Tag Archives: body

Yoga Nidra: How to relax when you’re too stressed to meditate

Hi everyone,

I haven’t posted here in a while but now I am feeling inspired again!

I wanted to share with you a technique that helps me relax even when I am too stressed to sit still and meditate. I suppose you know the feeling you get when you have overworked, overstressed and/or had too much coffee and the gap between your current state of mind and sanity just seems to big to cross.

In these situations, I like to do Yoga Nidra, which consists of lying on your back, breathing and focussing on one body part at a time. It sounds simple but the effect is unbelievable. It makes me feel more relaxed almost instantly, and the day after practicing has a somehow magic and detached feeling to it. It’s perfect for people with very active minds that tend to drive them crazy.

I highly recommend this Yoga Nidra guided meditation that I have used many times because the instructor’s voice is so beautiful and relaxing:

(If the video doesn’t show, find it here.)

This meditation was created by the people at Blooming Lotus Yoga and you can find even more audios over at their website.

It took me some time to complete the full guided meditation without falling asleep – that’s how relaxing it is! Try it and let me know how you feel afterwards! And feel free to post links to other great Yoga Nidra resources and audios if you know any!

Thanks for reading and take care,

Julia
 
 

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The metallic structures around our bodies

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“Usually when you see females in movies, they feel like they have these metallic structures around them, they are caged by male energy.”
-Björk

I completely relate to this quote. Do you know what Björk is talking about? Here’s what I mean:

I went for a walk the other day and wanted to watch the sunset. Many cars were driving by and I felt akward just standing there, staring at the horizon because I was facing the cars. I was afraid it may seem that I was staring at them, and also afraid of being seen by all those strangers. It was incredibly uncomfortable and vulnerable for me to just stand there straight, without fidgeting with my hands, crossing my arms, putting my hands in my pockets or taking another more “socially acceptable” and emotionally protective posture. Why??

I might have such difficulty with this because I grew up completely oppressed, but the above quote by Icelandic singer Björk told me that this experience is real for other people, as well.

A woman’s cage

It’s like a cage of social expectations and rules, which for women has to do with not taking up space. Just standing there with my arms relaxed felt like taking up much more space than with any of the other postures. Going back to fidgeting and shifting my weight to one leg felt like an act of apologizing for my physical presence and for taking up space. I knew about this in theory but actually trying to break this rule was supremely uncomfortable! I counted down to thirty, trying to release some of the constricting energy which was quite liberating. (Yay for all the energy work tricks I have learned over the years!)

A man’s cage

Obviously, I don’t know what it feels like to be a man (maybe in my next lifetime…), but I have noticed this invisible cage around them, too. On the one hand, they are allowed to take up more space than women and they do, often at the cost of others. (Once I am better at taking up as much space as I need, I will see how men react, if they feel like I am taking up their space. I am afraid things might get ugly, but I may be wrong.) On the other hand, there’s something robotic about the way some men in my environment move, as if they were not allowed to express any emotions with their bodies. The worst is watching some men hug each other, because they feel so obviously uncomfortable that it makes me cringe! I think the “no crying” rule is also a part of this.

Freedom is sexy!

Maybe because of my preoccupation with gender roles and personal liberties, I LOVE watching people who have liberated themselves from their invisible cages, especially women (as I urgently need more female role models). I find them beyond sexy and fascinating and I want to be that liberated, too (still working on it)! Do you have any male or female role models who don’t give a damn about gender roles and how a man or a woman is “supposed” to move?

Photo credit: “Robot” by Paxson Woelber. Creative Commons license: CC BY 2.0. No changes were made to the photo.