Anxiety-Reducing Techniques

Self-Hold Pose by Amy Wang, Yoga & Meditation Instructor

For an easy pose you can do when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or just need to reconnect to yourself,  try the “self-hold”. It’s actually a somatic exercise taught by Dr. Peter Levine, the founder of Somatic Experiencing.

Start in a comfortable position, typically sitting When you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or you just need a break and to reconnect to your body, simply place your right hand on your left chest on your ribs, slightly below and under the left armpit, close to your heart . Intention is important, so gently hold, and connect with that area of your body. Then take your free left hand and hold your right arm, coming into a self-hug position. Simply breathe naturally, and notice the movements of your breath, what you are feeling, etc. Do this self-hold with the intention of being aware, with gentleness and kindness and curiosity, simply connecting to whatever is obvious in your experience, knowing there’s this “container” for your sensations and emotions. You can experiment with holding yourself for 5-10 minutes, and notice if there’s any shift in your experience. 

Here’s an easy to follow video if you’d like to see what it looks like before you do it: v=0ICsbXUCKmM&  

Amy Wang

Amy Wang

Evening the Breath by Lindsey Kolb, Yoga & Qigong Instructor

The Sama Vritti pranayama or Evening the Breath invites balance into our system through our breath. This breathing practice encourages making your inhale and exhale the same length to help balance your nervous system.

To begin the practice, have a large towel and a pillow handy.  You can practice this breathing technique sitting or lying down. You fold a towel into thirds and roll one edge under to create a small roll to support your neck. I would recommend having a bolster or pillow underneath your knees. Sit with your hips just in front of your towel edge and then roll your spine down, check you have enough support for your head, and then bring your arms out to the side. The towel will invite a gentle opening across the heart. You choose how long you wish to explore your breathing practice.  Having a favorite animal nearby as you practice may also help settle your system.

If you’d like to follow along with a video, here you go.

Lindsey Kolb demonstrates her yoga technique
Lindsey Kolb

Lindsey Kolb