Relaxation in three minutes.

Margaret Townsend is a certified breath work practitioner in Portland, Oregon who shares this three minute relaxation exercise for wellness [this exercise was originally printed in Real Simple magazine, August 2015].

Investing three minutes each day can help you feel more centered and energized.  Try it first thing in the morning when you are still in your pajamas.

Stand with your feet apart, a bit wider than hip-width, and imagine little springs in all of your joints: ankles, knees, hips, fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders and jaw.  Bounce a bit into these “springs,” then begin to shake your whole body in a comfortable but vigorous rhythm, allowing your shoulders to move up and down, your head to bob, your hands to flap, and your breath to be free.  Keep this going for a whole minute.  When you stop, just be still for a moment and feel the natural movement of your breath; notice how alive your body feels.

Now sit down on a comfortable surface.  With your jaw relaxed and your chest and belly soft, take an inhale, feeling the breath flow in, bathing your body and mind in refreshing, cleansing energy, then falling freely into an exhale.  Allow the next inhale to come like a gentle wave rising, so there’s a nice, soft, circular feel to the breath – no break between inhale and exhale.  Continue this connected flow for about two minutes.  Then sit for a moment, breathe naturally, and enjoy being awake and feeling whole.