Health: Easy yoga for any schedule

MoreThanHeels.com welcomes guest poster Karen Whittier of EmbraceActivism.com- Embrace Activism promotes health and wellness by combining online sales of yoga products with consumer-directed, charitable giving.  Products come in awareness color lines with pink, representing breast cancer, being the first.  10% of all product prices are donated.   Embrace Activism products create purpose-driven yoga.

Think about these inventions: the sewing machine, vacuum, washing machine, microwave, computer—all created to make work easier and faster, to free up more time, ostensibly, for leisure.   But do you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands?  Probably not.  And if you’re a parent with primary responsibility for any children, it’s pretty much a sure bet your time is partitioned off with home, work and community duties from morning until way-past night.  Multi-tasking is de rigueur.

Multi-tasking may be what’s expected or even required, but juggling all those tasks leaves little room for you.  Studies have shown stress levels for typical Americans are increasing.  With worries over the economy and its effect on job security, the ability to pay bills, and contributing to a college and/or retirement account OR worries over continued unrest in the world due to war or natural disaster it’s no wonder.  The negative effects of stress, though, need to be stressed.*

It is absolutely essential and even life-saving for the body to rest, refuel and rejuvenate.  But how to break the stressed-out, maxed-out, multi-tasking lifestyle?  Yoga.  Yoga has been shown to cause positive changes to body, mind and spirit.  BUT, you say, I don’t have time to go to a studio to take a class.  One of the great things about yoga is its accessibility.  There are many yoga studios offering classes at various days/times and yoga is also offered at community centers and gyms.  In addition yoga can be done in an office or home setting.  Ideally practice is guided by an experienced yoga teacher, but there are DVDs available for purchase (or loan from libraries) that can explain and demonstrate various poses.  BUT, you say, I don’t have that much ‘free’ time to watch a DVD.  If that’s the case, divide up your practice into mini-practices that can be done in 10-15 minute blocks during your day:  starting with the ringing of the morning alarm, flowing into a midday break, transforming the evening arrival and ending with a relaxed close to your night.   Multi-tasking may be unavoidable.  If that’s the case for you, add a ‘task’ that will improve your health, outlook and functioning.  The following Rise & Stretch mini-yoga sequence you can easily slip in to your schedule.

Rise & Stretch:  Lying on the bed

  • With hands on belly, inhale deeply feeling the belly rise; exhale completely with belly button drawing in and up towards spine. Inhale and exhale for a count of 4; repeat for 4-6x
  • On an exhale, gently turn the head to the right; inhale back to center; repeat to left side for complete set; 2-4x
  • Point your toes on an inhale and flex the feet on the exhale. 4-6x
  • Rotate wrists 4-6x then reverse direction.
  • Inhale arms go overhead, reaching through the fingers and stretching through the toes for 2-4 breaths exhaling the arms back to the side.
  • Draw knee up to chest, hands clasping around the shins and roll gently side to side; release and, using your arms, press yourself up slowly.

There are many demands on our time and attention, taking care of your health is critical; adding yoga helps you to step up to these challenges efficiently and effectively.  If you’d like the midday, evening and night mini-yoga sequences send an email to Karen@EmbraceActivism.com with Mini-yoga Sequences in the subject line.

Health, Wellness & CURES!!
Karen Whittier

*Learn more about the negative health effects from stress at  http://bit.ly/dbtkJ