Morning time at most houses is a fairly stressful event. Kids are racing around trying to find the right clothes or printing homework they should have printed the night before, parents are packing lunches while making breakfast and trying to make sure everyone has shoes and clean PE clothes (often while getting themselves ready for work). There can be bickering, yelling, or even trouble getting certain people moving. The process of getting kids to school or yourself to work does not set any of you up for success in your day. Try this 3-minute yoga to kick start your morning, relieve stress and anxiety, and put you in a healthy mind and body state so you can tackle your day.
This 3-minute yoga exercise is easy and good for the whole family to do. Take a few minutes from the chaos to get centered and focus on the mind-body connection. This practice also brings a mindfulness practice, which is a type of meditation, into play. If you are new to meditation, here are some more beginning meditation ideas.
These 3-minute yoga moves, while great for changing the energy of your morning, can also be done any time of day. Try using it before meetings, speeches, performances, sports events, or even as a break from homework. This yoga exercise can teach you and your kids new skills and habits in mindfulness to help create a feeling of calm and focus that can lead to long-term health benefits. Benefits include reduced anxiety, stress, reduced blood pressure, and even better performance or follow through.
The 3-Minute Yoga Moves
Take three minutes in the morning to go though the following fun moves and meditation with your family. You should feel calmer and more focused when done.
The Volcano: This is an easy move anyone can do. While standing, you lift up onto your toes, and reach your fingers high to the sky. Take deep breaths, oxygenating your brain and muscles.
Ski Jumper: Start by standing. Bend your knees and sweep your arms back like you are skiing down a ski jump.
Lightning bolt: You start by standing, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and glide you hands up high out in front of you. From the side, you look like a jagged lightning bolt. Tell the kids to channel their inner Harry Potter scar.
Mountain: While standing with feet flat on the floor you press down through your feet and stretch your spine up tall. Roll shoulders back and place palms together as if you are praying.
Forward Bend: Round your back, bend your knees, roll forward and bring your hands to your toes.
Downward Dog: Press palms and feet into the ground and you lift hips to the sky. Keep neck in line with your spine and arms.
Bridge: Lie on your back and bend legs, placing feet onto the ground, with arms by your side. Using arms for support and feet pressing into the ground, lift hips high off the floor.
Awake: Sitting, cross legs, and sit up tall. Roll shoulders back and place hands on your knees. While sitting comfortably, close your eyes and take a deep breath in letting it out slowly. Let your whole body relax. Pay attention to the air as you take another deep breath in and out. How does it feel? Does it feel cool or warm?
Now, let a word come into your mind that best describes how you want to feel today or perform. It could be a word like “peaceful,” “happy,” “kind,” “friendly,” “strong,” “confidant,” or “brave.” Hold the word in your mind. As you breathe in, fill yourself up with the feeling you want to focus on. As you breathe out, send this feeling out into the world. Feel and visualize how you want to be today. Then take another deep breath in and let a long breath out. Open your eyes. You are ready to tackle this day.