I’m anxious. Anxious traveler. Anxious driver. Anxious mother. There I said it. It was only when I found yoga with psychotherapy that I could regulate it on the spot. Now I use mind/body approaches in all my work. Why?
Science has shown that the body keeps the score.
Google anxiety, google yoga. The breathe complements our nervous systems. Calm the breathe and you calm your mind.
Do a child’s pose. Legs up the wall, forward fold, butterfly, mountain and alternate nostril breathing. Then see if your body is more relaxed. You can do this right in the session.
Now summon that deep relaxation each time you need it. Yoga, a centuries old practice, takes the focus on your breathe to the places that scare you.
I remember the first time I tried yoga, I almost passed out. The teacher came over not too gently and said, you’re actually not breathing. I was mortified. But it was true. Every time I bent my head down I came up dizzy, probably due to shallow breathing. This was the beginning of my ten year yoga journey. I am now 200 hour yin yoga trained.
It beats drugs and alcohol by a long shot. It actually teaches the cells of our bodies to be less reactive and more flexible. The very thing we need in this chaotic world.
If you hold the poses just a bit longer, to the edge, to the point of tolerable sensations, then you get a bonus benefit; a deep knowing that you can bear your own pain with grace and wisdom, and the physical release that follows. Two for one.
So here are 6 yin yoga actions you can take right now.
1. Yin Yoga is simple, but simple does not mean easy.
2. In meditation and in our daily lives there are three qualities that we can nurture, cultivate, and bring out. We already possess these, but they can be ripened: precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go.
3. Yin Yoga takes a normal healthy body and brings it up to optimum.
4. Yin practice takes you deeper into where you are, not out to where you think you should be.
5. Yin yoga challenges you to sit in the pure presence of awareness.
6. How do I react when I let my thoughts move towards the idea of rest, relaxation and restoring energy?
So the next time you are overtired and underwhelmed, bored, listless, sick or scared, just sit, eyes closed, and bring your breath from your root to your crown. Don’t be the judge and the jury. Just be.