Yoga Stretches To Help Keep You Calm

Yoga Stretches To Help Keep You Calm

Even if you are not fond of yoga, these stretches will probably benefit you in the long run!

t's that time of year again. We're all stressing out about classes, work, finances, etc... I totally get it! You probably need a way to de-stress, right? Are you a yoga lover? Great! Even if you aren't, I would recommend you try these simple stretches, to help with your stress levels! All you need is your body, a yoga mat (or a towel), and positive vibes.

1.) Child's Pose

It's a posture that can help relax the mind, ease stress and anxiety, while at the same time stretching your back. If you're too worried about looking awkward doing a yoga pose, this is one of the least awkward poses (in my opinion). Here's how to do it: Begin on your hands and knees. Spread your knees as far as comfortable, with your big toes still touching. While exhaling bend forward moving your torso in between your thighs. Your chest should be sitting above your thigh. Let your forward meet with the floor. Keep your arms long and extended palms facing down, or behind your back (as seen in the photo below). Move your knees further or closer together to increase the amount of stretch.

2.) Corpse Pose

To do the corpse pose, simply lay on your back, with your legs out and your arms at your side, and relax. Close your eyes and breathe. Let all of the thoughts in your head pass through and don't judge your thoughts. In no time your body should feel at ease.

3.) Triangle Pose

This is a pose that requires some flexibility. If you aren't flexible don't worry! The more you do it, the more flexible you'll get. Begin standing with your feet hip distance apart and your arms at your side. Breathe and let your distractions go. Step your feet out as far as comfortable, making sure that your heels are aligned. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, and pivot your left foot slightly inwards. Raise both your arms to your side, so that they're parallel to the floor, hands faced down. On an exhale reach your right arm in the same direction as your right foot. Shift your left hip back so your pelvis and tailbone tilt toward the space behind you. Fold at your right hip, avoiding dropping your torso forward. Turn your left hand forward, reaching towards the sky. Rest your right hand on your shin or ankle. Gently turn your gaze over to your right hand. Hold this pose for about ten seconds and relax, coming out of the pose. Do the same with the left side. (See photo below for assistance!)

4.) The Seated Twist

This is one of my favorite poses. I love creeping my friends out with this, as it helps pop my back. Some benefits of this pose is it helps stretch your hips, knees, back, and your ankles. Here's how to do it: Extend your legs in front of your body and sit up straight. Then, cross your legs in front of you at the shins. If your hips are very tight, you can sit on a bolster or block. With your knees wide, place each foot beneath the opposite knee. Fold your legs in toward your torso. Balance your weight evenly across your sit bones. Align your head, neck, and spine. Lengthen your spine, but soften your neck. Relax your feet and thighs. Place your right hand on the floor behind you. Bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee, exhaling as you gently twist to the right. Inhale again as you lengthen your spine, and exhale as you twist deeper. Gaze over your right shoulder. Try not to over deepen the twist. Hold this for about 10 seconds before realizing and doing the same on the other side.

5.) Pigeon Pose (Lying Down)

This is a good stretch for your glutes. Here's how to do: Start lying down, as if you were going to do the corpse pose. Bring your left knee to your chest and place your right ankle over your left knee. Keep your head on the ground, and keep your shoulders relaxed. Use your hands to gently pull your left leg close to your chest. You should feel a nice stretch! Continue, by switching to the other leg.

6.) Forward Fold (Sitting or Standing)

This is another simple pose that you can do without feeling awkward. Here's how to do it: Sit down on the ground with your legs extended. Keep your arms on the ground and and slowly work your head towards your knees. Depending on how much of a stretch you want, you can either keep your knees straight, or bent. Hold the arch of your feet or ankles and hold this pose for 10 to 15 seconds, before releasing. Remember to breath.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.


I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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