Conquering our mind
Just when we thought everything was going as planned, life decides to throw us a curve ball. Unexpected, unprepared and overwhelmed are usually the words that reflect where we stand. Anxious, fearful, and stressed is usually how we feel. How do we go about going from 'I have no idea what to do' to 'I can do this'?
Yoga Asanas for Anxiety
Yoga is incredible to relieve tension and relax naturally, allowing our body to not only stretch, but increasing our endorphins and regulating our hormones. Try any of the following asanas (poses):
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
- Cat/Cow stretches
- Hastapadasana (standing forward bend)
- Balasana (child's pose)
- Ananda Balasana (happy baby pose)
- Savasana (corse pose - final resting pose)
Remember when Mom said 'just take a deep breath,' the same holds true today. Our breath is the key to keeping our mind from going to 'fight or flight.' Breathing naturally starts from the abdomen allowing oxygen to go to the largest part our lungs, and slowly reducing your breathe rate. Set a practice for yourself to allow this to naturally become a part of your life:
- Set a designated time daily, free from distractions
- Find a place set aside just for this, preferably cross legged, firmly rooted on the ground
- Sit straight, placing one hand on your belly, another on your heart
- Take long, slow deep breaths in and out, finding your natural rhythm
- Focus on your breath
- Increase the length of time with each practice
In Sanskrit, mantras are religious phrases, or statements, which are repeated by devotees. These mantras allow one to connect with the Divine, and if even for a moment, allow us to distance ourselves with the circumstances around. Often heard mantras are 'Hare Krishna' or 'Om.'
A mantra is an important tool that will allow us to refocus the mind from a negative circumstance to a more positive one. Find a mantra, or any other phrase, that works for you, and use it anytime to help bring a sense of ease.
Adapting to change
While we may be creatures of habit, change is the law of life. Guiding our mind through these turbulent times will help us better focus on ourselves, and help others who may need it. Ultimately, we should be the masters of our mind. As Lord Krishna said the Bhagavad-Gita (verse 6.6): "For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy."