Dear Rachel Maddow,
Thank you for bringing us the news in a fun and entertaining way. Your smarts and sensibilities have lured me and many others into keeping up with policy, even when it's not election season! You've also inspired me to customize a few emergency health interventions for off-balance politicians like Sarah Palin and George Bush. I don't think they took my advice.
I'm pretty sure you're not into yoga. When your pal Kent Jones brought up yoga day on the White House lawn, I think you even mentioned never having actually seen people doing yoga before. Well, I know you're super busy and retreats to a yoga ashram are pretty unlikely for you. But, along with millions of other folks, I want to make sure you keep a healthy and happy body and mind for a very long time. We need you to keep us in the loop!
I designed this routine to help with eye strain from staring at monitors all day, plus hip and shoulder tightness from hours in a chair. These fixes loosen up tension and keep you feeling great. Yoga practice helps us use what we need and rest what we don't. This lets our batteries recharge faster, and it gets easier to call up more energy when we need to perform again. An added bonus is you don't need to set aside hours of your week to gain the benefits. 5 minutes at work and 10 minutes before bed make a huge difference. You can even try this routine right from your on-air chair during commercial breaks (between tweeting of course).
Rub your palms together to create a bit of heat. Close your eyes and place the heels of your hands gently on your eyelids so your fingers rest up your forehead. Take 3 deep breaths here, then gently lower your hands and open your eyes. You can try this whenever your eyes feel tired or dry, or whenever you want to de-stress quickly. I also tried this instruction with Blago to distract his attention away from the alluring camera lens. With you the idea is just keeping you happily front and center!
Lift your right arm straight up. Bend your elbow and place your palm on the center of your back, so your fingers are pointing down. Bend your left elbow so it points straight down, and work your left fingers up your back. If your hands can touch, that's great. Stay here and breathe for 5 breaths. If your hands don't quite touch that's fine too. Open your fingers and press your hands into your back while you gently lift your chest slightly up and back. If Kent is around have him throw you a towel, you can grab that to help join your hands. Make sure to try the other side.
Press your hands down on the sides of your chair and lift up your hips. Lift one knee, and then the other. Lift both knees if you can. This also works your stomach a bit, which will keep your spine and back healthy! Stay here for 5 breaths and slowly lower down to sit.
Reach your left arm straight up, then lower your left hand to your right arm rest. Inhale lift up tall. Exhale twist around to the right. Stay here for 5 breaths and try the other side.
This one you can get away with any time. Close your eyes and follow your breath. When you start to think about healthcare reform, try bringing your attention back to your breath. You can do this for 10 seconds or 10 minutes, however long you have. It can also add to the dramatics of coming back from commercial when you open your eyes all refreshed and energized.
Bonus seated position
If you feel like kicking your legs up and sitting cross-legged in your chair it's great for your hips and back, plus that way we get to check out your sneakers!
I hope this routine helps you feel refreshed and keeps you in good health!