Yoga-anytime, anywhere for three minutes a day calm and energized from within.
Most of us feel a little anxiety and stress from time to time but there’s something about the holiday season that seems to ramp things up. As the tension builds, our muscles tighten, our breathing shortens and our minds become a whirling dervish of thoughts that feed our anxiety. That’s why it’s so important to make time for yoga this December.
Yoga is proven to decrease stress and tension, lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels. It also makes us more present, more mindful and helps us remember the reasons why we celebrate so we can focus more on sharing time with our loved ones. If you find yourself over stressed, out of breath and unable to keep those weekly dates at your favorite yoga studio, here is a three-pose yoga practice that will lower your heart rate and take you back to your center.
Begin with eyes closed and palms together at the heart center in Anjali Mudra. Take three deep breaths in and out through the nose – lengthening on the inhale and slowing the breath down on the exhale. This will immediately bring you into a meditative state of awareness. Let yourself feel calm and balanced mentally, physically and emotionally.
Next, let your arms drop down by your side and float your eyes open preparing for Slow Neck Rolls. Stretch your neck long and look up at the ceiling. Bring your left ear to your left shoulder. Consciously inhale and exhale. Then roll your head down bringing chin to chest. Take another deep full breath. Then roll your head to the right bringing right ear to right shoulder. Inhale and exhale. Repeat. Let yourself relax as you roll. Move easily and don’t overstretch.
Finally, let any anxiety you are still holding onto dissolve as you fold yourself into Forward Bend. Begin with your feet together and knees slightly bent. Lead with your heart and bend from the hips as you lower your torso over your legs. Bend your knees as much as you need to and place hands next to your feet on the floor (hands can be on your shins or your thighs if that is more comfortable). You should feel no strain on your lower back or neck. Inhale and exhale deeply. Visualize all the stress draining out of your body. Slowly, slowly roll up to a standing position.
End with eyes closed and palms together at the heart center. Take another deep breath and have a peaceful holiday season.