Getting the day off to a good start doesn't have to be an unmanageable task.
Taking a few moments at the beginning of the day for myself makes all the difference. Instead of starting a spiral straight into stress, I face the day with ease and a bit of enthusiasm. Contrary to popular belief, a yoga practice does not need to take several hours each day. When you need it, a simple ten minute workout can point you in the right direction.
Start the day with a smile with one or more of these practices.
1) A short yoga flow
Originally, yoga asanas (postures) were developed to warm up the body's muscles and ligaments, so that afterwards you could manage to sit for a long time in quiet meditation. Why not start the day according to the same principles? Many of us spend many hours every day sitting still, a short yoga flow loosens up your body before a day at work. Start with a Sun Salutation that warms your body from the inside. By incorporating a few Sun Salutations every morning, you can increase your vitality and your daily well-being.
2) Gentle stretch
If you don't feel like doing a full yoga sequence, you can come down and sit on your mat and just hang out for a few gentle stretches. Start with some neck rolls to release tension. Then spread and straighten your legs, bend forward and extend your arms with your hands toward your toes to open your hips. Seat cross legged and place your hands on your knees, then do some Cat – Cow stretches (breathe in and sway your back, pushing your chest forward. Then breathe out, and push your back back, sucking in your lower abdomen, creating a curve) or stretch your legs straight out and lean forward and hang out in a forward bend, possibly supported on a pillow.
Your movements don't have to be vigorous to soothe and awaken your body.
If you need clarity or a sense of calm, invest in ten minutes of meditation. By embracing silence, you calm your nervous system, you send the signal to your body that there is nothing to worry about. If you are not that familiar with meditation, just sit completely still while you count your breathing, you count your exhalations from 1 to 10, when you get to 10 you start over. If a thought arises, name it "thought" and return to your breath. Both negative and positive thoughts are perfectly OK, as they are "just" thoughts, so keep bringing your attention back to the breath.
Read more: fundamental meditation techniques
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