5-Minute Yoga For Every Body: Grounding and Calming Yoga
You Can Do Yoga!
Begin With Breath
Yoga is more than just stretching and balancing. It is a way of life. Yoga embraces the whole person, to lead you on a path of well being; physically, mentally, and spiritually.
You do not need to embrace a specific religion to enjoy the benefits of yoga. The spirit of yoga welcomes all. What you do need is a desire to grow and a desire to love yourself beyond where you are today. Yoga is appropriate for all age and skill levels, and it's benefits are far reaching.
This series of articles is written for people who have not yet explored yoga, but would like to. It is also designed to help people who don't have time for a traditional yoga class.
This series covers some basic poses for beginners, and also the philosophy behind yoga. If you want to be more flexible, read on. If you want more balance, then continue. It only takes five minutes a day.
The most important part of a yoga practice is breathing. Becoming aware of the breath is the basis for all poses. Before you begin this or any yoga practice, take a few moments to quiet your mind and focus on your breath.
Breathe deeply and check in with your body. Listen to your breath. Notice how you feel, physically and emotionally. Allow yourself to notice and observe your body, your breath and your emotions.
Before you begin your practice, continue breathing deeply for a few more moments. Allow your mind to connect to your body. Now, you are in a place to begin.
Breathe In. Breathe Out.
When practicing yoga, learning poses typically comes before practicing philosophy. It is important to find out that you can do a pose. The struggle with self to overcome fear, hesitation and embarrassment will lead you on a path of growth and increased body awareness.
We all start at the beginning. Not knowing any yoga poses. Not understanding the seemingly complex thought system embraced by the enlightened gurus. At the beginning, we learn. We begin our yoga practice exactly where we are today. We don't worry about where we were yesterday, or where we want to be tomorrow. Today, we begin where we are. We breathe deeply and begin.
Start with a beginners mind. We begin as an empty vessel, waiting to be filled. We begin with nothing to bring, but ourselves and our desire to practice. Nothing else matters.
As we learn simple poses, our mind slowly overcomes the ego which tears us down at every opportunity. Our true self learns that we are strong, capable, and smart. As we work through each pose, our true self is lifted. There is no perfect pose in yoga. The perfection is found in the practice. The practice of breathing, connecting the mind, body and soul, and the practice of moving through the poses leads us to find perfection in each moment. We forget about being "perfect" and we meet ourselves exactly where we are.
The boost in confidence that follows creates a desire to improve our lives in other areas, and this juncture is where yoga philosophy comes in. The philosophy embraces breath, connection and life. It leads us to a higher place of acceptance and confidence, as we learn that where we are is exactly where we need to be.
5 Minute Yoga for Calming and Grounding
Grounding and Calming Step-by-Step
Yoga for grounding and calming helps quiet the busy mind. It helps bring us back to our breath and into our body, feeling the earth beneath us, supporting, nourishing and calming us.
1. Set an Intention: Sit comfortably, feeling the ground beneath you. Breathe deeply and allow your awareness to settle into your body. Set an intention for being grounded, stable and secure. Throughout the practice and the rest of the day, move slowly and deliberately, with an intention of calm grounding.
2. Feel the Earth Beneath You: Wherever you are sitting, allow yourself to feel connected to the earth. Feel your hips (or your feet, if you are in a chair) touching the ground beneath you and imagine roots growing from your body into the earth, connecting and stabilizing you. Take a deep breath.
3. Cow-Cat-Childs Pose Series: Come onto all fours, making sure that the hands are under the shoulders and the knees are under the hips. Taking a big inhale, gently rock your body weight forward, over your hands. Press the tummy toward the mat, lift the chin, lengthen the neck and arch the back into Cow Pose.
As you exhale, rock back so that body weight is over the knees. Drop your head, drop your tailbone and curl your back into Cat Pose. Continuing with a long exhale, drop your hips all the way back to your heels.
Dropping your hips to your heels, come into Child's Pose, resting your forehead on the mat and your arms in front of you or by your sides. If the pose feels uncomfortable, a yoga block or a pillow under the forehead might help ease you into the stretch.
In Child's Pose, press your forehead into the mat or block, feeling the connection to the earth. Press your palms into the mat and allow yourself to feel completely safe, grounded and quiet. Breathe here for a count of five.
On the next inhale, flow forward into Cow Pose. On the exhale, flow back to Cat Pose, and into Child's Pose.
Repeat this series three or four times to calm the body. After the final Child's Pose, come up to sitting.
4. Seated Forward Fold: Extend the legs in front of you. Sit up tall and feel the connection to the earth under your hips and legs. Inhaling, lengthen the spine and imagine drawing energy into the body. As you exhale, slowly walk the hands forward, only as far as feels comfortable. As you come into Seated Forward Fold, press your hands into the mat, again feeling that connection with the earth.
Only walk the hands as far forward as feels comfortable. Feel a gentle stretch through the lower back, the hips and hamstrings, while pressing the palms into the mat.
6. 4-5-6 Breathing: Come back to sitting. Bend the knees and bring them toward the body. Press the feet flat into the mat. Wrap your arms around your knees, as if you are hugging your knees into your chest.
Sit up tall and feel your hips and feet pressing into the mat. Slowly inhale (with eyes closed) to a count of four. Hold the full breath for five counts. Slowly and completely exhale to a count of five. Repeat this deep, relaxing breath three or four times, then return to normal breathing.
I am a certified yoga instructor, massage therapist, and life coach. I want to help everyone achieve their best life, today. Using the tools I've learned in yoga, massage and life coaching, I want to help you improve your life from the inside out.
Yoga is an important component of a complete life, as it combines the essence of breath, movement and feeling. Practicing yoga daily will help with your peace of mind, as well as balance and flexibility.
As I get older, I realize that some things that I used to do are no longer comfortable, so I have adjusted my yoga practice to be realistic for every body type, regardless of age, size, fitness level or experience.
Join me on the journey, as we explore yoga and the benefits of breathing and feeling.
Calming Breath 4-7-8
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Deborah Demander