Eco Living Magazine Presents
HEADING: Yoga in bite size pieces for busy times
by Andrew Wells
Intro: Recent studies suggest the entire sum of human knowledge is doubling every 2 to 4 years, and it’s possible that many of us feel like our busyness is increasing at the same rate! If we know yoga is so good for us then how can we squeeze it in? And how can we find time for yoga during the pre-Christmas rush or in those other times when we are even more busy than normal? Here are a few things to do if your normal yoga practice has slipped amidst the busyness of life.
Yoga by the bite
It’s when things get really busy that you need to make your yoga work for you. There is no time for loose ends, so let’s prioritise our biggest needs and work out how we can quickly satisfy them.
‘Oh my goodness, I’ve just realised I’m totally stressed!’
You know those moments when you suddenly realise that you have let yourself get so stressed that you are no longer living your life effectively? Your may have just noticed that you relationships are suffering, that you have forgotten to do important things, or that you have stopped eating… or started eating too much. In these times you need to do something quick.
- Stop for a moment and take some breathing space to recover your perspective. Go outside, close the door to your room or office, or even go sit on the loo, if you have little time to yourself.
- Break the negative stress thinking spiral with two simple stretches. Firstly stand up tall and stretch your hands above you. Do this a couple of times, coming onto your toes if you can balance. Second, do a couple of releasing side bends.
These two simple exercises quickly realign your spine and free up your breathing process. When your spine is clogged and your breathing is blocked, you tend to lose perspective on life. A free spine allows a free flow of energy to the body which helps to create free emotions and thoughts. A free breathing process also helps with emotional balance and gives you higher energy levels.
Your next choices?
Most likely, your inner wisdom will help you know exactly what to do once you’ve done these stretches. Go for a nurturing walk in nature or do a sitting or lying relaxation. We recommend the Dru waves of peace relaxation1 because it combines both movement and rhythmic breathing to occupy a stress-filled mind while soothing body, mind and emotions.
When exhaustion sets in
What are the symptoms of exhaustion? You wake up tireder than when you went sleep or you suddenly grind to a halt in the midst of a busy day. A quick way to restore your vitality is to lie down in makarasana and allow yourself fall asleep for 10 minutes. Ten minutes of sleep in makarasana can feel as refreshing as a whole hour of ordinary sleep.
Please be aware that this is not a substitute for sleep which you probably need right now, but it is remarkably effective for getting you over a hump.
My mind is too busy: what do I do?
To grab hold of a busy mind, it’s usually easiest to begin by making your body busy too. Do some aerobic yoga for one or two minutes like some strong lunge stretches or the dynamic sun sequences1. Once you have got the body and mind working at the same speed then you can slow your body down. Make the movements slower, more rhythmic and more in time with your breath.
Finish with a very slow forward bend, curling downwards from the top of your neck. Try to take between 5 and 10 breaths to get from the top to the bottom. Bend a little further down on each out-breath, pausing on each in-breath.
If this doesn’t work, move into the extended lateral triangle and hold it for two or three minutes (but be gentle with yourself there is no need to do the full stretch). Think of the earth beneath you and on each in breath draw its peacefulness up your legs and into your sacral area. The yogic science behind how the triangle posture soothes and balances the 2nd chakra—therefore a busy mind—is awe-inspiring, but that’s for another column!
My body needs more vitality
‘Help I’m getting run down. If I don’t do something soon I’m going to get ill…’. A great place to start when this happens, is to check that you are breathing deeply and fully. Try adding the deep yogic breath to your day. If you can’t do this breathing in your daily activities then choose a few moments and stop to do it when you are walking and sitting.
Next, try the Dru Inner Fire sequence2—see our free download (on www.dru.com.au/dru-yoga/try-dru-yoga). This sequence is especially designed to put vitality back into your body, mind and emotions, the yogic equivalent of a ‘ring of confidence!’ And of course, the sun sequence taught by all the traditions is the greatest known energy booster there is.
I’m not feeling very centred
After you have been dashing around so much that you forget what you are doing, there is nothing so refreshing as coming back home to a feeling of connectedness and equipoise. A quick way to start this process is to give your body a shake and stretch or to do a Dru Energy Block Release sequence1,2.
Then use the vertical connection breathing technique while standing. Here’s how: Let your awareness move with your breath. Start by following an in-breath down to your heart, and on the out-breath, imagine you can take your awareness down into the earth beneath you.
On the in-breath imagine you can take your awareness up from the earth through your body to the heart. Breathe out letting your awareness move from your heart to some distance above you.
Breathe in and draw your awareness from above, through your crown, back into your heart. Now breathe out, taking your awareness down to the ground again. Repeat this cycle 3 to 10 times. Draw up from the earth, qualities such as peacefulness, stillness, stability and strength. Draw down from above you qualities like light, confidence, and your highest potential.
1 From the Dru Energy in Motion DVD – www.dru.com.au .
2 Dru Yoga Stillness in Motion by Chris Barrington, Anita Goswami and Annie Jones.
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