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Anxiety often causes us to feel ungrounded and disconnected to the earth. This 2-part sequence from Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee of Yoga Shanti studio in New York City, focuses on longer exhalations, forward folds, and constructive rest to help center you in your body and relax your mind.
Anxiety Release + Body Scan
Shift your weight into your right foot and then into your left foot, moving side to side for a few rounds to establish a connection to the ground. Let your arms naturally hang alongside the body.
Stand with the feet about hip-width apart. Life the arms to shoulder height and spread the arms wide, as you inhale lift the chin and chest.
As you exhale, give yourself a hug, wrapping the arms around your chest. Repeat this a few times. This will help disperse the energy that is caught in the upper body.
Bring Hands to Prayer Pose
Join the hands in Anjali Mudra (prayer pose) to begin the next part of the sequence.
Interlace Your Hands
Interlace your fingers in front of your chest and bend your knees
Lift Hands Overhead
As you turn your palms forward, reach your arms overhead (palms facing up).
Return to Prayer Pose
As you inhale, open the arms out to the sides. On your exhale, return to Anjali Mudra (prayer pose). Repeat for a couple of rounds, switching the index finger that is on top each time.
To end, stand still with hands in prayer pose and make a humming sound.
*Anxiety is a manifestation of holding the breath, so we want to deepen the exhalations as often as possible to release anxiety.
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Part 2: Body Scan and Rest
Lie down on your back with your feet directly under your knees. Place one blanket under the head (not the neck) and the other blanket under the balls of your feet.
Suggested props: 2 blankets
Tune into Your Navel Center
Situate your feet so it feels natural to let the knees touch. Place your hands below your belly button.
Body meditation: scan the body from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet to bring the energy down.
*In a body meditation, there’s no need to do anything other than to observe and feel the areas you are focusing on.
Modification with Partner
If you have a partner, the partner will place his or her hands on the tops of your feet to re-establish that sense of grounding.
When you feel like you’ve dropped into the earth slowly roll to the right side, bringing your knees into your chest and press up to a comfortable seat.
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