It’s not uncommon for the lunch time classes to be stressed workers looking to snack on a bit of body movement, me time and some relaxation. You see them come in all hurried and walk out a little taller and lighter, it is one of the best things about teaching yoga.
I don’t have a particularly stressful job teaching yoga but there are times when I have some big challenges that will set my sympathetic nervous system into over drive. That’s when I get hot and sweaty and want to run.
Here is a simple technique which can be used as a stand alone when times get tough or as part of a meditation. It’s called the 4-7-8. You can read more about it At Dr Andrew Weil who is a font of knowledge of all medical things. http://www.drweil.com/
Sit comfortably and upright in a chair.
Place the tip of the tongue behind the front of the teeth. This releases the soft palate and when that softens it also softens your emotions and reactions. It is a technique used in Zen tradition meditations.
Breath in through the nose for 4 counts.
Hold your breath at the top of the inhale for 7 counts
Exhale through the mouth for 8 counts
Repeat this cycle four times.
Practice for today: Try the exercise as above and see what it does to your state of mind. When we change our physiology we change our emotions and reactions as well.