All of us have probably suffered from anxiety at least at one point in our lives – anxiety can have many different causes: from family issues to your job, from trying new activities to make a leap in any aspects of your life. Some of us suffer from chronic anxiety though and in most cases don’t even know its roots.
Whether you experience anxiety from time to time or you struggle with it every day, the following sequence may help you reducing it thus gaining some peace and the possibility to rest and to see what is happening to you from a higher perspective.
Start by sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position if that is comfortable for you, or in any other position where you can stay with your back straight – you may want to place a pillow or cover under your hips. Rest your hands on your knees, palms facing up. Eyes are closed. Take a few breaths and then chant the mantra OM three times, either mentally or out loud.
Nadi Shodana breathing
Stay in the same position. Keep your left hand relaxed on the knee; lift the right and press the index and middle fingers in your palm (alternatively you can press those fingers on the point between the eyebrows). The thumb goes close to the right nostril, the ring and pinky fingers close to the left one.
Inhale through both nostrils, then close the right and exhale through the left. Inhale through the left, close it, then exhale through the right. Inhale through the right, close it, then exhale through the left… and keep going this way for 15-20 long deep breaths. Then release the right hand on the knee, close your eyes if they weren’t already closed, and let the breath spontaneously go back to its natural rhythm.
Release tension from the upper body
If you are sitting cross-legged, change the cross. Keep the hands on the knees, palms facing down. Slowly roll your shoulders forward 5-6 times, then backward other 5-6 times.
Leave your shoulders back and down, and bring your chin closer to your chest. Stay there for 2-3 breaths. Then, inhaling, bring left ear towards left shoulder; exhaling, go back to the chest; inhaling, right ear towards right shoulder; exhaling, back to the chest… Keep going this way, drawing half-circles with your head, for as long as you like (at least 5 times on each side). Then bring your head back to neutral position.
Place a finger on your chin and use it as a guide. Open your mouth as much as possible, and close it, for 5 times. Then chin from right to left and back, for 5 times. Continue by bringing your chin forward and back, for 5 times. Then draw circles with your chin: 5 times in one direction and 5 in the other direction. And release.
Open up your heart
Bring your hands on the floor behind you, and, inhaling, lift your heart towards the sky. Stay for 5-10 breaths.
Shift your legs to one side, then sit on your heels in Thunderbolt or Diamond pose (Vajrasana). If you need it, you can place a pillow or cover between glutes and heels and/or under your feet. Back is straight, hands gently rest on your thighs. Stay in this pose for 8-10 breaths.
Slide your hands forward. Glutes stay on the heels, arms are straight forward, and the forehead lowers towards the floor (if it doesn’t touch the ground, you can always bend your arms, hands on top of each other and forehead on top). Stay in Child’s pose (Balasana) for 10 long, deep breaths.
Savasana (+ Guided Relaxation)
Slowly make your way to flat back and lie in Corpse pose (Savasana) for as long as you wish – you may listen to a guided meditation/relaxation here; you can find some on my Youtube channel at youtube.com/c/EleonoraCosner
When you are done slowly go back to sitting. If you wish you may chant a kirtan to close the practice (I would suggest the mantra Baba Nam Kevalam, “Love is all there is”).
You are ready to go back to your day.
Eleonora, your #earthandsoulwanderer