12/05/2011 04:45 EST

A Teacher's Secret For Relaxation: Quick Study


Quick Study [kwik stuhd-ee]: The Huffington Post Canada's tips to make your life a little sweeter, five minutes at a time. Think of it as a cheatsheet for your general well-being.

For the next 30 days, we're checking out how to take a break from your busy holiday schedule and relax -- in unexpected ways.


The Huffington Post Canada talked to one of "Canada's best teachers" and University of Alberta physical education professor Billy Strean on why we should find time to relax during the holidays.

HuffPost: How do you suggest taking a break from the stresses of the holidays?

Dr. Billy Strean: My secret recommendation is what I call "Centre and Feel Great"

This is a simple, yet extremely powerful practice that brings you into the present moment, gets you connected to yourself and what you care about, opens you to possibility and has you feeling great.

Part 1 - Centre:

Stand comfortably. Let your breath drop. Release your shoulders, your jaw, and any place you are holding tension. Feel the distance from head to toe. Next identify with your width. Feel across your shoulders, your pelvis, and notice the space from side to side. Then pay attention to your depth. You can feel down the back of your head, your back, down your legs. Then feel the front of you: your face, your torso, down the front of your legs. Go to the place two inches below your belly button and two inches in. Breathe into your centre. Notice your breath coming in as you inhale and notice your breath coming out as you exhale. As you have gone through the dimensions of the body, you have become more connected to sensation and all of yourself. As you breath has dropped and you have slowed and relaxed, you are more open to possibility.

Part 2 - Feel Great:

You are now prepared to create from this centred place. Breathe in and feel appreciation and gratitude for your life and all your blessings. Breathe out and release anything that isn't serving you. Smile. Think about what brings you joy. If it feels right, let yourself laugh. Connect with your heart and let a sense of child-like playfulness move you. Be in the moment and be happy for being alive right now.



Huffington Post Blogger John Grohol gives us five steps to increase happiness in our lives.

  • 1. Take a break from the material world.

While Madonna might worry that she's living in a material world, that's a choice open to all of us. Psychological research suggests that money won't buy you happiness. Once you obtain enough money to pay your bills, afford some shelter and transportation, you're pretty much set. The only two exceptions is if you give money away, or if it significantly improves your social rank. People who give money away appear to sustain greater levels of happiness over time than those who don't. Check out his other steps.

Many people have mentors growing up, here are some tips on how to incorporate them into your adult life.

How do you release stress during the holidays? Let us know on Twitter at @HuffPostCaLiv or in the comments below.