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Control stress, keep up a good mood, have a positive attitude, or simply to enjoy a good night’s sleep is more often than not, a real challenge.
Yoga has been offering tools for centuries that help us deal with anxiety and stress. The main point is how to keep our balance even when the road is bumpy, when the feeling of imbalance threatens us – such as now, especially for the 60+, who are more vulnerable to the Corona Virus. In our daily live, in order to have purpose, to be affectionate to people, bring us immense fulfillment and relief. But the C-Virus forces us into introspection, and distance us from our loved ones. But we should try to see all this from another perspective, especially because we cannot change this scenario. It allows some self-examination: to pause and to ask ourselves what we are doing with our lives, our time - if we are not just into autopilot. But we have to make room for these feelings, for the possibility of change. Stress arises in moments like this, when our routine changes drastically (which poses an additional challenge to those that attach themselves too much to the “normal course of life”; or that have a health condition, or just the “usual daily stress”). To overcome the stress brought about by the surge of the C-Virus, Ana Borella explains some of the main principles of yoga that will help us achieve more peace of mind, and at the same time, strengthen our resiliency. Putting it simple they are: non-violence (to us and to others); compassion; forgiveness; truth telling; and love – let’s try to reach out for those who are really alone and in need. This is a way to spread what is best in you, and thus to create a virtuous cycle of love and understanding: obvious, necessary, and very often forgotten behaviors.
Basic Breathing Exercise: helps relieve the stress and calm down our heart.
Close your right nostril and breathe in through your left nostril; hold and breathe out through your right nostril – and then breathe in through this nostril (right), hold and breathe out through your left nostril. Repeat this session for at least 5 minutes. Try to concentrate on the air going in and out of your lungs. Better if you do it before going to sleep – or in any situation of anxiety / stress/ panic. It really works, and the more you practice, the better it gets.
Meditation Exercise: how about trying to concentrate your attention in both your breathing (air coming in and going out of your lungs) through both your nostrils simultaneously? Sit (or even lay down, although if you lay down you may fall asleep…), rest your hands in your lap, and repeat the word / sound Ohm mentally – as you breathe in and out. Thoughts will fight vigorously for your attention – this is OK: let them come and let them go. Just don’t “think” about them. Try to focus on your “mantra” Ohm, and in your breathing. Do it preferably in a dimly lit room, when there is little noise around you, either (or both!) in the morning (after you wake up before breakfast, for instance); or before going to sleep, sitting in bed. Start with 2 minutes and try to increase little by little. But keep the increases constant as you evolve. You are very likely to harvest some very good results such as decrease your level of stress and improve the quality of your sleep.
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