As I've mentioned recently on my social channels, I've been a bit quiet recently. Namely due to two very stressful events recently...
Firstly, I was in a car accident at the start of October in my lovely new car (So upsetting!) and to make matters worse, I got really quite bad whiplash. *SARCASTIC YEYYY* So, there will be another blog soon all about recovering from injury and the challenges that accompany.
Secondly and more happily, our little doggie Layla came home to us recently (here we are posing up a storm)....
And of course, getting a puppy is like having a toddler around!
Which brings me on to the topic of today's blog - Stress.
I've had a distinct lack of practice recently, probably the least in well over a year. And I've noticed my stress levels have been increased; things are bothering me more and my patience (which I don't have much of at the best of times) is lower than normal.
In stressful times, the first thing I do is cart myself off to a class at one of my favourite studios or practice at home.
I've mentioned before, yoga has been an ever present friend through some tough times and has been my support through thick and thin. For me, the second I feel like I'm not coping, out comes my mat.
And I feel a heck of a lot better for it.
Before I qualified as a teacher, there was one question I asked myself tons....
It's all to do with our Autonomic Nervous System. There are two branches, the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic nervous systems. The Sympathetic system looks after our fight-or-flight response, meanwhile the Parasympathetic system is the opposite, rest-or-digest response. More here if you fancy it!
Essentially, when we practice - we are putting our body under stress in stressful positions (e.g. everyone's fave thigh burner... Awkwards) and using our breath (parasympathetic system) to calm everything down and tell ourselves it's okay.
Any practice we do, whether it is coming to one of my classes, stretching at home, a fun class like aerial yoga we're doing all of these things during our practice.
We're bringing everything back to a neutral position - moving forwards, backwards, sideways, up and down literally and figuratively.
Yoga makes people feel good.
With time and more practice, your body feels like it recognises stressful situations and your breathing becomes second nature, and things bother you less.
How to Practice
Any kind of movement is great, and my favourite thing to practice when I feel stressed is a short 15 minute sequence.
It goes like this....
1) Wide-legged Child's Pose
2) Cat-Cow (5 x rounds)
3) Downward Facing Dog (walk out the legs then hold in a static position)
4) 3 legged Downward Facing Dog (each leg, then open leg into Scorpion Pose by kicking heel to opposite glute)
6) 2-3 Sun Salutations
7) Closing Twists - Wind Relieving Pose (each side and yes, that's why I never say the name in class!), Supine Twist (each side)
So, next time you're feeling a bit under the kosh... grab your mat, spend 15 mins on yourself and see how you feel.