• Michele Olson

Flowing Bridge Pose, Alternate Nostril Breathing & Meditation of Intent

Asana Practice (Yoga Posture)

Flowing Bridge Pose

  • Lying on your mat, bring your feet hips distance apart. (Fig. 1)

  • Hands are resting at your sides with the palms facing down.

  • Roll shoulders down and away from the ears, keeping the shoulders on the mat.

  • As you inhale, tilt your pelvic bone and lift the hips up, keeping your abdominals pulled in tight. Once your hips reach all the way up, squeeze the glutes. (Fig. 2)

  • As you exhale, slowly come down, one vertebrae at a time.

  • As your glutes touch the mat, relax the pelvic bone pressing your lower back flat to the floor.

  • Take a deep breath and lift again. Repeat at least 5 times.







Benefits:

  • Increases flexibility in the back and shoulders.

  • Stretches and relieves tension in the neck.

  • Stretches the lower back.

  • Strengthens the leg muscles.

  • Strengthens your core.


Pranayama Practice (Yoga Breathing)

Alternate Nostril Breathing

  • Begin sitting in simple cross legged pose on the floor, or you may sit comfortably in a chair.

  • You will be using your thumb and ring finger for this breathing exercise, so you may take the index and middle finger and pull them down into the palm.

  • Gently close your right nostril with your thumb.

  • Inhale through your left nostril, then close it with your ring finger.

  • Open and exhale slowly through the right nostril.

  • Keep the right nostril open, inhale, then close it, and open and exhale slowly through the left.

  • This is one complete breath.

  • Repeat 3 to 5 times, then go back to normal breathing.

Benefits:

  • Lowers heart rate.

  • Reduces stress and anxiety.

  • This breathing technique is said to synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain.

  • This breathing technique is also said to allow the breath to flow more easily during your pranayama practice.


Dhyana Practice (Meditation)

Meditation of Intent

This meditation combines three intentions to develop a relaxed body, a calm mind, and a spirit filled equally with peace, love, joy and gratitude.

  • Sit comfortably. Close your eyes.

  • Arms are at your sides with the palms facing up.

  • Inhale and repeat silently:

My body is relaxed.

  • Exhale and repeat silently:

My mind is calm.

  • Inhale and repeat silently:

My spirit is filled with peace,

love, joy and gratitude.

  • Exhale and repeat silently:

I feel safe knowing that the Universe

provides what I need.

  • Breathe and feel the intention fill your entire being.

Benefits:

  • Slows the mind.

  • Reduces blood pressure and heart rate.

  • Calms the entire being.

  • Promotes peace and serenity.

  • Brings your focus to the present moment.


Mantra (Positive Affirmation)

When you are feeling stressed at any time during the day, try repeating a mantra, or positive affirmation. Repeating a mantra will allow you to feel peaceful and obtain a calm mind.

  • Sit comfortably.

  • Close your eyes.

  • Focus on the breath.

  • Repeat the following mantra:

"Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is

a wonderful moment." ~Thich Nhat Hanh

  • Continue to focus on the breath while repeating your mantra for several minutes.

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