Now more than ever, we should rely on the tools and exercises to help reduce stress and realign our bodies. To add to your next yoga rotation, we tapped Stacey Bendet Eisner (CEO and creative director of Alice + Olivia and a powerhouse when it comes to yoga moves) and her talented instructor, Eddie Stern, to share a five-minute routine to help calm your nerves during this time. Below, Stacey is sharing how Eddie became her yoga mentor, and at the end, he’s walking us through a brief session to ground and center our focus.
“I began doing yoga when I was in my teens, but I didn’t understand yoga until years later when I began practicing with Eddie Stern.
I met Eddie at a dinner party at my friend’s house in 2004. Eddie was introduced as a former punk rocker turned Ashtanga guru whose yoga school was like a cult where new students could only practice if they arrived promptly at 6 a.m. In those days I paid very little attention to sleep and had no qualms about drinking tequila, staying out until 2 a.m., and rollerblading at 6 a.m. to an exercise class. I confidently told Eddie I would see him the next day.
I did show up the next day and the day after that, and I began to learn all of the poses in the Ashtanga series. I never missed a morning, and 16 years and three pregnancies later, I still practice every morning. While I initially took pride in learning pose after pose and completing through the middle of Fourth Series Ashtanga, what I was really learning and what I am still learning is something more profound. Yoga teaches you breathwork, it teaches you how to synchronize your body movement with your breathing, it teaches you truthfulness and compassion, and most importantly for many of us right now, it teaches how to calm and quiet the body and the mind.
I was lucky to find an incredible teacher, mentor, and friend in Eddie. His yoga practice and classes are a beautiful experience uniquely their own. Below, he’s sharing techniques and ways to use yoga for stress reduction and to help clear your mind.”
A note from Eddie: “These days we are beset by stress on all sides. Extended periods of stress wear on the nervous system, and we can feel unfocused, on edge, anxious, and find that we either lose our cool easily or can swing toward depression. This short yoga practice addresses the branches of the nervous system that help ground and focus you, putting you back in the driver’s seat. All of the poses should be done with smooth, long breaths, preferably through your nose. Below are the names, and the video guides you through.”
1. Child’s Pose with the Knees Spread Apart
2. Cat/Cow Pose with Flexed and Pointed Toes
3. Pointing Dog
5. Crocodile Pose
6. Lazy Superwoman
7. Upward Facing Dog
8. Child’s Pose with Knees Spread Apart
9. Vajrasana, the Thunderbolt Pose
If you want to try more of Eddie’s classes, check out his current schedule here.