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To ZEST is to impart hearty enjoyment, gusto or liveliness to something. It is easy to zest after adventure and fun moments in new places. The challenge is to add zest to your every day life. What if you are facing a day of menial chores, ongoing obligations and routine commitments? How can you liven up an ordinary day to make it full and satisfying? Put on some great music. Wear your favorite outfit. Use bright colored pens to make your to-do list. Be present. Enjoy the deep satisfaction that comes with accomplishment. Most importantly, maintain an attitude of gratitude. You are capable, focused and determined. Use that energy to make your day come alive. Take breaks between activities...strike a yoga pose, take a moment of quiet stillness or let out a grateful "Yahoo" when you finish a task. At the end of the day, reward yourself with a walk in nature, a good book or time with a friend. The zest for life lies within each of us, even on an ordinary day.

Sweetwater Falls, Mapleton, Oregon

"Zest for the extraordinary within the ordinary."

Yoga Pose: Standing Back Bend Pose Anuvittasana

The perfect chest opener and full body stretch to do in between tasks, especially if you have been hunched over gardening, working on the computer or cleaning.

Foundation. Start with your feet about hip width apart in Tadasana. Feet parallel with the edges of your mat. Set your intention.

Stance. With your weight equally distributed on both feet, engage your thighs and relax your buttocks. Lengthen your legs, yet keep a softness in the knees, evening bending them. Start to press your hips slightly forward.

Torso. Keep your torso and upper body upright in the center with your spine elongated and your pelvis in neutral.

Arms. Reach behind you and clasp your hands together (or reach your arms to the sky). Stretch your arms away from your back body as you broaden your sternum upward. Bend backward, making sure you do not drop your energy into your low back.

Gaze. Soften your jaw and eyes. Gaze upward, keeping a curve in your neck without dropping your head. Hold for several breaths. Return to Tadasana.


Salmon River at Mt. Hood Village, Welches, Oregon

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