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This yoga and meditation sequence will keep you calm until the end of the election


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Photo: CorePower Yoga
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This presidential race has been a little stressful (to say the very least).

From serious allegations against both candidates to downright nasty debates—and media coverage of it all that’s become truly zoo-like—our country is now gearing up to face what will likely be known as the most tense Election Day in history. (Unless you count the Hamilton-fueled Jefferson-Burr matchup in 1800, of course.)

Luckily, wine’s not the only relaxing remedy to help get you through the next few days…although you’d be forgiven for turning to some kind of elixir.  The pros at CorePower Yoga have crafted the perfect chill-out sequence exclusively for Well+Good, designed to take you through the coming week without headaches, angry outbursts, or sweaty palms.

Each move targets stress, eases tension spots across your back, shoulders, and neck, and opens up your mind and body to calm. That way, you’ll be primed to face November 8—and whatever comes after.

Scroll down to see CorePower Yoga’s stress-erasing yoga sequence, created especially for the run-up to Election Day.

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Photo: CorePower Yoga
Photo: CorePower Yoga

Sun Salutation with Standing Back Bend

The purpose: To open up and relieve all stress build-up in your chest, back, and core. This breathing and stretching series will ignite your sequence and relax your body.

1. Start in mountain pose: Plant your feet and ignite your leg muscles, draw your low belly in and up, turn your arms in, and reach to the sky through your ring fingers.

2. Exhale to standing back bend: Bend your elbows and “T” your arms, lift your chest, and gaze up and back.

3. Inhale to mountain pose: Root your feet and reach your arms up.

4. Exhale to forward fold: Hinge from your hips, draw your belly off your thighs, bring your hands to the floor and weight forward in your feet.

5. Inhale to half-way lift: Bring your hands to your shins or knees and elongate your spine, reach through the crown of your head as you extend your sit bones back.

6. Exhale to forward fold: Scoop your low abdomen up and in as you fold deeper. Focus on opening the front and strengthening the back line of your body to free up your range of motion and get oxygenated blood flowing.

7. Repeat 3-5 times.

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Photo: CorePower Yoga
Photo: CorePower Yoga

Side Plank with Hip Lifts

The purpose: To burn off your (inevitable) pent-up frustration.

1. Start in side plank: Squeeze your thighs and outer hips together as you draw your belly in and up. Make sure your hips are in line with your head and heels.

2. Exhale: Bring your top hand to your hip and lower your hips 6 inches.

3. Inhale: Lift your hips up 6 inches back in line with your head and heels.

4. Repeat 6-8 times, then switch to the other side.

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Photo: CorePower Yoga
Photo: CorePower Yoga

Boat Twists

The purpose: To help you see both sides—and promote an integrated core.

1. Start in boat pose: Bend your knees and bring your hands behind your thighs as you lean back to raise your shins parallel to the floor. Lift your heart, squeeze your shoulder blades together on your back, and elongate your spine. Bring your hands to heart center in Anjali Mudra [prayer position].

2. Exhale: Keep your spine long and twist to the right as you extend your feet forward and draw your inner thighs together.

3. Inhale: Return to center, elongate your spine, and lift your chest.

3. Exhale: Repeat to the left. Prioritize keeping your chest lifted and spine long as you twist.

4. Continue for 1 minute, then rest. Repeat for 3 sets.

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Photo: CorePower Yoga
Photo: CorePower Yoga

Tripod to Tripod Headstand

The purpose: To flush the brain with oxygenated blood, dialing down the sympathetic and dialing up the parasympathetic nervous systems. This action quiets down the body and gets the mind ready for anything.

1. Start in a squat position: Plant yours hands under your shoulders, spread your fingers wide, and bend your elbows straight back. Plant the top of your head in front of your hands to make an equal-sided triangle. Bring your knees onto your elbows and lift your feet off the floor as you press more into your hands than your head. Draw your belly in.

2. Inhale: Bring both knees into your chest in a tuck position and find your balance with your hips over your shoulders. Draw your shoulders up away from your ears and press equally through your hands.

3. Exhale: Extend both legs up and draw your tailbone up as you press through your flexed feet. Take 3-5 breaths, then return both legs to the tuck position and lower your knees to your elbows.

4. Repeat 1-2 times. (Always try this pose at a wall for support to begin your inversion practice.)

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Photo: CorePower Yoga
Photo: CorePower Yoga

Legs Over Chair

The purpose: To seriously calm the nervous system and recharge your mind and body.

1. Lay on your back and drape your calves over the side of a chair. Slide your hips back to create a slightly wider than 90-degree angle at your hip joints, keeping your pelvis on the ground. Let gravity settle your pelvis, arms to your sides or wide with your palms up.

2. Stay for 3-5 minutes with slow, natural breathing and eyes closed, to restore your energy and mood.

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Photo: CorePower Yoga
Photo: CorePower Yoga

Seated Meditation

The purpose: To center yourself with joy and peace—no matter what happens.

1. Find a focal point that brings you thoughts of joy, like a picture of one of your favorite places in nature, people you love, someone who inspires you—or even light a candle and let the flame be your gaze point. Let this focal point stoke the fire of inspiration, joy, and peace for your life.

2. Elevate your seat with a cushion so that your knees are below your hip creases. Tip your pelvis forward slightly so you have a curve in your low back, then draw your chest back over your curved low back. Reach up through the back of your head to lengthen your neck.

3. Gaze at your focal point and move from eyes open to closed to maintain your focus. Try to elongate your breath to 5-6 counts for every inhale and every exhale. Stay in this place of stillness for 5 minutes or longer to bring your mindset to peace and evenness.

Knowledge is power—brush up on the issues that are important to healthy-minded people. Having a (mindful) Election Day get-together? Try this activated charcoal cocktail to help keep everyone’s nerves at bay.