Jennifer Aniston's Yoga Guru On How To Find Your Zen
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When you think of yoga, you probably think of thin women in Lululemon toting S’well bottles and mats while working toward mastering the firefly pose. But as fitness and wellness instructor Mandy Ingber reminds us in her new book, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength: 12 Weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy (endorsed by her client Jennifer Aniston), the practice is so much more than a workout. “Yoga is really all about process, acceptance and becoming more present, and I really want to show that it can expand off the mat.” The book is a 12-week program that includes meditation exercises, playlists, recipes and guides to journaling—all with the intention of increasing your mindfulness. We hopped on a call with Ingber to get her five tips for staying calm, cool and collected (and sweat-free) throughout the day.

Go forth and meditate. “Taking a 10-minute meditation break is something you can do anywhere in your office and it’s so easy—you’re not at the altar,” says Ingber. “Shut down your cellphone, become aware of your breath, and pay attention to any thoughts you have.” For those unable to divest themselves of their phone, Ingber suggests using a meditation app calledHeadspace, or setting a timer on your phone every hour as a reminder to shut your eyes and take a deep breath.

Bend, no snap. For covert yogic moves at work, the forward bend is queen. “The forward bend really relaxes the nervous system and brings blood flow back to the brain,” explains Ingber. If you’re at a desk chair, folding your body over and touching your toes does the same thing. Or if you’re feeling more committed, rest you head on your hands, and put your computer in sleep mode for 10 minutes.

Try some alternate nostril breathing. Isn’t all breathing nostril breathing, you say? Not quite. This involves covering one nostril with your hand and inhaling a lot deeper (check out this video for a better idea). “I recommend this to all of my clients and it is such an amazing way to balance the hemispheres of the brain and calm the nervous system,” says Ingber. For maximum chill, alternate between nostrils nine times altogether.

Legs up wall pose, anyone? This is a favorite of Ingber’s; she recommends lying on the ground and hiking your legs up so that they rest against the wall. “This action has the same effect as a headstand which reverses blood flow and calms the nervous system. I’d do this for 5-10 minutes at the end of the day.”

Earthing: It’s the new standing. Reconnecting with nature is an excellent way to stay stress-free. Since she’s based in California, Mandy immediately recommended digging your toes in the sand—anything to ground you and keep you connected to the earth. But for us city-dwellers, she suggests digging your bare feet in dewy grass, “which is an excellent conductor and realigns the nervous system.”

Yogalosophy for Inner Strength: 12 Weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy by Mandy Ingber, US$16,

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US