The Holiday Season is here, and for a lot of us it brings with it a boatload of stress; the never-ending to-do lists, shopping, and running from one function to the next. It seems we don't have to look very hard to find a reason to be tired, anxious and just plain stressed.
Great news! Relief is only a few breaths away. In just minutes using these simply tools you can say so long to stress and get back to enjoying the holidays as you were meant to - calm, cool and relaxed.
Deep Breathing (Pranayama)
'Prana" refers to the universal life force and 'ayama' means to regulate or lengthen. By lengthening or deepening you breath, you active your parasympathetic nervous system, creating a natural relaxation response within the body. This response reduces stress and its effects. In just a few moments, you will feel calm, focused and still.
When you feel stressed or anxious, take note of your breath. It is probably shallow, ragged and erratic. Now, take a moment and consciously lengthen your inhales and exhales. Be aware of the sensation of your lungs filling and emptying. Notice the expansion you feel on the inhale and the softness/release you feel on the exhale. Continue for a few moments and enjoy the calm!
Legs up the Wall
This pose is simply amazing when it comes to reducing stress, balancing mood and calming your nervous system. There are may additional benefits to this pose including: lowering blood pressure, easing arthritic pain, relief of insomnia and lower back compression.
1) Sit sideways against the wall with knees bent (your hip should touch the wall).
2) Lower your back and head onto the floor and swivel your bottom around so it touches the wall.
3) Lean both legs up against the wall. Bring your palms face up and let your arms fall away from the body.
4) Breathe slowly and enjoy!
Wishing you peace, laughter, joy, and hope this Holiday Season.
student of life, practicioner & teacher of yoga