Step 1 - Pause: Find a comfortable place to sit and be still. Take a seat either in a chair or on the floor. This is a chance to meet yourself right where you are. Take a moment to get out of your head and into your body. If it feels appropriate please close your eyes and take a few breaths. It may take a few minutes for you settle and get comfortable, so be patient with yourself.
Step 2 - Breathe: Once you settle into the body please lay yourself down on your back (on the floor or even on a bed or sofa). Place your left hand on your heart/chest and the right on the belly just above the navel. Begin to notice your breath. Make sure that you can feel movement under both of your hands as well as on the back of your body. You should be able to feel your back ribs gently press into the surface beneath you as you inhale. If you can only feel movement in the chest you need to relax and allow the breath to expand. Chest breathing can induce anxiety, so we want to soften and allow the breath to move more widely and freely. The breath is three dimensional and will expand and contract naturally as you melt away your tension. Spend a few minutes here breathing in through your nose and gently out through the month.
Step 3 - Notice: Now, remain on your back and pull the knees into the belly, keeping them close to the body guide your knees all the way to the floor on one side for a spinal twist. As you twist you may notice that you have sensations and even mild discomfort revealing itself. These are the locations where the tension lives in your body. Try to relax and breathe until the tension softens. You will be able to release the discomfort as you take some nice long, slow inhalations and exhalations. Then repeat on the other side.
Step 4 - Feel: Now let your knees return to center and stretch and extend your legs out in a way that feels natural to you. Lay still for a few minutes and notice how you feel. Eventually, you can stretch and move a bit to return to your seated position. It doesn’t take long for the nervous system to shift gears. You most likely had a shift from the Sympathetic to the Para Sympathetic Nervous System - meaning you went from being in a stress response to a state of recovery and healing.
This is the process of creating deep and purposeful relaxation. When we are able to settle down and be still there is a shift in all aspects of our being. Stress and tension are some of the biggest contributors to dis-ease, so any stress you can let go of will make a difference in your health and wellbeing. The combination of breath, stillness and a little bit of movement can work wonders for your life. Remember that this is a process and takes some practice but in less than 10 minutes you can see fantastic results.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Leslie has been literally living and breathing yoga for almost three decades. An entrepreneur and owner of Yoga Journey Studio, which is the hub of all things yoga for her thriving community in South Florida. Leslie travels the world leading retreats and has been a teacher of teachers for over twenty years, a national presenter, guest speaker and community leader. She has also been featured on CBS and ABC News as well as many magazines and newspapers. Her Pause, Breathe, Notice, Feel methodology is the foundation for her approach to teaching, but truly, it is intuition and connection that have inspired her life's work. Community development is Leslie’s passion, she’s worked diligently to make yoga accessible to all both locally and globally. She knows that every person has the chance to live an extraordinary life and uses this belief to create connections and a place of belonging for all who cross her path. Yoga has also influenced her personal life and relationships with her husband and two children. She works everyday to elevate herself to lead by example and raise the collective energy of the people in her family, community and all over the world through the practice of yoga.