At this moment, do you notice accumulated stress in your body? That slight clenching in your jaw, furrow in your brow, tension in your shoulders, tightness in your belly?
The tools of Yoga Therapy are so powerful because they are accessible and meet us right where we are. The following exercise can help to release tension in 1-2 minutes.
One Minute Yoga to the Rescue:
- Sit comfortably, hands palms down on your lap, close your eyes, and feel your feet on the floor.
- Honor the intention of taking 1-2 minutes to relax your body and mind.
- Inhale through the nose, shrugging your shoulders up toward your ears.
- Exhale through the mouth with a sigh (if a sigh feels conspicuous, you can just exhale through the mouth), dropping your shoulders, imagining any buildup of stress falling off your shoulders.
- Repeat 3 times.
- Next, inhale through the nose, filling your belly.
- Exhale through your mouth as if you are exhaling out through a straw (lips pursed together creating a little opening between them as if you were holding a straw in your mouth).
This breath technique effortlessly extends the length of your exhale, stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system to release a cascade of stress-reducing hormones that calm and restore your system.
Repeat 3-5 times, inhaling through your nose and exhaling out through the ‘straw’.
Close by repeating the affirmation silently 3 times: “I am relaxed and at ease.” If you have a spiritual life/practice, take a moment to honor its presence in your life. Notice the effects of this simple practice in your body – does your body feel more relaxed? How about your mental state – do you feel more expansive?
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