Our mind can go around and around not coming to any clear conclusion, decision or way out.
This is where yoga, or in fact any body movement, can help!
Our mind, body and breath are all linked. If you change one of them you will change the others. To experiment with this trying standing up, chest open, arms reaching above your head, look up and smile – try to feel sad.
Or sit slumped, shoulders rolled forward, look down to the ground – try to feel happy about life.
My favourite experiment to explore this is to skip down the road. It is impossible to feel down when you skip, it naturally makes you smile, which in turn changes your thoughts.
This is called changing your state. Your state being what you are doing with your body/ mind and breath.
So often people come my yoga class in a heightened energy state after leaving work for the day and at the end leave looking (and saying they feel) completely relaxed. Yoga is a great tool for changing your state.
It does not have to be on the mat though, you can use this tool any time through out the day.
If you catch yourself feeling stressed, anxious, stuck, in any mindset where you can’t seem to find a different perspective try out one or more of the following:
- Deepening and lengthening your breath, really focusing on filling your tummy and chest with air before exhaling will help to calm the mind and think clearly.
- Stand up and stretch you arms above your head, look up, smile and then shake your arms down. Shake your legs, Shake your hips. Just give your self a good old shake and see what shift comes from doing so.
- Skip, run, dance, doing something energetic and fun to shake off that mood or simply to shift the way you are thinking about something.
- Do a head stand/ shoulder stand/ legs up against the wall/ wild thing or gate pose. All help to see the world in a different way.
- Child’s pose will help to calm the mind.
- Lion pose will energize you and make you smile 🙂
- For 10 minutes be completely mindful to calm the mind and arrive at the present moment. This could be something like walking very slowly taking in everything around you and the feel of your feet connecting with the earth, eating very slowly enjoying each bite, washing up slowly. Or just sitting and feeling your feet connected to the ground, your sitting bone on the chair, noticing your natural breath and how your body is feeling.
Just have a play around with these and you’ll be amazed what can come up! Thoughts, ideas and different perspectives can appear out of no where after changing your state.
You always have the power to change how you are feeling. The body holds our emotions, our tensions, our fears so moving it will help to release and shift the way you see things.