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Three self-care moves can help you get ready, get set and go—where YOU want to go.
Self-care after a workout or a stressful day can feel so deeply rewarding and relaxing that it’s easy to forget about its power to help you adapt and even take charge of the physical and mental challenges life sends your way. Celebrity fitness and self-care expert Jill Miller has three moves to set you up for a great day. She also shows you how to strategize for the surprises that are bound to come up and how to combine moves you choose—and have some fun.
To get started, you’ll need two Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls.
De-Mat Your Upper Back
Equipment: two Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls
When I am clear on my plan to move into my day, one of the first things I do to design the optimal environment for my mind and body is this move. It refreshes the often stiff connection between the upper trapezius and the underlying levator scapulae. These are the muscles that prevent your head from falling forward at your computer keyboard. This move will help you keep a clear head as you forge ahead with your next task.
- Lay on your back and place a Yoga Tune Up Therapy Ball on the upper inner border of each shoulder blade.
- Raise your pelvis and rest your forearms on the floor above your head.
- Slowly reach one arm overhead and then the other, letting the balls rotate around the upper edges of your shoulder blades.
Build Your Own Breath Strategy
Every day you have a choice to race through your day, panting and short of breath, or extending your awareness in the present moment and literally slowing down your perception of time. Breath cycles characteristic of stress have a shorter exhalation and a longer inhalation, while breathing characteristic of relaxation has a shorter inhalation and longer exhalation. You can craft a breath meditation that either stimulates you or sedates you. Let it be YOUR choice instead of a reaction to your circumstances. It’s totally empowering!
- Create a 16-count breath cycle that includes your (1) inhalation, (2) the pause or transition to exhalation, (3) the exhalation, and (4) the pause before your next inhalation.
- Box breathing is the classic technique—inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts and stay empty for four counts before you inhale again. Play with those numbers to experience the stimulating or relaxing effect of changing the duration of each part of the cycle.
Somersault Straddle Handstand
I’ve shown you dozens of core, shoulder, hip, feet and neck self-care moves, but I’ve never shown you some of the more complex movements that combine techniques and that give me joy in my own personal practice. The somersault straddle handstand is one of those moves. Balancing on my hands while challenging my core reveals the spectacular interplay of so many systems of the body. It puts me in touch with human design, and it motivates me to practice more. I hope it motivates you to look through the many videos I’ve shared because ultimately they will help you to map your way through your body.
- Place your hands 7 to 9 inches from a wall.
- Walk into the wall, keeping your spine deeply flexed.
- Pike up: Press your hands into the floor, tuck your knees in and roll up the wall.
- Practice your balance by moving your feet away from the wall.
- Squeeze your inner thighs together, and lower yourself down.
Photo, video credit: Todd Cribari, inspirostudio.com
Hair and make-up: Mariah Nicole, mariahnicole.com