve a hangover and general weariness. Phew.
1. Semi supine (adhva-savasana)
Lie on your back and take hold of the back of your head with your hands. Slowly lengthen your neck and relax your head down to the floor. (If the back of your neck is uncomfortable use a cushion or folded blanket as a headrest).
Place your feet underneath your knees with your feet as wide as your hips. Your heels should be one foot's length away from the sitting bones.
Place your hands on the ground with your palms facing up, so your shoulder blades are wide and relaxed. Or you can choose a hand mudra (as shown).
Breathe deeply for 1-5 minutes. Focus on emptying your body weight into the ground each time you exhale.
Good for: A restorative asana, which allows the spine to rest into its natural state of being (which couldn't quite be said of your dance moves last night, hmm?)
Expert tip: You could add a hip opener (supta baddhakonasana) by bringing the soles of your feet together and allowing the knees to widen and drop towards the floor. Support your knees with cushions if you need to.
2. Spinal twist (jathara parivartanasana)
From semi supine, raise your arms to shoulder level with palms facing up. Inhale and then exhale and slowly drop your knees to the right, allowing your head to roll gently to the left.
Keep your shoulders relaxed, emptying your body weight into the ground with each exhale for 1-5 breaths. Inhale and move your knees back to middle and repeat for the other side.
Good for: Hydrating the spine and releasing any tension in the back.
Expert tip: Make sure you keep your feet grounded as you move your knees. Keep your feet and knees together for a stronger twist.
3. Cat pose (marjaryasana)
Roll onto your right side and up onto all fours. Your knees should be under your hips, and your hands slightly in front of the shoulder girdle, as wide as your shoulders.
Inhale and arch your back, then exhale and lengthen and extend spine in the opposite direction. Repeat this for 1 to 5 minutes, working with the breath.
Good for: Lubricating the joints to ease alcohol-induced aching, bringing awareness and awakening to the core of the body and so lifting that sluggish feeling.
Expert tip: Try a lateral side bend by bringing the right hip and right shoulder together.