Stress abounds! Life can be challenging at the best of times – and this is another dimension entirely!
Stress affects our physiology in predictable ways. Breathing becomes shallow, heart rate increases, upper back/shoulders/neck (and for me) hips feel tight. But when we are hopeful and optimistic, the breathing is deep and relaxed, the ribcage expands without restriction and the heart rate is steady.
We know that what happens in the mind affects the body, and what happens in the body affects the mind. One manifestation of that is the stress loop.
We experience stressful thoughts = stress hormones are released into the body
Stress hormones create tension in the tissues ready for “fight or flight”
Body tension tells the mind “THERE IS DANGER!”
Mind thinks “SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG!” (and releases more stress hormones….)
And on it goes in a loop…..
You can get yourself out of the stress loop by changing your mental state OR by changing how your body feels. This yoga practice is meant to affect your physiological and mental state by releasing muscular contraction around your ribcage and increasing your capacity to breathe. Keep the awareness in the body and the breath.
In the second half of the practice we use a structured breath – Inhale for 6 or 8 – hold for 1 or 2 – exhale for 6 or 8. Do whatever feels comfortable for you. This is a marvelous Pranayama for bringing the body/mind into a deeply relaxed state
When you are able to breathe deeper and without restriction, you are more likely to have an optimistic and confident outlook on your life. Enjoy XX
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