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Day 13: Beginner

Quieting Practice with Jason Crandell

The first rule in a crisis is to stay calm—although as we all know, a calm state of mind can be tough to find even in everyday situations. Today's sequence is designed to bring you to that state and increase your flexibility in the process. Finding calm on your sticky mat creates the foundation for finding it wherever and whenever.

Throughout the short practice, you'll be asked to strike a balance between "effort and relaxation." The two qualities may at first sound incompatible, but cultivating them is the very aim of asana practice. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an ancient guide to yoga, these qualities are referred to as sthira (steadiness, stability) and sukha (ease, comfort). Breath consciousness is key to striking that balance. "Observe whatever restriction, whatever obstacle, whatever tension is in your body, and rather than fighting with it or judging it, practice breathing into it," Jason Crandell recommends.

The first posture calls for a yoga strap.

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Challenge Tip

Anytime is a good time for yoga. But some practices are better than others for certain times of day. A practice that leaves you deeply relaxed is great before you hit the hay but not before you hit the road. Similarly, it's best to avoid an energizing practice when you're settling in for the night. Choosing the right practice takes practice.

Today's Recipe: Warm Farro Pilaf
with Dried Cranberries

An Italian wheat grain, farro is chewy and tender, like barley but with a milder flavor. This tasty salad dish can be made a few days ahead or even frozen.

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