Intention, or Sankhalpa in yoga, gives us a way to navigate the reaction-spectrum of fight or flight and to explore the grey areas between. We acknowledge that the MIND is going to dictate how we handle the intensity of life, re-program that message (samskaras, in yogic lingo) through intention, resulting in a different outcome. The future literally gets re-written. And so do the resulting thoughts.
Intention actually CHANGES the outcome, which changes your life. We see ourselves able to handle intense moments with clarity, grace, calmness, and most importantly presence. And being present is the only way to see the truth. It is the only way to acknowledge the innate joy that is your birthright.
Breathing is essential, especially for de-stressing. Remember to breathe from your BELLY. To practice breathing using your diaphragm/from your belly, lay on the floor and place a Kleenex box on your belly. Breathe in for 3 seconds, breathe out for 3 seconds. When you breathe from your belly, you should see the Kleenex box move up and down.
- Straw Breath
- For anxiety.
- Breathe in for 3 seconds, breathe out as if you have a straw in your mouth.
- Ujjayi Breath
- For overall stress.
- Breathe in for 3 seconds, audibly sigh from the mouth.
- Lion’s Breath
- For anger or frustration.
- Breathe in for 3 seconds, audibly sigh from the mouth, while sticking your tongue out. Yes, like a lion!
Meditation and Brain Exercises
Using left brain/right brain exercises, such as taking a walk, tapping your hands on a desk, and overall using your limbs can help calm down the pre-frontal cortex (the decision-making part of your brain). Acknowledging your 5 senses can also help reduce the heart rate and clear the mind.