Stop. Stop right now and pause whatever you are doing. It can wait a moment. Unless you are in the midst of extinguishing a fire or delivering a baby, you can hit the pause button and inhale for a count of four and exhale the same way.
Is your breath steady and strong? Is your mind clear? Your muscles relaxed? Or, are you stressed out? Mind zooming a mile a minute, gut clenched, and breath shallow as if you’d just reached the summit of Kilimanjaro? If it’s the latter, yoga can help.
Yoga is comprised of asana, pranayama, and meditation. These three modalities are intertwined and practicing one or all of them alters our physical body, our nervous system, and our brain waves. How powerful is that?
Asana, our physical yoga practice, can vary by our mood or what we need on any given day we step onto the mat. Stop and check in: what do you need today? Certain practices stoke your inner fire and energize you. Other styles of yoga are designed to help you recuperate and restore your energy.
If your go to is a sweaty Vinyasa practice or an intense hot yoga class, experiment with the polar opposite of your comfort zone. We might think exhausting ourselves through a vigorous flow will result in a release of stress, and yes, it can do that. Sometimes, however, that invigorating practice will simply invigorate, not calm you down.
A few alternatives to try: Reset Refuge: Simmer Down with Elise Fabricant or Mythic Motion: Slow Flow and Restore with Shannon Paige and Yin on the Rocks Live with Eric Paskel. Check one or all of these out today.
Next, pranayama or the art of breath control teaches us that simply by altering the way we inhale and exhale, we change the way we feel. By slowing down, you can actually make yourself more efficient, calmer, and dare we say it, happier. Try Pranayama to Ground & Calm the Mind with Maria Garre.
Finally, meditation can transport you to your calmest, softest self. We’ve got several visualization and mindfulness classes to aid you in wherever you seek to go. Sometimes by stepping back, slowing down, you can reconnect with yourself and truly nourish your body, mind, and heart. The effects of stress on the body can be toxic, but yoga is here for you.
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