Yoga is an ancient practice that offers a wealth of ways to help one achieve calmness, balance and energy, a sense of awareness of one’s body, centeredness, core strength, long lean muscles, and flexibility. In this article, I would like to highlight several ways to achieve calmness to provide ways to alleviate anxiety and stress.
As you practice yoga it helps you to develop a sense of awareness and if you are seeking more calmness in your being, think of the following adjectives when imaging calmness, (calming, peaceful, serene, quieting, focusing, or soothing). You can choose a word like serene and repeat it to yourself as you do your yoga poses.
Much of the practice of yoga is a state of mind. Choose the state of mind that you want to be your end result. Close your eyes and with each breath in say the word you have chosen. Breath in your chosen word and let it become a part of you. As you breathe in your word is mindful to set a slow calm pace. This sets the tone for the state of mind you would like to achieve and helps you to instill the image and embody it. When you exhale release all the negative tensions in your body.
One of the most relaxing poses to relieve anxiety and stress is called the Relaxation Pose or Corpse Pose. Lie on your back (you can do this on the floor or in bed). Have your legs straight and let your feet spay apart/naturally fall to the side. Place your arms out to the side of your body in a relaxed position with the palm of your hands facing upward.
If you are looking to achieve balance, think of the following words and select the one that resonates with you. For balance think (integrating, stabilizing, collected, connected, or content)
To feel in tune with more energy choose one of the following adjectives (mobilizing, activating, stimulating, motivating, or elevating).
Create the state of mind that empowers you and provides you with the most benefit.
Joanne Spence, MA, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT. Trauma-Informed Yoga – A Toolbox for Therapists
Bo Forbes, Psy D. Yoga for Emotional Balance
Vanessa Adams, LMHC