Week 2 – Yoga for Stress Relief

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Whether you have two minutes at your desk or time for a full yoga class, the benefits are waiting for you. Yoga invites us to slow down and breathe. That’s the core of it and luckily, regardless of age or physical ability, we can all do that.

Just take a moment to slow down — way down. And take a nice big breath through your nose. Let it out slowly and notice how you feel. Go ahead, try it. No one will know. Give it a shot.

See? Just imagine if every breath you took was like that.

We all have a lot to do and many things pulling at our attention. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is take time to tend to ourselves. I encourage my students to rest in the support of their breath to experience how different that feels from our normal push push push of the day-to-day pace.

Most folks want ways to reduce stress at work and Karen Guzak has a great chair yoga sequence that you can do right at your desk (try out a stretch or two, or work through the whole thing). The most important thing to remember is to breathe and move slowly.

chair yoga

The first page of Karen’s chair yoga routine.


For a full-body, stress-reduction experience, yoga classes that incorporate meditation can do the trick. Any class advertised as gentle or restorative is great for both beginners and advanced students alike. For a combination of these, try a mindful yoga class for free by joining me at (location TBD) on (date TBD) at (time TBD) for an exclusive class just for UW faculty and staff. I will also be teaching Mindful Yoga on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the IMA beginning this fall.

This Week’s Yoga Video
Sarah Hay, an IMA yoga instructor and student in the School of Social Work, shared a restorative yoga routine with us. Give it a try!

Jenine is a reluctant yogi that completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training through Yoga Alliance in 2015. A debilitating auto accident at age 20 showed Jenine that pain is the ultimate teacher in all things, but especially led her to self-care and compassion for others. It wasn’t until joining Sally Carley’s Yoga for All Bodies class at age 40 that she finally felt yoga could be for her. Jenine’s approach is to teach with humor and humility, finding ways to see physical challenges as opportunities rather than limitations.  Adaptations and modifications of poses are a primary part of her own practice and finding poses that works for each person in each moment is her goal. Her focus is gentle and beginner’s yoga that incorporates mindfulness practices.