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December Pose of the Month: Seated Meditation

The pose of the month for December is: Seated Meditation. Even for many practiced yogis, sitting silently in meditation can be overwhelming, intimidating, and… well, just plain hard! We are so used to doing in order to achieve the goals we want for ourselves that “just sitting” can seem counter productive and, quite frankly, a waste of time. On the contrary, the benefits of a regular meditation practice are sung far and wide by not only yogis, but doctors, psychologists, and scientists as well. Studies show that as little as five minutes of meditation a day can lead to physical and chemical changes in the brain associated with relaxation and positive mood.

During the month of December, your YogaSport instructors will guide you into some helpful exercises to get you started and then allow a few minutes of space for you to get your meditation on. With a little practice, you’ll be totally zen just in time for the holidays!


BENEFITS:
• Calms and focuses the mind
• Slows emotional reactivity
• Creates clarity and awakens intuition
• Develops a mind-body connection

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Seated and alert
• Spine straight and tall
• Heart open and receptive
• Internal focus and gaze

STEP BY STEP (one of many variations):
1. Set a timer for your desired length of uninterrupted meditation.
2. Take a comfortable seated posture that is both alert and receptive.
3. Bring your hands to your heart or another mudra of your choice.
4. Close down your eyes and turn your gaze to your third eye center.
5. Become aware of each inhale and exhale. Release all other thoughts.
6. Notice thoughts as they arise, but let them go without judgment.
7. Stay. Trust your timer.

You will experience Seated Meditation in every Power Flow class this month.

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December Pose of the Month: Seated Meditation

The pose of the month for December is: Seated Meditation. Even for many practiced yogis, sitting silently in meditation can be overwhelming, intimidating, and… well, just plain hard! We are so used to doing in order to achieve the goals we want for ourselves that “just sitting” can seem counter productive and, quite frankly, a waste of time. On the contrary, the benefits of a regular meditation practice are sung far and wide by not only yogis, but doctors, psychologists, and scientists as well. Studies show that as little as five minutes of meditation a day can lead to physical and chemical changes in the brain associated with relaxation and positive mood.

During the month of December, your YogaSport instructors will guide you into some helpful exercises to get you started and then allow a few minutes of space for you to get your meditation on. With a little practice, you’ll be totally zen just in time for the holidays!
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BENEFITS:
• Calms and focuses the mind
• Slows emotional reactivity
• Creates clarity and awakens intuition
• Develops a mind-body connection

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Seated and alert
• Spine straight and tall
• Heart open and receptive
• Internal focus and gaze

STEP BY STEP (one of many variations):
1. Set a timer for your desired length of uninterrupted meditation.
2. Take a comfortable seated posture that is both alert and receptive.
3. Bring your hands to your heart or another mudra of your choice.
4. Close down your eyes and turn your gaze to your third eye center.
5. Become aware of each inhale and exhale. Release all other thoughts.
6. Notice thoughts as they arise, but let them go without judgment.
7. Stay. Trust your timer.

You will experience Seated Meditation in every Power Flow class this month.

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Ten-Minute Stress-Relief Yoga Sequence

Ten-Minute Stress-Relief Yoga Sequence
Need some stress relief during this holiday season? Try practicing the stress-relief sequence below as often as you need to ward off stress and tension during the holidays. It is a simple sequence that only takes ten minutes. Commit and restore!

  1. Start in Mountain Pose. Stand at the top of your mat. Bring your big toes together, with your heels slightly separated. Firm your thighs, and lift your kneecaps. Drop your tailbone toward the floor, as you lift through the crown of your head. Spread your collarbones, and let your shoulder blades descend down your back. Reach your hands down, palms open, with your arms slightly away from your body. Steady your gaze straight in front of you and take three deep, even breaths, inhaling and exhaling through the nose. *Mountain Pose is a simple standing pose that helps root you in the stability and balance that you bring into the rest of the sequence.
  2. Come to your hands and knees on the mat, with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees hip-width apart. On an exhale, sink your buttocks to your heels, big toes touching, and reach out with the arms, coming into Extended Child’s Pose. Hold for five long breaths.
  3. Inhale, and reach your booty up and back, and straighten the legs, coming into Downward-Facing  Dog. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Hold for five breaths. *Inversions like Child’s Pose and Downward Facing Dog calm the mind, minimize fatigue and increase mental clarity and alertness.
  4. Exhale, and drop your knees back to the floor, sink your hips to your heels, coming back into Child’s Pose. Repeat this sequence five times, moving from Child’s Pose to Down Dog.
  5. Next, lie flat on your stomach with your legs together and toes pointed behind you. Bend your elbows, placing your palms flat on the floor next to your ribs. Press down through your palms, raising your head and chest into Cobra Pose. Remain here for five breaths, then lower to the mat to rest. Repeat two more times.
  6. Lie flat on your stomach. Bend your elbows, placing the palms flat on the floor next to your ribs. Press down through your palms and the tops of your feet, drawing your chest forward as you straighten your arms and life your head, chest, torso, and legs off the ground for Upward Facing Dog. Hold for five breaths. Repeat two times.
  7. Now for twists. Lie flat on your back, face up. Bring the arms out to each side at shoulder level, in a T position, palms up. We are setting up for the bent-knee variation of Reclined Twist. Draw the knees to the chest, keeping your back on the mat. On an exhale, gently roll your knees to your right side, allowing them to rest on the floor. Take five long, deep breaths. Repeat to the left.
  8. Finish by coming into Savasana. Lie on your back, extend your legs, and allow your feet to roll open. Extend your arms near your body, with your palms up. Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Completely let go, releasing any muscular tension. You can remain in Savasana as long as you like.

 

Mountain Pose

 

Child’s Pose

 

Down Dog

 

Cobra

 

Up Dog

 

Supine Twist

Savasana