From kids back to school in September, to half term to Christmas. This time of year always seems to pick up speed. With shorter daylight hours, we find ourselves having less time, but the same amount to do. Keeping that work/life balance can be hard work, and often we find ourselves just feeling stressed. Getting close to burnout is no joy, so we want to make sure we are looking after our body and mind this autumn. No matter how busy your schedule, these five postures can be done as a quick 5-minute reset. When you need to take a break, slow down and connect back in.
Why is stress so bad for us?
Stress hormones increase our heart rate and make our body think we are in danger, activating our fight or flight response. It can weaken our immune system, making it harder to fight off disease and can be a major contributor to long term health issues. Stress can also disrupt the balance of our emotions making us more susceptible to feeling depressed, anxious or angry. Stress isn’t bad in small doses, but being under constant stress makes us more likely to suffer from serious mental and physical problems.
Letting stress get the better of you? Take back control with these five postures you can do in 5 minutes to calm the nervous system, reset and rest.
It’s all in the fold...
Postures that involve bending forwards are soothing for the nervous system. Finding comfort and safety by bringing ourselves, our hearts closer to the earth and finding rest. Forward folds make it easier for us to withdraw from the outside world, giving us the respite we need. It allows us to switch off from our senses. In Yoga teachings this is known as Pratyahara or withdrawal from the senses. Through this we can bring our awareness in to our internal space and really check in with how we are feeling. This is where we can acknowledge the stress we are feeling and instead of focusing on that feeling, it allows us to focus on the breath instead. Forward folds also help to release tension in the body, especially in the back body. Everything is connected, so with the release of physical tension, we can find a release through our mental tension too.
Five Postures to calm the nervous system
Anytime, anywhere, these postures can offer a space to rest and reconnect. Gentle stretches which help to ground, centre and release. Anytime you feel stress starting to build, take five minutes out to breathe into these five stretches. Spend one minute in each, focusing on the breath and watch the stress start to melt away.