A simple three-minute breathing break can help you regain hours of productivity and find calm in the storm on National Relaxation Day and every day. Sit in a chair with your feet firmly rooted on the ground, hands on your lap, and spine tall, either on or off the back rest. Set a timer for three minutes and allow your eyes to gently close. Start with three rounds of the deepest inhales you can take and exhale with a quiet sigh out of your mouth. Then, begin the practice of diaphragmatic breathing – allow the stomach and ribs to expand with long drawn-out inhales through your nose, if possible. Once you feel you cannot inhale any deeper, softly release with a relaxed exhale through your nose. Continue for the three minutes breathing deeply. There should be no strain, your goal is to breathe as few breaths as you can in the three minutes without holding your breath or straining.
Never meditated before? National Relaxation Day is the perfect day to start! Just three minutes can help you remain calm through the day’s most trying moments. A simple traditional meditation technique is called “So-Hum” meditation. To practice, sit tall in a comfortable seat and find a rhythmic breath, in and out of your nose if possible. With your inhales, mentally say the word “Sooooooooo;” and with your exhales mentally say the word “Hummmmmmm.” No fighting your thoughts, no setting hard goals, just simple enjoyment. Start with three minutes each day, and work up towards 10-15 minutes over the course of several months.
3. Soothe Your Soul with a Mindful Tea Break
A great way to get out of your busy monkey-mind is to get into your senses with a mindful tea break that helps you re-center! Start by opening a container of something special like Good Earth’s new artisanal Coconut Tulsi Melody loose leaf tea, which contains the long-revered herb tulsi (also known as “Holy Basil).” Inhale and embrace the full-bodied aroma of coconut dancing with lemon-balm and rose petals. Brew the tea (loose leaf, if possible, so you can get a deeper tactile experience) in a clear glass where you can watch the dancing of colors as the tea steeps. Savor the feel of the warm steam rising from the cup and on your hands as you grip the cup. Allow yourself to listen to your environment, letting outside noises fade into the distance from your little personal getaway. Cherish all of the delicious intricate fragrances being released from your cup – and then revel in the enchanting yet grounding taste of your tea. It’s not tea for two; it’s tea for you.
4. Remember Your Priorities
It is often written in Yogic and Ayurvedic texts that good company is among the most important factors in living a happy fulfilled life. A quick glance at a photo of loved ones can be a momentary reminder of what is important. It can provide the motivation to continue trekking up a difficult mountain, to remove yourself from a situation that isn’t benefitting you, or to simply let unimportant negativity roll off your back. Regardless, the reminder of love can warm your heart and bring backfire to your soul.
Many CEOs, Hollywood actors, professional athletes, and famous authors credit journaling to their success. Some find journaling in the morning easier than meditating and just as healthy – so why not give it a try on National Relaxation Day? Journaling can help rid us of anxieties, remind us of what’s important, and clear our slates so that we can approach the day open, eager, and ready.
About Danny Litvin
Danny Litvin is the owner of Sadhana Yoga and Ayurveda (www.SadhanaNJ.com) – a holistic health education center based in Northern New Jersey. As a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor and E-500 Registered Yoga Instructor, he aims to make the healing sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda accessible, fun, and life affirming. He is the lead instructor of the Sadhana’s Yoga College Teacher Training and Ayurveda + Healing Training programs, and conducts workshops nationally and online.