Tadasana - Returning to 'Anatomical Position'

I had the pleasure of listening to Veronica’s free teleclass on de-stressing yesterday evening.  It was the greatest 30 minutes of my day, not only for the profound insight and advice she provided, but because of the way in which she delivered her information.  Veronica has a soothing voice, is very well spoken, and went through her 10 de-stressing tips as though she was aiding in meditation, yoga, or relaxation. 

If you were not able to enjoy and learn from Veronica’s wisdom, look to these recap points below. 

Breathe, and breathe well.  Proper breathing is a priority, and you should make ityour first go-to tool to help you in times of stress.  Your lungs are three dimensional, and so should be your breathing.  This means taking the time to breathe fully, allowing the air to fill your lungs as you inhale, and totally expelling the breath when you exhale. 

Return to anatomical position.  Veronica brought up a great point that I never really think of.  We spend nearly our entire lives in various positions; we sleep in a fetal position, and we likely slouch in our chairs at work or sit cross-legged, all of which cause further tension and do not help in relieving stress.  For this reason, when stressed, it is important to make a deliberate effort to return to ‘anatomical position,’ a position that is comfortable, strong, and grounding.  The yoga pose tadasana, or ‘mountain pose,’ allows you to stand strong with the proper amount of space between your bones.  This pose is exemplified in DaVinci’s anatomical man – the shape of oppenesss, strength, and alignment.  Veronica even advised to post this famous picture on your desk as a reminder to take on this position from time to time. 

Step away.  When presented by a stressor, whatever or whoever it is that is stressing you will be still there after you step away, but you might be in a better frame of mind when you return and approach it anew. 

Exercise.  There is no underestimating of the numerous benefits that exercise  provides.  It provides feeling of achievement.  It gives your body the chance to strengthen itself.  A common misconception and question you might ask yourself:  doesn’t it take more time, leading to more stress?  And Veronica’s answer is no.  She advises this:  Do what you like — what you like and what is familiar is healthy, stress-relieving, and you likely won’t even consider it exercise.  If you are not sure what feels good, try a bunch of activities. 

Veronica also nicely frames the importance of exercise:  ‘Treat it as an essential medication.  Treat it as necesssary for the overall health of your body.’

Decompress before you get home.  Make your home a sacred space. Ask yourself:  Do you need to bring this home?  Do you need to bring this home now?  Most stressors can be cast away and checked at the door. 

If you work from home and can’t always check your stress at the door, identify a trigger ritual that allows you to separate yourself from the end of you day, such as circling your dining room table a few times and thinking about all of the things you don’t want to ‘bring home with you,’ letting them go. 

Eat.  Eat things that are good for you and your body.  But by ‘eat,’ Veronica does not only mean food, she means nourishment — taking in things that you need to be well.  Eat food that is good for you, but also nourish yourself with other things that are good for you — enjoyable activities that you deserve in your life. 

Take a time out.  Even 5 minutes will provide clarity for a situation. 

Call a lifeline.  One way to take a time out is to call someone you care about and who cares about you, a friendly voice, with whom you can discuss your situation and get additional perspective.  Doing this can provide comfort and make your stressor seem less significant. 

Make a plan.  Once you take your time out and call your lifeline, there may be things you cannot let go of.  Some cannot be resolved.  Set a timetable and prioritize, and identify a way to move through your troubles. 

Change one small thing.  Veronica explains how changing one thing, one aspect, of your life changes the way you treat the rest of it.  When you choose to be present in your own life and purposefully make a decision toward changing one thing, there is a shift in everything else.  She gave the example of when she began learning to be a yoga instructor and how that impacted the way she viewed everything, how she spent her time, even basic things as to when she woke up in the morning and what she ate. 

Also advised by Veronica:  In times of stress, do something nice for yourself.  It can be extravagant, like a vacation, or less so, like giving yourself a smile.  Take time to treat yourself. 

Veronica is continuing with a De-Stress: Part II in-person seminar taking place at Waterside Health and Fitness Club on Sunday, December 20 from 1:30 – 2:30 PM.  This session is also free!  You can e-mail veronica@sparkyourwellness.com to sign up.