Here are 5 ways to spend the break and some intentions you can connect to them. Knowing what an exercise does for you while you are doing it increases the positive effect manyfold!!
I suggest designating a yoga space for yourself when you arrive at a location where you will be for any significant length of time. Even if the space is in a crowded room where floor exercises are inappropriate, you can designate a corner or a chair, etc. to occupy when you need that break- even if all you can do is lower your eyes and watch your breath for a few rounds.
I hope you enjoy these. And remember, the BEST practice is to do as you are guided from your inner teacher! “Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
1. Five min downward dog– great for mental/physical endurance….when your attention span is short you feel myopic or erratic, overstimulation of senses, too much socializing, or just wanting a workout without much movement. Observe which tires first- mental or physical stamina.
2. Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall) –energy balancer, when you’re tired but so buzzed you can’t relax even laying down, antidote for too much sitting, or too much time on feet, and /or jet lag.
3. Playing Favorites– when you’ve done things everyone else’s way and want to treat yourself to what you like for a change.
Postures are listed by name….but maybe you don’t know the name of your favorite…just practice it as you know it, remembering instead the alignment and mind of the posture.
- A) favorite backbend for 1 min. such as cobra, sphinx, updog, seal, bridge, wheel, fish
- B) favorite twist for 1 min. such as marichiasana, padangustasana, bharadvajasana, spiral, knees to chest, twisting lunge revolved twisting lunge, triangle, revolved triangle
- C) favorite forward fold for 1 min. such as uttanasana, paschimotanasana, upavista konasana
- D) savasana— 2 mins. (—-note: forward fold or back bend can be first, just make sure a twist is performed in between them. Savasana is traditionally last but it’s also a great way to begin if you need to rest or calm down before starting.)
4. Better than Espresso— Find energy, tone all tissues of body.
- A) Round spine, knees toward chest and rock forward to back using legs and core (not head and neck) a few times. You can hold the fronts of shins as in the pick or the backs of the thighs. Rock into shoulderstand. In shoulderstand, stretch legs in different directions for a few minutes- crossing them, taking them wide, soles of feet together knees wide, taking them into clockwise movements as you twist the torso. Then rest in halasana/plow. In plow, legs do not have to be straight, nor feet on the ground, but neck should be comfortable, with shoulders bearing the weight. Then slowly roll out working palms into floor, pulling back with legs and moving from core. Knees to chest slowly, gently rock side to side.
- B) Bridge for 3-10 slow breaths
- C) Rock to sitting.
- D) Sit for 5-10 breaths with eyes open but still. Watch breath become slower, smoother and deeper. Enjoy the awakened yet restful feeling tone and carry back with you into your tasks.
5. Saluting and Standing
One sun salute to get a 5 count breath rhythm going then into a series of balances. Complete the final balance seamlessly- with the sense that as both feet hit the floor, you are still physically balancing- as you walk away from the practice, still physically balancing, to help keep mental and emotional balance. — Restore mental clarity, calm, nonchalance, ability to think on feet.
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