Gentle yoga poses to take a break from the news.

How Yoga Can Help You Press 'Pause' When The News Is Triggering

Hold space for whatever you are feeling.

84
views

When there is a challenging news cycle, it often feels like there are painful and re-triggering stories everywhere. It can feel never-ending and inescapable when we see and hear these stories every time we turn on our TV, read our email, or scroll through social media. The recent Kavanaugh allegations and hearings have been significantly difficult for survivors of sexual assault and trauma. Even aspects of social media that are intended to reduce stigma and support survivors can be difficult to see or constantly be reminded of, like #WhyIDidntReport. If this resonates with you, please know that it is okay to give yourself a break.

You don't owe anyone your participation in conversations about the hearings and you don't need to share your personal experiences in a public way. On the other hand, sharing your story might feel empowering and freeing. Maybe you're finding yourself somewhere in between – wanting to share your story, but feeling weighed down by anxiety and overwhelm. The process of healing isn't linear or one-size-fits-all. Whatever you're feeling is okay.

Practicing yoga in times of high stress and anxiety can help you connect to how you're really feeling – when you aren't pretending like everything is fine. Physically, practicing yoga can help alleviate and bring awareness to areas in the body holding tension. Yoga postures can turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which is also referred to as "rest and digest", versus the sympathetic nervous system's colloquial term "fight or flight". When our bodies shift into "rest and digest", we can pause, relax, and begin to truly rest deeply.

Ultimately, yoga is a journey of self-inquiry, self-care, and self-compassion. The process of self-inquiry starts with allowing yourself to feel whatever it is you're experiencing and meeting whatever you find with compassion and acceptance. You might consider practicing this sequence before bed as part of your night routine, to help signal to your body that it's time to slow down and get ready for sleep.

1. Constructive rest and gentle warm-up

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor. With your arms resting alongside you, open your palms so they are facing the ceiling. Gently stretch your palm and fingers and then close your hand so that the tips of your fingers lightly touch. Do this a few times on your own breath's rhythm, matching your inhale with the opening of your hand and exhale with the meeting of your fingers.

2. Knees to chest pose (Sanskrit: Apanasana)

Hug both knees into your chest and begin to gently massage your lower back by rolling side to side.

3. One knee to chest pose (Sanskrit: Eka pada apanasana) to a variation of Reclining hand-to-big-toe pose (Sanskrit: Supta Padangusthasana)

Keep the right knee hugging in towards your chest, and stretch your left leg out long. Gently draw circles with your right knee to warm up the hip area and begin to release tension held here.

Interlace your fingers behind your thigh and begin to straighten your leg towards a 90-degree angle (imagining the sole of your foot is parallel to the ceiling). Bend your knee any amount to stretch your hamstring muscles. Hold this for four or five breaths. Switch sides.

4. Simple supine twist (Sanskrit: Jathara Parivartanasana)

Hug your knees back into your chest and on your next exhale, allow your legs to fall over to your left. Stretch your arms out to the side like a "T" or like a cactus by bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Come back to center on an inhale, and on an exhale, allow your legs to fall over to the right.

5. Thread the needle (Sanskrit: Sucirandhrasana)

Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, flexing your foot. Lift your left foot off of the floor and interlace your fingers behind the left thigh. This can be a deep stretch in the hips and gluteal muscles, so if it feels too deep, you can leave your left foot planted on the floor. Stay here for a few breaths and then switch sides.

6. Savasana

Stretch your legs out long with a yoga bolster or pillow under the knees to relieve your lower back and a folded blanket or pillow under your head. To make Savasana extra grounding, I suggest folding a couple of blankets and placing them on your upper thighs and belly. Allow yourself to be held up by the ground. Your neck and legs are held up by props and your back can spread across the floor. Slowly scan your body and notice if there is anywhere you can do less, like unclenching your jaw. Notice any feelings that arise without judging yourself - see if you can meet your thoughts and feelings with compassion.

7. Closing

After a five or 10 minute period of relaxation, draw your knees into your chest and roll onto your right side in a fetal position. Slowly and gently come up to a seated position. Take a moment to thank yourself for making space in your day to go inward and take care of yourself. Remind yourself that you can always return to this sequence or even just a short seated meditation to press "pause" and take a break. Namaste.

Popular Right Now

Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
991178
views

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

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

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Truth About Narcan, Insulin, And Who Pays For What

"Stupid junkies, I have to pay for my Insulin but they get Narcan FOR FREE. Can you believe that?"

14
views

Naloxone.

Let's talk about it. Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan or Evzio is a "medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose." According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Naloxone basically reverses the effects of an overdose.

As you see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform in the world, "junkies" get indirectly bashed, undermined, and in a nutshell, told that they don't deserve a place on earth.

The most common argument used by "non-addicts" is "I have to pay for my Insulin for my diabetes, but they get Narcan for free? Wow, our government sucks and the system is a joke."

For those of you that don't know, diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

There are two types of this disease: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes that result from a variety of different factors. Diabetes can be acquired through genetics but can also be personally obtained through lifestyle, depending on the type. Aside from genetics and being born into a diabetic family, you may also be diagnosed with diabetes as a result of physical inactivity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and being overweight. In other words, if you let your body go, don't work out or do some type of physical activity, let your high blood pressure go untreated, and eat unhealthy foods; you have a chance of developing diabetes.

Next, let's talk about prices.

On average, Insulin costs $200 monthly. This depends on the brand, personal insurance, coupons, and other factors such as organizations that help people get cheaper insulin.

Narcan nasal spray costs $130 for a two-time use. You can buy it at CVS Pharmacy (and other pharmacies) in states such as Ohio, Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. Some of these states may require a prescription.

Now that you know that Narcan/Evzio isn't free, it's time to talk about other charges that are brought upon addicts when they overdose. If an ambulance is called, they have to pay for it. If they are sent to the emergency room, they also have to pay for that.

The idea that "junkies" get Narcan for free is something society has made up to make drug users feel even more guilt than they already do from having an addiction alone.

Believe it or not, most of us are addicted to something that can be fatal or cause illness/injury. If you eat processed foods or sugar ridden foods every day, chances are you have an addiction to sugar. The withdrawal that someone has from quitting sugar is similar to the withdrawal that one goes through from quitting heroin. You get a splitting headache, you have cold sweats, you are moody, and it makes you sick. If you drink coffee all day on most days and you try to quit, it results in an awful headache for a few days. The addiction to cigarettes and the withdrawal that people go through for that speaks for itself; we all know a smoker or an ex-smoker.

Instead of following social norms, degrading drug users and putting ourselves on a pedestal because we don't use heroin or another "hard drug," we should advocate for the health and stand up for each other. If you see someone on the street that you know is a drug user, pull them aside and pray with them. Help them find a better life. Recommend church, rehab, or any other ideas that may be at your fingertips to mention.

The moral of the story is this: we all have an addiction, hypocrisy is at it's finest thanks to social media, and we are all human. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge them. It doesn't cost a dime to shed light on someone's life, especially when they are in need.

Related Content

Facebook Comments