Last week we discussed the ancient Yogic techniques to manage stress which are more about working directly on the thoughts and mind.
The Yogic physical practice has a wonderful way of silencing and calming the mind too. Infact there are certain postures and sequences which are designed to reduce stress very efficiently without consciously trying to do so!
Stress demands all our energy. When we are so over the edge with excessive thoughts and work we find that anything can push us over the edge eg loosing one’s temper over simplest things like misplacing our phone, running out of something basic in the house, the kid not following instructions correctly so on and so forth.
The first signs of stress are like being in a semi panic mode when the breath becomes shorter and the neck and shoulders get tense and tight. The easiest way to release stress is by first focusing where one might be holding it in the body and taking the attention to that part.
Going into a forward bend helps to increase exhalation thus instantly leading to the relaxation response. Forward bends are restorative and help to recharge very quickly.
Most of the forward bending postures have a deep calming effect on our mind thus slowly peeling off the underlying stresses that we hold onto.
One of the simplest forward bends is in the easy cross position or ‘sukhasana’.
Sit with the legs crossed on the floor with one shin in front of the other and bend forward from the root of the back and rest your forehead either on crossed arms in front of you, a block or perhaps directly on the floor if its accessible easily to you. Stay here for 5-10 steady, long breaths and then repeat by crossing the other shin in front.
You will be surprised how quickly the mind relaxes, releasing the stress that you were holding onto!
More on this next week.