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stress

We all experience stress daily.

There is a little irony that in April it is #stress awareness month and #humor month.

As a yoga instructor and meditation cushion manufacturer, I want to have many tools to deal with #stress.

What is stress?  Strainpressure tensionworryanxietytroubledifficulty, hassle. Some stressors can be large or small but we all need to find ways to cope.  I have a bias toward yoga and meditation. Because  life can be so overwhelming, you can simply –  Pause. (I know what do that mean?)

Some practical ways are, when you are out doing errands or on a call with a difficult person, is coming up with ways to calm you mind. There are a lot of meditation apps out there, as well as articles etc. but one of this simplest things to do is  – Pause to watch your breath, say to yourself, inhale in, exhale out, inhale in, exhale out continue until you head stops racing. , using your breath to fill your lungs, inhale and exhale.

If you are in a place to that you can practice some yoga  you can start with focusing on your breath, come to a simple standing forward fold (Uttanasana or Tadasana), and continue to bring your attention to your breath. A forward fold can help de – #stress and calm the mind.

imagesAfter the forward fold then come up to standing and reach toward the sky, creating space in your body.

If you are in a place that you can come into down dog and rock in to plank and back to down dog and while you do this simple movement focus on your breath.

Pause and repeat.

 

Laughter

It is National Humor Month and it starts on April Fools’ Day. There are all kinds of things out there to make us laugh.  From Laughter Yoga, cartoons, our friends and pets.

Usually we don’t think of humor when we take a yoga class or come to our meditation cushion to quiet the mind.  A pose that comes to mind that makes us all feel a bit silly is Happy Baby – Ananda Balasana

From laughter is the best medicine Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Why does laughter work by the folks at BrainStuff – HowStuffWorks

Procrastination Holiday

Although may of us procrastinate even the littlest things there actually might be some sound scientific reasoning behind the act.  Additionally who would have thought there was an actual time to celebrate or honor procrastination?  So many articles, books, and talks are devoted to being on top of it.  So according to Wikipedia procrastination is explained as:

Purpose

There are several expressed goals for the week. The first is to celebrate the act of procrastinating by leaving necessary tasks to be done at a later time. There are, however, other purposes for the holiday. One claim is that the week of putting-off provides a mental and emotional break causing a decrease in stress and anxiety. However the holiday does not advocate sloth and inaction. Instead it places emphasis on accomplishing tasks and leisurely activities that could not be accomplished while one had other responsibilities. These may include reading, cooking, cleaning, and exercising. 

There is of course opposition to this “holiday” but I will take the positive approach.   So this key is to take a break and do something that one has put on the back burner such as doing #yoga or #meditating.  Although procrastination is an ugly term in itself, the premise behind this ideal is worthy one indeed.  Take some time for yourself and explore some new yoga poses.

Click on the link and come into a child’s pose – Balasana

 

What Color is your Meditation Cushion?

supportive meditation cushions by catspaw studioThere are countless articles and books about how we respond to color. There is a lot of money spent on what will be the trendy colors for the year or for the diffierent seasons –  from everything from cars to fashion.  When it comes to a zafu or meditation cushions, yoga props or floor cushions, the tradition for meditation cushion has been mostly black.

I started making meditation cushions because I wanted some festive meditation cushions and yoga props for my yoga classes.  At my core I’m an artist, so adding color to support cushion wasn’t a stretch. 😉  I try to choose colors that inspire, energize and calm.

The article What Color is your Zafu? by  Elizabeth Marglin shares a quick list of what colors represent:

Yellow: Stimulates joy and uplifts the mind

Orange: Stirs up energy and boosts confidence

Red: Excites the passions and helps overcome depression
Violet: Calms the emotions and deflects irritability
Blue: Soothes the spirit and also induces harmony
Green: Balances, heals, and relaxes
Black: Inspires both introspection and discipline
Brown: Encourages security and stability
 The Psychology of Color Guide for Designers on Pinographics is a fascinating article with more detail.

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