Publisher’s Note This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered

. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books Copyright © 2013 by Carol Krucoff New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 5674 Shattuck Avenue Oakland, CA 94609 www.newharbinger.com Acknowledgments for the use of copyrighted material appear on pages 232, which constitute an extension of the copyright page. Cover design by Amy Shoup; Text design by Michele Waters-Kermes; Acquired by Jess O’Brien; Edited by Jasmine Star All Rights Reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Krucoff, Carol. Yoga sparks : 108 easy practices for stress relief in a minute or less / Carol Krucoff, E-RYT. pages cm Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-1-60882-700-8 (pbk. : alk. paper) -- ISBN 978-1-60882-701-5 (pdf e-book) -- ISBN 978-1-60882-702-2 (epub) 1. Stress management. 2. Relaxation. 3. Yoga--Therapeutic use. I. Title. RA785.K78 2013 613.7’046--dc23 2013014405

CONTENTS

FOREWORD ACKNOWLEDGMENTS INTRODUCTION •1• ANYWHERE PRACTICES

XI XIII 1 21

Posture Sparks

1. Freeze, Ground, Breath, Spine • 23 2. Mountain Pose • 25 3. Seated Mountain Pose • 28 4. Tree Pose • 30 5. Shoulder Shrugs • 32 6. Gentle Twist • 34 7. Lips Together, Teeth Apart • 36 8. Lion’s Face • 37 9. Relaxation • 39

Breathing Sparks

10. Relaxed Abdominal Breath • 40 11. Three-Part Breath • 42 12. Even Breath • 44 13. Extended Exhalation • 45

Meditation Sparks

14. Mindful Awareness of Breath • 46 15. Conscious Breathing with a Smile • 48 16. Mantra Meditation • 49 17. In and Out Visualization • 50 18. Loving-Kindness • 51 19. Riding the Waves • 52 20. Preferred Place • 54

Principle Sparks

21. Body Scan • 56 22. Awareness • 58 23. Self-Talk • 59 24. Letting Go • 60 25. Acceptance: It Is What It Is • 62 26. Contentment and Gratitude • 64 27. Cultivating the Opposite • 66 28. Cleanliness 1: Hand-Washing Practice • 67 29. Set an Intention • 69

•2•

AROUND THE HOUSE PRACTICES

71

Posture Sparks

30. Rise and Shine • 73 31. Knee-to-Chest Pose • 75 32. Apanasana: Wind-Relieving Pose • 77 33. Standing Salutation • 79 34. Chair Pose • 81 35. Hip Hinge: Lift and Carry • 83 36. Puppy Pose • 85 37. Nondominant Hand Practice • 87 38. Tightrope Walking • 88 39. Palm Tree • 90 40. Crane Pose • 92 41. Legs up the Wall or on a Chair • 94

Breathing Sparks

42. Shower Om • 97 43. Bee’s Breath • 99 44. Alternate Nostril Breathing • 100 45. Chanting or Singing Breath • 102

Meditation Sparks

46. Housework or Yard Work Meditation • 103 47. Mindful Eating • 105 48. Sacred Space • 107 49. Three Good Things • 108

Principle Sparks

50. Cleanliness 2: Tidy Home Practice • 110 51. Unplug: Restraint of the Senses • 112 52. Clutter-Busting Practice • 114 53. Self-Study: Journaling • 116 54. Discipline • 117

•3•

AT WORK PRACTICES

119

Posture Sparks

55. Mini Mountain Pose • 121 56. Side Stretch • 123 57. Computer Asana • 126 58. Seated Back Bend • 128 59. Angel Wings • 130 60. Wrist, Arms, and Hands Stretch • 132 61. Forearm Stretch • 134 62. Hand Jive • 136 63. Modified Cow’s Face • 138 64. Spread Your Wings • 140 65. Eye Play 1: Clock Eyes • 142 66. Eye Play 2: Fingertip Push-Ups • 143 67. Eye Play 3: Palming • 144 68. Neck Side Stretch • 145

69. Restorative Forward Bend • 147

Breathing Sparks

70. Breath Surfing • 149 71. Sun Channel Breathing • 150 72. Moon Channel Breathing • 152 73. Victorious Breath • 154

Meditation Sparks

74. Boot Up, Download, or On Hold Meditation • 156 75. Telephone Meditation • 157 76. Rehearse Success Visualization • 158 77. Walking Meditation • 160

Principle Sparks

78. Sympathetic Joy • 162 79. Concentration • 164 80. Integrity • 166

• 4 • ON THE GO PRACTICES

167

Posture Sparks

81. Driving Asana • 168 82. Seat Stretches • 170 83. At Ease • 172 84. Core Strengthener • 174 85. Pelvic Floor Strengthener • 176 86. Self-Massage of the Head and Neck • 178 87. Shake Hands with Your Feet • 180

Breathing Sparks

88. “Ha” Breath • 182 89. Cooling Breath • 183 90. Timing the Breath • 184 91. Square Breath • 186

Meditation Sparks

92. Waiting Meditation • 187 93. Sacred Objects • 189

94. Pause: Inner Listening • 190

Principle Sparks

95. Slow Down • 191 96. Cultivate Patience • 194 97. After You • 196 98. Cleanliness 3: Sanitizing Practice • 198

• 5 • PRACTICES WITH OTHERS

199

Posture Sparks

99. Smiling Eyes • 201 100. Namaste • 203 101. Pet Poses • 205

Breathing Sparks

102. Laughter Yoga • 207

Meditation Sparks

103. Mindful Listening • 209 104. Honor a Difficult Person • 211 105. Extend Compassion • 213

Principle Sparks

106. Nonharming • 215 107. Nonstealing • 216 108. Right Speech • 218

EPILOGUE REFERENCES

221 224

68. Neck Side Stretch

Neck pain is common in our culture, where many people are sedentary and spend countless hours in front of a computer. This often puts stress on muscles and ligaments of the upper body, frequently due to poor postural habits such as jutting the head forward so that it protrudes in front of the shoulders and the upper back rounds. (For a comprehensive guide to preventing and relieving neck pain, please see my book Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain.)

This practice helps stretch muscles on the sides of the neck, which are often tight and stiff in people who have neck pain. You’ll need to sit on a stool or in a chair without arms to do this practice. 1. Sit tall in Seated Mountain Pose (Yoga Spark 3) with your hands on your thighs. 2. Inhale and extend the crown of your head up toward the sky. 3. Exhale and release your right ear down toward your right shoulder, keeping your neck long. (Be sure to drop the right ear toward the right shoulder—avoid lifting the shoulder up toward the ear.) 4. Keeping your breath flowing, press your left shoulder down and breathe into the left side of your neck. Let your left arm dangle down at your side and gently swing it like a pendulum, inviting your left arm and shoulder and the left side of your neck to relax and release. 5. Lightly hold the bottom of the chair with your left hand. Shift your weight into your right buttock and lean to the right. Let the weight of your head help bend your body over to the right side, extending only to the point where you feel a nice, comfortable stretch up the left side of your arm and neck. 6. Inhale and return to center. 7. Repeat on the other side.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful