3 Minute Meditation - Fill a laundry basket and tell your people that you are going to your room to fold laundry and, if they follow you, they have to help. Ok, so maybe it isn’t 100% truthful, but it is in the best interest of everyone in your household. Once safely in your room, close the door, sit on the floor, close your eyes, and tell yourself that you are breathing in and breathing out. All it takes is a few minutes of this to feel like a whole new person. I find this to be a particularly helpful tool when my brain is overwhelmed and gearing up for an anxiety attack.
Check in with your feet - Each time you find yourself standing in one place for any extended period of time (like washing dishes) , check in with your feet. For most of us our toes point out to the sides when we aren‘t paying attention. Turn them so they face forward. This small change will travel up your legs and knees and into your hips. Now, take it a step further, if you’d like, and think Mountain Pose with those legs. Use your core muscles too and washing the dishes is a whole new event.
And speaking of feet...use your whole foot - Each time you are getting up from a seated position or climbing stairs place your whole foot on the floor or step. No more running on the stairs on tip toes. This will again engage more muscles in your legs and bottom. When these muscles are working you are also taking some of the stress off your knees. Think of all the work your legs can get while you run upstairs to tuck your child back into bed seventeen times.
Sit on the floor - Skip chairs whenever you can. Sitting on the floor requires your hips to stretch, creating flexibility. The more opportunities you give your hips to stretch, the happier they become. Happy hips, happy body.
Picking things up - How many times a day do you bend over to pick things up? Every time you bend over think about putting some yoga into action. Fold over into a forward bend with intention instead of just reaching and grabbing. Pull in those core muscles and try it with your legs together (Uttanasana), legs apart (Prasarita Padottanasana), one leg up in a standing split, over to the side on one leg (Ardha Chandrasana - Half moon), you get the idea.
Find a little balance - Any time you find yourself standing in one place for any period of time, take a leg up off the floor and find your tree pose. Maybe it won’t build your focus the same way it will in a yoga class, but it will work your feet and strengthen your ankles. Remember to do both sides.
Use your tummy wisely - Engage your core muscles often. These muscles support your spine. By toning your core you are helping to prevent back injuries, as well as allowing your spine to elongate itself. This creates more space on the sides of your body, which in turn creates a slimmer appearance. So, sitting at your desk, driving in your car, taking a walk, wherever, pull in your core. It’s like a stomach crunch without all the fuss. Think about your core muscles wrapping around from the sides of your body to the center and then draw them up towards your rib cage. In and up, baby, in and up.
Butterflies in Bed - Baddhakonasana, Butterfly pose, is super easy to sink into while lying in bed or watching TV. Lie down in bed, or prop your back up on some pillows on the floor, bring your feet together and draw them in towards your groin. Use blankets or pillows under your knees for a little extra support if you’d like. Ahhh…..yummy.
Be thankful - Show gratitude for all that you have. We all have things we want, but sometimes its hard to remember to be grateful for what we already have. When we can begin to appreciate all that we do have our perspective begins to shift. We begin to see that often times we have what we need, and all the rest is just gravy.