Over the past few weeks I find myself alternating between the states of calm confidence and barely-restrained anxiety (that usually comes after watching the news). Should I try to deal with each day as it comes? Should I plan ahead? Should I be cautious or hopeful? Fearful or optimistic? Not all of those states are mutually exclusive, yet sometimes it feels that way. But regardless of which specific emotional state I experience, the physiological manifestations of the two ends of the spectrum are always the same. When I feel fearful and hopeless, my breathing becomes shallow, my heart rate increases and my upper back feels tight. When I feel hopeful and optimistic, my breathing is deep and relaxed, my ribcage expands without restriction and my heart rate is steady.
We know that what happens in the mind affects the body, and what happens in the body affects the mind. One manifestation of that is the famous stress loop.
You can get yourself out of the stress loop by changing your mental state OR by changing how your body feels. The yoga practice below is meant to affect your physiological and mental state by releasing muscular contraction around your ribcage and increasing your breathing capacity. When you are able to breathe deeper and without restriction, you are more likely to have an optimistic and confident outlook on your life. Give it a try and let me know how it feels!
This practice has been added to Sequence Wiz home yoga practice app. You can find it under Anxious/fearful > 20-40 minutes. Learn more about the app >