Yoga teacher and healing facilitator Tan Ming Li shares techniques to help you relax

·4-min read
Calm Indian woman with closed eyes meditating at home alone close up, relaxed beautiful girl sitting in lotus pose on comfortable couch, dreaming, doing yoga exercise, stress relief concept
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

Before the partial lockdown, I had morning rituals that allowed me to slow down - a short train ride to work and stopping in front of the living green tower that is Oasia Hotel with a moment of silence, just absorbing nature and greenery around me.

As the coronavirus pandemic surpasses four million cases around the world as of 10 May, many of us are finding new routines living at home, managing workload and household chores at the same time. There has never been a better time than now to practise mindfulness to calm your nerves away as we wait for the gradual easing of lockdown measures.

Tan Ming Li is the co-founder of Exhale - a healing space that seeks to be a safe and grounding environment for people to rest, relax, and release. She is a Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher, Reiki Master, Craniosacral Practitioner, and Lululemon Ambassador. Here, she shares with Yahoo Lifestyle SEA what we can do at home to breathe, recharge and how to move those muscles after spending time in front of a computer for hours.

Tan Ming Li, co-founder of Exhale. (PHOTO: Exhale)
Tan Ming Li, co-founder of Exhale. (PHOTO: Exhale)

Taking time to breathe while staying in

“This is a stressful time. Working from home can be tough on the mental state. Suddenly the family is together 24-7. There isn’t a divide between home and office. Kids are running around, dogs barking during conference calls. The incessant worry about picking up the virus and passing it to loved ones,” Ming Li said.

“It’s important to take some time to breathe and wind down to stay sane. Schedule your weekdays and weekends. Plan time for work, meals, and also time to downregulate and take care of yourself - whether it’s an online class or just some movement-based practice. 15 minutes a day is all it takes,” she added.

Breath meditation

Left hand on the heart, right hand on belly. As you inhale, feel the chest rising, then the belly - as you exhale, soften the belly and then chest. Feel the connection with your hands as you inhale and gently push out the palms and as you exhale, relax and allow the palms to settle. Start with inhaling for four counts and exhaling for four counts. Then extend the exhale to six counts. Do this for five minutes.

Get up and stretch


Seated twists: Sit in a cross-legged position, left leg over the right. Right palm on left knee and Left hand placed gently behind your back. As you inhale lift the chest up, as you exhale, gently twist towards the left. Keep the chin to chest, with the spine lifted and hips anchored down. Stay there for five breaths, then switch legs and alternate the hands- ie. right leg over left and left palm on top of the right knee. Twist towards the right side for another five breaths and notice the difference.

Spinal twists

Lie down on your back and hug your knees into your chest. If possible, grab the opposite elbows and hug your knees firmly but gently. Stay there for five breaths and feel the rise and fall of your belly pushing against the thighs.

Keep the knees close to your chest and allow the knees to drop to the left side, keeping both shoulders on the mat. Stretch out your left hand and place your right hand on the lower back.

Breathe deep and connect with how your lower back feels for five breaths. Next inhale, bring both knees back to centre and drop both knees to the right side, and repeat as needed.

Ming Li teaches self-care basics on Instagram Live every Wednesday at 12pm. Follow @exhalehealingspace for more tips online. Exhale is also running donation-based online classes to raise funds for ‘Food From The Heart,’ where 15% of packages purchased will be donated to the cause.

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