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Take a Chill Pill

Take a Chill Pill

Are you ready to shift out of high gear into cruise control?

Yoga’s gifts are numerous but one of the best is the ability to move from the reactive state called fight or flight where we’re operating with high stress levels and taxing our nervous systems. Through asana (physical postures), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation, it’s possible to move into rest and digest mode, which is a receptive state. If stabilizing your blood pressure, balancing your heart rate, and lowering stress hormones sounds like what you need, read on.

Depending on what style of yoga you practice, you can energize or relax. To become more calm, poses like forward bends, twists, and restorative postures will help you quiet your mind and pacify your nervous system. By slowing down on the mat, you’ll create the space to feel more clear and relaxed. This week, we’ve hand-picked classes to help you chill out, naturally.

If you’re looking for the best asanas to practice anytime you want to relax, here are a few of our favorites. Vipariti Karani (Legs up the wall pose), is one of the best postures to practice before bed, especially if you have trouble falling asleep. Elevating your legs above your heart with the support of the wall signals to your parasympathetic nervous system that it’s time to rest. Add a pillow or bolster under your hips and a blanket, hang out for ten to fifteen minutes, and doze off naturally.

Forward folds like Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold) and Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold) are both excellent for helping you turn away from external stimuli. When you are literally turning inward, you’re encouraging introspection and a focus on your feelings and personal experience. When you tune out the noise and tune into yourself, you’re giving yourself permission to chill out. Settling into stillness and simply breathing and relaxing is the gateway to settling into your authentic self.

A quieter practice focused on restoring your equilibrium is enhanced with pranayama techniques. Breathing in a controlled manner with techniques like Vishama Vritti, which features extended exhales, soothes the parasympathetic nervous system. Slowing down breath and movement is the perfect preparation to dive deeper into meditation. And what better way to chill out than to settle into contemplation and meditation?

So if you’re ready to relax, check out this week’s new classes and say “ahhhh.”

Qi Gong - Shy Sayar

Ten Minute Chill Pill - Erin Wimert

Chill Out Slow Flow - Claire Petretti Marti

Evening Chill - Flowing into Stillness - Mary Baker

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