We all want to feel better. Thankfully we can change how we feel in just a few moments by reconnecting with ourselves. It all starts with changing our mindset from “no pain, no gain” to self-care. We are so good at and so used to doing a million things at once—forcing, pushing, and struggling all the way.

Even our perception of self-care gets warped most of the time when we choose to believe that being stressed is a sign of hard work leading to our goals. I love the simple truth that things don’t get better from being tense. The secrets are simple (but hard to remember and practice): slow down, soften, and reconnect with ourselves.

From this place we create space in our bodies and minds to feel, and the right mindset to respond to everything around us in the most valuable way possible. I love using this routine to come back to a state of ease and enjoy an open body and mind. Join me and feel better now!

A simple tip is to move in a way that feels best for you. Don’t worry about the pose as an end point. Treat the pose as an arbitrary waypoint. Every moment is equally important. Let your inhales fill you up, creating that space. Let your exhales soften and move you literally, physically, and emotionally.

Here’s a yoga sequence to help you get what you want without all the stress. Stay easy and enjoy the ride!

All Fours

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Get down on all fours. Move around however it feels great. Let your spine roll around a bit. Breathe full and deep. Stay with this for several long, deep breaths.

Soft Down Dog

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Tuck your toes and take a big inhale to lift your hips up and back to downward-facing dog. Settle here. Soften your knees and elbows. Sway your hips a bit side to side.

 

Down Dog Lift

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Take a big inhale and lift up on to your tip toes. Exhale, soften, and relax. Roll through this a few times with your breath.

 

Up Dog Sway

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Roll out to a plank. Soften your knees to the ground and sink your hips a bit. Sway side to side looking over one shoulder and the other. Linger in any place that is feeling a little stuck. Move through this for several breaths.

 

Shoulder Release

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Keeping your knees on the ground, bring your hips to your heels and rest here for a moment. Thread one arm under the other and relax your shoulder and upper back on the ground. Roll around until you find a good spot to hang onto for a while. Go for the other side also. Take your time. No rush.

Lift Up

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Come up to sit on your heels. Take a moment here to connect with your breath. Take a big inhale and float your arms out and up. Exhale, soften and relax your arms down by your sides. Roll through this a few times with your breath.

Roll UP

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Come back to all fours, tuck your toes and lift back to down dog. Take an easy stroll, walking your feet toward your hands and fold over your legs. Relax here. Soften your knees and your whole self. Round up to stand, letting your whole self sway a bit as you go. Take a big inhale and float your arms out and up.

 

Stand and Center

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Exhale and bring your thumbs to your heartbeat. Settle here for a moment. Watch your inhales and your exhales as they come and go. When you’re ready, relax your arms and enjoy all that physical and mental space.

Now go do something great!

xo

Tara

Originally posted on mindbodygreen