Written by Lindsay Grobman: DPT, Registered Yoga Teacher, Integrative Health Coach and Taylor Malengo, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.
We all know that stress wreaks havoc on our lives… but what does it do to us internally? How does it affect our immune system and our health? Stress takes a toll on our bodies as well as our physical and mental health. It is important to identify what happens internally in these moments so we can better understand how to heal.
When we are stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is triggered and may cause our bodies to remain in a state of ‘fight-or-flight’ response. This chronic state of stress may contribute to a variety of symptoms and perhaps lead to disease. Read on to learn some quick and easy practices you can add into your daily routine (even during holiday shopping)!
Conscious breathing helps to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system which will allow for the ‘rest and digest’ response. This is a way for our bodies to come back into balance, to heal and return to vital health and optimal functioning. Daily breathing practices help to keep our nervous system balanced, especially during a stressful time of life such as holiday season and times of transition. You want to keep your body in the ‘rest and digest’ response as much as possible!
Breathing and Meditation techniques help to reduce stress and help bring us back into the present moment. Start your practice with just 5 minutes when you can fit it into your day. Then, start growing your practice to 10 minutes two to three times per day. Notice the moments in your day when you feel most stressed, use your breathing in these moments to tune-in to your mind and body.
Breathing Techniques to Practice:
- Place your tongue slightly between your top and bottom teeth inside your mouth with your lips closed.
- This helps to release your jaw and prevent clenching.
- Turn, your head slightly to the right or left to get it out of midline. If possible, close your eyes.
- Focus your mind on something that you are grateful for. Hands and feet are relaxed.
- Take 4 deep breaths into your heart, the center of your chest.
- Repeat this every hour throughout your day to maintain an inner sense of calm
Yoga has many benefits for the mind, body & spirit. If you are new to the practice or even a yogi wanting to refine your practice, scheduling a private yoga session will give you the one-on-one attention that you need and deserve. Try these simple poses and experience the benefits of moving your body in a safe and efficient way, connecting internally through your breath.
Simple Poses (do first thing in the morning and/or before you go to bed): You can do this right from your bed or on a mat!
- Knee to chest stretch
- Cat/ Cow
- Child’s Pose
- Tadasana (standing)
- Downward dog (pedal feet to give your calves an extra stretch)
- Gentle supine spinal twist
- Laying down, legs up against wall (or on a chair)
- Savasana, lying on back for 5 minutes (ahhhhh)
Major Benefits of Yoga:
Moving your body –
- Reduces stiffness & weakness
- Stretches, strengthens and balances
Finding your breath –
- Calms your nervous system
- Aids in reducing stress & anxiety
Tuning into yourself –
- Improves awareness & mindfulness
- Increases interoception
This month, try incorporating these simple breathing techniques. Build up your practice each week and begin to notice how the different practices impact your mind and body. Don’t let stress take over this holiday, take on the season mindfully with your breathing and yoga practice!
Click on the below link to book a private yoga lesson with Lindsay.