Solar plane finishes historic flight around entire world

After flying across four continents, three seas, two oceans and covering 26,098 miles, Solar Impulse 2 finished its trip around the world on July 26 in Abu Dhabi, the same city where the journey began on March 9, 2015. Bertrand Piccard, who has alternated piloting duties with Andre Borschberg, made the landing.

The Solar Impulse 2, as its name implies, is a solar-powered plane. Its wings, which stretch 236 feet tip to tip, are covered by 17,000 solar cells that provide energy for the plane’s four electric motors. The plane no heavier than a car, but has the wingspan of a Boeing 747, according to the BBC. The global flight was intended to highlight how clean energy can work as a power source for transportation needs, a goal largely proven by the nearly five-day flight across the Pacific Ocean from Nagoya, Japan, to Kalaeloa, Hawaii. That leg netted Borschberg the world record for the longest uninterrupted solo flight.

As for what’s next for Solar Impulse 2, Borschberg wrote that the plane was designed to travel 2,000 hours but has only flown for 700, so it still has plenty of time left in the air. To that end, Borschberg sees the plane contributing to more solar energy testing and to the development of unmanned solar-powered vehicles, including drones.

credit: Noel Kirkpatrick

How Tea changed the world

About the time ancients in the Mediterranean basin were realizing the benefits of grapes and olives, people from a much different civilization on the other side of the world were making their own remarkable discovery. They realized that the leaves of a certain plant had aromatic properties that could do something magical with water.

The country was China, and the plant was Camellia sinensis. As legend has it, a fortuitous accident led to the discovery that the camellia leaves turned ordinary water into a fragrant drink so refreshing that it helped monks ward off sleep during long hours of meditation. The drink would become known throughout the world as tea, but it would take centuries for it to escape China’s once famously closed society.

Today, next to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, according to the New York-based Tea Association of the USA, which describes itself as the recognized independent authority on tea. On any given day, more than 158 million Americans in almost 80 percent of U.S. households drink tea, according to the group.

History of tea

The likely origin of Camellia sinensis is in an area that today includes northern Myanmar and the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan in China. All of the world’s nonherbal teas come from this single variety of camellia. The various flavors are the result of different methods of processing the leaves.

Historians haven’t found accurate records of who discovered the secret of the leaves’ aromatic properties, but Chinese mythology attributes the revelation to an accident. According to legend, Chinese Emperor Shennong, known as the “Divine Healer,” was boiling a pot of water in 2737 BCE when some tea leaves from Camellia sinensis accidentally blew into the emperor’s kettle.

The resulting drink became known by various names in Chinese languages, but it was prized for its common medicinal abilities to relieve fatigue, delight the soul, strengthen the will and repair.

Buddhist monks drank tea extensively to prevent drowsiness during long hours of meditation, and Taoists even used it as an ingredient in their elixir of immortality.

In some cases, it was turned into a paste and used on the skin to relieve rheumatic pains. It would take centuries of crude use before tea would be drunk more for its taste than as a medicine.

Tea apparently made its way out of China by several means. According to various reports, Buddhist monks took seeds of Camellia sinensis to Japan, and Chinese tea merchants exported leaves to Iran, India and Japan as early as 206-220 CE during the Han Dynasty. Finally, in the 1600s, Dutch merchants imported tea leaves into Holland. From there they spread across Europe.

Commercial tea growing started in the 1840s when an undercover British botanist posing as a tea merchant brought thousands of tea plants and Chinese workers who knew how to grow them to British-ruled India, according to Cassie Liversidge in her book “Homegrown Tea, An Illustrated Guide to Planting, Harvesting and Blending Teas and Tisanes.” Tea is now grown commercially in many parts of the world.

Tea in history

Tea has played a central role in several important historical events such as the First Opium War and the American Revolution.

By the end of the 18th century, the use of tea in England was interwoven with opium; trade in both was essential to supporting the country’s fiscal and other policies. Revenue from tea helped finance the Napoleonic wars, for example. The British were growing opium poppies in India and selling the opium to China and importing Chinese tea to Britain.

At the time, tea was considered a rare and precious beverage. As such, it was expensive, and under the British class system, only the well-to-do could afford it.

The Chinese rebelled against addiction and other problems that opium caused, but they were defeated by the British in the First Opium War (1839-42), ceding Hong Kong as a trading base to British merchants in the process.

With tea for opium no longer a viable option, Great Britain set up large-scale tea production in India and Ceylon through the government-controlled East India Co. The period marked a turning point in global tea trade and consumption as tea became increasingly plentiful and was introduced to people around the world.

Tea also played a central role in one of the defining moments that led to the American Revolution.

On Dec. 16, 1773, demonstrators in Boston, some dressed as Native Americans, destroyed a shipment of tea from the East India Co. The demonstrators opposed the Tea Act because they believed that even though it imposed no new taxes, it was an attempt to gain support for unpopular taxes already in place. The protesters threw the tea into Boston Harbor in an act of defiance that was the final spark that ignited the American Revolution.

That moment in American history lives on today in the tea party political movement, which formed in 2009 as a result of what its adherents see as government overreach.

The birth of the tea bag

The popular custom of buying tea in tea bags came about quite by accident in 1908, according to Liversidge. She attributes the accident to the method a New York tea dealer named Thomas Sullivan used to send tea samples around the world.

Sullivan’s wife made silk bags to ship the samples, with the idea that people would remove the leaves from the bags to brew the tea, according to Liversidge. But, Liversidge writes in “Homegrown Tea,” when the samples arrived, people thought they were supposed to brew the tea in the bags. Thus were tea bags introduced and accepted around the world.

In 2012, more than 65 percent of the tea brewed in the United States was prepared using tea bags, according to the Tea Association of the USA. Ready-to-drink and iced tea mix constitutes about one-fourth of all tea prepared in the U.S., with instant and loose tea accounting for the balance, according to the group. Instant tea is declining and loose tea is gaining in popularity, especially in specialty tea and coffee outlets.

“Anne, Duchess of Bedford, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, began the custom of having afternoon tea in the early 1840s,” food historian and author Francine Segan said.

“The duchess started having tea during that part of the day as a way to stave off light-headedness and hunger between lunch and dinner. She began asking for tea and small nibbles to be brought to her private quarters to share with the other ladies of court. Soon the trend began spreading in court, and even Queen Victoria herself began hosting afternoon tea events.”

The term afternoon tea should not be confused with “high tea,” Segan added.

“High tea was the English term for a simple supper on a high table — a dining room table,” Segan explained.

Tea and health

After water, tea and coffee are considered the best beverages for health, according to the Beverage Guidance Council, which was formed by a group of nutrition experts from across the United States. The group ranked beverages into six levels based on calories delivered, contribution to intake of energy and essential nutrients, and evidence for positive and negative effects on health.

Without additives, tea and coffee are calorie-free and include antioxidants, flavonoids and other biologically active substances that may be good for health. As many as three or four cups a day are considered a healthy portion. Green tea has even received attention as possibly protecting against heart disease. Studies have shown that some teas can also potentially reduce the risk of some cancers.

Tea and coffee contain caffeine, and the jury is still out on how much of either women should consume when pregnant. The verdict is in, though, on additives such as cream and sugar. They can turn a healthful drink into one that is not so.

Production and consumption of tea

Tea leaves and cupTea is the only beverage commonly served iced or hot, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion, according to the Tea Association.

In 2012, according to the group, retail supermarket sales alone surpassed $2.25 billion in the United States. That figure represents a continuing trend of increased consumer tea purchases, which the group said has been increasing in away-from-home consumption by at least 10 percent annually during the past decade. Total sales have increased 16 percent during the past five years, according to the group.

Reading the tea leaves

And if you’re a superstitious type, ditch the tea bag and brew a cup with leaves that you can use to tell your fortune.

Tasseography, also known as tasseomancy or tassology, is a fortune-telling method that interprets the patterns tea leaves, coffee grounds or wine sediments leave in the bottom of a cup.

If nothing else, you’ll enjoy a flavorful beverage and possibly reap the benefits of one of the world’s most healthful drinks.

Credit: Tom Oder

9 microgreens full of mega nutrients

You’re browsing the produce aisle, consider this: Microgreens (the young seedlings of edible veggies and herbs) might just be the best things to put in your grocery cart. Once relegated to health food stores, these nutrition-packed, delicate greens, typically harvested less than 14 days after germination, have the flavor of the grown plant but contain four to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts, according to a study conducted at the University of Maryland.

“Microgreens are a definite new trend in food, and lots of chefs are incorporating microgreens into their dishes,” says Gabrielle Francis, a holistic physician in New York City for more than 33 years. The goal: By harvesting these greens before they’re fully grown and developed, you’ll end up with a health-packed plate of super-healthy greens that lend an added antioxidant and phytonutrient bonus to salads, sandwiches and sides. Read on as we explore nine of the most popular microgreens to add meganutrients to your salad bowl:


This microgreen contains glucosinolates (GSLs), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and phenols that are believed to help fend off toxins and stave off environmental stress, says Monique Richard, RD, an adjunct professor of nutrition at East Tennessee State University. “Adding the peppery spice of arugula to sandwiches, salads, smoothies or as a colorful and edible garnish can be tasty and beneficial to your health,” she says.



The shoots of this tasty herb, that’s perfect in pastas or salads, have plenty of health benefits. “Basil is rich in polyphenols that drive gut health and general good health by reducing oxidation and inflammation,” says Barry Sears, Ph.D., a leading research scientist in the field of inflammation.


While this shoot contains few calories, broccoli is a cruciferous (sulfur-containing) powerhouse, Richard says. It’s also super-versatile. “Make a pesto with it for something different,” she says. “Or simply make a spread of crudités and hummus.”


These shoots offer endless healthy benefits. “Chia are an ideal addition to your diet thanks to their healthy unsaturated fats, fiber and satiety from the protein,” Richard says.


Known for its mild flavor, clover is packed with calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Sprinkle these shoots over any salad for a tasty crunch.


Considered the new superfood, kale is known to be a vitamin C powerhouse. “If massaged with some tahini, lemon juice, dried fruit, apple cider vinegar and apples, it can be a satisfying lunch and the bitterness will subside,” Richard says.

Pea shoots

Promising seven times the vitamin C of blueberries and eight times the folic acid of bean sprouts, pea shoot microgreens are equally delicious in a strawberry salad as well as one with radishes and pickled onion, Richard says.


With their signature peppery taste, radish microgreens contain beneficial amounts of folate and B6 and make a delightful finisher to a salad composed of watermelon and avocado.

Sunflower shoots

Known for providing essential amino acids, crunchy sprouted sunflower greens contain high levels of folate, B complex vitamins and vitamins C, E and selenium. When using them in a salad, pair them with a creamy vinaigrette.

Credit: Lambeth Hochwald

Stone of the Day: Garnet

Garnet is a stone that energizes and regenerates. Refines and complements the energy chakras. Revitalizing, purifying and balancing the energy, brings serenity or passion, whatever you need. They say that he is able to warn of oncoming danger and once upon a time was worn as a protective talisman. Garnet is one of the most prolific stones. There are several forms in accordance with their mineral base, each with different properties, in addition to general characteristics,

Keeping The Seven Chakras Healthy

Chakras are literally the body’s etheric energy centers that bring through and interpret the creative energy of the higher realms, and we unknowingly use the energy that comes through them to create/sustain our reality and keep our bodies physically healthy.

Keeping our chakras healthy is as important as keeping our physical bodies healthy, and as our collective vibration continues to rise, more people will become aware of the chakras, and the necessity to treat them respectfully and maintain a strong, clear connection to the energy they bring through.

We can’t treat something correctly, however, if we don’t know it exists, and most of humanity still has a lot to learn about the spiritual nature of our existence, including our chakras. So here I’ll discuss each chakra and give a few accompanying paragraphs about what we can do to keep it healthy and flowing.

I’m sure most of you know about the seven chakras. We’re believed to have even more chakras beyond the basic seven that will activate as we continue to raise our vibration. We’ll start with the root chakra.

#1: The Root Chakra

For those of you who don’t know, the root chakra’s responsible for our basic creative and survival-based instincts. We rely more on our sacral chakra and our third eye/crown chakras for creativity, but the root plays a role in doing anything creative and especially anything that’s meant to help us survive.

Our instincts are stored in the root chakra, and we can call on it for assistance with any aspect of our lives that has to do with survival.

To keep the root chakra healthy, I think we should listen to our intuition. Even though we receive intuitive impressions primarily from the third eye and crown chakras, if we listen to our intuition, we’ll be led to make choices that help us survive and keep ourselves sustained in the best and healthiest ways possible.

The more we listen to our intuition, the stronger and healthier the root chakra will be, and after so long of following our inner intuitive guidance, we’ll find that our root is as strong and healthy as it’s meant to be.

We have to be willing to hear out our intuition instead of endlessly following the wants and desires of the ego, which usually run against the wisdom and guidance our intuition gives. With practice, patience and determination, our root will be strong, healthy and brimming with energy that’ll enhance our sustainability.

#2: The Sacral Chakra

The sacral chakra is our main center for creativity, sexuality and emotion, and there are plenty of things we can do to keep it healthy. There are also plenty of things we can do to keep it out of balance, and if we aren’t careful, we can damage it by way of our actions and our refusal to, again, listen to our intuition.

We’ll find that listening to the intuition is very important when it comes to keeping every chakra healthy, and this can especially be said for the sacral chakra. Something tells me it’s one of the more considerably sensitive chakras, so to keep it healthy and brimming, we’ll want to make choices that don’t bring it out of balance.

We don’t want to overstimulate ourselves in any area – creatively, emotionally, mentally, sexually, etc. We want to keep an even amount of energy flowing through this chakra at all times, and we don’t want to deplete or overflow it and cause it to fall out of balance.

I think balance is the most important thing to practice when it comes to keeping the sacral chakra healthy, and we’ll be very glad we made an effort to keep it healthy when we see how much it enhanced our creativity and the enthusiasm with which we embrace life and every situation we face.

Above all, keeping our thoughts, actions and emotions in alignment will keep our sacral chakra in alignment, and we’ll also want to routinely do something creative that gets the sacral chakra’s juices flowing if we want to keep it strong and healthy.

#3: The Navel (or Solar Plexus) Chakra

As its name suggests, this chakra’s located behind our bellybutton, and to keep it healthy, we’ll want to make sure we don’t overstimulate it by eating unhealthy foods. We’ll want to scrupulously monitor our eating habits and what we choose to put into our bodies.

Overeating will overstimulate the navel chakra and deplete its ability to bring through any real or pure energy, but eating the right amount of healthy and supportive foods will empower it to bring through a healthy and flowing amount of energy for us to use for a wealth of different purposes.

Even though it has specific uses, I think the navel chakra lends its energies to assisting the rest of our chakras with their primary functions.

It could send energy to the sacral chakra, for example, in an attempt to assist this chakra with any given creative pursuit we take up. It could also send its energy to the throat or third eye chakras to help them with any specific tasks they’re involved in, and generally, I think it acts as a balancer for the rest of the chakras.

It can’t balance anything if it’s out of alignment itself, however, so we’ll want to cautiously take care of it and remember to think about it the next time we sit down for a big and tasty yet unhealthy meal.

#4: The Heart Chakra

I think it’s pretty obvious what this chakra does for us. Like a lot of seekers have learned, it holds some of the purest love we can store within our physical and etheric bodies, and we can call on it for assistance when we’re having trouble finding the loving energy that helps us creatively, spiritually, emotionally and physically thrive.

It goes without saying that love is everything. It literally makes up everything in existence, and this is why we’ll want to have a healthy dose of it swimming through the heart chakra.

Personally, I notice that the love that comes through my heart chakra enhances my creativity exponentially, and I could have a lot of trouble writing or channeling, only to find that increasing the flow of love that comes through the heart practically fixes the problem.

To take care of this chakra, we’ll want to willingly and routinely express the inner love that’s helping us evolve, which, of course, comes directly through it. The rest of the chakras obviously bring this energy through as well (they wouldn’t be chakras if they didn’t), but I think this chakra brings the love through in a much purer and more potent way than the rest of them.

We’ll want to keep it in use as much and as often as we can if we want to continuously feel its energies, and if we ever feel depleted of the love we’ve come to share with the rest of humanity, we can call on our heart and the rest of our chakras to express it through us more purely.

Chakras need to be used to stay healthy, and this can especially be said for the heart. Of course, we bring energy through it whether or not we realize it, but the energy flows much more strongly and purely when we make a conscious, concerted effort to bring it through.

#5: The Throat Chakra

The throat chakra (along with the sacral) is partially responsible for our creativity, and it feeds our self-expression. We physically express ourselves by speaking through our throats, but there’s a deeper spiritual component to our expression that most people don’t realize.

The throat chakra’s primarily responsible for our ability and willingness to express ourselves, and it can be used to achieve truly amazing things. In order to keep it healthy, we’ll want to keep our physical throat as healthy as we can.

We don’t want to damage or mistreat our physical throat, because it could damage our throat chakra or, at the very least, make it difficult for this chakra to help us express ourselves.

We’ll obviously want to take care of our bodies in general if we want any of our chakras to be healthy, but for the throat especially, keeping our physical throat healthy is essential to making sure the creative and expressive energies flow through as healthily as they can.

#6: The Third Eye Chakra

This is arguably the most popular chakra with the consciousness community, and for some seekers, it’s the only chakra they really know anything about.

Along with the crown, the third eye helps us perceive spirit and the vibrations we can share with everyone around us in a realer and more direct way, and with meditation and other attunement methods, we can perceive a wealth of greater creative/spiritual energies and even find enlightenment.

It’d take a lot to find enlightenment, of course, and there are various stages of it that we have to traverse before we find it in a real and pure sense, but we can use the third eye to find it nevertheless.

In order to keep the third eye healthy, we’ll want to focus our energy on it whenever we meditate or do anything that’s intended to align us with spirit. We’ll want to routinely practice bringing our creative/spiritual energy through it, because it’ll go stale if it isn’t routinely used.

If we’re willing and motivated enough, we can bring through a wealth of greater spiritual energy daily that we direct through the third eye and use to help ourselves and the people around us find a higher vibration, and the more we practice bringing this universally pure energy through the third eye, the stronger it’ll become.

It also helps to use our meditations to attempt perceive the third eye, and if we mediate long enough, we can actually physically/ethereally perceive it and travel through it to what I call the ‘portal to the other side’.

We’re dipping further into occult territory here, and certain power structures have known about the third eye and the rest of the chakras for centuries.

They’ve attempted to suppress knowledge of it in order to keep humanity unaware of the sacred truths of our existence, but a growing number of seekers are becoming aware of it and using our awareness to strengthen our perceptions of it, keeping it strong and healthy as a result.

We’ll have to continuously practice bringing our sacred energy through it if we want to keep it healthy, and after so long of meditating on it, we’ll find that we’re easily able to travel through it and perceive the amazing wonders that await us on the other side of the veil.

This brings us to our final chakra.

#7: The Crown Chakra

The crown chakra is the center for our purest and most direct spiritual development – even purer than the third eye. The third eye plays a very important role in keeping our minds, bodies and spirits healthy, but the crown chakra helps us bring through a wealth of energy that’s even purer than what we bring through the rest of our chakras.

I think the crown and heart chakras have a lot in common, because they both bring through a wealth of energy that’s purer than the rest of the chakras can attain. This is mostly speculation on my part, of course, but something tells me that the energy that comes through both of these chakras is stronger and purer than the energy we receive through the rest of them.

To keep our crown chakra healthy, I think we should practice daily attunement to a higher state of consciousness in whatever way works best for us.

We can practice spirit communication, which’ll help us sharpen our perception of our crown and every other chakra; we can practice meditation, dancing and every form of spiritual attunement under the sun; or we can simply enjoy an enlightening spiritual conversation with a fellow seeker.

If we do this, we’ll bring a wealth of creative and expressional energy through the crown, which’ll travel down and express itself through the throat and heart.

We use all of our chakras to bring through energy or express ourselves, but certain activities and practices will strengthen certain chakras. Such is the case with the crown chakra, which thrives when we practice the spiritual attunement methods that help us find a higher vibration with a greater degree of ease.

Last Thoughts

Hopefully, the things I’ve offered here will help those of you who’ve wondered what you can do to keep your chakras as strong, healthy and flowing as possible.

We’ll want our chakras to be pure and healthy if we want to do anything significant or helpful here on earth, and if we’re willing to do things that balance them out and enable them to receive the energy that’s helping us evolve more purely, we’ll have little difficulty doing anything that requires this energy.

As long as we can keep every chakra aligned, everything will flow with grace and ease and our willingness to contribute to our ongoing conscious revolution will strengthen exponentially as a result.

Could Regular Yoga Practice Replace Your Coffee Habit?

The claim: Just two 90-minute yoga sessions a week for 3 months is enough to lower your inflammation levels by 20%. The same amount of yoga also reduces fatigue by 57%. And these benefits persist for months—even if you stop going to yoga, according to a new Journal of Clinical Oncology study.

The research: A study team from Ohio State University measured markers of inflammation among 200 breast cancer survivors—half of whom practiced hatha yoga on a twice-weekly basis. The researchers also collected psychological surveys designed to gauge the participants’ energy and depression levels. Compared to the no-yoga group, the downward doggers enjoyed the lasting inflammation- and fatigue-lowering benefits detailed above.

What it means: The meditative component of yoga is a proven stress fighter, says lead study author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD. And thanks to the uptick in physical activity, the yoga practicers also slept better at night. Both of those factors could explain the improved inflammation and energy levels, Dr. Kiecolt-Glaser explains. Also, because yoga helps you learn to manage stress through concentration and breathing, its positive effects last even if you stop practicing, she adds.

The bottom line: Anyone who takes up yoga should experience lower inflammation and fatigue levels, as well as better sleep, Dr. Kiecolt-Glaser says. And her study showed the more often you practice yoga, the better the results.


Why Morning Yoga Beats A Cup Of Coffee

Looking for a way to get your blood pumping in the morning? Want to give your morning yoga routine a boost? Take a cue from Tarzan and Jane, then greet the sun with a salute.

First thing in the morning, maybe during your yoga sequence, try beating on your chest. Seriously.

Beat all over your ribcage, up to your collarbone, down to your belly (gently around the breasts, ladies … ). Thumping, beating, banging on your chest, wakes up your internal energy, the energy running through the meridian channels in the body. Thumping gets the energy moving forward, after a night when your energy runs backward and slows, allowing the body to rejuvenate during sleep. Thumping is like the simian cup of coffee, and stimulates your kidney, thymus and spleen energy to help get you ready to digest your breakfast and digest your day. Start your morning yoga off by thumping, then move on to a whole-body integrated wake-up.

Now that you’ve unleashed your inner jungle ferocity, let’s move on. Many of you know that the sun salutation is one of the best ways to warm up the body. It stretches you into every position possible: backbend, forward bend, inversion, twist, extension. But something even cooler about this ubiquitous yoga sequence is going on. It helps keep you young! In a study published last year in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention, it was determined that getting up off the floor with as little assistance as possible was a fairly accurate predictor of longevity. In other words, if you can get down to the floor without using your hands to help you, and then get back up again, you have a higher likelihood of living a longer life.

So … enter sun salutations.

Start standing up straight in mountain pose, arms by your side. Inhale and open the arms out wide, either low, by your waist, or overhead. Exhale and lean all the way forward, hanging the body over. Beginners can keep knees slightly bent. Inhale and come back up again, opening the heart and arms. Do this a few more times, matching the breath to the movement. Just this motion of lifting up and lowering over starts to get the blood moving.

Next time you come over, bring your hands all the way to the ground and step back to downward dog (shown at right). Stay in this pose for five to eight breaths, moving the body as you breathe. Pedal out the feet, stretch the spine. Don’t let your dog be static, but let the breath start to move the body and wake it up. Next come into push-up position (plank pose) and hold this for 10 to 15 breaths. If you weren’t awake yet, this should do it!

From here, step your right foot forward between your hands into a lunge and, using your core strength, release your arms by lifting them up and overhead. Keep your left leg rooted in the ground, straight and strong. You can play with inhaling, straightening the front leg into a high lunge, and exhale to bend again, or stay in this low lunge and feel the groins start to soften and open. Now gently twist your upper torso, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, or keep your left arm on the floor and bring the right arm up (shown at right). Breathe here deeply. Then bring your hands back down to the floor and press back to downward dog. Switch sides, lunging and twisting with the left foot forward.

Back to downward dog for a couple of breaths, and then come into a squat. Use a blanket rolled up under your heels if they don’t reach the ground, and again, try a spinal twist, turning and lifting one arm, then the other up to the sky. From your squat, lift up into chair pose (shown here), knees bent and torso straight and breathe here for five breaths. On an inhale, press to stand, arching up at the top and opening the arms wide. If you went from squat to chair to stand, you just managed to stand up without using your hands to help you. If this was difficult, then you need to practice. Go slowly, using your core strength and your arms to help you. If you put this into your daily morning yoga routine, in about a week you should be able to go from standing, down to the floor to standing again.

You can do this whole sequence a few times.

Mountain pose, full forward bend, downward dog, low lunge to high lunge, spinal twist, downward dog, low lunge to high lunge to spinal twist on the other side, downward dog, squat, chair pose, mountain pose. Take a moment after this to lie on your back in corpse pose and let your body digest the effects. Then you have one more chance to stand without using your hands.

After you’re complete, swing your body out, back and forth a few times. Take another few deep breaths. Thump your chest a few more times. And then head out into your day!

You’ll live longer, breathe better, and be happier.