Stress and Anxiety Easing: Sun Salutations to Shine Your Light

When I was a little girl, my mom used to tell me that I worried too much and that worrying would end up making me sick.  And I was.  I was that kid in the Elizabeth Waters Elementary School nurse's office with a stomachache.....often.  It would have probably been called anxiety if it hadn't been the 1970's and early 80's.  Instead, I was labeled a "worrywart."  That worry manifested itself in stomachaches and what I could only describe as "my lonely feeling" in the pit of my stomach that felt like I was falling through space and disappearing (uh, anxiety attack, anyone?)

 Lori the worrywart at age 3. :)

Lori the worrywart at age 3. :)

These feelings weren't debilitating or constant, but they popped up regularly.  Sticking close to my mom, Pepto Bismol, and 7UP were my remedies.  Then my mom got into growing her own herbs, and we had lots of dried lavender, mint, and sage in the house to chase away the lonely feeling and stomachaches.  I still sleep with lavender nearby very often (a diffuser with lavender oil in my bedroom can almost guarantee a good, easy night's rest, and a sachet of dried lavender hangs close by).    

Another huge factor in easing the signs of stress and anxiety is movement.  Running can work for me, and so does a vigorous housecleaning session.  However, there is nothing to compare to the mindful movements, or asana, of yoga while connecting the movement to breath, or pranayama.

So, what is the best yoga Asana series to reduce stress and anxiety?    (pssst.....the ones that work are......all of them!  String some of your faves together however they feel good for you, connect them to deep breathing, and you are on your way, baby!)

If you would like something a little more specific, maybe try a Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar).  There are a few variations of them, and they are all wonderful to begin your day or end your day or to do whatever time of day suits you. Not only will this flow of movement and breath help in the stress and anxiety departments, it also offers a wonderful stretch, leading to a less achey day.  If you give it a whirl, please let me know how it goes and if you'd like more.

Sun Salutation A:  

Before Practicing:  Shoulder injuries can result from incorrect alignment while lowering your body weight.  To protect your shoulders during Chaturanga or Table-to-Ground Motion,  keep your shoulders level with your ears and place your shoulder blades down your back (think of those shoulder blades as magnets attached to your back).  Prevent your shoulders from dipping forward. 

(My first video's all a work in progress.....)

August Yoga in the Park Schedule will come out this week.  Check back mid-Week for specifics.  Drop by a class to see what's going on.  Your first class is $5.  Every full priced class will earn you a click on the loyalty card toward a free class.  Please be good to yourself this week.  I hope to see you soon!