Articles

05/20/2010
No Time for Class?
Hello Beautiful Souls,

No time for a class? Follow these simple instructions and these easy poses will fit right into your day

You don't need a big chunk of time to get all the benefits of yoga. In fact, these eight off-the-mat moves take less than a minute each. You will gain incredible benefits by fitting these yoga poses and breath work into your day. There is not always time to take a full class or practice even 20 minutes. So when you find your self really jammed for time, there are ways to relax.

You know, the busier you are, the more likely you are to need yoga in your life. Tension is held in our bodies and our organs. When this occurs many times our energy is de-pleated. It can cause loads of symptoms such as aches, pains and stiffness. Yoga can make such a huge difference in our life’s. It can make you strong and healthy. Your bones & muscles are strengthened and so are your organs & systems. The prana (breath) brings vitality. It is our energy and life force.

Here’s the routine:

7 am: In the Shower
This belly-breathing exercise tones and strengthens your abdominal muscles and can relieve headaches. Plus there is a bonus. Breathing in a steamy shower can help clear your sinuses.

Stand tall with the water against your back. Place your palms on your abdomen, with index fingers near your navel. Relax your belly and inhale deeply through your nose so your abdomen expands against your hands. Then exhale completely, pulling in your abdominal muscles to force out all the air, and make the sound of “om “ (Universal sound of wholeness; the sound of the Universe), feeling the deep vibration. If you'd prefer, use another sound or a word such as "home" or "any other word of choice ." Do this three times.

8:30 am: Driving to Work
Twisting at the beginning and ending of your commute can prevent headaches and neck and shoulder pain. It can also defuse irritability and road rage.

Sit tall, pressing your buttocks into the seat and lifting the top of your head toward the sky. Keep your chin level and feet flat on the floor. Place your right hand by your right hip and your left hand on the steering wheel at the 3 o'clock position. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale, gently press your hands into the seat and against the wheel, and twist to the right as far as you comfortably can. Holding that position, inhale and lengthen. Then with every exhale soften into the twist, but don't strain. Inhale and return to the starting position. Do one time to each side.

11 am: At Your Desk
If you sit at a desk all day, do this gentle back bend at least once every hour to relieve upper-back and neck tension and to give you a burst of energy.

Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place your palms with fingers facing forward on the seat behind your hips. Inhale and lengthen your spine, reaching the top of your head toward the ceiling. As you exhale, press your palms into the seat and roll your shoulders back and down pinching your shoulders tips together on your back. Inhale and lift your chin and chest as if someone was pulling them up by a golden string. Gaze toward the ceiling. Don't drop your head back so that your cervical spine is compressed. Hold for two or three deep breaths.

Then fit a counter pose in here. Arching back and inhaling deeply in the position above, exhale and drop your whole torso forward over the legs letting your trunk of your body rest on your thighs. Your head and neck relaxed.

1:30 pm: When the Phone Rings
Don't rush to the phone on the first ring. Instead, use the interruption as an opportunity to do this 6-second tranquilizer.

When the phone rings (or the computer boots up or a Web site loads), stop what you're doing, lengthen your spine, and take a deep belly breath. Picture yourself at a relaxing spot, such as floating in a lake (close your eyes if it helps), and relax your upper-body muscles. Then smile and pick up the phone on the second or third ring. You should feel relaxed and the caller will know you are smiling.

4 pm: Waiting in Line
Don't just stand there. Practice this modified Tree Pose, and you'll strengthen your legs and torso and stand taller.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight evenly distributed onto the soles. Your knees should be over your ankles, hips over knees, shoulders over hips, and ears over shoulders. Lengthen your spine by lifting your belly button in & up and lifting the top of your head while keeping your chin level. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and relax your face and throat. Shift your weight and balance on your right foot without dipping into your right hip by keeping the hips squared, resting your left foot against your right ankle. Take slow, deep breaths and hold for as long as possible. Repeat with your left leg.

6:30 pm: In the Kitchen
While waiting for the water to boil, this modified Downward Dog Pose will counteract all the desk time you logged and energize you for evening activities.

Place your palms shoulder-width apart on a countertop, wall or the back of a chair. With your feet hip-width apart, place your hands at your hip points and release them to the countertop, wall or chair. Begin to walk your feet back until your upper body is parallel to the floor or in an “L” position and your heels are directly beneath your hips. Keep your neck in line with your spine. Sliding the shoulders away from the ears and lifting the belly button in and up. Inhale deeply, then exhale as you press your palms into the counter and reach your hips back, feeling the stretch from your fingertips to your shoulders to your back and down your legs. Hold for two or three breaths.

7:30 pm: On the Go
Turn any walk into a mini meditation that will give your mind a break from its never-ending to-do list.

While you walk, mentally count the number of steps you take as you breathe in and out--one word with each step. Make your inhalations and exhalations equal in length. You can also use phrases such as "I breathe in peace & compassion" or "I breathe out joy & love."

9:30 pm: Before Bed
Try this relaxing, restorative pose to release the day's tension so you'll sleep better. Very good for calming the nervous system. It also helps relieve varicose veins and leg cramps.

Sitting on the floor side ways next to a wall, roll onto your back as you swing your legs up the wall. Your buttocks should be as close to the wall as comfortably possible and your legs straight but relaxed. relax your face, neck, shoulders, arms and buttock. relax your whole body into the earth. close your eyes to help you relax and turn your attention inward. Focus on the sensations of your breath as you inhale and exhale. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. When you are ready, bend your knees to your chest and roll to your right side to sit up.

These techniques are simple, effective and easy to work into your schedule. In doing so, you will create more tranquility and peace into your life. Try it and soon the routine will be part of your daily habits!

Many, Many Blessings,
Karen