Yoga Poses To Ease The Pain

Ease Your Back To School Anxiety With This Grounding Yoga Sequence And Mindfulness Meditation

Center your mind, body, and spirit in the midst of back to school chaos.

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The recent Fall Equinox marked the official transition from summer to fall. Fall is associated with change and transformation, and often, a heightened sense of anxiety. Beginning a new school year can feel stressful and de-stabilizing, and anxiety can quickly creep its way in.

Yoga is a practice that has physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits and can bring a sense of connectedness and calm when anxiety threatens to take over. Practicing a few simple yoga poses and a short meditation can transform your day by helping you feel more present and grounded. These yoga postures link movement to breath to warm up the body and prevent feelings of restlessness or fidgeting during the meditation. This routine is perfect for new yogis and first-time meditators!

These poses can be done sitting in your bed before getting up for the day or seated on a cushion or pillow.

1. Simple seated pose (Sanskirt: Sukhasana) 

Begin by sitting cross-legged with your palms facing downward on your knees. Take a moment here to bring some awareness to your body and your breath, without feeling like you need to change anything. Gently stretch your neck by drawing the right ear down to your right shoulder, come back up to center, and then reach the left ear towards the left shoulder. Slowly turn your head left and right, up and down, like saying "no" and "yes".

2. Seated side stretch (Sanskrit: Parsva Sukhasana)

Place your right palm on the ground and on an exhale, extend your left arm up overhead for a gentle side stretch. Inhale, come back to center. Place your left palm on the ground and exhale, reaching your right arm up over to the left. Inhale, come back to center.

3. Simple seated twist (Sanskrit: Parivrtta Sukhasana)

Reach both arms up overhead and on an exhale, take a gentle twist by turning over to your left side. Be careful not to "crank" your neck to feel the twist. Allow the twist to happen by rotating your torso instead. Rest your right hand on your left knee and reach your left hand behind you and let it rest. Stay here for a couple breaths, and on an exhale, release the twist. Do the same twist on your right side by reaching both arms up overhead on an inhale, and rotating over towards your right on an exhale. Slowly release the twist and come back to center.

4. Seated forward fold (Sanskrit: Utthita Sukhasana)

Inhale, reach the arms up once more and on an exhale, fold forward. Extend your arms out in front of you, resting them on the ground. If this puts a strain on your lower back, place a pillow or two underneath your arms for support. After staying here for a couple of breaths, press into your hands to slowly come back to a seated position.

5. Mindfulness Meditation

If you are new to meditating, I suggest setting a timer for five or 10 minutes to start. You can keep your eyes open or closed, whichever is more comfortable for you. Take a quick inventory and notice how you are feeling. Are you feeling any tension or anxiety, or noticing any thoughts racing? Make a conscious effort to notice these sensations and thoughts, without judging yourself. Each time you notice a new thought pop up, direct your attention back to your breath. Follow the breaths that come in and down your torso, and notice how the exhales come effortlessly. Focusing on the breath helps keep you rooted in the present moment, the here and now.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

Who else knows fashion, beauty, style, or looks better than other females themselves?

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Men are ya know, "great." We love 'em (somedays). Some girls cry over men, run their lives around men, and make life choices because of men.

But, why should we try to impress men? Men don't understand the time it takes to "beat our face" with makeup. Men don't understand the soreness our arms experienced to get these perfect curls. Some men don't understand how excited we are to score big in the Urban Outfitters clearance section.

Some ladies live by "beauty is pain." But sorry guys, they are not here to impress you.

Why would some ladies spend all the time, effort, and money for men, when some men can't distinguish mascara from lipgloss.

Women are trying to impress other women.

You ever get a compliment from a fellow female and they're like, "Girl, yes girl. The outfit, the hair, YES." Ladies understand and appreciate our efforts.

Do you think what ladies post on social media is to get men pouring in their DMs? No.

We are sharing pictures to inspire and create a group of women to be creative and stylish themselves. Us ladies are trying to build an empire of strong women, and we will not spend time just to look good for men.

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