Hi, welcome back to your mat. Thank you for being here.
I wanted to share with you a practice I do when I get nervous.
I have a lot of opportunities to do speaking engagements and I spend a lot of time in my head being really, really nervous before I go out and teach a class or do a workshop or speak. I created this practice for myself so that I can be calm or feel more grounded before I step out to do something public or that gives me anxiety.
Taking a comfortable seat. You can certainly do this laying down if that feels better for you. It’s just a really simple exercise that you can do anywhere, anytime you’re feeling kind of anxious or out of sorts.
Find a comfortable seat and make sure that your seat is effortless. Make sure that your torso is lined up over your hips, shoulders are lined up over your hips, and your ears are lined up over your shoulders so that you don’t feel any pull or strain in the back or neck.
Sometimes, if you’re leaning too far forward you can feel intensity in your lower back or too far back you’ll feel the intensity in your upper shoulders and back.
Then, I just place my hands in a place that’s comfortable. You can choose a mudra if you have a mudra for meditation, which is a hand gesture if you want to do that.
Palms down on your knees is really something I like because it gives me a really solid grounding for my breath and then I close my eyes and I just focus on my breathing.
I don’t change it initially in any way, I’m just really aware that I’m either hyperventilating or I’m sweating or I’m nervous. I just am aware of that and I tell myself, “It’s okay to be nervous. You’re about to step out and talk to a lot of people”, or whatever the situation is that gives you anxiety.
I say, “Okay, it’s okay, it’s okay to be anxious. I’m just not going to let this anxiety or this nervousness take over. I’m going to be really mindful and breathe to it. It’s only going to be for moment. I’m going to get through it.”
This is my internal dialogue. Now, I work on making my exhalations a little bit longer than my inhalations.
When I say a little bit, I more mean like a 2:1 or, pardon me, a 1:2 ratio. So, I’m going to inhale for 1 and exhale for 2, or inhale for 2 and exhale for 4, but lengthening the exhalation is going to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and that is the “rest and digest” aspect of our nervous system.So, it’s going to help us to just slow down and relax. Let’s give it a try.
Finding that comfortable seat, closing your eyes, inhale deeply and exhale completely and all of the air out of your lungs and inhale and deeply exhale.
You can play with the ratio of breaths. You can make it inhale to exhale ratio1:2 or 2:4 or 3:6 or 4:8 and just, kind of, experiment with it.
When you’re home alone or before you’re going to bed or you’re just trying to find that space of relaxation, I’m going to invite you to try that breath.
Let me know how that works out for you. Feel free to share your comments and find me on my social media and share your experience.