Yogis know that breathing is more than a necessity, it’s a luxury, especially in times of stress. Just five minutes of deep breathing can calm your mind and diminish the stress-related cortisol hormone coursing through your body.
What it does
The seated eagle variation, demonstrated here by Tamal Dodge, co-founder of Santa Monica’s Yoga Collective and the yogi behind Element’s “Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners” DVD, shuts down the fight-or-flight mechanism in the body, taking the edge off so you can make it through that stressful day without losing it.
What to do
Sit in a cross-legged position, one leg folded over the other. (It does not matter which leg is on top.) Extend your arms in front of your legs. Cross one wrist over the other so that your palms are facing, and clasp your hands lightly. Close your eyes if you can, and breathe deeply through your nose. Keep your attention on the breathing, gently bringing your mind back to it as thoughts come up.
Breathe deeply in the position for a minimum of one minute, working up to five minutes for maximum relaxation.