Welcome back to our beloved readers! I hope you have had the opportunity to put the “power of three” to the test, or are at least becoming more aware of it in your daily life… We’ve all had those days when despite our Tapas, (the flame of conscious, directed effort) life seems determined to undermine our intent and our time for our (hopefully) regular Yoga session. Rather than allow disappointment, self flagellation, or any other negative response to arise, find a spare fifteen minutes and enjoy the peace and tranquility that a quick Emergency Yoga routine can offer.
As a wise man once said…”some Yoga is better than no Yoga.”
On days that I cannot find the time for my regular full session, this routine keeps me limber and allows me to relax both physically and mentally. Some Yoga is better than no Yoga, and fifteen minutes of peace and harmony always trumps feeling down for doing no Yoga at all. As the routine is quite short, I recommend taking a minute or two and relax and focus through some Ujjayi breathing while in Savasana first…
During this short Ujjayi breathing period, close your eyes and see in your mind’s eye..:
A warm, loving and healing energy of purest white fills your lungs as you inhale, spreading from within to every cell, every strand of DNA, and every particle of your being.
As you exhale, envision all sickness, negativity, worry, and stress leaving in a dark cloud, dispersing into nothingness.
Over the two minute period, see the dark cloud gradually grow lighter and brighter with each exhale as the loving, healing energy purifies your being and reunites you mind, body and spirit – until your last few breaths are just as pure as during your inhale.
Open your eyes, take one deep breath, retain it for two seconds, then exhale without effort and SMILE J…
There are a small number of simple postures/exercises to complete, with each one given twenty to thirty seconds in each posture before moving on to the next. Don’t worry about the time; you’ll be on your feet and feeling great in only another dozen minutes or so!
|Asana or Posture||Targeted Area||Notes:|
|Pelvic tilts||Lower back||Pelvic tilts are an amazing method of relieving a stiff lower back – do as many as comfortable within 30-45 seconds, but do them slowly.|
|Cat/Cow, or Marjariasana||The back and entire spine||Similar to a pelvic tilt, with the advantage of stretching and warming the entire spine. Do 10-12|
|Lunge, or Ardha Mandalasana||Legs, back, groin and hips||Perform a lunge on each leg for 15 seconds. Lunges soften the groin and hips (relieves tension) and strengthen the legs and back.|
|Downward facing dog, or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana||Upper back||This pose also relieves high blood pressure and stress, hold for 20 to 30 seconds.|
|Standing forward bend, or Uttanasana||Legs, lower back and spine||This is a fantastic stretch for elongating and relieving pressure on the spine. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.|
|Tadasana, or mountain pose||Body – mind connection||Take 15 to 20 seconds in this pose to focus on your breath and realize how much better you already feel!|
|Virabhadrasana (II), or warrior pose (II)||Legs, ankles, arms, knee joints, and spine.||This is a true ‘power pose’ that improves circulation and respiration among a plethora of other benefits. Hold for up to one minute on each side.|
|Tadasana, or mountain pose||Whole body||Hold for 15 seconds, then…|
|Raised arms pose, or Urdhva Hastasana.||Shoulders, armpits, belly||This position is also a potent stress reliever – try to keep your arms as straight as possible, hold for 30 seconds.|
|Standing forward bend, or Uttanasana||Legs, lower back, and spine||Hold again for 30 seconds, then relax and lie down on your back!|
|Lie here and relax for the last few minutes, you may choose to use Ujjayi breathing, or perhaps allow your breath its own rhythm…|
That’s it! Fifteen minutes or so ago, the missed full session of Yoga was causing all sorts of negative effects on your body, your mind, and your energy levels. How do you feel now? For myself, I use this as an end of day routine in case I cannot find time for a regular session; its primary goal is to relieve stress, calm the mind, and rejuvenate the body without too much of a workout. Feel free to design your own ‘Emergency Yoga’ short practice for either morning or evening (or whenever you may fit it in). You may want to have a few Emergency Yoga routines – one for morning, one for evening, or maybe one for a coffee break at work.
Until next we meet, Namaste, my friends…