How to Revitalize with an Afternoon Yoga Exercise - dummies

How to Revitalize with an Afternoon Yoga Exercise

By Larry Payne, Georg Feuerstein

When your energies flag in the afternoon, try the following Yoga exercise as a great stress buster. You can practice it at home or in a quiet place at the office. Just make sure that you aren’t interrupted. For this exercise, you need a sturdy chair, one or two blankets, and a towel or an eye pillow. Allow 5 to 10 minutes.

  1. Lie on your back and put your feet on the chair, which faces you.

    Make sure your legs and back are comfortable. Keep your legs 15 to 18 inches apart. You can also put your legs and feet up on the edge of a bed. If none of the feet-up positions feels good, just lie on your back with your legs bent and feet placed on the floor.

    If the back of your head isn’t flat on the floor, and if your neck and throat feel tense or your chin is pushed up toward the ceiling, raise your head slightly on a folded blanket or a firm, flat cushion so that you feel more comfortable.

    [Credit: Photograph by Adam Latham]
    Credit: Photograph by Adam Latham
  2. Cover your body from the neck down with one of the blankets.

    Don’t let your body cool down too quickly; it not only feels uncomfortable and interferes with your relaxation, but it also can cramp your muscles.

  3. Place the eye pillow or towel folded lengthwise over your eyes.

  4. Rest for a few moments, and get used to the position.

  5. Visualize a large balloon in your stomach: As you inhale through your nose, expand the imaginary balloon in all directions; as you exhale through your nose, release the air from the balloon.

    Repeat this step several times until it becomes easy for you.

  6. Inhale freely, and begin to make your exhalation longer and longer.

    Inhale freely, exhale forever.

  7. Repeat Step 6 at least 30 times.

  8. When you finish the exercise, allow your breath to return to normal and rest for a minute or so, enjoying the relaxed feeling.

    Don’t rush getting up.