As we strive to reduce the physical and mental challenges of a stressful schedule, it is highly beneficial to adopt a calming fitness routine. Michele Schnelker, fitness instructor, Parkview Health and Fitness Center, offers this simple 6-step yoga sequence for a mindful pause. Adjust the lighting and temperature in the room, find a quiet space outside, incorporate aromatherapy, and set the mood for a peaceful practice.
Yoga sequence for relaxation
Hold each pose for 4 breaths (1 breath = 1 inhalation and 1 exhalation through the nose).
1. Come to Child’s Pose. Feel the release in your back.
2. Rock forward, shoulders over wrists, keep core engaged.
3. Shift back into Downward Dog. Raise hips toward the sky, feel the stretch down the back of the legs, keep hips square with the ground, tap ears on inside of biceps.
4. Step forward and bend down into Rag Doll. Notice the stretch through the back of the legs and through the back.
5. Cross your feet and roll back to bring knees to chest. Yogi’s choice: You can roll the knees in a circle to massage the sacrum, rock the knees side to side, or bring the knees in closer to your chest.
6. Come into final relaxation. Legs should naturally fall out, palms up, hands to the side.