So far this year I have been frequently reminded of the need to take time to stop and breathe. To make time for gratitude and love in our busy schedules. To top-up the stillness within, that can carry us through the hardest of times.
Take a moment to smile, for even the smallest things in life bring us moments of joy.
Try not to be too attached to things (or ideas) so that joy can be felt no matter what you gain or lose.
Tell your dearest that you love them as often as possible, EVERYDAY!
Don’t take anything for granted and make sure you smile more than you frown.
A simple and incredibly effective breathing technique (pranayama) is Vertical Alignment Breath. This can be done almost anywhere and provides a gateway to feelings of calmness and serenity.
When life gets tough, the tough get breathing.
Mountain Pose with Vertical Alignment Breath
Mountain Pose is a master posture that we practice repeatedly in all classes. This simple pose can instantly make us feel better, more secure and more confident. Combined with Vertical Alignment Breath we can feel steady, calm and clear in the mind too. Breathe in and out of your nose throughout this practice.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart
- Allow your shoulders to relax, close your eyes (or soften your gaze) and focus on breathing
- Stand firm and feel your feet solid on the floor. Try to balance your weight evenly across your feet. If you wish you can visualise you have roots growing from your feet
- Soften (but don’t bend) your knees, switch on the muscles in your thighs, buttocks and pelvic floor
- Draw your belly button in towards the base of your spine and lift and lengthen out of your hips
- Roll your shoulders a few times and then let your hands rest by your side
- Feel the back of your neck lengthening and the crown of your head lifting towards the sky
- Keep your shoulders and neck relaxed and focus on your breath, breathe easily for a few breaths
- Now draw your breath into your heart
- On your next out-breath visualise the breath passing down through your torso, through the legs, feet and out into the earth beneath you
- When you are ready to breathe in, visualise drawing the breath up through the feet from the earth, through the legs, torso and back into the heart
- When you are ready to breathe out take the breath up and out through the crown of the head and into the sky above your head
- Breathe in and draw the breath down from the sky above, through the crown of the head and back into the heart
- Breathe out from the heart, down through the torso, legs and feet and into the earth
- Continue breathing in this pattern for at least one minute, but see if you can stay for longer, connecting to the earth, your breath and your body
- Take a moment to stand and let your breath return to normal and to see how you feel.
Want to feel like this more of the time?
Come along to a Lucyoga class to learn the incredible tools Dru Yoga has to offer for dealing with stress and crisis.
Or why not try one of our workshops or courses?
How about a workshop where you get to work through some of the emotions that stress and crisis bring up?
Join me in London on 17 and 18 March or in Leeds on 24 March. Find out more
Want to try some yoga at home?
Visit my You Tube channel and have a go at some #NoStressYoga at home. Watch now