Gentle yoga poses to take a break from the news.
Start writing a post

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.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color: Rec Room's Dre Taylor On What Blackness Can Look Like And Not Working For Free

"It mattered to me that when we were depicting racial diversity for Rec Room, we showed the broad spectrum of what Blackness can look like."

Rec Room

The world of sustainable fashion is inundated with marketing gimmicks, false advertising, and large corporations cutting corners — Rec Room is the pure antithesis of that.

Keep Reading... Show less

Dunkin' just announced that they'll be releasing their fall menu earlier than ever — set to debut on August 19 — and that it'll include new menu options this season, including a new signature pumpkin spice latte. Let me just say, Starbucks has some fall-menu competition now.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

CBD Lip Balm Is The Calming Presence You Need In Your Life, Trust Me

I tried lip balm, sleep gummies, and an oil dropper from CBDistillery. Here's the final verdict.

@lilyjmoe

CBD has been on making waves within the wellness space for the last few years. Generally related to the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, it's growing easier to find small CBD companies who are making products specifically designed to fit your needs. As FDA rules for CBD production can be a little hazy, it's true that not all CBD products are created equally. That's why it's important to look into the manufacturing of whatever you're deciding to try, especially if you're new to taking CBD.

As someone who has tried a variety of CBD products — some victories, some failures — I was thrilled when CBDistillery sent me a package of their favorites. They included a Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture, their Nighttime Gummies, and a CBD Lip Balm.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Went To Disney For The First Time Since COVID-19 And It's Officially The Cleanest Place On Earth

I stopped focusing on the pandemic simply because, for the first time in months, I felt safe.

After a few months of self-quarantining, becoming suspicious of every cough, and blowing through masks like a medical school student, restrictions due to the pandemic are easing up a bit and businesses are warily reopening. While these public spaces may look the same on the outside, the way they function and operate is vastly different than a few months ago.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 At-Home Therapy Tips You Need, No Matter What Your Therapy Routine Is

Whether you're in a Zoom session or live-chatting, make sure your home therapy space is good to go.

No matter what stigmas you held about therapy before this year, I'm sure 2020 has affirmed that we could ALL use a nice long therapy session. Between wildfires that took over an entire continent, a global health crisis, and what's sure to be one giant circus of an election in the United States, we need help and we need it now.

The fact of the matter is, therapy has been a helpful, valid resource long before the world decided to become one giant dumpster fire. Having a safe space to discuss what's going on in your life, worries you have, and struggles you're facing has become a very normal thing for individuals' mental health.

Keep Reading... Show less

When it comes to wedding planning, each and every detail is customized to the style of the couple. From venue and decorations to food and beverages, nothing gets overlooked — whether your wedding is big, small, or virtual.

The same thing goes for invites, which are getting more and more beautiful every wedding season. If you're looking to customize your wedding invitations, the options are endless... you can add pictures if you wish, opt for fancy artwork, or keep it simple with just text).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

23 Burning Questions We Have For The Taureans In Our Lives, Answered By A Taurus

The remaining 11 signs took the bull by the horns, and it was a fun and insightful experience!

Jordyn Leach

Lately, I've been digging deeper into astrology and studying my sign. Throughout the journey, it's come to my attention that Taurus are probably one of the most complicated signs - that is, if you're not a Taurus.

To gain a little more perspective on how my sign is viewed by the others, I requested that the participants submit a question in response to the following:

Keep Reading... Show less
Universal Pictures

A music enthusiast like myself has a playlist for every mood. Life's a movie and you're the main character. In no specific order, listen to these songs to feel on top of the world!

Pro Tip: turn your crossfade up to 3 seconds for a seamless transition between each song!

Keep Reading... Show less

It's the most wonderful time of the year again — it's sorority recruitment season! While recruitment can be a fun and memorable experience, it can also take a toll on your mental health, especially this year, considering the special circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few reminders to keep in your mental health toolkit during recruitment week to help keep your mental health at bay during this unique experience.

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there. You see that super cute guy on your dating app of choice, his bio is funny, and then, the gut-wrenching feeling hits when you see their political views don't exactly line up with yours. He loves Trump, you can't stand him, or vice versa.

A lot of people will say you can get over politics, but I know from personal experience, as well as this survey, that politics play a huge role in whether a relationship will work or if we're even willing to swipe right on that profile.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments