About a month or so ago I decided to create a toolbox for myself that is really just a comprehensive list of yoga and grounding postures and techniques that I regularly use. I wanted to go ahead and share them as a blog post so you all can pull from it if you need or want to, and also so I can conveniently link back to it on my website.
This is a mix of personal techniques that I have found work for me, as well as psychological techniques provided to me by my own licensed therapist. Yoga postures I utilize are specifically intended to ground you, aka - help you connect body, mind, and spirit back to earth.
Yoga Postures for Grounding:
Sun Salutations (for visual you can Youtube this, or check out this link to my Instagram which has a pretty good representation of the flow here):
Begin in Mountain Pose
Breathe in and reach fingertips to the sky with feet remaining firmly on the ground
Exhale and forward fold, touching fingertips to the ground, or to your shins if your hamstrings are tight
Hang out here - take several breathes, let the neck release and fall away from the shoulders
Breathe in and briefly come up to flat back (straighten the spine, maybe bring hands to knees)
Forward fold again on the exhale and walk hands out to high plank
Chatarunga - keep elbows close to your side and lower down to ground
Raise up into upward dog and take several deep breaths here
Push back into downward dog - peddle your feet slowly and breathe
Shift forward again to high plank
Walk hands back to feet and forward fold position
Come back up to Mountain Pose with strong neck and back, arms wide
Bring hands to heart center
Malasana / Yogi Squat (or as I like to say, the "birthing" position)
Happy Baby! (This is a personal favorite, I do this even at night watching TV)
Bound Angle, aka Butterfly Stretch
Seated Twisting Stretch
Seated Forward Fold
Wide Angle Seated and Standing Forward Folds
Seated Meditation - palms down
Grounding Techniques and Stress Management Tools:
5-4-3-2-1 Grounding (Check out my previous blog post for more info here).
Recite a personal affirmation.
Don't have one? Create one, or multiple, that work for you. Add them to post it notes and place them around your home or office to revisit.
Affirmations can be self love, goals, or motivational quotes. Mine often come in the form of TLC that look like this:
Grab a pen and paper to physically write down everything going through your brain at this moment. Or, simply write down anything you can think of that brings you joy.
Clench your fists as hard and as long as you can. Release.
Put on some music - but not music that influences feelings of nostalgia or dissociation. My choice for this option is always my Harry Potter film score or even The Sims or Spyro video game playlists. Nerdy, but it works for me.
Put away the phone and step outside for 5 minutes. Focus on what you hear and absolutely nothing else. Can you identify the source of what you hear?
Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds.
Hold at the top for 4 seconds.
Breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds.
Rest for 4 seconds and repeat.
Sigh Breathing (Going to refer to this as "Pop the Balloon"):
Breathe in through your nose (inflate the balloon in your abdomen, you should feel the expansion of your diaphragm pressing into your pelvic floor muscles - your bladder) until your balloon is *almost* full. THEN:
Take one large, hard and fast inhale through the nose to pop the balloon: SIGH. IT. OUT.
For every 20 minutes spent looking at your computer screen, spend 20 seconds staring at something 20+ feet away. Try practicing square or sigh breathing during this 20 seconds for an added bonus.
Harm reduction option: try it just once or twice during your work day.
Move your body in the simplest of ways:
Hug yourself and alternate which arm is on top (also a good stretch).
Jump up and down or side to side.
Rag doll: roll down then up with your arms in the air. Shake it out.
Riddled with anxiety? Sprint.
If you are physically able to run, put your head down and sprint as hard, as fast, and as long as you can until you cannot sprint anymore.
This is not meant for exercise. It's meant to simply increase your heart rate and release the built up cortisol.
Steep your favorite hot tea and post up next to your essential oil diffuser for a minute or two if you have one.
So there you have it. These are tools and techniques I personally use throughout my day. I hope that maybe one of them works for you as well. If you use any that I do not have listed, let me know! I would love to add it to my toolbox.