Ever feel like you walk around exhausted, like a zombie going through the day-to-day motions? You're not alone.
The daily demands of work, family, bills, exercise and more, can lead to incredible fatigue shifting you out of thrive mode and into survival mode. Before you know it, your body and mind have gone into a continuous "fight or flight" response. Your mental perception can become distorted, increasing fear and impairing judgment. Juggling all these aspects of life can easily lead to stress, anxiety and lack of sleep—and your mind never shuts off.
With everything thrown your way, it's vital to stop, breathe, relax, observe, and rejuvenate. If you think you don't have the time to take care of yourself, then create it. There is no guilt or shame in "self-first." Think about the instructions you receive on an airplane. If those masks drop down in an emergency, you are instructed to put your mask on first before assisting others. It's the same for life; you have to be clear, calm and balanced in your own self before taking care of others or tasks efficiently and with joy.
Yoga can assist you to slow down and rejuvenate. Restorative yoga poses focuses your attention to your breath. The breath slows down the nervous system, allowing you to manage stress and emotions with more patience and clarity.
The following four poses bring you into a deep state of relaxation and meditation. They also help to reduce stress and restore rejuvenation.
1. Marjaryasana/Bitilasana: Cat Pose/Cow Pose
Begin on all fours with knees aligned directly under your hips and your wrists slightly in front of your shoulders. Start with your head in a neutral position, gazing at the floor. Inhale; round your spine towards the sky and keep your shoulders and knees in position (cat pose).
Allow the head to release down and tuck your chin slightly towards your chest. As you exhale, come back to neutral. Inhale and lift your sitting bones towards the sky as you drop your belly down (cow pose). Lift your head and gaze forward. Exhale and come back to neutral. Repeat 10 to 15 times as you alternated between cow and cat pose. Remember to breathe deeply.
Benefits: Cat pose stretches the back torso and neck. Cow pose stretches the front torso and neck. Both poses massage the spine, relieve stress, and ground you.
More: 10 Reasons to Try Yoga