November 29 2012

As we head into the busy Christmas period stress levels can dramatically increase. End of year deadlines looming, plenty of Christmas parties to attend and a never ending shopping list, things can become chaotic, quickly! To ensure you remain relaxed in the lead up to Christmas, teacher and perpetual student of yoga, AnneMaree Rowley from Cool, Calm & Collected has provided WY? with her top tips that will help you to de stress on the go (in a simple, immediate and effective way.)

Do nothing – Just stop. Take a deep breath, hold and count to three, then release the breath slowly. Do this three times, anytime, anywhere and this will help you let go of fatigue, stress and strain.

Watch the breath – Close your eyes, draw your attention to the nose tip and then imagine you can see the breath entering and leaving the nostrils. (Cool air enters, warm air leaves.) Do this for a few minutes to calm the nervous system.

Relax the Neck – Tilt ear to shoulder on each side; touch chin to chest; lift the neck long and tilt the head backwards. Be sure to take head to shoulder, not shoulder to head. Hold for three breaths each.

Balance – No matter whether you are in a crowd or standing in a queue, at the office or at home, lift one foot off the ground, focus your eyes at a 45° angle and breathe gently. Apart from many other benefits, balancing brings you into the moment by quieting the thoughts and your mind then has ‘time-out’.

‘Hallelujah’ stretch – Stand with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Lift your arms up above your head and open them wide, looking up.  Take a deep breath in and gently arch back. Stretch, breathe and open out the heart.