A Five-Minute Centering Practice

Any parent or caregiver who works a full-time job (or not) knows how easy it is to get off center. In fact, being out of balance often feels more natural than having a quiet moment of peace and calming. I have found that, without my daily dose of inner connection, I cannot fully provide for my family, my clients, my friends, or my business. My desire to stay inspired as a yoga teacher fuels my drive to continually fill my own well. Since I know that I can’t afford to wait for the next day at the spa or family vacation to Mexico, I try to fit these moments in within my own time constraints.  

Here is an easy and accessible way to get re-centered in five minutes or less:

  1. Find a comfortable, steady seat. This can be on the floor, on a chair, or seated on a train or in a car (assuming you are not driving, of course!). Try to keep your feet flat on the floor and uncross your legs if possible. This helps keep your body aligned and allows the energy to flow evenly throughout your body.
  2. Do a few shoulder rolls and release any tension from your neck by tilting your head towards the right ear for a moment, back to center, and then to the left. We hold a lot of tension in our neck and shoulders, as this is where all of our conscious thoughts collect.
  3. Close your eyes and start to feels your breath originate from the belly to the side ribs, up into the chest cavity and into the back body. Exhale with the same awareness.
  4. Begin to count the amount of beats, or seconds, it takes to breathe in fully. Pause at the top of the inhalation, and then count the amount of beats it takes to go to the bottom of the exhalation. Try to make the length of the inhalation and exhalation even, which helps to balance our ability to take in and let go. For example, if you breathe in for a count of four, breathe out for a count of four.
  5. Do this for three rounds; one inhale and one exhale equals one round.
  6. After the third round, open your eyes and bring them to a point in front of you. Take in your surroundings. Notice how you feel rebooted and re-centered. Repeat as often as necessary throughout your day.

You don't need an iPhone or an app or even a sticky mat to do this. All you need is your breath and your awareness. Enjoy!

Find out about upcoming programs with Sarah Platt-Finger at Kripalu.

This article was originally published on Sarah's blog.

Sarah Platt-Finger, cofounder of ISHTA Yoga and the private yoga teacher of Deepak Chopra, is a featured teacher on Yoga U Online and Jiyo.

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