Everyday life has its struggles which cause the mind, body & self tremendous strain. This can be relieved and released by practicing a healthy lifestyle and promoting a healthy mind, through various yoga practices and mindful meditation techniques.
However, currently we are undergoing something many of us have never experienced anything of the like before. It’s terrifying and feels out of our control. But try not to control, instead see what from it you can create. More than ever yoga and meditation play a key role in keeping our mental and emotional health strong as well as the body healthy.
Controlling your life through breathing
Many things can be controlled through breathing alone, such as anxiety and lack of sleep, so firstly start with a simple breathing technique. 4-7-8 breathing is a calming breath that reduces the feelings of anxiety and reduces the likelihood of that anxiety leading into a panic attack. You breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and breathe out for 8 seconds, then repeat a number of times. If you cannot make the full count for either of these phases in the technique, then don’t force it, go to where you can and over time you will learn to reach that more expanded breath. The breathing will promote relaxation in mind and body but yoga will be able to extend that more fully.
Practice a few gentle stretches at home to work into your muscles and joints, that stiffen with stress and lack of movement.
My Fit Yoga Facebook page posts regular videos that are easy to follow and small enough in length to do at home, as well as online video classes being set up in the next week via the zoom app.
After breathing and stretching, the mind needs to either be relaxed from all the chaotic thoughts running wild through it or be channeled and focused in order to process what it is being drained by. Meditation and mindfulness will be the key to acknowledging and accepting this state of mind.
The power of the breath
A simple technique, especially if you have not done anything like this before, is called the power of the breath. You sit or lie comfortably and close your eyes. Start to observe your breathing, from its depth, length, sound, how the body responds and whether it’s through your nose or mouth. Let it consume you as if it’s the most fascinating thing to think about. It’s important to know that your mind will wander and all that matters is that you kindly bring your focus back to breathing with no criticism or judgement. Doesn’t matter how many times your mind wanders, as long as you can bring it back. Re observe every aspect of breathing, maybe imagining what it would look like to see your breath and the path it takes in,through and out of the body. Is it a circle taking one route in and circling round to exit another way or does it follow one path and back out the same way.
Try this for 5 minutes and day by day slowly build, don’t rush it. It takes time but after 5 days of everyday practice you will start to feel its benefit.
I also have a Mind Body & Mood Facebook page that posts regularly about breathing techniques, how to live mindfully and how to meditate. I am happy to offer any advise and aid in anyway I can do please feel free to contact me.