A Powerful Tool to Manage Stress

Written by on July 4, 2017 in Conscious Living, Meditation with 0 Comments

Photo by David Newkirk

We all feel stress. It's normal. Why not have some productive tools to help manage it when it comes and help manage it before our stress gets out of control?

I feel I'm qualified to offer these STRESS FREE tools because I have had serious bouts of stress, even anxiety and panic attacks, and have used techniques like yoga, breathing exercises, and Yoga Nidra to help not only remedy the stress in the moment, but to help me feel less stress generally in my life as well as less intensely when I do feel it. I have also worked closely with health care professionals to develop curriculum designed to help people debilitated by  stress and anxiety to cope and manage their stress using these mindfulness tools.

Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to manage stress. One of the reason it works so well is because it helps to interrupt the downward cycle of stress and panic responses.

Much of our stress is the product of not being present–we project into the future or the past. With mindfulness practices like Yoga Nidra and yoga, we identify with our Observer Self rather than with momentary emotions like stress, even if they don't feel momentary at the time. With practice, we discover that we are much larger than our stress. With this Awareness, we aren't rocked so hard when stress does come. We remain present and don't project into the future or regress to the past causing us to spin into a downward spiral of stress.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is like a relaxing guided meditation that helps you discover a keen Awareness. You lie down, close your eyes and listen to my voice lead you into a deeper awareness by becoming aware of sensations, thoughts, emotions, etc.

In fact, Yoga Nidra helps you to experience yourself as Awareness itself and to see the changeable elements like stress in your life as fleeting events that may orbit toward  and away from you. Yoga Nidra allows you the perspective  to see things like stress as simply another way to practice Awareness. Consequently, stress won't take hold of you the way that it can when you identify with it, whether you do so consciously or unconsciously.

Yoga Nidra is so relaxing that you may fall asleep. If so, that's ok! The part of you I'm speaking to is a deep part of your consciousness and is still paying attention. It's sometimes nice to stay awake to remember in waking consciousness the experience of doing the practice, however it's still effective even if you fall asleep. Besides, if you're doing this for stress relief, what better way to practice being Stress Free than with a nap!

As my Yoga Nidra teacher, Dr. Richard Miller taught me, you have a 3-part mission while practicing Yoga Nidra and that's to  welcome, recognize, and witness. That's all.

Below, I'd there's a link to a free Yoga Nidra recording designed for 30 minutes of powerful stress reducing mindfulness.

As you lie there and listen to the recording, simply greet everything that comes into your awareness (welcome), give it a name and see it for what it is (recognize), then practice not valuing it or having an opinion about it and simply witness.

Spontaneous things may happen, like you may become aware of the presence of physical sensations, emotions, even feelings of bliss. Your job is always to simply welcome, recognize and witness whatever comes your way. This will help you experience yourself as larger than your emotions, but also as something that is expressed by the changeable things in your life like emotions.

In the Yoga Nidra recording, through a visualization practice, we establish an inner-sanctuary, a place where you feel relaxed, comfortable, and alive. If you experience anything in Yoga Nidra that you don't want to welcome, recognize, and witness, maybe extreme emotions, as explained in the recording, you may always go back in your mind to your inner sanctuary.

It's important to remember that Yoga Nidra is an experience and not an intellectual exercise. Understanding what it is and how it works isn't the experience. Just practice it and see the magic of Yoga Nidra for yourself. The discovery of how it works through this discussion may help you to experience Yoga Nidra but is not the experience.

Relaxation! Neuroscience shows us that you can't be stressed and relaxed at the same time. That's one reason why you will become very relaxed as you practice Yoga Nidra.

Included with the Yoga Nidra recordings are some stress-relieving breathing exercises and video of yoga poses. Whenever you feel stressed, do the breathing exercises. If you can, also do the yoga video. Then listen to the Stress Free recording.

Commit to practicing listening to the recordings regularly. You may also choose to listen to and read the discussion to understand a little more about Yoga Nidra and how mindfulness helps with stress.  As you practice these techniques, you'll begin to feel stress less and less and when you do, it will be less severe. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Thank you.


Photo by Seneca Moore

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he's not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son.

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