More and more people are telling me about their anxiety lately. It’s certainly a buzz word today and I feel it, too! However, it’s an old familiar feeling to me. I’ve dealt with anxiety since my early 20’s and it’s actually what drew me to yoga, thanks anxiety! I see it as an old friend, now.
I was away this past weekend on a x-country ski trip in Grand Lake. I was sitting down for breakfast and a dear friend of mine, a high school teacher and a mother of 2 young boys, mentioned she just couldn’t relax in the mornings, she felt like her “on switch” was stuck, she chronically felt that she should be doing something, when actually, there really wasn’t anything to do, except sit down and eat breakfast. I get it, trust me, I do.
So, when you notice that feeling of the “stuck on switch” here’s what you do:
1. Stop what you are doing.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it for a few seconds.
4. As slowly as you can, breathe out through your nose.
After one breath check in with yourself, sometimes 1 breath is enough! Often times you’ll need to take in 3-4 more breaths like this. It’s an old technique called Rudi’s Tension Release. We teach it in our yoga classes at Whole Yoga and also in our Teacher Trainings. There is more to it than this, but this will “reset” you and your anxiety will dissipate. Noticing your anxiety and being proactive in the moment like this strengthens and tones your nervous system. When you ignore your anxiety, it gets worse and the breathing may take longer or you may need to start a therapeutic practice of “deep relaxation”.