Rather than letting the events of the day overwhelm us, we can begin each day with a natural dose of stress prevention--exercise. When you exercise in the morning, whether that is going for a walk, riding your bike, or getting on your yoga mat, that helps your inner world awaken and brighten right along with the outer world. As a result, you will feel more energized and optimistic, and, therefore, better able to handle whatever the day brings.
"Unplug and Recharge" is a new Living series which aims to give you, our dear readers, a quick break from your day -- whether you have as much time as ten minutes or as little as two. Following the success of our Oasis at the DNC, we're hoping to give you a little cyber-oasis -- a place to escape -- where you can take a moment to unplug, relax, and recharge.
For thousands of years, across many cultures, countries, and religions, enthusiasts awaken with the rising of the sun and perform a ritual to honor the coming of a new day.
Waking up at, or just before, sunrise, attunes your biorhythms to those of nature. This brings more hormonal balance and attunement with the larger world around you.
Here is a simple exercise called "The Sun Breath." You can do this when you wake up in the morning, or anytime during the day that you need some energy.
1. You can do this sitting or standing. In both cases, bring your feet hip-width apart with the outer edges parallel.
2. Stay here for a few moments, sitting or standing tall, and start to bring your attention to your breath. Gradually let your breath extend until the inhale and exhale are about five counts each.
3. Once your breath has comfortably lengthened, then on your next inhale, spread your arms out to your sides and then over head . At the end of the inhale, your arms should be fully extended, palms touching. Really reach up through your fingertips so that your waistline stretches up towards the ceiling. Let your breath fill the sides of your lungs, just under your armpits.
4. Begin your exhale, and sweep your arms back down, tracing the same arcing pathway that they followed on the way up. At the end of the exhale, your arms should rest back down by your sides. Even here, keep the heart lifted and the waistline long.
5. Continue this for 3-5 minutes. Let your breath follow your movement. Keep your inhales and exhales even, about 5 counts each. Close your eyes if you like.
6. To conclude, sit quietly with your eyes closed, bringing your attention back to your natural breath once again, and notice any differences between how you feel now and when you first began.
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