Lesson No. 1: Learn to Relax

This was the title on the front page of a recent issue of the Living section for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The article focused on a new required course for freshman at Emory University- Yoga.  They are using yoga as a way to help students with stress and time management.  This is happening throughout the country and it helping to prepare students to handle the lifelong challenges of stressful situations.

I often hear people say, “I can’t do yoga because I am not flexible enough.”  That is the exact reason to do yoga!  Yoga poses are important but is just a small part of what yoga is about.   Yoga teaches you to be flexible in your daily life.

Through breath, meditation, other centering practices and poses you gain direct access to your inner resources, enhancing your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well being.

At Custom Calm we realize that some cannot get on the floor and have other limitations, so poses are adapted to meet the individual where they are at.  It is a “work -in”, not a “work- out”, with the focus on living a happier, more peaceful life.

How different our lives would be if we started yoga practices when we were in college!  It is not too late to begin at any age.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Teacher Work Day Stress Management Program

Teachers Challenges:

Teaching is a rewarding and stressful occupation.  Supporting students, juggling tasks, extra meetings after school, standing for hours,  rushed  lunches  are just some of the issues that lead to fatigue, back pain, headaches, stomach discomfort.    

 What was presented:

The group of 35 teachers experienced techniques for both the body and mind that could be done at school. Through working with the group with humor and presenting a program that was relevant to their work, the group participated in the following:

  • Breathing practice for stress
  • A few chair yoga poses to help with back and neck pain
  • A standing pose to release spinal tensions
  • Meditation techniques to find inner calm

What worked:

A note from the head of School, Sim P.:

Thank you so much for the wonderful stress management/yoga session with our staff during Planning Week.  The response from our folks was resounding positive and appreciative.  You managed in one-and-a-half hours to teach us so much about ourselves.  Particularly impressive was how you successfully taught and engaged such a diverse group across a spectrum ranging from no experience to plenty of experience in yoga and stress management.  We all learned and benefited.

What you can learn from the teacher’s experience:

Work is often stressful and to bring more productivity and ease into the day, there are simple practices that can be done.  No matter how diverse the group is, Custom Calm includes everyone so they can be empowered with proactive techniques and can gain clarity of what creates stress and how to better handle challenging situations.

Posted in: This Stuff Works

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Sigh, Swing and De-Stress


Today’s technique relieves stress in nearly any situation and can be used at any time.

Sit in a comfortable position, somewhere that your spine can sit upright.

Take a moment and check in on how you are feeling.

You are going to sigh – a total of three times.  You want to start by inhaling and exhaling the first breath with an audible sound.  After the first sigh, momentarily stay with the pause at the end.

You are not holding your breath; you are simply noticing the space at the end of the sigh.

Think of a swing. After it goes up, there is a moment of stillness before it comes back down. That is your breath – and you observing it.

Do this a total of three times, each time staying with the pause a few moments longer, without straining.  Check in on your state and let me know what you noticed.

You can use this simple tool anytime you feel stressed.

After doing so, please report back and let me know how it went in the comments below. Did it help with your stress level in the moment? If not, why do you think that was? If you have any questions, please ask.


Posted in: Technique of the Week

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