Yoga for When Life is Hard

Sometimes life is hard. It is what it is.

Sometimes our loved ones are sick, relationships are rocky, and career and finances feel stressful.

Many things are out of our control.

Here are three ways to use yoga to stay healthy and calm, especially when life is hard. See a one minute how-to in the video below.

  1. Breathing with mudra. Join your first finger and thumb in jnana mudra. Touch them at the points/ends of the fingers. This symbolizes the connected nature of human consciousness and the union of individual spirit with the divine.  Breathe and stay in this position as long as you can. Eventually you may feel your pulse in your fingertips, and more subtle energy exchange as well. This is an ideal yoga technique when you are waiting for some news, and when you feel anxious and need to calm down.
  2. Standing forward bend. Align your feet straight forward and bend over, supporting your head on your hands on a counter or chair (or even your car)at a comfortable height. Breathe and stay as long as it’s comfortable. Forward bending is relaxing to the nervous system and stretches your back, hips and legs. You can also do it with your feet wide apart.
  3. Conscious walking. This is different than walking for cardiovascular exercise. When you are in the midst of a difficult time in life, practice walking more slowly. Feel the impact of your heel on the ground and stand tall all the way up to your head. Breathe and approach the next situation or encounter a little more slowly.

It’s important to give credit where credit is due. I learned about conscious walking (and 99% of everything else I learned about yoga) from Lillah Schwartz. And I am learning about mudras from the book Mudras, Yoga in Your Hands, by Gertrud Hirschi.

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