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.

91
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

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

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
2626940
views

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

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

Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

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

504
views

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.

Related Content

Facebook Comments