In handling stress, anxiety, or depression, it is important to find a technique that gives you relief. What may work for someone, may not work for another, so explore a variety of techniques to see what works best for you.
If you have joined a yoga class with FITMBS™ Coach Breanne, this technique used in Savasana will be familiar to you. To close a yoga class, yoga instructors frequently guide their students into Savasana (also known as corpse pose), followed by a body scan. Although during a yoga class the instructor leads you through the full body scan, it is a practice you can do yourself off of the mat.
A body scan is creating a mind-body connection to release tension held in areas of your body. Typically practiced from head to toe, you focus in on each area of the body, softening each muscle. Feeling your body heavy into the floor or your bed, or feeling still and weightless, a body scan will help you feel at peace in your body.
Practice a body scan with me:
First, lie down in Savasana. Lying on your back, relaxing your feet splayed, facing your palms up, and closing your eyes. Taking deep breaths (in through your nose, out through your mouth), make a mental note on how you feel. Fully noting your emotions, how you overall feel.
Keeping your eyes closed through this technique, begin focusing your attention on your forehead and between your brow. Notice any scrunching or tension. Soften and release, mindfully letting go of any stress between your brow.
Moving down to your jaw, notice if you are clenching or grinding your teeth. Soften your jaw. Hang your jaw heavy.
Moving down to your shoulders, release your shoulders away from your ears. Feel your shoulders sink deeper into the ground with each exhale.
Moving down, notice any knots that you are holding in your heart or your belly. What is weighing you down? Mindfully, acknowledge those knots, then let go of what no longer serves you. (In YogaFaith, lift your heart to the Lord to cast your anxieties onto Him, as He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7))
Moving down your arms and into your hands, notice if you are creating a fist or holding tension through your fingertips. Open your palms, softening your fingers, and release any tension.
Moving down your legs, unlock your knees, and with each exhale, continue to feel your legs sink deeper into the floor.
Ending with your feet, notice if you are curling your toes or actively flexing for your foot. Soften your muscles, widen your toes, and relax.
After releasing all tension from head to toe, you should now feel at peace in your restful state. Take note of how your body feels now compared to the beginning of the body scan, and know that you have access to this peace whenever you need.
Use this body scan yoga technique when you need to slow down, breathe deep, and recenter yourself. In times of anxiety, stress, and depression, you need to refocus to come back into the present moment. This technique releases all tension, and refocuses your mind on peace. Relax, my friends!