5 Take-Anywhere Yoga Stress Busters

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'Tis the season to be busy. December is jam-packed with office lunches, holiday brunches, and family festivities. And, for some, feeling overwhelmed and stressed. We need take-anywhere Stress Busters to help us prevent and relieve stress. So here you go:


1. Breathe. Not chest-breath. Belly-breath. Inhale all the way from your belly to your rib cage to your chest. Exhale from your chest, down through your rib cage and into your belly. Do this all day. Most of us don't, but we can try--especially in moments we're feeling stressed.
2. Be here now. Try not to let your mind take you away into worrying about future busyness, or planning what will happen next week. Just be. here. now. Need practical tools to help you do this? Bring your attention and intention to your breath. And, while you're at it, check out numbers 3 and 4...
3. Use sound. Sounds--including traffic, sirens, music from another room, rain, birds, the hum of a fan--can all become tools for relieving stress. Paying mindful attention to a particular sound gives your mind something to concentrate on, other than your worrying, planning, and rehashing. Concentration = meditation = insta-calm.
4. Use sight. This is one of my favourites. Simply by fully noticing our visual surroundings and paying mindful, non-reactive attention to every detail, we can also get outta our heads and find our zen.
5. Move your bod. Yoga, Pilates, jogging, walking. They all help clear the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from our system. Being mindful while we're doing it, and consciously not getting caught up in planning, rehashing, or worrying, gives us a double-bonus bliss-out session.