Stress is a contemporary endemic; a dangerous by-product of overstimulation, disconnection and fast-paced lifestyles. But there’s a simple recipe to bring back balance – and it all starts inside.
IN MODERN SOCIETY, WE MULTI-TASK SO MUCH SO THAT WE’RE OPERATING IN A STATE OF CONSTANT OVERDRIVE.
From the moment we arise in the morning we’re required to switch on our sympathetic nervous system – our stress response – add to that morning traffic, relationships, jobs, finances, etc and too often we continue to function in this state of ‘fight or flight’, our stresses are not necessarily resolved and we never actually relax. As a result, anger, frustration and intolerance are rife.
The parasympathetic nervous system simply does not get a chance to bring the body back to restorative mode. Our sympathetic nervous systems are running on overdrive to the point of burnout.
In stressful situations you may have noticed your blood pressure rising, your heart pounding, your muscles tensing accompanied by shallow fast breathing. At this stage adrenalin and cortisol are pumping through your veins putting you on high alert whilst the body stops all non-essential processes.
Stress is a real physical reaction and the most dangerous toxin in our bodies. It plays havoc with our gut-health, digestive and immune systems, skin health and our emotional and mental wellbeing the damage is cumulative. Stress is a killer, recognised as a major contributing factor in cancer and heart disease and is associated with addictive disorders and depression. It harms our relationships, distorts who we really are, detracting from our enjoyment of life.
I believe that yoga and meditation are the panacea for our modern lifestyle, an antidote to stress and anxiety and a positive benefit to mental health. It is a powerful, preventative. prescriptive medicine and the benefits are cumulative. The more you do the better you feel. It activates the relaxation response, calming the nervous system and optimising the functions of the body systems, restoring balance and replenishing energy.
A regular Dru Yoga practice creates flexibility. alignment, stillness and strength in day to day life, replacing ‘dis’ease with ease in mind, body and soul. It creates radiant health by releasing endorphins, boosting energy, building muscles, strengthening the body and improving performance. It brings relaxation, body awareness, confidence and zest for life. The combination of breath with movement, positive affirmations and visualisations is a potent mix. When done regularly, witness the transformation as your heart opens to humanity and your life opens up to possibility.
I prefer to practice outside in nature and the fresh air, to marvel at the world around me; the blue sky, the green grass, the warmth of the sun, the breeze in my hair. It quickly grounds me and brings me back to my true state of being – awakening joy, contentment, trust and a deep feeling of peace and knowing. It amplifies my intuition and reminds me to be humble and appreciative of the present moment while connecting me to the divine and my radiant light within.
Meditation is simple and can be done anywhere, at any time. Learning to reflect our gaze inwardly can have amazing results. Explore the vastness within you; take yourself on a journey to the feeling of freedom. Meditation facilitates clarity, mindfulness, purpose and wisdom, and promotes a long list of health benefits. It will facilitate you becoming less reactive in stressful situations. Meditators live longer. Ultimately, we have everything we need inside ourselves we too often look to external factors for our happiness and gratification.
Adopting ‘mudras’ helps to develop an inward focus and direct the body’s energy flow. As you hold your fingers and hands in different positions you harness the ability to energise and transform your mind and emotions. Chanting mantra empowers our thoughts and prayers with repetition and focus. It raises our vibration and aligns us to our higher self. It is said when we chant in Sanskrit we bring the power of manifestation. Spirituality leads us into PgDn another dimension and supports our existence in this one.
Settle into a comfortable sitting position with your spine erect. Adopt the Jnana Mudra, connecting the thumb and index finger leaving the other fingers straight. This will help to reduce mental tension and promote memory and concentration. A gesture of giving or receiving depending on whether the palms are facing up on dow.
I invite you to close your eyes. Your brain will naturally produce alpha waves that are associated with relaxation and inner calm. Breathe in. Breathe out. Deeply. Accept your physicality, are you comfortable. Accept your environment, allow the noise to fade to the background. Accept your thoughts. Let them come and go, don’t pay them any attention. Notice your breath. Feel your lungs expand and deflate. Feel the coolness of the in-breath. Feel the warmth of the out-breath. Breathe in peace. Breathe out peace.
Draw your palms together into the praying hands mudra, with your thumbs resting against your sternum. Notice how your awareness shifts to your inner being and a deep sense of peace arises from your heart.
Silently affirm: I am peace. Feel peace in every cell of your body. In every sense of your being.Rest here awhile. Learn to see the world through eyes of gratitude; cast your glance wide, open your perspective. Find joy in the simple things. The often elusive key to happiness already exists within.
We do have the power to modify our future life by bringing change to the present moment.