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Stress Management Challenge Day 13 – Mindful Movement

🎯 Today’s Mission:

To successfully complete today’s mission:

  • 5 minutes of Yoga Stretching (Feel free to do more if you wish).
  • [OPTIONAL] Share your experience with us in the Stress Management Support Group
  • Complete the form at the bottom of the page when done.

💡 More Info

Some types of exercise are especially effective at promoting relaxation. Yoga, stretching, tai chi, and qigong all increase flexibility and coordination, release muscle tension, and enhance tranquility. Try working some or all of these activities into your routine. 

For the purpose of today’s challenge we are going to keep it real simple using some yoga inspired stretching techniques that are accessible to beginners.

As always, if you are injured please seek the clearance of your medical professional.

Thanks to “Yoga with Adriene” who has over 10 million subscribers on Youtube we have 2 options of practice today. If you are interested in pursuing Yoga we highly recommend her free channel that caters for all levels to get started.

To meet the requirements of today’s mission you can do either of the beginner-level yoga inspired routines below or both if you are feeling inspired. If you are experienced in Yoga please feel free to do more!

Option 1: Yoga at your desk (6 mins)

Option 2: Quick Stress Fix (5 mins)

The video refers to the end of the work day but of course you can do these anytime!

If you enjoyed those stretches then scroll down to the ‘Expand Your Practice’ section for more.

🧘 Curious about Yoga?

Based on Indian philosophy, yoga is an excellent way to develop body awareness and elicit the relaxation response. The many different types of yoga share certain basic elements: pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, and asanas (postures). In a 2012 survey from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, more than 80% of yoga enthusiasts said the practice decreased their stress. 

Practicing yoga reduces the sympathetic nervous system response and all its damaging side effects and turns on the parasympathetic response, with its calming effects, according to a 2017 review of 42 yoga studies published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. Other research has shown that a single yoga session can lower levels of cortisol. 

Practicing yoga with regularity can help modulate the stress response and reduce anxiety symptoms—calming the heart rate and breathing, and lowering blood pressure. A 2017 study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that people who took part in a three-month yoga and meditation retreat reported less anxiety, and tests showed changes in body chemicals associated with reduced inflammation and increased stress resilience. The practice might also have some application in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder. 

Although yoga is generally safe, some forms (such as Ashtanga, Bikram, and Jivamukti) are strenuous and may not be appropriate for everyone. In particular, older people or those with mobility problems may want to check first with a clinician before trying yoga. In general, anything described as Hatha tends to be gentle. There are also options for chair yoga and restorative yoga, which are good for people with physical limitations. 

 

➕ Expand your practice

Want more stretches?

Looking for some more simple stretches to do that may relieve stress?

🥋  Explore other practices

Tai chi

Tai chi is a slow, flowing form of exercise that’s sometimes described as “meditation in motion.” The practice involves a series of choreographed moves with evocative descriptions, such as “grasp the sparrow’s tail” or “wave hands like clouds.” As your body moves, your mind has to focus. But tai chi also encourages relaxation, which helps ease stress. 

Tai chi has been linked to a range of health benefits, including better balance, reduced pain, and lower blood pressure. The practice may also help reduce anxiety and depression, as well as improve self-efficacy and executive function (the ability to multitask, manage time, and make decisions), according to various studies. 

Qigong

This ancient Chinese art melds breathing meditation, gentle exercise, and flowing movements. Qi, or chi, is the Chinese word for the life energy believed to course through the body. Qigong aims to unblock and properly balance the flow of qi. When practiced regularly, it can lower your blood pressure, pulse, and demand for oxygen. These effects are all components of the relaxation response. Qigong may also enhance balance and flexibility. 


✅ Mission Accomplished?

Fill in the form below once you’re done to keep track of your progress.

Which day of the challenge have you completed?
Name(Required)
Used to automatically email you a copy of your mission submission so that you can keep track of which missions you have completed.
Challenger's Pledge(Required)