Stress Much? Implement This FREE Stress Management Tip Today:
Almost every yoga class begins with a few moments of centering. Centering is a time dedicated to letting go of the past and releasing any thoughts of the future. When I walk my dog, she stops and smells a blade of grass as if it was the only and most fascinating blade of grass in the whole world. I admire that (and then I get frustrated and yank on her to move on, after all, I have things to do).
The idea is to live in the now. Before I began practicing yoga, I would think of this time as “stopping to smell the roses”. Centering can be elusive. I am a busy girl with lots of to-do’s. So, how does a self-proclaimed list addict close all of the open browsers in her brain?
True centering usually comes to me when I least expect it and is usually when I am connected with nature. Today as I sat outside, I caught myself staring at the clouds for a few moments. There were layers of them, some moving, some still. After a few minutes, I sort of snapped out of it and realized, wow- I was in the moment just then.
If there is such a thing as a centering expert, I am not it, but I do have some ideas on how to get to that beautiful space more often:
1. Put down the phone. Stop checking social media or your email and go outside. Walk, sit, bike- whatever. We were designed to spend time outside and it is just more natural than staring at a screen.
2. Breathe. Focusing on the breath is a great way to allow distractions to slip away. One of my favorites is a square breath. Inhale to the count of 6, hold your breath for 6 counts, exhale for six counts, hold the breath again to the count of six and then repeat.
3. Humm or sing. When you are singing or humming, it is hard to allow other thoughts in. Try humming and thinking at the same time- tough.
4. Acknowledge the times you were centered. Centering is like a muscle- use it more often and you will get stronger.
Learning to live in the present will help you to relieve stress. Follow some of my above tips and let me know what works. I would love to hear from you.
Pam Velez is a Registered Yoga teacher and Holistic Health Coach. After spending 10+ years in corporate America as a technical recruiter, Pam now focuses on helping organizations save money (and retain good people) by providing wellness education and lifestyle support for their employees. She presents fun, interactive, wellness workshops to corporations, women’s groups and universities. Learn more about Pam on her website, www.bebetterbalanced.com