Self Care Routine For Calm, Happiness and Good Health

By Jan Herzog, Yoga Teacher

You and thousands of others world-wide have experienced pandemic stress. A regular, quiet, meditative self-care routine increases both calm and happiness, and boosts your immunity. The effort is worth the feeling of deep joy it creates.

Here is a short nine-part routine for a home practice. Ideally practice in a quiet and calm place. Search yoga terms or pictures of poses you need to clarify. You may like a yoga mat, blankets, soft music, candle and a journal.

  1. Think about a simple appreciation and or a hope. Commit to just focus on your body and your breath for this time period. Set a timer. Lie on your back and just notice how you feel; physically and emotionally. Stretch whatever way you feel like or need. 1 to 2 minutes. 
  2. Do abdominal strengthening: planks or sit-ups. 30-60 seconds or more. 
  3. Do at least 2 movements for 2 minutes each that you coordinate movement with your breath: cat/cow, move arms up and down, lateral bend, or yoga sun salutes. Stay present to your breath as energy. 
  4. Try to stand on one foot and practice being super calm. 30 seconds each leg. Option: tree pose or another yoga standing balance pose.
  5. Lie on the floor on your belly. Pick up your arms and and or your legs (locust or cobra in yoga). Keep your chin tucked. Option: standing yoga poses: warrior 1, warrior 2, and or extended side angle. Spend 3 minutes on this. 
  6. Pick one or two: Childs pose, pigeon pose, legs up the wall, and standing forward fold for 3 minutes. 
  7. Practice Deep Breathing. Lie on your back (elevate your head) , or cross your legs and sit propped up on blankets or pillows or in a chair. Close your eyes and breath deeply and evenly. Make your inhale the same length as your exhale for 5 to six beats. Stay relaxed and stop if you are dizzy. 3 minutes. 
  8. Closed eyed meditation. Use a mantra or use simple awareness of your senses. Notice a thought and name it as ‘thought.’ Stay focussed and stay soft. 3-5 minutes. 
  9. Relax. Lie down on your back and gently just focus on relaxing and feeling good. Write down any realizations. 2- 3 minutes. 

You can expand any of the sections. 

Jan has been teaching yoga for over 20 years. Email janherzog3@gmail.com or call 314-323-1990