TALES FROM MY YOGA MAT: BREATH EXERCISE FOR ANXIETY
It’s been a little while since I posted here. I totally lost myself in a slow summer and spent as much time as possible with my family. Now, I am feeling all full up on a summer of love and ready to be present in this space again with you all.
Back to school is a big transition for us grown-ups as well as the little people in our lives. I don’t know about you, but for me it’s a mix of feeling ready to go, and needing to find my feet again, as we all get used to being back in a more structured routine.
Plus there is a big seasonal shift that happens at the beginning of September, as we say a fond farewell to summer and welcome autumn with open arms.
Autumn is such a beautiful season with all its golden colours, and early sunsets. Traditionally a time associated with gathering crops in for the winter ahead, I find it can also be a great time to harvest all the hard work that I have been putting in throughout year.
To help with these back to school changes I wanted to share a couple of breath exercise for anxiety. One is great for grown-ups and the other one is perfect for children to do. In fact it’s something that Bailey often does by herself at home and she taught me the exercise, which she learnt from her wonderful yoga teacher.
There are simple instructions below and I am sharing videos of how to do both exercises on IGTV and in my Facebook Group Seeking Slow.
Breath exercise for anxiety and overwhelm
Lay down on the ground flat on your back in Shavasana, legs about the width of your yoga mat, feet fall to the sides, arms by your sides palms facing up.
You want to be able to deeply relax and let go of your body and any tension within it, so make sure you are as comfortable as possible. You can always place a cushion under your head or behind your knees to help support them.
Try to let your body be totally supported by the earth beneath you; You don’t need to hold on to anything, you can let the whole weight of your body sink into the ground and deeply relax all your muscles.
Gently bring your focus to your breath, inhaling letting the belly fill full of air and exhaling letting the belly fall back towards the spine.
Inhaling through your nose and then exhaling through your mouth – like you are exhaling through a tiny straw.
As you exhale release the breath and any anxiety / worry down through your body and out through the soles of your feet.
Inhale light and calm and peace.
Continue for 7-11 minutes.
Children’s Breath Exercise For Anxiety – Roller Coaster Breath
Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine.
Take your left hand and hold it in front of your body, fingers spread.
Take your right index finger and place it at the joint of your thumb and wrist on your left hand.
Gently trace the right index finger up to the top of your thumb as you inhale, and down the other side as you exhale.
Continue tracing over all the other fingers like a rollercoaster.
Match the movement with your breath, inhale up, exhale down.
Repeat on the other hand and as many times as necessary.
I will share videos this week of both of these breath exercises for anxiety so if you are unsure about anything do drop me a message on Instagram or in the Facebook group, or alternatively leave a comment here