10 Things That Make Me Happy Everyday

I’m not going to lie, some days are better than others. I’m trying to be more mindful as I go about my day, doing so I’ve picked up on things that make me happy. I can enjoy these thing that make me happy almost everyday if not everyday. 

It makes me happy to be in nature too, I don’t do it nearly enough though. A trip to the beach a few weeks ago reminded me of that. Since summer is drawing to a close maybe a few hikes will be in the books for the fall/winter, I do love going to the beach during the winter too though. It has such a different feel, I just love it.

Anything i can do to put a smile on my face or have a moment of calm in the anxiety driven mind I have; I’ll take it. 

10 Things That Make Me Happy Everyday #life #happiness #happy

  1. Watching my kitty sleep – and boy does he sleep a lot, he is pretty much level expert. 
  2. Seeing all the beautiful colors in the sky from dawn to dusk.
  3. Gazing at the moon and stars – if I didn’t know any better I’d think I was an alien.
  4. Reese’s Pieces – need I say more?
  5. The love I have in my heart – it’s full and I try to be kind and spread it around all day. It takes 2 seconds to say “thank you” or give a compliment.
  6. Practicing mindfulness everyday – it really helps to keep you grounded.
  7. Having a sense of fulfillment in my life – it’s been awhile if ever I’ve felt this. I started a new job September 10th, I have a loving family and friends.
  8. Fluffy blankets – I love getting lost in all of its puffiness.
  9. Crystals – I have my favorites that I carry around with me daily but I love them all. I’m currently carrying around a tumbled Rose Quartz.
  10. Sleeping in – I absolutely love to sleep so on the weekends I do take advantage.

What makes you happy everyday?

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Getting Yourself Out of a Slump

We’ve all had those periods before… those times when we feel stuck in a rut. Times when we can’t see any progress happening in either our personal or our professional lives… and we’re not even sure what kind of progress we want. Times when it’s all too easy to just hide in your room, binge a show on Netflix, and eat your weight in Cheetos.

But it doesn’t take long to realize that that’s not really what we want. And so, here are some helpful suggestions to get you out of that slump, and back on track.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Take the Power Back

A million different things can spur this kind of phase, from a difficult breakup, to a professional failure, to stress and anxiety, or even boredom. The cause doesn’t really matter. What’s important to realize is that no matter what led to your slump, you have the power to overcome it. You really do! You have the power to return to a thriving, joyful, goal-oriented person. But it may not happen all at once, and it won’t happen if you just sit there and wait for something to happen to you.

That’s what can be the most alarming thing about a slump. We might fall into a pattern of thinking that “if only…” something would happen, it’d fix us. If only our ex came back, if only inspiration could strike and you could write a hit single, if only you won the lottery, or an amazing opportunity just dropped into your lap… It’s important to not depend on external sources to get out of this slump. It’s yours to own, and yours to conquer. Even if everything in the outside world is working against you, you have the power inside of you to make positive change in your life, and it starts as soon as you decide it does.

 

Get Depression Treatment, If Necessary

As I’m writing about getting out of a slump, I want to be clear about something. While all of these approaches can help to mitigate depression, there are many factors that contribute to your likelihood of depression, and not all of them can be eliminated simply through healthy habits. If you really do have clinical depression, you might need outside help from a professional. If you feel sad and hopeless the majority of the time, if this “slump” is lasting more than a month, or if you’re having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, it’s important to reach outside of yourself for help. Life doesn’t have to be this way, and things can get better.

Alright, with that disclaimer taken care of, let’s look at some habit changes that will really change your motivation and mood patterns.

 

Work Out. Really. Just Do It.

I know you’ve heard it a million times, and I know that it’s just turned into white noise but really. Listen to me: Exercise. Exercise really has a powerful effect on our mood. Some studies have found daily exercise (even non-strenuous exercise) is just as powerful as medication in alleviating depression. Additionally, it can greatly help us get better sleep (a common challenge in “the slump.”)

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Okay, now, you’ve probably resolved to work out steadily several times in your life. But that’s the thing about the slump… it sucks away your resolve to get things done, and you find yourself constantly thinking “I’ll start tomorrow.” Here are some ways that you can really make it happen:

  • Sign up for a class. If you’re having a hard time being self-motivated, then a class can really help you get the exercise you need. Sign up with a friend; someone who will hold you accountable.
  • Break it down into tiny steps. If “going to the gym and running 3 miles” is just too daunting a task, break it down. Force yourself to change into gym clothes. Then to drive to the gym. Then to go in and walk once around the track. I know this sounds silly, but it’s almost like tricking a child into going to bed by just doing it in tiny phases. “Fine, just brush your teeth then you can play more. Okay, now just get your pajamas on. Now we’re just going to read a book in your room, you don’t have to sleep yet.”
  • Delay your reward. Did you get home from work today looking forward to nothing but that Kit Kat bar in the pantry? Go ahead and tell yourself you can have the candy bar… but only if you work out first. Remember that it’s going to taste that much better for being a reward.

 

Write Down Some Very Small Goals

The slump feeds off of a very particular sick cycle: (1) You know you need to do stuff, but (2) you feel crappy and don’t want to do it. (3) You don’t do it. (4) You feel annoyed with yourself, and even more crappy. (5) You keep not doing it… or anything.

Even small goals accomplished can break the cycle. So start here: write down a list of really incremental goals. Even small things that don’t seem like they should classify as “tasks.” Like… finishing washing the dishes in the sink. Doing a load of laundry. Making a call that you’ve been postponing. After you’ve made the list, resolve to do three things on it every day. Sure, maybe they’re tiny things that you would have had to do anyway: taking a shower, filling the gas tank, etc. But as you get in the habit of ticking off three things each day, you can start getting more ambitious: clean out the car, make a healthy meal for yourself, go to a dental appointment.

What’s really great about this method is that you start feeling better about yourself because of these small victories. Pretty soon, you’ll start to crave that victory more and more.

 

Watch Your Intake

Okay, now it’s time to do a little bit of a detox. Often, in the slump, we start to rely on unhealthy habits to get us through. We over-eat sugar, over-utilize caffeine to get going in the morning, or over-drink, just… because. Take a look at any unhealthy habits that you’re using as a crutch and consider how they could actually be harming more than helping. Alcohol, sugar, and caffeine all have a major influence on our energy levels, and even our moods, leading to peaks and crashes that you just can’t afford anymore. Start to moderate your crutch-substances as much as possible.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Write Down Some Very Ambitious Goals

Now that you’ve taken care of some small goals, start thinking about bigger ones. And I mean bigger. The kinds of things you put on your bucket list. The kinds of things you build a 5-year plan around. What do you want to accomplish in life? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to become? Start thinking really seriously about future goals and realize that they’re yours to make come true. As you write them down, and start to think about them more and more, your pathway will become more clear, and you’ll be able to break down the ambitious goals into smaller goals that you can start in on one day at a time. Perhaps it could be useful to you to create a vision board that can remind you of those goals and visualize them more clearly.

 

Talk To Someone Every Day

In a slump, we tend to withdraw. It can become a terrible cycle, because we move ourselves away from the resources that could help us feel more positive. And yet… being around people can just feel like too much. This is especially true if you’re not someone who naturally thrives off of sociality. If that’s the case, then you might have to make this something on your daily checklist of small goals. But it’s worth it, I promise.

Even if you’re the most introvert-y of introverts, you need other humans. We’re social creatures, and our greatest joys and happinesses come from relationships. And so, it’s time to flex your happiness muscles by flexing your sociality. Make a goal to have at least one real conversation each day; I’m not talking about saying hi to the bus driver. I mean actually talking with someone. Give a friend a call and catch up. Ask a coworker about their day. Smile at someone next to you in the checkout line and see how they’re doing. Not every interaction is going to be everything you want. But the vast majority of them are going to enrich your day.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Appreciate a Miracle

This last one might seem strange at first. I mean, you can’t just schedule a miracle… that’s why they’re called miracles; they come out of nowhere! Hear me out. There are things in this earth that make us pause and take notice. Beautiful things that remind us that life is exciting, and rich, and worth savoring. Everyone probably has their own list. But this is mine:

  • Spend time with a dog.
  • Learn a new scientific fact.
  • Read some poetry.
  • Get up close and personal with nature (i.e. sit under a tree, dig your toes into the sand, find a beautiful view, go on a hike.)
  • Do an activity with children.
  • Go somewhere where you can see the stars.
  • Say twice-daily prayers of gratitude.

How Travel Feeds the Soul

After taking a long trip, you can come back a different person. There’s something about the experience that changes you. But what exactly is it? I’ve long claimed that travel is good for the soul. (It’s a good fallback when people ask you why you’re spending your savings on trips overseas instead of investing in property.) But researching it more has shown me some solid evidence on how travel can actually feed the best parts of ourselves, make us better people, and strengthen those aspects of our lives that give us lasting happiness.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

New Settings Force Us to Think Differently

A study recently published in the Academy of Management Journal posited that professionals who lived and worked abroad were more creative than their counterpoints at home. Why? Adapting to another culture than our own forces us to develop cognitive creativity. And that creativity carries over into parts of our life. We’re able to creatively problem-solve, as in the case of one study that found that students living abroad were 20% more likely to be able to solve a particular computer problem.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

Think about how many ramifications that could have in our daily life. Not only does it make us better at work. It also makes us better in our relationships, because we’re able to understand multiple points of view. We’re able to express ourselves better creatively, a practice that literally helps you physically and mentally heal.

Most of all, it gives us a welcome new perspective on our own lives, which is the foundation of most experiential rehab programs. New environments, new experiences, and new perspectives can all help us problem-solve trials and challenges in our day-to-day lives. We learn and practice new skills that greatly serve us in our future.

 

Travelers Are More Trusting

The world can be a scary place, right? Sometimes, the more we listen to sensational headlines, the more it seems like just about everyone is out to get us. However, when you actually take a step outside of your comfort zone, instead of reading about it in the newspaper, you’ll usually find two amazing truths:

  1. Most people are good
  2. You can handle this

Traveling automatically puts you in a vulnerable situation. Clueless about your environment, about the shortcuts and social cues that locals take for granted, about the resources, cultural norms, and environmental dangers, it’s easy to fall prey to scams, over-inflated prices, and petty theft. And if you like movies like “Hostel” or “Taken” you might start believing that a ticket to Europe is equivalent to a casting call for a horror movie.

But once you stay in a couple hostels, you realize this: the people who will actually steal your stuff are the exception, not the rule. And once you’ve been helped by a few friendly locals, you realize that most people will not hesitate to go out of their way to help someone in need. In fact, a couple weeks abroad will probably make you feel ashamed about how you treat foreigners in your own hometown. This doesn’t mean that you stop taking smart precautions, like keeping your phone secure, or keeping your hotel’s phone number handy. However, it means that you trust those precautions, as well as the people around you.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

And then there’s that second truth: You can handle this. It’s all about making a practice of overcoming fears. Traveling encourages you to step out of your comfort zone over and over again. When you do so, you usually find that you can handle those things that come your way. I’m not about to promise you that you won’t run into any challenges as you travel. However, once you get lost a couple times and then manage to get yourself out of a jam or two, you’ll start to gain confidence in yourself. And as you do, you become free from fear.

 

You Learn to Love the Small Things

Something that never ceases to amaze me about travel is how it helps us to appreciate even the most commonplace things. With a traveler’s eyes, I’m transfixed by everyday things, fiercely snapping photos of the town square locals walk past every day, awed by churches that they attend each week, stunned by a meal that is just a regular dinner to anyone else.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

Because of this, it makes me start to think about those things that are unique to the place that I call home. I love watching how enchanted travelers are by the fat squirrels in London’s Hyde Park, creatures that to me are little more than a nuisance. I love talking to people about where I’m from as I travel, because it often sends them into a flurry of excitement, talking about their trip to one of the West’s National Parks. And when I come home, my time away has just made everything familiar that much more special. Travel makes me grateful for those things that I’m otherwise inclined to take for granted. And as you know, gratitude is one of the most direct routes to happiness and fulfillment.

The Long-Life Diet

The Long-Life Diet

Alright, so you’ve tried the ice cream diet, the Atkins diet, South Beach, and of course, anything that promises to get you ready for bikini season.

Are you sick of it yet? Checking waist measurements and daily checks on the bathroom scale? The truth is that extreme diet techniques are really just fostering an unhealthy relationship with our bodies. It’s time to try something new: the long-life diet.

Okay, I’m no nutritionist, and I’m certainly not going to patent a book and turn my lifestyle into a brand. However, I do know this: beautiful=healthy! We always look our best when we’re treating our body right. And sometimes, this means cutting back a lot, especially on empty calories. Other times, it means adding essential things into our diet. Best of all, this is the kind of diet that’s going to give you results that you can straight-up measure in dollars and cents. It means a better quality of life, and longer to enjoy it in. Don’t wait until your body starts to rebel to treat it right. Read through these tips for the long-life diet and start making them a part of your life.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

Drink Water, Not Sugar
A recent Gallup poll revealed that half of Americans drink soda every single day. And among people who drink soda, they average about two and a half glasses a day. And here’s the kicker: one single can of soda already exceeds the recommended limit of sugar per day. One can of soda has about 39 grams of sugar, while the recommended amount per day for a full-grown man is 37 grams. (It’s even less for children and women.)

More and more, scientific evidence is showing that there’s a strong link between sugar and the leading causes of death in the U.S.: heart disease and diabetes. So, start opting for water more often. It doesn’t have to be fancy; tap water is perfectly safe to drink in America. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the taste of plain water, get a good filter for your tap, and/or look into flavor drops that you can gradually wean yourself off of. You might even try out infused water, which can give you a refreshing taste of herbs or fruit without any added sugar.

Get a Variety of Produce
What’s the best thing you can eat in order to lower your risk of cancer? Once you’ve cut out cigarettes, and reduced the amount of alcohol you consume, the best thing you can do to resist cancer is eating more antioxidants. You don’t need to be going to town on goji berries to get antioxidants working for you. Antioxidants are in just about every fruit and vegetable, and different antioxidants have different roles in the body. So, in order to keep your body actively fighting disease effectively, you need to have a wide variety of nutrition. Don’t just fall back on one thing when you feel the need to be more healthy. Get a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try new things at the grocery store, and find creative ways to make smoothies, salads, and snacks made of fruits or veggies a part of your daily diet.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

Extra bonus: getting lots of antioxidants is great for your hair and skin. In fact, probably the fastest change you’ll see in your appearance from the long-life diet is from antioxidants. Here’s a guide for more specifics.

Cook from Scratch
Alright, you’ve probably heard a lot about the raw food and/or paleo diets. It’s not necessary to make a complete lifestyle change and go completely raw in order to have great health. However, those paleo nuts are on to something: we’re healthier when we reduce the amount of processing that our food gets. Admittedly, some things are important, like grinding down wheat for our flour, or cooking potatoes so that they’re easier to digest. However, if your diet currently depends on pre-packaged meals, box mixes, or all those other shortcuts that grocery stores offer, then you should look for ways to move towards “fresh” and “homemade” more often. Pre-packaged foods are more processed. They’re full of preservatives, and extra salt, sugar, and fat in order to make them taste good for longer.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

When you go fresh, you just don’t need those crutches… and you’re better off without them.

Don’t Eat More than You Need
It’s hard to keep track of what’s actually healthy, right? As soon as leading authorities decide that eggs are great for you, someone else starts bashing that egg, saying that it will definitely give you heart disease and ashy skin. Well, doing some research and trusting only peer-reviewed studies and vetted recommendations can give you more clarity. But in the meantime, there’s one thing that all studies of life expectancy agree on: higher calorie intake (beyond what it takes to sustain an individual) is correlated with lower life expectancy. Now, this might sound like I’m just saying “don’t be fat” but it’s not just that. People who consume a lot of calories and work them off by being really active can still carry a higher risk. In fact, it’s the leading theory for why women have a longer life expectancy than men: women tend to eat less calories!

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

In the Standard American Diet, most of us have access to more calories than we need, and we learn to depend on overeating just to feel normal. When you cut back to smaller portions daily, you learn that your body doesn’t actually need all that, unless you’re running a 10k every day. So, if you’re exceeding the recommended calories for your body type, start cutting back. Of course, you should be exercising for your health, and eating to support that exercise. So don’t cut calories at the expense of your energy in a workout.
But most of all, what we need to do is make the calories count. Yes, your body needs the calories and energy. Starving yourself isn’t going to do your health any favors at all. However, not all calories are created equal. You have 600 calories of a chocolate malt, or 600 calories of a good square meal.
Exercise Daily
Modern life doesn’t require us to move around very much. But if you want to be healthy and happy, you should do it anyway! Make a habit out of recreational walks, dancing, or physical projects at home. If nothing else, set a schedule for you to put your home treadmill to use more often.

Herb Crusted flank steak

Herb Crusted flank steak

I had a craving for some meat! So I decided I’d cook, since it had been awhile, It turned out to be a great idea! The day was rainy and lazy so i whipped up some homemade horseradish sauce for the side too. I have a love hate relationship with horseradish sauce though.

I made fingerling potatoes and snow peas for the sides, which we quickly gobbled up. 

Herb crusted flank steak #recipe #dinner #food

Herb Crusted Flank Steak 

Ingredients:
2 tsp rosemary, finely minced
2 tsp thyme, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp each salt and pepper
2 lbs flank steak

Get cooking:
1. Chop the rosemary, thyme, and tarragon for the marinade. Next, mince some garlic, and add it to your herbs.
2. Drizzle in the olive oil and add pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir well.
3. Lay the flank steaks out over plastic wrap and pour the marinade right over. Rub in the marinade all over with your hands, make sure you don’t miss a spot.
4. Grill the steaks about five minutes on each side (for a beautiful medium steak).
5. Slice it into strips on a platter and serve.

Herb Crusted Flank Steak #dinner #food #recipe

This is a great weeknight meal and can be mixed with a little wine. I love shedding a busy day starting with dinner, a glass of wine, then a shower before bed.

8 Bad Habits To Break

8 Bad Habits To Break

I’ve become more aware of my bad habits as I’ve gotten older. Not all of these habits steam from childhood, some I have picked up along the way. Allowing them to hitch hike along the road of my journey.

It’s due time I let them off to find the nearest bus stop. I no longer want to drag these bad habits around with me, so it’s best if they find shelter elsewhere.

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Sleeping until the last minute
I’d love to start waking up early on mornings I work. I love to sleep so I usually sleep until 6:30am, have a 8 minute shower, use my liner & mascara, pick out an outfit, head out the door. No wonder I’m always feeling rushed!

Not preparing for the next day
I admire people that pick out their outfits the night before. It seems like a simple enough task, so why is it so hard for me?!

Failing to make a “to do” list a priority
I kind of do things as I think of them. Which is totally unproductive because then I get overwhelmed. I think having a prioritized to do list would help tremendously.

Trying to always be in control
I’m more than positive my anxiety has a ton to do with this nasty little habit. It’s draining and exhausting! I need to realize I have no say in what the universe has in store for me. I seem to think as long as I am in control I won’t disappoint anyone but myself if things go south.

Self doubt / feeling insecure
I have no idea where most of my self confidence up and went. I think it’s because in reality 2017 was an extremely tough year for me. I lost track of important things, gained weight, struggled with my mental & psychical health.

Overthinking
This is a huge one to say the least. I overthink everything, even what I might eat for lunch. I feel like if I overthink it then I won’t be surprised of the outcome because I’d already analyzed everything to death.

Procrastination
I’ve always been a procrastinator, since I can remember. There is nothing like saving everything until the last minute and then have a full blown panic attack.

Being indecisive
I am the worst at this! It’s hard for me to pick a choice and stick with it. Picking a place for dinner or lunch reservations is near to impossible. This bad habit is also time consuming and so aggravating.

The Fear List

The Fear List

In 2018 I want to get more out of my comfort zone. I won’t learn new values if I just stay in my little bubble.

This list pin points the things I am afraid to do, say, or that make me very uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is what this post is all about! I need to grow; stop letting my anxiety take a hold of my life and dictate my choices.

The Fear List #lifestyleblogger #fear #inspire #anxiety #depression

Fear List:
Traveling alone
Eating a meal by myself
Reading in a coffee shop
Writing in a public place
Shopping alone (not including grocery stores, pharmacies, or convenient stores)

I’m terrified to travel alone, i always have been. I worry about things like “what if I get lost?”, “what if I get robbed?”, “what if i get hurt?”, “what if I get kidnapped?” (I think I’m watching too much ID Network). All of these what ifs ping around in my head and stop me from traveling alone.what if I had a great time??

I’m always thinking people are judging me. I don’t think I’m that important at all I just think they’re judging my outfit, hair, makeup of choice (too much or not enough). So for me to sit down anywhere to eat alone brings on a lot of anxiety. My brother said he eats alone all the time and loves it. When I see someone eating alone I aspire to do it too, to tell my anxiety to go play somewhere else.

I want to tackle my reading list this year, it’s growing by the day. I’d love to be able to sit down in a chair at Barnes & Noble to read a few chapters of a new book. I don’t really know why I have a hard time doing this, there are chairs all around so obviously they want you to sit and relax.

I’d love to break out my iPad or laptop at say Starbucks and write a few posts while enjoying the coffee aroma wafting through the air. I feel like those seats are reserved for writers, researchers, and freelancers so who am I to take their seat when they have deadlines to meet and I just have a blog post to write.

I can not shop alone for more than 45 minutes. It’s like my internal clock is like “ok that’s enough, get out of here!”, it’s so frustrating! I really believe this has a lot to do with my trust level. I don’t trust anyone i see in public, i don’t know them. I have no idea what they plan to do that day. I think this is because of all the bad things happening in the news lately.

As you see my anxiety plays a huge roll in my everyday life, it is always present. When it doesn’t show up immediately it does like to make an appearance before things are all said and done.

I’d like to come out of 2018 more confident than ever. I think to do so, I will have to take on challenges (things I see as a challenge anyway), get my hands dirty, and be moderately uncomfortable to make that happen.

Is there something your scared of that you want to depart with this year? I wish you the best of luck too!

5 Yoga Poses For Back Pain

5 Yoga Poses For Back Pain

Somedays are hard, psychically. You ache all over but the worst is your lower back. Your looking for anything that will dull or eliminate the pain.

I love yoga, with the right sequence of poses relief is achivable without taking all those medicines. I myself try to yoga my way out of my day. I have a morning, bedtime, stress relief, and a lower back pain routine. I love sharing my yoga experiences and poses that may help you too. If you suffer from lower back pain from an injury, desk job, or fatigued muscles give this routine a try.

Why muscles get sore?
When muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to, or in a different way, it is believed to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness.

Causes of lower back pain:
Sitting too long
Bone Spurs
Pinched Nerve
Lifting heavy objects
Muscle spasms

Yoga Poses:
Remember to breathe in deep through the nose while doing these poses for maximum relief.

Reclining hand to toe pose

image source

Benefits:
Relieves backache, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort
Therapeutic for high blood pressure, flat feet, and infertility
How To:
1. Lie supine on the floor, legs strongly extended. If your head doesn’t rest comfortably on the floor, support it on a folded blanket. Exhale, bend the left knee, and draw the thigh into your torso. Hug the thigh to your belly. Press the front of the right thigh heavily to the floor, and push actively through the right heel.
2. Loop a strap around the arch of the left foot and hold the strap in both hands. Inhale and straighten the knee, pressing the left heel up toward the ceiling. Walk your hands up the strap until the elbows are fully extended. Broaden the shoulder blades across your back. Keeping the hands as high on the strap as possible, press the shoulder blades lightly into the floor. Widen the collarbones away from the sternum.
3. Extend up first through the back of the left heel, and once the back of the leg between the heel and sitting bone is fully lengthened, lift through the ball of the big toe. Begin with the raised leg perpendicular to the floor. Release the head of the thigh bone more deeply into the pelvis and, as you do, draw the foot a little closer to your head, increasing the stretch on the back of the leg.
4. You can stay here in this stretch, or turn the leg outward from the hip joint, so the knee and toes look to the left. Pinning the top of the right thigh to the floor, exhale and swing the left leg out to the left and hold it a few inches off the floor. Continue rotating the leg. As you feel the outer thigh move away from the left side of the torso, try to bring the left foot in line with the left shoulder joint. Inhale to bring the leg back to vertical. Lighten your grip on the strap as you do, so that you challenge the muscles of the inner thigh and hip to do the work.
5. Hold the vertical position of the leg anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes, and the side position for an equal length of time. Once you have returned to vertical release the strap, hold the leg in place for 30 seconds or so, then slowly release as you exhale. Repeat on the right for the same length of time.

Bridge Pose:

image source
Benefits:
Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia
How To:
1. Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
2. Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
3. Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
4. Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
5. Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.

Downward Facing Dog

image source
Benefits:
Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis
How To:
1. Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.
2. Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.
3. Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.
4. Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.
5. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes

Extended puppy pose

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Benefits:
Stretches the spine and shoulders
How To:
1. Come onto all fours. See that your shoulders are above your wrists and your hips are above your knees. Walk your hands forward a few inches and curl your toes under.
2. As you exhale, move your buttocks halfway back toward your heels. Keep your arms active; don’t let your elbows touch the ground.
3. Drop your forehead to the floor or to a blanket and let your neck relax. Keep a slight curve in your lower back. To feel a nice long stretch in your spine, press the hands down and stretch through the arms while pulling your hips back toward your heels.
4. Breathe into your back, feeling the spine lengthen in both directions. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then release your buttocks down onto your heels.

Cat pose

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Benefits:

Stretches the back torso and neck
Provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs
How To:
1. Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.
2. As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
3. Inhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees.

**I’m not a yoga instructor just a lover of yoga. Dont over do each pose and if you are feeling pain of any kind, please stop and contact your doctor if you wish to continue.**