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1. Set aside a special place for meditation – the atmosphere you build up will help still the mind.
2. Choose a time when your mind is free of everyday concerns – dawn and dusk are ideal.
3. Using the same time and place each day conditions the mind to slow down more quickly.
4. Sit with your back, neck and head in a straight line, facing north or east.
This post orginially appeared on Sivananda Yoga Europe
Working long hours in front of a computer screen can take a toll on your body. Here are three yoga asanas that can help relieve tension in your body that may build up throughout the day.
1. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist Pose)
Seated in your chair with feet placed firmly on the ground and knees angle from your hips to your feet at a 90-degree angle. Cross your right leg over your left knee. Inhale and twist your body to your right side placing your left hand on the side of your right knee and your right hand on your arm rest or the back end of the right side of the arm rest. Exhale. With each inhalation lift more through your sternum. Exhale and twist a little more. Stay in the twist for 30 seconds to 1 minute and exhale to release back to the beginning position and switch sides. Repeat.
2. Marjari-asana/Bitilasana (Seated Cat Cow Pose)
Seated halfway on your chair leaving room behind you and your back rest beginning with your feet on placed firmly on the ground. Back should be straight and hands placed on the top of your thighs. Inhale raise your head up and back will lifting your chest upwards. Expand your abdomen and fill your lungs with air. Hold your breath for 3 seconds. On your exhale lift your head up towards the ceiling, straighten your spine and then lower your chin to your chest and contract your abdomen. During this exhalation your spine should arch toward the back of your chair and if you feel comfortable you can release your hands to your knees or shins. Release the air that you filled in your lungs, hold your breath for 3 seconds. Inhale to come back to a straight spine this is one round.
3. Uttanasana (Standing forward fold)
Begin with feet hip distances apart with your hands on your hips. Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lengthening your torso. Release your hands from your hips and reach your hands towards the floor or take hands to opposite elbows. Option to bend your knees. Do not lock you knees. Bring weight to the balls of your feet and keep hips aligned over your ankles. Engage your quadriceps and draw them up toward the ceiling. Relax your jaw and facial muscles and for each inhale slightly lift and lengthen your torso and release deeper into the pose with each exhale. When ready to stand, place your hands on your hips and draw through your tailbone and keep your back flat as you inhale up to standing.