Alleviate stress and find inner peace with this 5 minute yoga routine that you can do anywhere
Taking the leap of faith requires courage, awareness, and belief in ones own journey. To know what it is you’re being asked to perform moves you to a point of change. For example, maybe you need to change jobs, start your own business, loose weight, or change where you live – it could really go on and on because every person’s Leap is different. Many times I have made a choice, thinking to myself that I am going to take the leap, knowing there is no net to catch me. Sometimes I fell hard, other times gently; all I know is… I made a choice. We all get stuck at some point; when you make a choice to move forward, life offers you more opportunities that are in alignment with your highest purpose. Be in the moment and be open to possibilities.
“Trust that what is in your highest and best interest is being organized for you in a more comprehensive way than your individual mind can comprehend.” ~ Deepak Chopra
Moving to New York from Los Angeles with my dog Maxi in tow was by far one of the greatest leaps I have ever taken. Upon arriving, I soon secured a job at Crunch Fitness and a couch to sleep on. I had no idea that 14 years later I would be married, a mother, co‑own a boutique production company with my husband, and become a yoga teacher. I had no idea the plan that lied ahead of me, because I was still on the search.
The energy of not knowing required me to have faith in myself and in God, because without those two things New York City could have consumed me.
It’s the world my mom often tried to shield me from, but also the world that called to me.
As a yoga student and teacher, I am forever peeling the onion of faith versus fear. In yoga asana (postures), the layers that unveil one’s authentic self will last a lifetime. What I like most about yoga is the offering of a physical practice that demonstrates faith. One begins to overcome fear with every practice, whether it be moving into shirsasna (headstand), Urdhva Dhanurasana, (full backbend), or just showing up to a class. Being there for yourself, to grow in a practice that you are physically active in, creates tangible results and helps to clear the clutter (or vrittis) of the mind, so that one can clearly see the leap of faith they must take.
Building confidence and courage in an instant can be overwhelming; attending a yoga class when you have never practiced yoga before can be similarly overwhelming. The thought of showing up while thinking your body has no flexibility can create fear and a lack of confidence. So, how can you begin to practice yoga as a way to build courage?
First you must understand what yoga means: It is the fusing together of the mind, body, and soul. Yoga means “yoke,” the bringing together of.
When you begin to experience even an inkling of mind‑body connection, you will have an “aha” moment.
If I am in a moment of uncertainty and need to find a way to move past it, or just make peace with it, I do what I call a Menna Moment. I can always find a small space to ground my feet, lift my arms and do 3‑5 minutes of simple yoga movements. This changes my perspective on any given situation because I change. I remember when I was a server in NYC – there were nights that I thought I would loose my mind – I knew in my heart I was suppose to be doing something else, but did not have the courage to let go of the job. I needed to make money. I would later establish a new business, One Route Media, with my husband, Yanni, and proceed to become a yoga teacher. At that time, however, as a student of yoga, I would utilize yoga tools to move through these difficult moments.
Below is a brief Menna Moment that I hope you will find helpful.
I created this movement sequence to lift your energy – building a bridge for your leap, and a space for stillness. Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, who I consider to be my teachers, say “We all have a stillness inside – you have to find it, sit with it, and get intimate with the stillness within; then you may be able to tether it to yourself in the world.”
5 minute sequence
- Stand in Tadasana or mountain pose. Equal standing pose, feet are hip-width distance apart. Arms heavy along side your body. Legs are toned as thighs move into the hamstrings; groins are soft. Chest is lifted while shoulder blades are firm into the back, but spread away from the spine. Breath easy.
- Prayer hands to your heart. Set your intention – this should be an offering that moves you toward your leap of faith.
- Inhale, lift arms into Urhdva Hastasana, upward hand pose. Let arms be shoulder-width apart. Feel the sides of the waist being long, the tailbone heavy, and legs toned.
- Exhale, lowering arms down along your sides. Tadasana.
- Utkatasana – chair pose. Thighs are parallel and drawn toward your hip points with soft groins. Shins move back toward the calf muscles as the weight of the body rests on the heels of the feet. The tailbone moves down as the shoulder blades rest firmly into the upper back. Elbows are straight and arms lift above the head. Inhale and exhale for 3 full breaths.
- Return to Tadasana — exhale.
- Vriksasana – Tree pose. Exhale. Standing on the left foot alone, lift and bend the right knee and rotate out toward your right side; place right foot on inner left calf. Lift the torso up and out of the pelvis, as sides of the waist are long, and both hands move into the sky, shoulder blades firm into the upper back. Lift the chest as collarbones spread open. Slowly return to standing position, and repeat on left side.
- Tadasana – Exhale, Equal standing.
- Utkatasana – Inhale, lift arms, bend knees and sit into Powerful pose or Chair pose.
- Tadasana – Exhale
- Hands to prayer at the chest. Bow your chin to your heart, offer gratitude for the fulfillment of your intention.
If you performed this mini-sequence, I hope you feel good – because you took a leap of faith in my teaching and in your own self‑awareness! This can build momentum for you to continue to hold faith in yourself and to take the leap toward your new journey.