Step by Step Directions
Step 1: Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.
Step 2: Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.
Step 3: Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.
Step 4: Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.
Step 5: Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the poses in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. It’s also an excellent yoga asana all on its own. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Child’s Pose.
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Energizes the body
Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
Strengthens the arms and legs
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
Helps prevent osteoporosis
Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis
(Information from http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/poses/downward-facing-dog/)
Today I want to speak about an emotional disease that has run rampant in our community; I want to speak about stress. I want to speak about it from an open and honest perspective. I want to speak about it in a way in which helps us to understand the issue, but in a way that allows us to heal.
Throughout each of our lives we encounter many emotional, spiritual, and mental traumas; some of us chose to take it out through anger or rage, some of us repress our issues resulting in addictions, and some of us internalize our problems and create states of physical disease. The root of this issue is the high stress environments that we have become accustom to. The world we live in has not taught us how to cope with the number one taker of lives, stress. Stress is defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” This definition has applied to all of us at some point in our lives whether it be emotionally stressful relationships, high stress careers, school, or any other forms of tension forming situations; we have all experienced the many various stresses of life. The harmful thing about stress is that it not only causes damage to the workings of the internal organs, but causes mental and emotional imbalance. This imbalance can result in awakening fear based thinking patterns and reactions.
There are two base emotions that all emotions stem from; love and fear. Love creates the more positively associated emotional responses such as joy, happiness, contentment, serenity, calm, peace and so on and so forth. While fear creates the more negatively associated emotions of sadness, depression, hate, apathy, anger, and regret. Fear clouts our emotional body and overloads our physical systems with unnecessary amounts of harmful hormones such as cortisol. This can result in a number of adverse effects within the body such as lowered immunity, high blood pressure, and many other physical and mental diseases; further lending to the necessity of stress management.
It is important that we reprogram the way we think in life so that we can reprogram our responses to life. Programming ourselves to come from a love frequency in our responses teaches us to self-heal, rejuvenate, create, and sustain our life force energy. Yes we are all human and will make many mistakes along the way. We may not always be able to make the best decisions in our responses, but it all starts with getting the right information and then practicing a healthier way of life.
Many of our currently programmed habits for dealing with stress create much more harm than good, adding even more damage to the already stressed out body, mind, and spirit. Activities like substance abuse, overeating, addictions in general, emotional outburst, misplacing frustrations and so many more; create the same patterns of emotional discord and mental stress. It is more than imperative that we become beings who understand how to handle stress. Stress although often associated with negativity can be used to bring out the best in us and make us stronger. It is all how we perceive the situation. Looking at a situation as a challenge to become better, stronger, and wiser is a healthier way to see stressful situations; as opposed to the popular self-loathing, “why me?” approach.
So here are some simple things we can do to counter act and balance stressful situations.
Positive Thinking Techniques
Positive thinking techniques like thought replacement is amazing at helping one to overcome stressful situations. It allows for us to consciously participate in the way we are viewing a situation by giving us the opportunity to correct latent and subconscious negative thinking patterns.
For example, you find yourself in a living arrangement that you are not particularly happy with. You may find yourself thinking, “Why am I living here?” “I need to leave.” “I can’t take this.” “I hate it here.” These thoughts encourage and stimulate thinking patterns that disallow us from seeing potential solutions and allowing them to manifest into our lives. Using the thought replacement technique, when we find ourselves thinking this way, we would replace those negative thoughts with thoughts like “I am happy to have a place to live” “I am peaceful regardless of where I am.” “I have the ability to change my living situation.” Thoughts like this will allow for you to reprogram the way you think. While the current situation may not change immediately it will help you to perceive the situation in a different way which will create a solution based mentality; rather than a problem based mindset.
The fundamental principal of life is the breath. We can survive for short times without food or water but we can only last a very short while without breathing. When we breathe we bring life to the body and release waste gasses that the body doesn’t need. Breathing is the key to regulating the fundamental functions of our body. So be it that breathing is immensely important, it is highly important that we learn how to breathe in a way that will enhance the quality of our lives; and deep breathing does just that. Deep breathing affords us the amazing chance for us to reconnect with ourselves and completely relax our body and mind. Deep breathing has amazing benefits such as releasing tension, messaging internal organs, increasing blood circulation, relieving pain, and detoxifying the body.
How to do a basic deep breath
First seat yourself in a relaxed position. Then close your eyes and begin to breathe in through your nose deeply, filling your belly with air until it pokes outward. While you are doing this try to think of taking in positive energy from the universe/God/Angels/Ancestors/Goddess (or whatever higher power you relate to.) Then exhale through your mouth and allow for all of the tension and negative energy to be released from your body. When you exhale you want to be sure that you are allowing your belly to come inward and fully exhale ALL of the air you just took in. The key is to pace yourself and breathe slow and deep. Try these daily for 5 breathes, and then try 10, then 15 until you are at 20 breathes a day. This technique is an amazing way to relax before bed, meditation, prayer, or after or during a stressful situation. It will help you to think clearer and become your best self.
The saying you are what you eat is a very true one. If we allow ourselves to become engorged with foods laden with chemical additives, artificial flavors, and empty calories; we are inviting dis-ease of not only the body but the mind as well. These foods disrupt the body’s ability to produce certain hormones enable us to experience happier attitudes and better perspectives. Eating “junk food” starves the body and forces our body to slow down vital processes which ultimately ends up effecting how we think and feel. Eating healthy allows us to access our best feeling selves from not only the physical but the emotional and mental aspects of our beings. Eating junk or comfort food when we are depressed or stressed is one of the worst habits we can pick up. The effects are negative and show that we are not coming from a loving place but from a place of fear that the situations that we are in will not improve. Loving ourselves enough to eat foods that nourish us helps us to not only feel better but allows us to tap into the natural rejuvenating and replenishing qualities that we all possess.
Healthy Foods to Eat When Stressed
Over all “Clean Eating Hobbits” will re-enforce positive thinking and ease your mind.
It has been proven by multiple sources that regular exercise raises endorphins, improves mood, and relieves stress. Adding regular exercise to your regimen can aid you giving you a physical release for built up emotions. It can help by relieving anxiety and depression. As well as helping to build confidence and an all-around positive outlook. Try adding at least 7 min. of regular exercise to your daily routine and experience the wonderful benefits of a more active lifestyle.
Whether it be painting, drawing, writing, composing or any artistic or creative activity; expressing yourself creatively helps you to find a productive voice for your emotions. It helps you to express how you feel in a healthy way and transmute negative feelings into a creation that can give you a voice and inspire others who may relate to your message. This creates a more positive cycle of not only creating a better you; but helping others to become better as well.
By replacing compulsive reactions to stress with these and other positive channels can help you to find new ways to deal with stress that not only relieve the immediate tension but can help you to become an all-around healthier and happier person in the long run.
Join us on this amazing cleanse!!! Spring Awakening Cleanse.