Five Pillars Yoga

Posts Tagged ‘Right Relaxation’

Eight Simple Tricks To Truly Relax & Reset This Weekend

A break from technology?? Abstaining from hangover brunch?? Go ahead, give it a try… it’s only a couple of days!


  1. EASY DOES IT Clear the slate and try a staycation. Say “No” to commitments or invitations that do not have your whole being shouting “Yes!” Can you take the family or loved ones out for a neighborhood walk or bike ride? Do you feel energized by hosting an easy potluck? What activities bring you joy without too much effort? What would it feel like to not do all the things you think you should do, and instead do only the things you want to do.


  1. RENEW & RECONNECT Get outdoors first thing in the morning and head out into nature. This might be your own backyard, a local park or the great outdoors a bit further afield. Enjoy the fresh air, breathe deep and move your body!


  1. FAST FROM TECHNOLOGY Take a break from technology (that probably means work too!) for 24-48 hours. Notice what happens. Yes it’s tough. Watch the urges to return to your devices and responsibilities rise and fall. Observe how you connect with your friends and family during your fast.


Assorted summer berries (raspberries, strawberries, cherries, currants, gooseberries)

  1. NOURISH Whether you stay at home or head out, prepare healthy food, including snacks, to nourish your amazing bod when you get hungry. The weekend is often a time for indulgence (heavy brunches, decadent dinners out), see what happens when you opt for healthful and delicious. Play with the idea of not drinking all weekend. Or see how it feels to truly enjoy just one glass of wine.


  1. HAVE FUN! What makes you laugh, let go, and play!? Dance party in the living room? Throwing a frisbee? A trip to the beach? Reading a magazine? Prioritize fun. Give yourself permission to be a fun junkie.


  1. ENERGIZE Remember, a little bit of heart pumping activity can increase overall relaxation. Explore if you like to energize alone or en masse – is a solo jog your idea of heaven, or a group soccer game? Pay attention to activities that give you an energy boost versus activities that drain your vitality.


  1. PAMPER Go ahead, schedule a massage, or plan an at-home spa day. Take some time for a leisurely bath with Epsom salts and essential oils, do a deep conditioning hair treatment, or do a few restorative yoga poses to send you into a state of bliss. Light a candle or two, you deserve it!



  1. REFLECT, PLAN & PREPARE: Reflect on the effort you made to show up to your weekend with a proactive, positive outlook and thank yourself for rocking it! Plan for a light, home-cooked Sunday dinner and leave plenty of time to prep for your week. Get to bed early and begin the week refreshed and ready to take on the world!


A New Kind of Summer Playlist…

Right Relaxation… probably tougher for New Yorkers than most people.

Sure the city is fast paced, sure work can be anxiety producing, sure we might not be getting enough sleep… but that’s the case for everyone so what’s the big deal?

Well, the big deal is, that by living in a state of almost constant stress — even just a very low base line of stress — we keep our systems flooded with the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol contributes to a plethora of chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, weight gain, and all sorts of auto-immune disorders including arthritis and chronic pain. You can read more about how cortisol works and its effects here.

The good news is more and more research is coming out showing the direct impact relaxation and meditation have on overall stress levels, and how these practices reduce cortisol levels. Here’s a great article from UC Davis about their research project, and another from Psychology Today that talks about the effects of simple meditation on our overall health and wellbeing.

So… where to begin?

Well – the good folks over at the Chopra Center have created a great little “playlist” of guided meditations on subjects ranging from empowerment to letting go of pain, to gratitude, to awakening creativity. Some are as short as 4 minutes, and others as long as 20 minutes. This is a great way to begin to invite meditation into your life if you haven’t already… just pick one, press play, and listen. That’s it. Just listen. You can be sitting or lying down, on the floor, in a chair or even in your bed! And for those that have an established meditation practice, there might be one or two gems in here for you as well…


    Click here to explore the Guided Meditation Playlist



It might feel weird at first, taking time out of your busy day to just sit still and listen when you could be doing laundry/paying bills/running errands/working… the list goes on and on, I know! But, bottom line is, the impacts on health and wellbeing are vast, which has implications for all areas of our lives. Give it a try… Even five minutes a day counts.