Posts In: de-stressing

Breath awareness is one of my favorite de-stressing tools. Three cool things about breath.

  1. Ever present. It’s true that if you stop breathing all your stress will go away. But as long as you’re still breathing, you’ll have this tool at the ready to help you de-stress.
  2. Free. No cost to install or maintain this tool.
  3. Reminds you that you’re connected to something larger. You can’t breathe in isolation. With every breath you’re recycling breath that’s been breathed by your loved ones, your irritating neighbor, a petunia, your dog, Buddha… No such thing as a virgin breath.

By altering your breath you can feel more relaxed, more energized, more confident, more present, more intuitive… But before you start changing your breath, get acquainted first.

I’ve included a 4-minute breath meditation.

It’s something you can listen to often. What did you learn from your breath?

Join my email list here.


At the beginning of a yoga class I ask students if there’s anything they want to focus on—a pose, a part of their body, an emotion…

I had a student; I’ll call her Beth, who always asked for corpse pose. And she wanted to do it for the entire class. Yoga’s corpse pose or savasana is the final resting pose at the end of class.

Beth not only joked about wanting to spend the entire class in this pose, she also requested milk and cookies as it reminded her of nap time at pre-school.

Why Beth was right

Our western culture values action over rest. And subscribing to that philosophy contributes to your stress, tight muscles, sleepless nights, upset stomach…. Corpse pose offers you a great place to practice non-doing, to experience deep rest.

Even though the pose reminded Beth of a nap, your goal is to stay awake and be aware. The resting of corpse pose offers profound effects. You can enhance the effects by

  • Making sure you’re not going to be cold.
  • Using an eye bag to block out light.
  • Finding a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
  • If you have a time restriction, then set a quiet alarm. I like the cricket sound on my phone.
  • Practice regularly.

How to Be a Good Corpse

To practice corpse pose, come on to your back. Your legs are about hip distance apart. Place your arms by your sides, palms face up. If your low back is uncomfortable with your legs extended, then place your feet on the floor, a little further than hips distance apart, and lean your knees on each other.

Once you’re in the pose draw your focus to your breath. Continue to watch your breath until you’re ready to come out of the pose. Then roll on to one side. Stay there for a few breaths. Let the relaxation of the pose come with you as you transition back to a seated position.

Great for long workdays, travel, any time when your stress level is too high. Use it for recovery. Use it for prevention. Give it a try and then share your experience. What did you notice?


I’m guessing that at some point you’ve felt the negative impact of stress both for you and your business. 52 Cool ToolsStress is an equal opportunity employer. It visits when you’re just starting your business. But it doesn’t forget about you. It will pop in for tea and cookies throughout the phases of your business.

And when negative stress visits it leaves a calling card or two. An achy low back, frequent colds, indigestion, anxiety, feelings of overwhelm… Those calling cards make it hard to be productive. They also make it hard to enjoy your non-work hours. You know you’re not as creative, joyful, or compassionate when your head is throbbing, you feel irritable, or you can’t sleep because you keep mulling over a work issue or project.

And when your business is something you feel called to do, when it’s something you have passion for offering to the world you don’t want stress to be interrupting or slowing things down.

What’s a business owner to do?

I can’t help you get a restraining order for stress. But because so many of the business owners I talk with struggle with the negative impact of stress and lack of balance I’m devoting my 2012 blog posts to the topic.

Say hello to “2012 with 52 Cool Tips to De-stress and Claim More Balance for You and Your Business.”

Can you hear the New Year calling you? It’s inviting you to a new start, a fresh beginning. But if you’re like most of us you’ve ordered up a big, fat exciting goal only to send it back to the kitchen before it even got cold. Or you left in on the counter and forgot about it until it molded. Disappointed in yourself, goal setting, and New Year’s resolutions in general, you threw the goal in the trash.

The Solution

Many people opt out of setting resolutions and goals because they haven’t felt successful. Back in the 90’s I was the massage therapist at the local YMCA. Every January the locker room population would swell. And then every February the numbers would dwindle back down.

Most of us crave something better. We want growth. Better balance. More creativity. More productive hours. More fun. More impact in the world. More money. Better health…

But how do we go about getting all of that?

Tools for Your Toolkit

Having the right tools is one of the answers. Over the course of the year I’ll be sharing 52 tools. I promise they’re all cool (at least to me.)

You’ll learn:

  • Yoga breath to calm your jitters
  • Natural energizers that you can carry in your pocket
  • Simple stretches for achy arms and hands
  • Antidotes for long hours of sitting in front of your computer
  • Quick grounding technique for when you feel spacey
  • Simple ways to stop headaches
  • A lightweight jet lag kit
  • Tools for simplifying your life
  • Attitude shifts that bring ease
  • How to schedule in your own recess breaks
  • And much, much more!

But Not Just Any Tool

In working with hundreds and hundreds of people dealing with those nasty stress calling cards I’ve discovered that your best tool needs to fit you. This is not a one size fits all kind of thing. Your perfect toolkit fits into your lifestyle, your work schedule, your interests and preferences.

Having lots of tools to choose from means you can try them on, wear the ones that fit well, and put the others back on the rack.

It takes a village

I’ll be inviting some of my teachers, mentors, and friends to share their favorite tips.

And I’m inviting you as well. I’ve being studying this stuff for decades. But I don’t have all the answers. Your input might just be the secret nugget that someone else needs.

How you can participate

I’ll be posting the tools to my blog. I recommend signing up for the RSS feed (look for the orange symbol under my picture in the right hand column) so you won’t miss a single tool. Once a month I’ll be sending out my ezine with links to the posts so you can stay updated that way too.

The contest

If you incorporate one tool that helps decrease your stress, adds to your enjoyment and productivity with your work and life, you’re a winner. I wanted to offer an extra incentive to help you decrease your stress and harness more balance. So I’m offering the 52 Cool Tools Contest. Here’s the skinny

  • Open to all subscribers of my ezine, Align and Thrive.  (If you’re not a subscriber sign up is easy. Look for the heading on the left side that says “Biz Balance Quiz.”) That way you’ll get at least one article a month delivered to your email box and you’ll get the links to all the cool tools. You’ll also get a chart so you can keep track of the tools you’ve tried and your results.
  • The prize package. In January 2013 I will award a fabulous package to the winner.

How to win? Be the person with the highest score.

How’s your score determined? Give yourself a point for every tool you implement. If you already use one of the suggested tools you can give yourself a point for that too. Recommend a tool that hasn’t been mentioned and you can award yourself another point. I will provide a chart for recording your score.

To enter the contest simply send me an email with the number of tools you implemented and the number of tools you suggested, plus a paragraph to a page about your experience. If there’s a tie then we’ll draw one name to break the tie.

What’s in this fabulous package?

  • A self-care coaching session (valued at $111)
  • Your very own custom affirmation recording (valued at $39)
  • An aromatherapy goodie selected for you (value between $10-25)
  • A self care tool selected for you (depend on what it is)
  • And probably some other stuff. Who knows what will show up before January 2013?

On January 1, 2012 I’ll be hosting a New Year’s Day party to help you set a wholistic goal for the coming year. You can ask questions about the contest and share your dreams for 2012. More info here.

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