This week, prior to writing my blog post I posed the question, "What can I help you with?" The response was calming techniques and stress relief. So here goes!
I have what I'd like to think are helpful suggestions, and easy at home practices, to support your need for more calm.
First, lets start inside your home. Since I work mostly from home I spend a lot of hours inside these walls. I have found that taking a little time to get rid of clutter and a little organizing goes a long way. I also add greenery. Plants are powerful! Adding some indoor plants to your space can help purify the air and assist in stress relief.
If you are intending to keep up with an at home Yoga practice creating a "calm space" inside your home would be ideal! It does NOT have to be anything large or super fancy. A corner of a room with enough space for a Yoga mat and maybe a shelf to hold any items that bring you happiness, peace, and feelings of calm (plants, stones, props, etc.) is perfect. Creating your calm space may also keep you motivated to practice daily. When you take the work out of finding a suitable space, you may be more likely to roll out the mat!
With that said, create calm by making it part of your daily schedule. Choose calm. I have to do it every day. It is a practice. I am human just as you are. I feel all the feelings. We all do, it is natural. Some days will feel more hectic, more stressful then others, but when you begin to notice it, to sit with it, to process it, and reflect on it, you are already on your way to a more calm, more peaceful life. Since starting my Yoga journey, one thing that has become apparent is that there is no end, it is a daily practice. Reflection, Yoga Asana (poses), and Pranayama (breathing practices) have become a part of my day to day. I challenge you to make it part of your daily schedule too!
Check out my Easy, Quick Calming Yoga Flow below! (don't laugh at my stick figure people or do! Because laughing and smiling is great! We should all do it more)!
Practice each pose! Spend a good 3-5 minutes in each pose. Enough time to feel it, reflect on it, breathe through it, adjust where needed, and enjoy it. Make a commitment to yourself to practice it daily. You can begin to add in more or different poses whenever you want! Remember your practice! Make it work for you.
And don't forget to breathe!
There is something about the beach that brings me lots of peace. So it seemed fitting to introduce you to Ujjjayi Breath aka Ocean Sounding Breath. This breath offers so many benefits including and not limited to; increasing the amount of oxygen in the body, release tension, stress, and agitation, regulate blood pressure, and detoxify the mind and body. To practice this breath you will want to find somewhere comfortable to sit. Wiggle around and find an easy seated position, lengthen through the spine. This breath creates an audible noise so make sure you are in a space that you wont be interrupting others. For the first round, you can keep the lips parted until you get the hang of it. Take a deep inhale through the nose. As you exhale, find a slight restriction in the throat and begin to exhale creating an audible sound as if trying to fog up a mirror. Practice this a couple times with the lips open. It should sound like waves rolling in. Once you have got it, gently close the lips and continue this breathing. This breath warms up the body and is great to practice prior to Yoga asana. It can also be a nice relaxing breath. Try visualizing the beach as your practice your Ujjayi breath!
And one last thing to try! Sometimes we find ourselves in a panic, even on the verge of a full blown anxiety attack. My daughter and I are no strangers to anxiety. While creating a daily practice has helped me tremendously in feeling overall calm and relaxed there is one more thing I'd love to share with you. Mantras! Mantras have done wonders for myself and my eight year old daughter. We speak them daily! Multiple times throughout the day. Our go to mantra is " I am happy. I am healthy. I am safe "
I have watched my daughter be mid anxiety attack and I gentle remind her of her mantra. She will repeat for a few minutes and then I can gently ask, "how are you feeling now?" and her response is always "I feel better" so go ahead and give it a try!
Your mantra can be anything you need it to be! For feelings of calm and relaxation try repeating one of the following multiple times throughout your day or when you begin to notice feelings of stress and tension arise:
My mind is calm, My heart is full
Peace Begins with Me
I am in charge of my stress response
Relax, Release, Ease
Inhale Calm, Exhale Stress
I do hope that you try one or all of the above suggestions/practices! I can say from personal experience that small adjustments to daily schedules can may all the difference! And I'd love to hear about it if you do! Let me know how you feel, if it's working, or feel free to share your calming techniques with me! I love learning!
Don't feel bad taking 10-20 minutes a day to tend to your own mental health! A happy healthy you is a happy healthy parent, friend, spouse, etc.
Have a beautiful weekend friends!!