Yoga and Meditation can seem a bit daunting, especially if you’ve been seeing a majority of it via Instagram and Ads, but the truth behind those Asanas (postures) is that there is a layer for everyone. Anyone can do yoga, and everyone will benefit from it! My name is Rachael Kathryn Bell and I am a Yoga Teacher and Actress in Los Angeles, California. There is not one set way to meditate, but between meditation and physical Yoga postures, you can greatly decrease your anxiety and stress. The physical side of Yoga (Asanas) teaches you to breathe deeper, which in turn helps calm your mind. The meditation side of Yoga is often done after the physical postures have done their job on your brain, allowing you to sit, or lay, in a deeper sense of peace and clarity. I know it can all sound "hippie-dippie", but if you take time to put this into your daily routine, your quality of life each day will vastly increase. The pictures you see are of three postures to help alleviate stress, and decrease anxiety.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
• Keep anywhere from a micro-bend to a large bend in your knees, grab for opposite elbows, and allow your head to fall completely.
• We tend to hold stress in our shoulders and neck, so allow a few breaths time for your head to hang heavier.
• The bend in the knee is key as it releases your lower back. As you’re holding this pose, remember to inhale through your nose, exhale out your mouth.
• Hold this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)
• Make sure to align your tailbone with the wall, keep a slight bend in your knees, and relax your arms by your side with palms facing up.
• As this posture reverses the blood flow of your legs, it forces sad or stagnant thoughts to break up, as your blood flow is moving through your body differently.
• Make sure your neck is not crunched looking up and back, or down and forward, just have a neutral gaze straight upwards (I recommend closing your eyes).
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
• Cross at your shins, sit up tall, and relax your hands on the top of your knees. If you are new to meditation, there are several great apps, or you can start with bringing the focus to the flow of each inhale and exhale, until your brain isn’t focused on anything in particular.
• Thoughts will always flow in and out of your mind as you meditate and that is nothing negative! You are a brilliant human with a lot to offer the world, so when that happens, can you choose to see your thought, recognize it, and then release it and let it pass you by like a cloud. in the sky. That non-attachment to thoughts is a
large part of mediation. When you start to meditate, I offer you to say to yourself in your mind, “inhale” ( feel your- self inhale), “exhale” (feel that one too), until your breath has deepened, and you can just be.
You can find more from Rachel and more about her yoga journey and music on IG at @littleluna
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