The smartest, safest thing we can do to protect ourselves and each other during the COVID-19 crisis is to stay home, decompress and take care of ourselves. Most of us are accustomed to a fast-paced way of living. We are lucky to be able to carve out that hour a day for self-care. Things like meditation, yoga, going to the gym and prioritizing mental and physical health are things we strive to fit into our routine. If fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle is an important part of your life, staying home doesn’t have to mean pausing your progress. In-fact this is the perfect time to center and give your mind and body the retreat it deserves.
No matter what your goals are, there are many things you can do at home to stay on track. The two most important aspects to focus on are our activity levels, mental state and diet.
It is more important than ever to focus on our local community. I’ve partnered with my favorite yoga instructor and meditation guide Demi, here in Nashville TN to bring you an energy-infused, stress-melting flow. Demi is a metro Nashville RTY yoga instructor. She is offering classes on Instagram and Facebook live @Demiyoganow, free to everyone while we are practicing social distancing.
Demi says that creating a dedicated space for your daily fitness and meditation routine is an important part of staying consistent. That doesn’t mean this space is off-limits for other things throughout the day. It simply must be a positive space with enough room to move, that you use daily for the purpose of self-care. For many people, creating this space can be a grounding, nesting experience. Your surroundings greatly influence your inner flow of energy. Make it as simple or elaborate as you’d like.
The best thing about yoga is that it serves multiple purposes at once. You can adjust your poses to fit any specific goal you have for the day. Quickening your speed between poses and rapidly going in and out of a pose is great for burning calories. Holding a deep pose, burns calories as well as build muscle and core strength. Seated poses are amazing for hip realignment and spinal decompression. Slowly moving through poses strengthens your entire body and centers the mind. The possibilities are as endless as your intentions.
This is a beginner to moderate routine. Demi has two routines for us to practice at home. Hold these poses for 10-30 seconds each. Pick a slightly challenging duration to hold your poses and stick to that same number throughout each movement. Listen to your body. It takes time and practice to have the form you see Demi displaying in the photos. Feel free to allow a bend in the knees or to be on your toes instead of flat footed. With practice your form will improve.
Begin on your mat seated with legs crossed with hands rested comfortably in your lap. Roll your shoulders back and become familiar with the alignment of your spine, take 3 deep breaths. Look to the left, pointing the chin to your left shoulder, take three deep breaths. Repeat on the right side. Rise up onto your knees, raise your arms up into the air, place palms together and reach high, take three deep breaths. Place your palms down on the mat and extend your legs out to plank position. Now you are ready to begin.
Starting on your belly, flatten palms into the mat with your legs together and toes pointed. Press up into cobra pose. Lift the upper body and feel the muscles in your chest. Hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
Use your shoulder and abdominal muscles to lift into a plank position. Relax the neck muscles and check in with your back. Use the abs to keep a straight line from the base of the head to the tail bone. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Keeping your hands and feet in their exact same spot, use your abdominal muscles to bend at the hips and point the top of the head toward the floor for down dog. Keep your back straight. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
One Legged Dog
Find your center of balance and slowly lift the left leg into the air. Try to make a straight diagonal line with your body from the tip of your pointed toe to the floor, pressing your palms into the mat. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds. Lower the left leg and repeat with the right leg. Then return to down dog.
Imagine your tailbone is being drawn up by a string and focus on your down dog form. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Shift your center of gravity using your abdominal muscles. Come into plank position with palms directly under the shoulders. Align your spine and keep your abs tight. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Using the arm and abdominal muscles, slowly lower down to cobra pose, pressing your hips into the mat and opening your chest up and forward. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds. Then come up to a kneeling position for a rest.
Begin in the middle of your mat with feet together and palms pressed together at your heart. Lengthen the spine and feel your neck become long. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Drop the right arm to your side. Find balance in your right leg and plant the right foot like a tree and raise the left arm with fingers pointing to the sky. Use the abdominal muscles to slowly bring your foot up to either the calve or thigh. Feel your hips open. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Warrior two left
Step out to the side with your left foot and bend at the knee. straighten the right leg and lift the right arm pointing your fingers to the sky. The left thigh should be parallel with the floor. Extend the left arm out in alignment with the thigh. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Step back to the center of the mat. Drop the left arm to your side and find balance in the left leg, planting the left foot like a tree. Raise the right arm up to the sky and slowly bring the foot up to your calve or thigh. Open the hips by pressing the ankle or foot into the left leg. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Warrior two right
Step out with your right foot and bend at the knee. Your thigh should be parallel with the floor. Straighten the left leg behind you and raise the left arm with fingers pointed up to the sky. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Step back onto the center of the mat. Press the palms together and lengthen the spine. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Drop your arms to the front of your body and begin to roll forward one vertebrae at a time until you are bending at the hips. Fold the arms at the top of the head and hold both elbows. Breath slowly and allow your upper body to release tension. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Place palms at the front of the mat and step back with both feet. Press into the mat and lengthen your back. Imagine a string pulling your tailbone up. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Come down to your knees and shift your center of gravity back, letting the hips fall onto the heals. Stretch the arms out as far in front of your body as you can. Feel the hips separate and release tension. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds then come back to a kneeling position to finish.
The journey to self-discovery begins when we seek a simple answer, only to find a path that leads to another question. The revelations that transform us along the way create passion, desire, growth and connection we didn’t know we needed but are grateful to have found.
Stay tuned for more of the best ways to stay physically and spiritually healthy at Passport Passion.