What are We doing (but, actually) while that smoothie is blending, that first phone call of the day puts us on hold or our favorite show goes to commercial? We’re taking the challenge to put those moments in between to good work and boost our capacity for living well.

This undemanding (but impactful) meditation from the new book, Strala Yoga, by rebel yogi and two-time TCM Guest Editor Tara Stiles, is an instant destresser. Super key as we prepare our immune systems for the colder weather (learn more about the connection here and here). Set a timer for five minutes, take a deep breath and try out Tara’s quick and dirty destress meditation below…

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life so far is that change — whether small or large — starts with me. I needed to let go of tension, frustration, and judgment so I could be more loving in the world, which would translate into others feeling more loved and more loving. I could create a ripple effect of love if I could change my own ways. We all go through tense moments, days, weeks and even years, but it’s never too late to soften, relax and connect right back inside. With a few simple breaths, we can reconnect to ourselves.

I learned this meditation from my good friend Mallika Chopra. She learned it as a kid from her dad, Deepak Chopra. It’s about connecting to what matters most in your life and formulating a clear intent about how you want to be in the world. It’s incredibly useful as a daily practice, and it’s especially practical when we feel swept up in the stress of life.

So let’s take a moment to reconnect in order to shift how you feel. Freeing yourself from this will help create a shift beyond just you…What do you need to let go of? What’s holding you back?

A 5-Minute Meditation for Stress Relief

Sit Down. Settle into a seated position, however you are comfortable.

Turn In. Close your eyes and allow your attention to drift inward. Allow yourself to sway side to side and forward and back to find a nice, neutral, balanced place.

Inhale. Take a big breath in and lift your arms out and up overhead. Press your palms together and bring your thumbs to your heartbeat. Soften here for a moment. Take another big inhale through your nose.

Exhale. Breathe out through your mouth. Twice more just like that. Settle here for a moment.

Explore. Take a moment and ask yourself the following questions silently. There is no need to come up with an answer; just ask and allow space for the question to settle with you. Take a few moments in between questions: Who am I? What do I want? How can I serve?

Return. When you are ready, open your eyes and relax your hands on your thighs.

For more of Tara and her yogi wellness solutions, check out her newest book, Strala Yoga, as well as her others, including: Make Your Own Rules Diet, Make Your Own Rules Cookbook, Yoga Cures and Slim, Calm, Sexy Yoga.

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