Friday, October 12, 2012
Today we have a special guest, my friend Kimberly of the website suburbancitychix.
Kimberly is a certified Yoga Instructor- RYT-200, who teaches Ashtanga, Hatha, Power Yoga, Tweens and Kids yoga classes in New York. She is also currently obtaining her certification in Nutrition. I don't know about you guys, but this post couldn't have come at a better time for me. I am constantly stressed out, and take no time for me. I can't wait to enjoy Kim's 10 Minutes for Me Plan. We have another exciting post scheduled in the next few weeks, that will show you how to include your kids in your "me time", and Kim has some surprises in store for us for our birthday celebration next week. Make sure you head over and check out her site today, and let us know how you enjoy your "ten minutes".
Sometimes, we wake up and get stuck in a routine. Our routine, often does not serve us in a good way. Yes, we take care of our children, then we either go to an office or work from home or maybe we are cleaning the house and running errands. The fact is by the time we finish these tasks, the kids are home, dinner has to be served (whether cooked or bought), homework needs to be done and our husbands need attention. We often live a life of 24 hours filled with a to do list that has nothing to do with ourselves.
So, how do we start and end our day with taking care of ourselves? First, let’s start with a mantra “Today I choose Self-love”. You need to repeat this to yourself every morning when you wake up and every night when you go to bed. By saying these words out-loud you are telling the universe that you need time for yourself. You may feel this is selfish, “But I need to take care of my children and my partner”, etc, but the truth is if you do not take care of yourself first, everything in your life falls out of harmony.
Let’s talk about time, and how to manage your day. Many of you may be thinking, I do not have the time, I have so much to do and I just cannot fit in any exercise or quiet time in. But, if we are going to be honest with ourselves there is time, you just need to carve it out. Trust me, I am speaking to you from experience. I worked for Fortune 500 companies for years, I commuted to the city (about 4 hours daily) and now I run my own business and teach Yoga. What, I have realized is that through all the madness, I must make “Me time”. Whether that means waking up at 5:30am, or 15 minutes before you usually do, make the decision to tell yourself, “Today I choose Self-Love”.
Here are some quick easy fixes you can do when you wake up:
Wind Removing Pose
First, while lying in your bed, take one knee into your chest, clasp your hands around the outside of your knee, (directly under it and pull your leg into your chest, while the other leg is straight on the bed with your foot flexed. Take a few breaths here and then repeat on the other side. This pose is great for stimulating your colon, strengthens the arms, improving hip flexibility, and firming the abdomen and thighs.
Then, roll onto your side and out of bed.
Next find a quiet room, put your IPod on, or sit in silence and listen to your breath. Come into a comfortable seat on the floor, in Yoga we call this Easy Seat.
Sitting up tall on your floor/mat in a cross-legged position, shoulders rolled up, back and down, with your head in a neutral position. Note* you can sit on a blanket or a block which will help you to sit up taller and change the angle of your pelvis, which in turn will help keep your back in proper alignment. Once seated, start by inhaling simultaneously by sweeping the arms up and overhead palms touch, and then exhale breath out as you bring arms down, let them fall to either side of you. Keep your neck in a stable position. Repeat this 3x’s then on the 4th, sweep your arms up, take a deep inhale, now exhale and twist your upper torso to the left (left hand comes to outside of the buttocks and right hand comes to left knee and neck turns to face the left). Hold the twist and repeat on the other side. Note* if you used a blanket or block remove it before moving into the next pose.
Come onto your knees and push back into Child’s Pose.
To get into this pose, kneel on the floor or mat, touch your big toes together and sit onto your heels, slightly open your knees out to hip distance. Sit up tall take a deep breath in and fold over your legs, exhaling all the stale air that does not serve you out. Bring your arms in front of you, hands pressing into the ground and shoulders rolled back. Press into your forehead (if your head does not touch the ground, then utilize a block, a book, or a rolled towel) that will allow the sensation of the point in between your eyes also known as Third Eye to be stimulated. Then, relax your arms and just breath. This pose is a resting position that will help calm the thoughts in your mind, while relieving stress and fatigue. It will also stretch your hips, thighs and spine and will help to alleviate any back/neck pain or stiffness. Hold this pose for 5- 10 breaths.
Slowly move your hands back so they are framing the top of your head. Push into the ground with your palms and pull up into a tabletop position. Knees may need to be adjusted. Make sure that your hands are shoulder distance apart and knees are hip distance apart. Tops of toes are pushing into the ground (so envision you are standing on your tippy toes). Your head is neutral and you are looking down. Now, we will move into Cow/Cat pose.
Inhale fresh positive energy and pull your chest up, shoulders come down naturally and sit bones pull up, don’t over strain your neck let it go with the flow of your movement. Now, exhale release the tops of your feet to the mat/floor, round your spine, belly comes in and head releases toward the ground. Repeat this for 3-5 breaths, with control. This pose will stretch the spine and massage it at the same time.
From tabletop, we move into Down-ward Facing Dog.
Spread your fingertips, push into your palms, while, pushing into the tops of your feet and lift your knees and hips off the ground. Stretch your heels toward the floor, continue to lift through your legs engaging all the muscles, but do not lock the knee (you may keep a small micro bend). Now, while pressing into the palms your going to do a mini roll with your forearms and upper arms outward, you should feel your shoulders roll into one another. Your head should be in between your upper arms, with no stress, but not hanging like a rag doll either. The benefits of this pose are amazing; it calms the mind, it helps relieve stress. And, it also, stretches your spine, shoulders and hamstrings. It will help you build strength in your arms and legs and it will improve your digestion.
Finally, float back and forth from child’s pose into down dog 3-5xs and repeat after me, “ Today I choose Self-Love”. This entire routine will last 10- 15 minutes, depending upon how many breaths you take between each pose
Thanks Kimberly, I am off to get my "10 minutes of me time", I hope you all join me:)