Mindful Yoga for Stress - Tip #3

In this series of posts, I explore skills that you can take from a mindful yoga class to use in your daily life to help you respond to stress.            

           3. Use your body as an anchor

Often when we are stressed, we are so stuck in our thoughts that we lose touch with the body altogether. Coming back to feel the body can bring us right back to what is actually happening, and can be a really helpful tool when you feel stuck in your head. During class we explore lots of different anchors for our attention – the sense of weight, the movement of our breath, sensation in different areas as we move. You will find some sensations more compelling than others, so in daily life, try to come back to the ones that feel most helpful for you.

For some people (especially those who experience panic attacks), your breath might not feel like a safe thing to focus on at certain times. If you are very anxious and your breath is too scary to focus on, can you take your attention elsewhere? Can you feel sensation in the palms of your hands? For some people, the feeling of their feet on the ground can be useful. If standing, you might shift your weight from foot to foot slowly. If sitting or lying, can you do anything to allow your weight to drop more fully into the ground?