Afternoon delight

When your energies flag in the afternoon, try the following exercise, which is a great stress buster. You can practice it at home or in a quiet place at the office. Just make sure that you can't be interrupted. For this exercise, you need

a sturdy chair, one or two blankets, and a towel or an eye bag (see Chapter 19 for more on this additional yoga resource). Allow five to ten minutes.

1. Lie on your back and put your feet up on the chair, which should face you (see Figure 4-2).

Make sure that your legs and back are comfortable. Your legs should be 15 to 18 inches apart. You can also put your legs and feet up on the edge of a bed. If none of the feet-up positions feels good, just lie on your back with your legs bent and feet placed on the floor. If the back of your head isn't flat on the floor, and your neck and throat feel tense, or if your chin is pushed up toward the ceiling, raise your head slightly on a folded blanket or firm flat cushion to feel comfortable.

Figure 4-2:

Lie on your back and put your feet on a chair.

Figure 4-2:

Lie on your back and put your feet on a chair.

2. Cover your body from the neck down with one of the blankets.

Don't let your body cool down too quickly, which can not only feel uncomfortable and interfere with your relaxation but also cramp your muscles and harm your kidneys.

3. Place the eye bag or towel folded lengthwise over your eyes.

4. Rest for a few moments and get used to the position.

5. Visualize a large balloon in your stomach. As you inhale through your nose, expand the imaginary balloon in all directions. As you exhale through your nose, release the air from the balloon.

Repeat this step several times until it becomes easy for you.

6. Inhale freely and begin to make your exhalation longer and longer. Inhale freely, exhale forever.

7. Repeat Step 6 at least 30 times.

8. When you finish the exercise, allow your breath to return to normal and rest for a minute or so, enjoying the relaxed feeling.

Don't rush getting up.

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