Have I mentioned that we live in a crazy, stressful world? I’m pretty sure I have. Things like yoga and mediation are great skills to have in your skill/tool kit for living well in tumultous times.
I woke up feeling stressed and crunchy this morning. The somatic stress I tend to carry around in my shoulders and hips and occasionally in a slightly elevated heart rate and blood pressure were definitely going on. After I managed to convince my self that the monsters aren’t real (Ha! There’s a lie.) and that should get out of bed I made the mistake of reading the (bad) news over breakfast. Oops.
After breakfast it was definitely time to work on my stress levels. I started by grabbing my mediation pillow and sat for five minutes worth of calming breathing-breathe in on a slow four count- hold for a slow four count- breathe out on a slow four count- focus on nothing but your breath.
After my calming breaths I set the timer on my phone for fifteen minutes and transitioned into doing yoga. I just did poses that came to me as I went along, flowing from to another, holding some poses for a long time, quickly moving through others, some I did once, some I came back to. For some reason I was digging the idea of doing American style pushups this morning and worked a bunch of those into the routine.
It’s nearly impossible hold the worries of the day and the 101 things you need to get done in your head while twisted up in a pretzel and balancing on the toes of one foot or when your lungs and arms are burning, but you’re only halfway though your pushups. This shift of focus to only being capable of being “in the moment” is a huge stress reducer as is working out the knots and stiffness where ever you hold somatic stress. As the knots and stiffness go away the stress they held goes away with them. I’m feeling much less stressed and my thinking’s much clearer after my 20 minute session of mediation and yoga this morning.
You don’t need to go to a class or have anything fancy to do yoga and yoga can be done at any level. Don’t worry about looking like the InstagramYogaPeople. Your best bet is probably to find a couple library books and a YouTube Channel you like and just do it in your living-room a couple of times. Plan on spending 10-15 minutes on your first couple tries and work the time up from there. If you dig it and it’s working for you then I highly recommend finding a studio and taking at classes at least a couple times a month.