The Only 7 Minutes Of Yoga You Need To Live Longer

Last November (2012), At the Michael Ellsberg conference in New York City, I was asked to deliver a short yoga practice that would help entrepreneurs/artists/creative people or anyone really who needs a little brake during the day, to regain focus and come back to center.  

Michael is the author of the book The Education of Millionaires, and his conference was called the “Blow Your Mind” Conference, what better opportunity to start thinking about the length of our lives in terms of breaths rather than years?  That blew my own mind when I first realized that yogis put that much eemphasis on the breath.

Needless to say I was honored by the opportunity of presenting, and offered this routine in front of about 100 high-energy, intelligent, bright people. 

Yoga needs not be difficult, in fact it can be very simple. This routine which is only 7 minutes long can be done at any point throughout the day (unless you have just eaten), at the office, or the writing desk, or even in a park, and it will help with:

a) smoothing and elongating the breath, 
b) getting in touch with the body, and, 
c) if done for a long period of time, by adding years to your life. 

If we could reduce the amount of breaths we take every minute to just 10  (instead of 16 which is the average) we could be adding 10 years to our lives!  That is what Gregor Maehle tells us in his latest book (see book club if interested)

When we measure the length of our lives in breaths, like yogis do, then we cherish each one of them. We literally say to every breath: “I’ll be watching you”.

Getting in touch with the body by daily practice of asana also helps us build an intimate relationship with our own body, and even to prevent diseases, as we begin to notice changes, anomalies, differences right from the beginning. Yoga helps us become intelligent when it comes to the workings 
of our own bodies and minds.

Throughout the seven minutes you will experience some simple standing stretches, stretches towards the sides, a chair pose, some twists on the chair, a simple forward bend and a challenging pose at the end to harness in all the energy of the practice.  Every pose is accompanied by the breath, of course.

We use the Darth Vader style of breathing, where we inhale slowly and with a sound and exhale in the same manner. This type of breathing ensures that we are in fact slowing down the breath and that we are sending oxygen to all parts of the body.

Leading the yoga sequence at the Blow Your Mind conference

We end the routine by feeling gratitude.  You will be refreshed, the muscles will be more relaxed from oxygenation and the attention that went into them, the breath will be smooth and long, and focus regained.

Although the practice is very simple, it is important to exercise intelligence and if you have a medical condition to always take precautions, consult doctors etc.  

Enjoy the practice and see you on the mat, or in this case, by the chair. 

PS: If  you would like to practice with me directly and with James, we are hosting a retreat at Kripalu this month!  Here are the details.  Here is James post about it giving more details of the thinking that is going behind it.

If for some reason the video does not show up here is the link to YouTube.

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4 Responses to The Only 7 Minutes Of Yoga You Need To Live Longer

  1. Claudia January 3, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    That was great – fast and effective! Thank you!

  2. Claudia January 4, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Thank you Stefanie

  3. Claudia January 5, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    i agree. that was effective! your path past lyme is so inspiring and i'm glad you're able to do videos like these now that are making a difference. i actually feel like this video has improved my posture some! have a wonderful new year!

  4. Claudia January 30, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Thanks Jonas, it makes me happy to hear from you and that it helps you with posture 🙂