If you just can’t seem to find the time to exercise as often as you’d like, we’ve got the perfect solution for you: YOGA WHILE YOU WAIT by Judith Stoletzky! This fun guide proves that you can turn all those minutes you spend waiting around for things (like waiting for the doctor to see you, waiting for an elevator, or waiting for a bus…) into moments of mindfulness. Better yet, you won’t need a yoga instructor, mat, or fancy yoga pants to do it.
In this excerpt from YOGA WHILE YOU WAIT, discover 3 poses you can practice whenever and wherever you want…
#1: Half seated twist
Makes the spine supple, expands the rib cage, and allows deep breathing. The gentle abdominal massage promotes digestion.
Human closeness is often an imposition. If there is no cover from germ bombardment,* mindfully turn your attention to the haze of finely diffused secretions exploding from your neighbor’s nose and you will find peace and serenity in the present moment. You will truly understand the term “going viral” and with this fresh coating of insight, waiting will not feel half as tenacious as the mucus in your bronchi. Isn’t it amazing how quickly your perspective can shift? It’s nothing to sneeze at! And never forget, deep breathing is not only in the here and now but also in the there and then, always a healthy idea. Say Aaaaaaaaaaah!
(*Note: This book was written before COVID-19. Now, of course, we should definitely all be wearing a mask while waiting at the doctor’s office!)
Sit on a chair with your spine straight. Do not lean back against the chair. Your feet press firmly into the floor, hip-width apart. Your thighs and shins are at right angles to each other. Straighten your pelvis slightly and pull the belly button inward. Inhaling deeply, lengthen the spine and turn left as you exhale. The right hand presses against the outside of the left thigh and pulls you deeper into the twist. The fingertips of the left hand are placed behind the back. Allow your head to follow the shoulders, but only as far as is comfortable. After five deep breaths, switch sides.
Provides relief for the lower back, loosens tension in the shoulders, and frees the sinuses
When you have made it to the cashier without having lost focus on your shopping list, you might–in the presence of the ultimate temptations–give in completely. Is there any greater bliss than taking a gentle forward bend and emptying your overstimulated mind of all thoughts about the delicious options in front of you? Is there anything sweeter than the sensation of deep relaxation in the upper back after a successful practice of self-discipline? Generously let others who want to rush go by. These people will pay for all the things they don’t need. And one fine day they will know the true cost of their impatience.
Your feet are hip-width apart, toes facing straight forward. Distribute your weight evenly on both feet, not just the heels or toes. Rest your hands on your hips. Bend your knees slightly and from the pelvis bend forward over your legs, falling forward. Lengthen the lower back. Let go. Relax the neck muscles and let your head hang. Let your torso gently swing from side to side. To sink deeper, you may clasp your elbows. To move out of the pose, bring your hands back to your hips. Activate the abdominals and back muscles and come up as you inhale.
#3: Warrior II
Strengthens shoulders, arms, abdominals, and legs. Opens the heart and hips. Produces courage and clarity.
If you want to elevate yourself, you not only have to define your goals, you also need strength and stamina. It is therefore also important to pause on the journey. Sit out a round. Verify what floor you’re on, and see if the focus is still right. Is your core centered? How much weight is on your shoulders? Any blockages? Both the warrior II posture and a high proportion of spandex in your business suit will increase flexibility and upward mobility. Now you are guaranteed to push the right buttons and rise to the occasion as you sink deeper into the pose.
To the top.
Stand in mountain pose (p. 32 of YOGA WHILE YOU WAIT). With a deep breath, jump into a wide stance, feet parallel. Stretch your arms to the side at shoulder height. Turn your right foot 90 degrees so that your heel points at the arch of your left foot. Bend your right knee until it is in line with the ankle. Be careful not to let the knee shift to the inside, but make sure the second toe is visible right under the kneecap. Press the outer rim of your left food into the ground. Pelvis and shoulders are stacked and aligned with the legs. Feel a stretch in your inner thights and groin. Tuck your tailbone, lift the pubic bone, and lift the chest. Move your shoulders away from the ears. Sink deeper into the pose. Your third eye focuses on the imaginary goal you see beyond your right hand. Hold for 60 seconds. Switch sides.
Want more? Pick up a copy of YOGA WHILE YOU WAIT by Judith Stoletzky for more than 30 poses that’ll fit right into your busy life.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy: 4 Yoga Mind Tricks for Better Fitness
Excerpted from Yoga While You Wait by Judith Stoletzky. Copyright © 2020 by the author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.