So one thing you should definitely be doing right now? Moving, as in exercising. When we move, more oxygen gets to the brain, which can impact your overall positivity and could alleviate anxiety. And the best part is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home, no need to brave the gym or step too far from your Everything’s Gonna Be Okay marathon.
We tapped a few top experts for ways to de-stress and get moving on your own inside your own personal space. All you need is either the willingness to take a deep breath or a bath towel—we’ll explain.
If You Want to Move Gently
Your expert: Bethany Lyons, Founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga
“We cannot control circumstances many times in our lives, but what we can control is how we relate to circumstances,” she says. “Instead of going into worry and reaction over things you cannot control, choose an action that will make a difference in the present moment. For me, that’s yoga.”
Do: This 5-minute yoga flow, paying close attention to your breath.
To Start: wide rag doll
Take your feet a little wider than hip-width distance apart. Hinge from your hip crease and pour your upper body over your legs. Grasp hand to opposite bicep, over your head and hang. Drop your head heavy. Set your eyes on one point and breathe deeply. Then sway side to side and shake out your head. Think "drop your brain and take a mental vacation," and get fully immersed in listening to and creating your breath.
Once you feel settled, pause in the center and take 10 deep breaths.
Step back: high plank pose
Take five breaths concentrating your energy on your focal point and your breathing. Concentrate on drawing into the core, and engage your legs fully.
Lower to: forearm plank pose
Again, take five breaths concentrating your energy on your focal point and your breathing. Concentrate on drawing into the core, and engage your legs fully.
Press back up into: high plank pose and take downward-facing dog
Downward Facing Dog is an inverted “V,” hands shoulder-width distance, and hands about shoulder width distance. Take 10 deep breaths.
Roll through the spine to high plank. Take a breath in, pitch forward onto the toes and exhale, lower to low plank. Elbows slightly away from the body, lower elbows in alignment with shoulders. Inhale and roll over your toes, into upward facing dog. Press palms firmly into the mat and lift the chest to the ceiling.
Then back into downward-facing dog.
Step the right foot forward and take a low lunge twist. Drop the back knee down, left hand on the ground or a block and lift the right arm toward the sky. Keep the hips square to the front of the room and focus the inhale to lengthen the spine and the exhale to twist open. Go through a vinyasa, and repeat the low lunge twist on the opposite side. Do one last vinyasa, then walk your hands to your feet and roll up to stand.
Reach your arms to the sky and bring your hands to heart center and pause for 5 breaths, focusing on something you are grateful for.
If You Want to Really Move and Sweat
Your Expert: Aaron Drogoszewski, co-founder of ReCOVER
“John Brookfield is the man who invented the now very popular battling ropes system, but he also created a system using towels,” says Drogoszewski. “Most of my personal training clients laugh when they see me first bring a towel out, and almost always cry when they see it next. Towel drills can be brutal, but can also be modified very easily for any fitness level. The more vigorously you swing it, the higher your heart rate soars.”
Do: 1 to 3 sets, resting 60 seconds between each.
Push-up, 8 to 10 reps
Towel “duster”, 15 to 20 seconds
Towel rows, 10 to 12 reps
Reverse lunge to balance, 16 to 20 alternating reps
Towel “flap” 15 to 20 seconds
Towel “sidewinder” 15 to 20 seconds
Start in a high plank position with shoulders over wrists. Lower down, keeping elbows close to the body and maintaining a straight line from shoulders to ankles, for 4 seconds. Hold for 2 seconds at bottom of push-up. Press back up to start for 1 rep.
Hold the narrow corners of the towel at chest height, in a palms down position, with arms fully extended. Perform a rapid chest press-looking maneuver by bringing the towel from full extension to the chest back and forth as if to “dust out” the towel. You’ll be creating multiple vertical waves.
Start standing with knees slightly bent at shoulder-width distance. Hinge forward at the hips so that your chest is almost parallel with the ground. Roll the towel up maintaining its full length, and hold at the same width and height as a push-up position with palms down. With a tight grip, actively pull your hands away from one another (try to tear the towel in half) while maintaining this tension. Row the towel towards the chest for 1 second, hold at the chest for 2 seconds, and slowly return to start for 4 seconds. That’s 1 rep.
Reverse lunge to balance
Start standing with your feet together. Step your right foot backward and lower into reverse lunge. Both your right knee and left knee should be making 90 degree angles. Push through the front heel and drive your right foot forward and up toward the chest. Keeping the foot flexed, thigh should be parallel to the ground at top of the movement. Repeat on the opposite side.
Grab two sides at the narrow end of the towel, with the length extended towards the floor. Grip with both palms facing each other before swinging both arms simultaneously from floor to ceiling, at about 60 to 70 percent max effort, creating a “wave” pattern identical to the battling ropes “overhand waves” movement.
Hold the towel in the same starting position as the “flaps,” then rotate at the trunk side to side with the arms fully extended. Move fast enough and with enough side to side agility to keep the entire length of the towel parallel to the floor, working at about 60 to 70 percent of your max effort.
Originally Appeared on GQ