Here's our sequence for relaxation and calm. Visit our blog for more information about specific cards and additional resources.
Hands-on breath awareness
1. Breathe naturally, with no effort to control your breath.
2. Place your hands on your belly. Notice what happens as you breathe.
3. As you become more aware of your breath, you may find the quality of your breath changes. It might slow or deepen. It might simply feel easier to breathe. Allow this to happen naturally, without any strain or effort.
4. Explore what you feel. Direct your attention to how it feels to breathe. Let yourself feel the natural flow connecting you to life.
• If you experience that paying attention to your breath is stressful, stop at any time.
• With practice, you will find that certain sensations (like your belly expanding or the feeling of your breath entering and exiting your nose) work best to calm your mind and bring you back home to your body.
1. Kneel down on the floor or a folded blanket.
2. Sit back on the heels and rest your forehead on the floor and reach arms out.
3. Breathe deeply into the back body.
• Easier: keep knees together and/or place a blanket or pillow between your thighs and calves to relax the legs and spine. Place a block under the forehead or rest upper body on a bolster and turn head to the side.
• Advanced: walk fingertips over to the right to deepen the stretch on the left side of the body. Repeat on the other side
1. Sit cross-legged on the floor.
2. Take a deep inhale as you open up the arms. On the exhale, twist to the right.
3. Place left hand on knee and right hand on floor.
4. Repeat on the other side.
• Easier: keep chin centered over the chest when twisting. Place a block under the hand reaching behind you.
• Advanced: Instead of sitting cross-legged, place the right foot on the floor outside of the left thigh and twist to the right. Place the right arm on the outside of the right thigh and gaze over the right shoulder. Repeat other side.
1. Stand with feet hip distance apart and close your eyes or keep a soft gaze.
2. Keep your hands by your sides or press palms together in front of your heart.
3. Root down through your feet as you imagine lifting the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
4. Feel calming energy begin to develop in the body.
• Easier: if balance is difficult, try mountain pose with a wider stance of the feet, against the wall or sitting down in a chair.
• Advanced: to add more power to this pose, engage the thigh muscles and lift the knee caps.
1. Stand or sit comfortably in a chair and take a few deep breaths. Lengthen the spin and lift the crown of the head towards the ceiling.
2. On the exhale, bend at the hips and fold over the legs. Rest the torso on the legs.
3. Completely relax the neck and muscles of the face
4. Press down through the feet and engage the core to life back up to a seated or standing position.
• Easier: if seated, place hands on thighs and lower down only as much as you can. To deepen the stretch, reach finger tips toward your feet.
• Advanced: if standing, slowly try straightening the legs. Reach fingertips toward the floor or grab opposite elbows.
1. Sit cross-legged on the floor or blanket
2. Bring your hands to your heart or lap
3. Close the eyes and breathe deeply
• Easier: sit against the wall leaving feet untucked and/or use blocks underneath each knee for extra support.
• Advanced: press hands firmly together to strengthen the arms.
1. Sit upright. Cover your eyes or leave them open.
2. Choose a healing, calming sound, word, or phrase as your object of focus. This word or phrase can be anything you need to hear. A few examples: Peace, Relax, Love, or OM.
3. Repeat your mantra for 1-2 minutes, silently or out loud.
4. Continue to repeat silently for up to 10 minutes
• Try lying down with your eyes open or closed / Use your mantra during an activity, like walking or doing the dishes / Try a different mantra. The phrase you repeat doesn’t matter, as long as you are doing it with focused attention. / Continue for any length of time that feels comfortable.
Alternate Nostril Breath
1. Block off your right nostril by putting gentle pressure on it with your thumb. Keep your other fingers straight and pointing to the sky.
2. With a long, slow, deep breath, gently inhale through your left nostril.
3. Release your thumb and using the index finger of your right hand, block off your left nostril and exhale long, slowly, and completely through your right nostril.
• Continue for ten or twenty rounds.
• Visualize your breathe traveling through alternate nostrils.
1. Focus your attention on your feet. Notice any tension, pain, or stress.
2. Move your attention slowly up your body. Take deep, slow breaths as you focus your awareness on an area of your body.
3. Notice how each section of your body feels as you continue to breathe slowly: your shins and knees, thighs and hips, back and abdomen, chest and upper back, neck and shoulders, and finally your head.
• Focus on a particular part of your body where you feel pain or hold on to tension.