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Practicing poses that embody anxiety/worry and power/strength

Please take this coronavirus in a positive light—this is an opportunity to spend more time with yourself and your loved ones, build inner resources and resiliency.This is the time to practice more yoga, develop more inner-awareness, be more more loving and kind, more giving, and more serving.

Any time you move your body and shift your posture, you shift your physiology. Any time you shift your physiology, you shift the activity of your nervous system and its state of excitement/stress or calm/shut down/collapse. You can intentionally use simple movements to shift your emotions and your mood.

1. As you notice stress and anxiety showing up in your body, or before going into any situation that might evoke feelings of stress or anxiety, find a quiet, private place where you can let yourself feel the anxiety or worry in your body that you want to recondition, even rewire. Let the body embody the posture that expressed the worry or anxiety (like child's pose). Gently not to overwhelm, and then move into the power pose. (Stand tall and erect, feet about hip-width apart, chest lifted and head held high, your arms held high over your head, like mountain pose.) Since we already know how powerful our imagination can be, you can only visualize and feel the movements and sensations.

2. Let yourself feel strength and energy in your body. Experiment with different poses to learn what allows you to experience these feelings most reliably.

3. Then you can move back and forth between the posture of anxiety or worry and the posture of the power pose, for one minute, when doing the exercise at work, or at home for about 5 minutes. Gradually letting go of the posture of worry and remaining in the posture of power, strength, and courage.

4. Practice your power pose any time you feel stress or anxiety (either physically or mentally), and in the moments before you enter your challenging situation, and then walk mindfully into that situation with more inner strength and energy. You can even imagine a circle of support, friends, and colleagues who have your back, as you enter that situation. With frequent practice, your power pose becomes a natural way to develop and tap into your inner strength, courage, and resilience and well-being.

(inspired by Linda Graham)

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Erika Gantner

202-569 5222
8911 Ridge Place,

Bethesda, Maryland 20817
USA

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