Wow, 300 posts so far, or rather 300 glimpses into me. I had a request today from a wonderful yoga friend to help her understand how to relax. I reviewed many techniques and the importance of the breath. Here is a "list" of a few calming practices that help us to become present so we can focus on the breath and control restless bodies and racing thoughts.
1. Adopt the mindset that you deserve some time for yourself, carve it out and protect it. Life will always spill in if you let it.
2. Learn to use your breath as a tool. It is exactly that, a tool to learn to concentrate and eventually meditate. Focus on the inhalation that enters the base of the nose, and the exhalation that exits the base of the nose. That is it, just focus on the breath. Every time a thought or sensation develops, simply exhale it away.
3. Unplug yourself for a while. Turn off everything electronic and just sit in a quiet place. This is a luxury and only 5 minutes will make a difference. Just gaze out the window, admire a pretty sunset, close your eyes and take a mental break. Meditation takes many forms and can be beneficial in any capacity.
4. Take a shavasana for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Lie down or recline your car seat (when your are parked and the car is off of course) and close your eyes. I shared this car shavasana idea with the class today as I often arrive at my children's school early and spend a few minutes refocusing on me.
5. Sit in a chair and rub your palms together for a about a minute and cup your palms to your eyes and breath. Allow the good energy you have generated to sink in and relax.
6. Sit or lie down and beginning with the crown of the head, visually scan the body down to the toes. Notice your breath and the fluctuations in the body. Allow the body to relax completely.
7. Acknowledge that we are ultimately in control of a small amount of our lives and that if we can't control it, don't sweat it.
8. Spend time taking a nice, long hot bath , and or luxuriate over sipping tea and reading a book.
More to come later.