Even if you don't have time for yoga classes, this simple breath awareness exercise can fit easily into the most stressful day. It only takes a few minutes, and will have stress melting away in no time.
"This is a yoga practice that everybody can do," says Sheila Miller of the Sound of Body Yoga Studio in Toronto. "Anywhere really, even if you can't stand, can't move, you can do some breath awareness exercises".This technique helps to calm the mind and body, freeing you of some of the daily worries, thoughts and distractions. And who couldn't benefit from that?
Although this exercise can be done anywhere, in virtually any position, it should ideally be done sitting down.
- Sit up tall on the edge of your chair. Make sure your head is over the chest, and your shoulders are relaxed. You can close your eyes or look softly at the floor. Do what is most comfortable for you.
- Bring one hand to your belly and take relaxed breaths, focusing only on the breath. Feel the movement as you inhale and exhale. As you do so, Try to let all thoughts and outside distractions melt away.
- Move your hand to the chest and focus on the breath there. Again, feel the movement as you inhale and exhale. This is a skill that is developed over time, so be patient at first.
For even greater relaxation, take this exercise a step further by adding a mantra to help focus.