A little weekend inspiration
I wanted to share a Kundalini meditation with you today that you can literally do anywhere! I have been practicing this meditation and love the peace it offers to both my mind and my body. This is a great meditation to incorporate into your daily life and also right before or after a stressful situation.
KUNDALINI MEDITATION FOR STRESS RELIEF
-sit upright in a comfortable position and rest your hands on your knees in gyan mudra
-inhale through your nose for 8 strokes (8 inhales)
if you're new to pranayama and breathwork, you can start with less inhales and work your way up to 8. make these inhales steady and even
-once you complete the inhales, release the breath through one, steady exhale through your nose
-complete these breaths in cycles: inhale 8 strokes, exhale 1 stroke
continue this breathwork for anywhere from 3-11 minutes.
again, the timing may be something you need to work up to. take your time and do what works best for you! if at any point it feels uncomfortable, return to breathing normally.
-once you complete the breathwork, take a long inhale through your nose and hold for 15 seconds. Then release for one long exhale.
Take another long inhale and hold for 15-20 seconds. While you're holding your breath in, roll your shoulders forward. Exhale and stop the shoulder rolls.
Finish this meditation off by taking one last long inhale and hold for 15-20 seconds. As you hold, shake and roll your shoulders to loosen any tightness or stress. Then stop the shoulder rolls and exhale.
After you're done with this meditation, sit in stillness and enjoy the energy and calmness. let yourself be present in the experience.
practice this meditation the next time you're stressed! Or even better, practice once or twice a day to keep the anxiety away.
Panic attacks suck. That's the only way I can describe them. And I've definitely had my share of them. I used to have one almost every other day at the peak of my anxiety.
Let's break down these TIPS on how to handle a panic attack in yoga terms, shall we?
1- Practice TAPAS (self discipline). Panic attacks are mentally draining and physically stressful on our bodies, but they cannot hurt us. When panic attacks happen, we often spend time trying to 'fight' against it or push it away. Once an attack happens, the best thing to do is ride it out. Just sit with it. It's not easy, but there's no sense in fighting it. Our bodies are already in 'fight' mode. You know what anxiety is, you know it's causing this attack, so sit and move through it. Be present with what is happening. Tapas teaches us that sometimes "burning" through something is the only way to get through it.
2- ASANA. Do some yoga. Move your body. Stretch, vinyasa a bit or do some restorative yoga. Stay present with what you're doing and how you're moving your body. Become aware in subtle shifts in energy and return your focus to your breath. Legs Up the Wall and Forward Bend are great places to start!
3- Remember SATYA (truthfulness). You know what anxiety is. You are, on some level, probably aware that what you are experiencing is indeed a panic attack and not an actual heart attack or stroke. You know it will pass. You know what is happening to your body and you know you will live through it. So literally talk yourself through it. Keep focusing on these TRUTHS. If you can, let someone close to you know what is going on. Shine light on what is happening to you. The more light you cast on anxiety from speaking the truth about it, the less darkness it can bring to your life. You have the knowledge to talk yourself off the edge. Or at the very least, talk yourself through the symptoms you experience from a panic attack.
4- PRANAYAMA (breath work). Breathe it out! Deep belly breaths, alternate nostril breathing, equal breathing... All of these are yogic breathing practices that help alleviate anxiety and either stop, or significantly shorten, a panic attack.
5- Let go with ISHVARA PRANIDHANA (surrender). Have trust that you can heal from this. Anxiety can make us feel helpless and unable to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay dedicated to your journey and trust in the universe. Have faith in your practice and strength. Believe in yourself. And lastly, surrender your struggles.
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is 'what breathing do YOU do when you're stressed?'
I don't even need to think about it anymore. The answer is always clear: Alternate Nostril Breathing, or Nadi Shodhana.
If you've never tried it, it can be quite powerful. This pranayama practice slows your breathing down, it lowers your heart rate, it syncs both hemispheres of the brain and it purifies the energy channels in your body. And, most importantly, it REDUCES stress and anxiety!
Sound amazing? It is! But it is definitely a practice. Before you try this at home kids, start with some deep breaths through your nose. Then for 30 seconds at a time practice the alternate nostril breathing. Eventually build yourself up to 5 minutes. You'll feel instantly blissed out! Once you're comfortable with the belly breathing, you can give this a go.
Here's how to start:
Sit upright in a comfortable seated position, begin deep belly breathing through your nose. Allow your brain to quiet down and rest your attention on the breath
Press your right nostril closed with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril. Once you've taken a full inhale, gently exhale through your left nostril
After your exhale, close the left nostril with your ring and pinky finger. Inhale through your right nostril. The exhale through the right nostril.
That's one cycle. You can repeat for 30 seconds, and again, work your way up from there! Once you've completed a few cycles of breath, release the nose completely and enjoy breathing normally. Begin to notice any subtle changes.
This will be one of your most powerful 'stress-less' tools! Have it handy in times of challenge and when you feel anxiety creep up!
Hi everyone! Welcome to Anxiety to Zen! I am excited to launch this website as a way to stay connected to all of you!
Since relocating to the DC area, I have started to host my Present Moment Workshops in various studios. I know that many of you won't be able to attend a workshop or class in person, so I created this blog. It's a special space to connect, share and get ZEN together! I'll share Zen tips and tricks, the powerful techniques taught in the workshops, and the latest and greatest developments on relieving the anxiety we face in our daily lives.
I look forward to helping you on your journey from Anxiety to Zen!
I'm a formerly anxious chick that found my zen on the mat. I used yoga, pranayama and yogic philosophies to alleviate my debilitating anxiety and get my life back on track. Now, I spend my time teaching yoga, coaching others and helping people find a more peaceful path in life.