When you only have 20 minutes to practice...

When you only have 20 minutes to practice...


How many times have you felt rushed, needing to expend some nervous energy and with hopes to find some calm?  Most of us could say that this happens every day.  A yoga practice comes in handy.  Yes, it takes time to learn what certain poses will provide, and if your aim to to have a comprehensive sequence in a very short time frame consider the following:
Use an essential oil, a few drops in the hand, rubbing the palms together. Try Balance blend from doTerra, as it is very grounding. Keep your thumbs and pinky fingers together while opening up the rest of the hand/fingers. This "hand mudra" is our lotus flower, and when held with thumbs against the sternum, while dropping the chin to the chest, the aroma wafts up, and you have a personal diffuser.  Take a few slow deep breaths to begin to quiet the central nervous system, come to the front end of your mat, drop open the arms so that palms face forward while the arms are held by your side, and your body is symmetrical.  This is Mountain pose.  Refer to the Poses section for detail on action and alignment within featured poses.  Using your breath, inhale and step the  right leg back to Warrior I. Stay for 3 to 5 breaths.  Exhale, fold forward from the hips, reaching the arms forward to then lift the right leg behind you into Warrior III.  Again stay 3 to 5 breaths.  With an exhale, keep the arms actively reaching forward while bending in the left knee and reaching the right leg back to the floor behind you to the floor.  Inhale and reclaim the actions of Warrior I, exhale and step the right leg forward, back to Mountain pose, this time bringing the hands together in prayer, held at the heart.  Right away inhale and step the left leg back to Warrior One, staying the same length of time, aiming to build balance in the body.  Repeat the forward fold here, coming into Warrior III, staying for a few breaths, actively dropping back into Warrior I, and with an exhale returning to Mountain pose, hands together in prayer, to the heart. Keep the hands in prayer position.  This is referred to as "anjali mudra," or "namascarasana." Press the heels of the hands together and spread the collar bones.  Exhale, firm the legs to the floor, reaching into the inner heels, and inhale, lifting the pit of the abdomen, and lengthening the spine upward. Exhale and turn from the waistline, hips staying square with the direction of the feet, to the right.  Stay 3 to 5 breaths.  Feel the active stretch of the core muscles as well as the work of the intercostals, the muscles between the ribs. Notice with extended time spent here, that the middle of the ribcage will allow you to turn a bit more.  With an inhale, return to center, and with the next exhale, turn in the other direction.  Stay again a few breaths twisting to this side and upon coming back to center, pause and feel the many places where your body released stress and tension:  hips, low back, shoulders and neck.  Now step or jump your feet wide apart, with arms outstretched to the side, so that the feet are underneath the hands.  Turn the right foot out 90 degrees and turn the left foot in, slightly pigeon-toed.  Bend in the right knee and try coming to 90 degrees if you can.  If you have a knee issue, do not bend the knee as far.  Turn and look over the right hand, and you have arrived in Warrior II.  Stay another three to five breaths, and with an exhale, revolve the feet, bending in the left knee and turning to look over the left hand.  Spend a few breaths here, exhale and walk or jump your feet back together, to Mountain Pose.  Again, bring your hands to Anjali Mudra and stay for a few breaths.  You may feel a sense of "open-ness."  Warrior poses allow you to also feel "ready" for what us yet ahead.  Consider using a few drops of peppermint essential oil now, again between he hands or perhaps at the back of the neck, to continue this focused readiness.  Namaste!