Relax Back to School and Work in Just a Few Minutes
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.” ~ Mandy Hale
With the summer holidays behind and back-to-school or back-to-work in full swing, there might be a higher probability of stress to meet the constant demands of parenthood while getting back into our daily routine. So this week I’m sharing how to do the simple yet comfortable and healing child pose (aka balasana in Sanskrit). Energetically it helps to ground you and calm your mind from the swirling to-do list. And physically, it helps ease low back tension increasing blood flow to the spine and brain while stretching your lower back, hips, thighs, and ankles improving circulation.
While this may be the place to go in the middle of a yoga class to rest when you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired or too challenged. Even if you don’t have a regular practice this is an amazing pose to go to full stop when you’re feeling stressed.
Whether you’re an avid yogi or a complete beginner, with just one to five minutes to spare, here are my top three tips to completely relax in child pose:
- Allow yourself to drop: On your mat start seated on your heels and bring your big toes to touch. Move your knees so they’re about hip-distance apart. Exhale slowly bring your chest to rest on your thighs and forehead to touch the floor. You should feel your tailbone lengthen away from your pelvis. Place your hands on the mat directly in front of you, palms facing down. Or bring your arms beside you snug with your torso, palms facing in.
- Feel yourself soften: If your forehead cannot reach the ground, alternatively you can make a pillow with your hands and rest your forehead on your hands. You can also use pillows and cushions to deepen further into the stretch. You can place a folded blanket under your back thighs and calves if sitting on your ankles is uncomfortable. Or you could place a pillow under your bottom so that it rests on your ankles, to help you feel balanced as you fold forward.
- Stay and just breathe: Take slow deep breaths all the way down to your belly. Inhale and exhale through your nose. Feel free to alternate exhaling out through your mouth to release any residual tension. Relax and focus on your breath. You can stay here for anywhere from one minute to ten minutes. To come out, inhale while bringing your torso back up. You should feel your tailbone press down while you raise yourself back up to sitting position.
As always, I’d love connecting with you and hear how you’re getting through back-to-school as a parent or just back-to-work after your summer holidays. Head over to the comments section below to share your thoughts.
With love and gratitude,
Ten years as an American expat in Europe, Leslie knows what it takes to overcome the challenges to create a new and happy life. As an international Coach, Yoga Teacher, Writer, and Speaker she guides others to live a stress free and happy life. A Los Angeles native, she lives in Barcelona with her French husband and two young children. To find out more about Leslie and her work click here.
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