I was blessed and honored to have a class tonight with not only a fellow Sivananda yoga teacher, but a truly lovely, kind, generous, compassionate human being. I feel the molecules in the air buzzing while at the same time feeling content and grounded.
Om. Sat Chit Ananda.
Sometimes I forget how soothing yoga is. Which brings me to my job. Work has been tense lately, and not just for me, but for my colleagues, too. Though I can’t control what is going on around me, I can check my own response and attitude toward my environment. The good thing about this stress is that it is giving me clarity on things I’d like to be, do, or have. I’ve been making a conscious effort to shift the strain at my job, and I think it is working – not only in terms of being calm, but in being more productive.
Here is what I do:
Rather than thinking bad thoughts about work on my way there, I “send my love before me.” I send loving thoughts ahead of me—I imagine love is like liquid light—flooding my office, getting into the cracks and crevices, the carpet, the computers, the equipment, the toilets—all of it—and I see it surrounding the people there. As my thoughts travel, I find that I love exactly where I am in the moment and in space—my legs pushing my bike pedals, the air moving past me, the trees, the sky. Even if it lasts for 15 minutes in my imagination, my day is already better for it.
I set a timer for every 45 minutes to stop what I am doing to focus on my breath for at least three breaths (no matter how much of an “emergency”other people are experiencing —and believe me—I don’t work in a hospital so nothing is really that much of an emergency).
Review my dreams upon waking – rather than looking at my computer.
Get up early enough to write for at least five minutes every morning after meditating for 5 to 10 minutes. I review what I’ve written at least once a week.
Take at least one small (sometimes super tiny) action everyday that moves me toward changes I’d like to see in my life.
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I am posting the article below for inspiration. It is written by Swami Sitaramananda and was posted on the Yoga Farm blog. Here’s the post (see it in full here):
29 Tips to Deal With Stress
Modern Life is full of stress and strains and demands on our system. Stress comes from the inability or difficulty to adapt due to habits, ego, attachments and fears. Stress can also be the result of not having enough Prana (energy) to cope with the demands or pressure. When we are stressed, we develop negative feelings and lose even more Prana. It can snowball into a big problem.
Here are a few tips to unblock energy and turn around the stress drain:
- Breathe consciously and rhythmically; inhale to the count of three, exhale to the count of three. This will synchronize your brain waves and your heart rhythm.
- Move calmly. Best is to regularly practice yoga postures or asanas which gently move the body, stretch the muscles and turn the mind inward to more awareness. Asanas performed consciously in the right sequence—with proper holding, concentration, breathing and relaxation—release blockages of energy and recharge you with new vitality.
- Resist spending too much effort, no matter what you are doing. Effort needs to be balanced with relaxation.
- Take time alone to find yourself. Constantly being in a network of relationships is very draining.
- Slow down. Be aware not to be trapped in the Maya (illusion) of your challenging situation.
- Do one thing at a time. This is the principle of Raja Yoga. Stress can come from too much happening at the same time, so slow down and focus on one thing at a time.
- Focus on a positive object such as the sun.
- Meditate to have the direct experience of the Self.
- Detach! Keep yourself calm and do not buy into the drama that the mind creates.
- See the big picture. Change your perspective.
- Connect with Nature. Take a walk; look at trees, the sky, flowers, stars or the moon.
- Remember your Immortal Self. Experience beingness and oneness.
- Use your senses to bring you back to positivity. For instance, listen to nice music, get a therapeutic massage, practice aromatherapy, contemplate beautiful images or taste delicate food.
- Be grateful. Count your blessings.
- Be content. Tell yourself, “I already have enough.”
- Surrender. What is happening may not be what you want, but it may be what you need. Know that everything happens for a reason.
- Acceptance. It is not my will; it is God’s will.
- Balance your energy by doing different activities than usual.
- Tell yourself. “This too shall pass.”
- Tell yourself, “God loves me no matter what.”
- Withdraw the attention within and cease comparing.
- Refrain from judging yourself and others.
- Tell yourself, “This is my opportunity to learn.
- Realize that you are only the witness of whatever is happening.
- Affirm to do the best you can and let go of the results, good or bad.
- Avoid extremes of love and hate.
- Come back to the present.
- Keep trust and faith.
For me – #30. Ride your bicycle – even if you are feeling lazy!
Thanks for reading!
Peace ~ Holly