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How yoga can help when you make a big change

Have you made a big change recently, in one area of your life or another? It could be you’ve moved to a new city, started a new job or entered a new relationship, and you’re finding the change scary and feeling a bit anxious.

“Will I make friends? Am I any good at this? Is this person right for me?”

And so on top of your growing to-do list, you also need to find time to quell your anxiety so you can better manage things and stop a negative decline on your physical and mental health.

It can be helpful through a transition period to rest on your yoga practice and allow it to support you and everything you’re doing. It takes a lot of energy starting again, so be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it’s not easy. You’re brave to make this change and there are simple practices to help you find calm, feel connected and more confident.

Here are 3 yoga exercises for coping with the change:

1. Abdominal Breathing

When your energy is scattered, take some time to focus on your breathing and be present.
Find a comfortable seated position, with your spine tall and shoulders on your back. Bring your hands to your abdomen, with the fingers gently touching, elbows soft to your side. Inhale, take a deep breath through your nose and feel the belly button come out and the abdomen expand. Exhale, breathe out through your nose and feel the belly button fall to the spine and the abdomen contract.

Take 5 – 10 deep breaths finding a steady, smooth rhythm

Benefit: slows and deepens breathing, focuses the mind, helps you connect with present moment

Tip: You can practise abdominal breathing waiting for the bus, sitting or lying on the sofa or in the office

2. Tadasana (Mountain pose)

However much you have to do, take some time to ground yourself and feel connected to the earth.
Stand with your feet hip width distance apart. Spread your toes and feel all four corners of your feet connected to the earth. Release your arms to your side, feel the belly button gently draw back to the spine and the tailbone lengthen. Bring your chin parallel with the floor and visualise roots growing through the soles of your feet and connecting you into the earth.

Hold for 5 – 10 breaths

Benefit: rooting, grounding, strengthens your legs, improves posture, builds confidence

Extension: Start with your hands on your thighs. Inhale raise your arms to the ceiling and exhale lower your arms to your legs. Repeat x 5
Good for stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and deepening your breath so you can find calm

3. Virabhadrasana 11 (Warrior 2 pose)

It may take some time to establish yourself, and so tap into your strength with Warrior poses.
Stand with your feet around a leg distance apart. Turn your right foot out at 90 degrees and your left foot in at 45 degrees, open your hips to the length of your mat in front of you. Extend your arms to shoulder height and bend your right knee over your ankle. Look past your right fingers and focus your gaze on one point.

Hold for 3 – 5 breaths. Repeat to left side

Benefit: increases strength in legs, arms and core, improves focus, builds inner strength and confidence

Variation: Inhale, turn your palms up, straighten your leg and meet your hands above your head. Exhale, turn your palms down, lower your arms to shoulder height and re-bend your knee over ankle. Repeat x 5
Good for building strength and getting energy moving

Next time your breathing is shallow or your mind is racing, try one of these exercises to help bring yourself into the here and now and find calm and centring. Perhaps the change will be manageable after all – our classes are always here to help you!

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I would definitely recommend it. You go at you own pace and there are always options for everyone, no matter what level you are. You only have to try it once!

Faye

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