Seven Beginner Level Yoga Postures to Rid Anxiety

Whether it is anxiety, stress or depression, a mental ailment is a serious challenge for any individual. There are a lot of different ways to fight off those negative emotions. This yoga routine is a pair of boxing gloves and Nama-stay stress free if you know what I’m saying.

DSC_0138

The following is a beginner level vinyasa aiding in stress and anxiety relief for beginner yogis and those new to yoga.
For the sake of getting the most out of this routine please read the article before practicing! ūüôā

Seven Beginner Level Yoga Postures to Rid Anxiety

DSC_0126

1. Bound Angle Pose
Baddha Konasana

Some of you may have trouble entering this pose if you’re tight. Sit on a pillow or blanket for some extra leverage.

Grab onto your big toes with your middle, pointer and thumb fingers. Now pull your heels together and in towards your body while also keeping your back straight to avoid lower back pain.

Relax in this pose for a few minutes. Read this article to learn more about Bound Angle Pose.

DSC_0132

2. Seated Staff Pose
Dandasana

Looks simple enough, right? Lengthen your legs and flex your feet while keeping your back straight. You can rock side to side to get the flattest seat. Focus on your breath here and relax for 3-5 minutes.

Now go on a reap all of these benefits !

DSC_0131

3. Fish Pose
Matsyasana

Place your hands underneath your hips, palms down. Open your chest and relax your neck, dropping your head back and slowly lowering down to the elbows before gently placing the crown of the head on the floor.

This will open the hip flexors and other muscles you never thought of stretching like the front of your neck! Get ready to strengthen the back, too. Also, this pose is excellent to fix poor posture.

DSC_0128

4. Camel Pose

To enter this pose, rise to your knees and place your hands on your hips. You don’t need to enter the pose fully if you don’t feel comfortable. Leave your hands on your hips and you open up your chest and drop the head backwards. Use the pressure of your hands on the back of your pelvis to enter this pose as far as possible.

If you feel comfortable, let your hands down to rest on the heels of the feet and push your hips forward. This will assist in anxiety and other ailments such as fatigue and mild back pains. Learn more here.

DSC_0127

5. Bow Pose
Dhanurasana

Beginners may be interested in using a yoga strap if they cannot grab their feet behind them. Don’t have a strap? Try a belt or a tie!

This pose is reflective of the power of counterbalance. We’re stretching the entire front of the body plus the ankles, thighs, chest, throat, and deep hip flexors while gaining strength in your back muscles.

Other benefits include relief for constipation, respiratory ailments, fatigue and mild back aches.

DSC_0134

6. Standing Forward Fold
Uttanasana

Woo! Stand up, reach up, show some gratitude for today and elongate your spine to relieve tension after all those back bend poses! Breath deep my friends. On the exhale, hinge at the hips, keeping the back straight as you fold forward.

You can bend your knees a bit here. Relax the neck by shaking your head “yes” and “no.” Enjoy the massage you can feel on your internal organs and that deep stretch as you straighten you legs. Say goodbye to stress, headaches, fatigue and insomnia with this pose!

DSC_0136

7. Tree Pose
Vriksasana

If you struggle with meditation this pose will be the most beneficial in taking your mind off of your stresses. Focus on a steady point in front of you and press the 4 corners of your right foot into the floor. The vitality of concentration will keep you too busy to think of anything else.

Bring hands to prayer. Begin lifting the left leg at a 90¬į angle, turn the knee out and open the hips. When ready, grab the left foot and place it in whichever variation is most comfortable. One option is as shown above, place the foot on the inside of the thigh, as high above the knee as possible. Another option is half lotus for an extra stretch.

Other benefits are posture, balance, increase in the hips’ range of motion, toning the muscles in the legs, back, and chest, and also strengthening the ankles.

Be sure to repeat on the other side.

Inhale. Stretch up towards the ceiling. Exhale down to heart’s center. Take time to be thankful for this day and all that you have gained in life on your way here.

Everything happens as and when it’s needed to so, we can’t always help what happens. We can, however, control how we react. It is not what happens to us that shapes us but how we handle it.

Enjoy your day and please feel free to leave a comment!

Advertisements

What’s going on?

Relephant Matters is in a sling shot right now. I’m pulling back on the reigns slightly with WordPress because of the intentions I have set for the blog’s future. Since I really want you all to be a part of that future, I decided to tell you what’s going on.

I want this lifestyle blog to encourage so many great causes and inspire myself and my readers to become the force that influences change in our world with small everyday changes and sometimes big ones.

In the coming months I will create a website with all of your lifestyle needs. Also, a store! We’re not just selling products, we’re giving you a purchase that will fill you with that warm happy feeling not just because you’re buying a great thing but because you know you just did something awesome for someone or something else. This store will only carry cause marketing related products. That means if they don’t give back to the world in some way, we don’t market them!

I also expect to broaden the horizons of our sections and make the site easy to navigate.

Relephant Wellness: Health Tips and Tricks, Fitness Exercises, What’s good and bad for you, Home Remedies and so on.

Hearts That Matter: We’re trying out all kinds of Charity projects and programs! I am most excited for this addition. I love meeting extraordinary human beings who set their hearts on doing something good for others and it’s an honor to write about them and their work.

Minds of Matter: A news resource, educational section and will in the future include travel. To travel can broaden the mind just as much as a textbook and I believe it’s important to do. Don’t worry though, I’m not rich so I’m looking for great deals and delicious restaurants to eat at. Plus, my travels always earn me some absurd story that will be sure to entertain you.

We will also have an email address in case you have any topics you would like us to answer questions or cover new topics.

So, what do you think? I’m happy to hear from any and every one of you.

Your support and enthusiasm for a great life is what keeps me going! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Humbly Yours,

Katelyn

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day to honor the right of all individuals to have access to safe water, a right that is nonexistent for approximately 1 in every 8 people. Every minute, a child dies from an illness caused by contaminated water.

Organizations like Water.org, Water For People and Project Humanity advocate clean water and make important strides towards providing water and functional toilets.

Be sure to conserve water, don’t leave it running, don’t do a hundred small loads of dishes and laundry when you can keep it simple and run these machines one time. Water is a luxury many of us have grown up with but there are still many without.

Heavenly Seven

living by what we give

Dale Partridge, 28, founded the do-good-themed business named Sevenly. Each week the company chooses a cause to donate $7 of each purchase to.

The Sevenly team proudly tells customers, “You matter,” encouraging them to make a purchase that will go on to help someone in need. Each week is a promising opportunity for customers to buy high quality products that donate to a charitable cause.¬†What I enjoy about Sevenly’s¬†cause marketing¬†is that they not only donate to these foundations but they educate customers about the causes, why they are so important and why they need help. They also encourage customers through social media and blogging,¬†inspiring them to give back and make the world a better place.

Partridge built a business on kindness rather than a large revenue. It goes to show that by finding what makes you feel rich, you may go on to make some money doing so. He is passionate about making a difference in lives around the world. All causes are different, some are for bringing happiness to the lives of those with cancer, others are to solve hunger in third world countries, there is no limit to where they place their passion for paying it forward. Even in their office, when an employee is having a bad day, Sevenly has a room dedicated to exposing all of the troubles they wish to solve. Employees take a step into this room and remember their work is important and they matter. Thanks Sevenly!

Yoga – Wake With an Open Heart: Day 2

Somedays it’s simply about getting out of bed, others it’s about finding balance, energy, even sanity.¬†Somedays like Day 1 of Wake With an Open Heart, are a little slow and laid back. I just need my body to feel good and wake up with me. Somedays like today I’m honestly just grateful and ready to¬†seize¬†the day. Day 2 illustrates a¬†routine focusing on your back rather than Day 1, which did a little bit of everything.¬†Every day is just like every body; different.¬†Listen to it.¬†

IMG_9819

Yes, I was a different person yesterday. We are all subjects to consistent change. Your body is different everyday and it knows what it wants. Meditation allows you to listen to your breath and your body and learn from each of them. You have the power to heal, revitalize and rebuild yourself anew every morning.

This routine will result in strengthening the hamstrings, glutes, calves and biceps. You will experience stimulation in your liver and kidneys. Improved digestion and relief of stress, anxiety and mild depression.

Wake With an Open Heart
Day 2

DSC_0307

Get started by just moving your feet closer to your hips so that your knees are up. Elevation assists in blood flow, which then increases endorphins and energy so this simple maneuver is already benefiting your body.

DSC_0308

Bridge Pose
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Push into your heals, inhale and lift at the hips. Feel your chest opening. Your arms should be reaching towards your feet and your chin should be tucked. For a more in depth description click here. Your energy will begin to increase as you feel your core, gluteus and leg muscles burning.

DSC_0309

Knee to Chest
Apanasana

Bringing your knees into your chest will lengthen your spine. You will feel your back stretch in ways that may really impress you. You know that lower part of your back that is really hard to stretch? Now is the time.
Benefits from this stretch include removal of sciatic nerve pain, ridding constipation and other digestive issues such as symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If you have knee problems, do not grab your knees. You can grab the back of your thighs to avoid pressure on the knees.

DSC_0315

Leg Up the Wall Pose
Viparita Karani

This variation differs from Day 1 as we take away the comfort of the pillow beneath your bum and the rest against the wall. You will experience advanced results, toning your leg muscles, core and gluteus.
If you’re not feeling up to this challenge today, please watch the standard version of this pose. Listen to your body, find your limit but do not push past it and risk straining muscles.

DSC_0330

Big Toe Pose
Padagusthasana

 This pose just like all others is most easily achieved by focusing on your breath. When exhaling, you will find that it is easier to delve deeper and grab your big toes with your index and middle fingers. As you inhale, straighten your arms and as you exhale pull your head towards your knees, bending your arms and if you need to, bend your knees. For more details.

To conclude your routine, reach up, reach out, grab the day and achieve whatever goals you may have set for yourself. To wake with an open heart is to wake with possibility, strength and happiness. I hope this quick stretch helps you find that.
Namaste.

Prayer Pose and Positivity

DSC_0324

Prayer Pose

Stitha-Prarthanasana

Prayer Pose will align your physical body and as a result the non-physical may follow. To balance physically requires concentration. Close your eyes. Bring your hands together at Heart’s Center and press your palms together. Keep a straight posture and press your shoulders back. You may stand or sit whatever is comfortable. Just relax and meditate. The pose will result in balance¬†that will engage your imagination, intuition and focus. Enjoy this blissful harmony.

I myself am not a religious person. I am simply filled with faith. In Prayer pose I find strength in letting go. Having faith that the universe also pursues balance and all good things do come in time. Do not quit searching for them.

A negative mind is the most destructive illness.

It seems as though illnesses have been running my life recently. To add to my anxiety over those around me who have been sick, a doctor appointment added self concern to worry. I was mad and I was hurt that in a time that was already so complicated my body would throw this curve ball at me. I was mad at my body for betraying me.

Wait, what?

Is that honestly it? My body has betrayed me because it is sick?

It was not my body that was wronging me but my mind, telling me to turn against myself. To hate myself. Sometimes it is easiest to think of what is wrong before what is true.

Negative thoughts can only hurt you if you give them permission. Time to sort this out. Put your foot down. No distractions, we are sorting out this issue like two elementary school students told by their teacher to stand in the hallway until they apologized to one another.

I encourage you… Press your palms together. Find symmetry. Find balance. Know that your existance is not betraying you, it is teaching you to fight through fear and see what blessings lie ahead. Life is not handed out with promises. It’s taken and lived in seconds, not years.

Your body doesn’t hate you. Contrarily, it loves you so much that it will sacrifice itself to teach you what you struggle to understand. Your body is selfless and if you listen to its cries for help you will find that it is only trying to help you learn how to improve your life.

“There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.” – Deepak Chopra

Namaste.

The Fortunate Receipt, A New York Coffee Shop That Cares.

DSC_0118

The Fortunate Cup Coffee Cafe located at 120 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs is spreading good fortune daily by giving more than just a tasty brew!

When I began marketing and event planning for the Fortunate Cup Coffee Cafe, the owner, Steve and I discussed all of the possibilities to bring New York’s capital city community together. We wanted customers to feel good and not just because they were refreshed and rewired with caffeinated drinks and delicious sandwiches. We’ve planned a jazz night, we’re working on game nights, Ladies’ Night, and bringing in musicians but, we knew there were so many more possibilities. After reading about the Neapolitan tradition, cafe sospesso¬†I believed we could make our local coffee shop an even more warm and inviting place for our¬†community and customers.

Tomorrow, February 1st, this sign will occupy our counter and tally up all the do gooders who can spare change for a random act of kindness. This month we will provide customers with the opportunity to suspend receipts to provide a complimentary drink or meal for a stranger. We will return those suspended receipts to customers at random in hopes to make their day brighter. Who knows, maybe they will pay it forward too! It’s our way of showing customer appreciation and connecting strangers through genuine¬†care for our community.

It gets better!…

In the coming months we will refocus our cause. We hope to use your suspended receipts as donations to buy meals for individuals in our community like caretakers, the less fortunate, school children, those who have fallen ill or suffer from disabilities and so on.

If you choose to participate we would love to hear your story! Tag us with #thefortunatereceipt