When stress comes knocking, it's all too easy to forget to "just breathe." The simple in-and-out we perform all day long is the most important part of our existence. If we didn't do it, we wouldn't be here.
Learning how to breath deeply doesn't require an expensive gym membership. You don't need to spend thousands on costly memberships to high-end boutiques. Instead, all you need is a quick and easy seven-step morning routine.
The benefits of yoga are endless, and the greatest part about it is you cater each move specifically to the needs of your body, so you don't have to stress keeping the pace of the rest of the class. Yoga is about transition and ease, never pushing yourself beyond your limits and focusing on your breath.
If you find yourself constantly stressed, struggling to wake up in the mornings, having a hard time staying focused throughout the day or getting anxious just thinking about "turning off" before bed, try this Vyana Yoga-guided routine.
The slow, deep and mindful breathing exercises will calm you down and restore you.
1. Mountain Pose
Stand strong and upright at the edge of your mat with your feet rooted to the ground and shoulder-width apart. Inhale your hands up from your sides, bringing them straight down in front of you at your heart-center.
This move works your posture. You can do it with eyes open or closed, if you want to really zero-in on your breath sounds.
2. Forward Fold
Exhale your arms forward towards your feet, make sure you bend slightly at the hips and not the waist. If needed, you can also bend your knees a little bit. If you aren't able to touch the ground, rest your hands on the back of your legs. Hold this pose and breathe.
You'll feel this move working your hips, hamstrings and calves. To make sure you're breathing deeply, you'll feel the rise and fall of your chest as you draw in long, deep breaths in this position.
Inhale deeply as you walk your hands out under your shoulders with your fingers spread wide. Once you've created a straight line from your head to your feet (without leaning forward or arching your back), exhale and press all of your weight through your forearms and fingers.
If this move hurts, lower your knees to the ground for modified plank (you might find this position more comfortable). Be sure not to lock your elbows and let your pelvis sink; you want to keep your body aligned.
As you hold this position, you'll feel your core is doing most of the work.
4. Upward Dog
As you move from the plank position into Upward Dog, inhale deeply. Bring your chest toward the floor, slowly, and then draw upward by pushing your hands firmly into the ground and lift your torso. As you extend upward, exhale.
You'll feel this move all over, especially in your back, arms and wrists.
5. Downward Dog
From Upward Dog, draw your hips upward toward the sky and hinge backward so as to keep your legs straight. You want to align your shoulders with your ears as you exhale deeply through the movement.
If this position is difficult to hold, you can bend your knees slightly and raise the back of your heels off the ground.
As you move from Upward Dog into Downward Dog, you'll feel your legs, arms and your bag all adjust to support your weight.
6. Forward Fold
Inhale as you walk your hands back toward your toes, allowing your knees to bend slightly, keeping your feet flat on the ground. Once you've walked your hands far enough toward your feet, exhaling several times while you let your body hang in this position.
As you draw your body backward, you're working your hips, hamstrings and calves.
7. Reverse Swan Dive
From the ground up, draw in a deep inhale and bring your arms upward (from your sides), joining them together as you bring them both down in front of you into prayer pose. You'll meet back where you started, at your heart-center.
You'll feel your body lengthen and work your back and abs as you breathe through this move.