Try this 15 minute sequence when you are feeling anxious and stressed.
1. Begin in Child's Pose for 5 complete breaths. Just notice the quality of your breathing. After 5 breaths begin to expand the breath into the belly and low back for another 5 breaths.
2. Come up onto hands and knees for Cat/Cow Pose. Follow the breath with eyes closed or a gentle gaze with eyes half-way open. As you inhale let the belly drop, arching the back and getting a full stretch of the front torso. As you exhale, bow the forehead towards your fingers but keep the arms lengthened and lift your spine upwards and tailbone towards your heals. Keep alternating according to your natural rhythm of breath. Try to lengthen the inhale and exhale with slow, steady transitions from Cat to Cow. Do this for at least 10 breaths.
3. In a neutral tabletop position, come into Thread the Needle Pose by lifting your right arm high then lowering and reaching down and through your left hand and knee. Reach as far as you can with the entire right arm resting on the floor and your right ear resting on the floor or on a blanket facing the left. Release the body, allow the tailbone to be lifted and centered between the knees. Breath in and out slowly and completely, staying tuned into the full inhale and exhale for 5 breaths and then switch to Thread the Needle on the other side. When finished, come back to Tabletop and then sit back on the heals and come into Child once again for several breaths.
4. From Child, Roll onto your back and drape your knees over several pillows. Rest a folded blanket on your abdomen and another blanket or towel under your neck/head. Bring your left hand to your heart, your right hand to your belly. Watch, with your mind's eye, the movement of the breath as you slowly, deeply inhale into the belly, then ribs, then chest, and exhale completely, slowly in one continuous flow of breath out the nose. Make these breaths satisfying, not forced, but complete. Begin to observe yourself lying there as you breath and release any tension you may feel in the jaw, the shoulders, the hips. Just relax and breath for as long as you wish. When finished, roll to one side and slowly lift yourself up without popping up in a jolting manner. Move slowly and compassionately.
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