The content includes simple yoga poses, movements and practices that can be effective in releasing tension and calming the mind before, during and after work, especially when combined with conscious lifestyle tweaks to support your wellbeing.
If you are feeling stressed and have no time to look after yourself, this programme is ideal for you – many of the suggestions only take a minute and it is up to you how many of them you incorporate into your day. Some will appeal more than others and some will work better for you than others – our aim is to give you a toolkit that you can then adapt to your own needs and circumstances.
The physical exercises are all selected so that you can try them without needing much space or any special equipment and while wearing your normal clothing – as long as it doesn’t restrict your movement.
This course includes 5 days of movement and mindfulness suggestions, with lifestyle tips shown separately. The 5 days can either be completed consecutively or over a longer period of time.
We suggest that you read the lifestyle tips through before starting the 5 day programme and decide which you would like to incorporate, then try to integrate them into your schedule when you are taking breaks for the exercises and practices offered each day.
During periods where we feel stressed, self care is often the last thing on the to do list, but not looking after yourself can cause or exacerbate physical and mental imbalances, which in turn can make you feel more stressed – a vicious circle. Regular exercise and relaxation techniques, along with lifestyle changes have been shown to help manage stress, but the time needed to take up an exercise routine or to begin a meditation practice is beyond the reach of many of us, especially while we are juggling busy work schedules with family responsibilities.
With this in mind, we aim here to provide suggestions for quick exercises and practices that can be incorporated into a busy day.
The practices suggested are generally short – typically between 5 and 20 minutes, but when you have time you may want to extend some parts – particularly the breathing practices. When you are short on time, however, feel free to pick and choose which content you try. Even 5 minutes is worth doing and could start to create changes. Try to incorporate some of the lifestyle tips too as these should enhance the benefits of the other practices.
Movement and mindfulness practices to help dial down your stress levels are organised into sections covering each part of the day:
We recommend that you make a note each day of the practices that you tried, whether you enjoyed them, whether they felt beneficial for you and how you could incorporate them into your daily routines, with a view to building your own personal set of habits to dial down stress.
The content includes illustrations with supporting text and, on some days, a link to a video practice. The video recordings are by Simon Low, a highly experienced senior yoga teacher (see www.simonyoga.com for more info).
All of Simon’s videos are recorded in his retreat centre in Andalusia, and the stunning countryside backdrop combines perfectly with his relaxed delivery style to create a unique yoga experience. On days where a video is featured, we’ll let you know if you need any preparation before starting, such as removing shoes. The videos have been selected to be widely accessible, with plenty of options and alternatives offered when needed.
Simon may sometimes use yoga terms that you are not be familiar with but the meaning of these should be self evident from the demonstrations provided.