I forgot where I put my keys…. Then I forgot where I put my wallet. Where did I put my glass of water again?
A high speed life, can lead to anxiety and panic. This activates the stress response which believe it or not can work against you when it comes to finding clarity and solutions for problem solving.
Clarity Emerges from a Grounded Mind.
Dr. Blessyl Buan
Grounding is the act of slowing down.
Return to your breath.
Return to your senses.
Reset your mind.
Stop the stress and defensive response.
Ignite creativity, innovation and flow.
Chronic pain, headaches, upper body tension, jaw pain and hand and wrist pain are physical manifestations of stress. In my practice, I prescribe the following grounding exercises to help my patients to find inner piece and to free their brains from the stress response. This in turn, promotes their power to heal.
1. Get your hands dirty
As adults, we don’t do this as often as we should. Planting, baking, painting, working with clay are all examples of ways that we can bring the tactile experience back to our life. Being tactile, allows us to be fully present with the experience. Perhaps this is why the slime craze is so popular among kids and adolescents. They need the slime for stress relief!
2. Immerse yourself in nature
It’s often advised the walking in nature is healing. It prompts you to look, listen and feel what is around you. They don’t call it “forest bathing” for nothing.
3.Surround yourself with art for a dose of inspiration
Beautiful objects and images inspire. They make your heart sing. They give you ideas of what you want to manifest for yourself. Beauty is everywhere if you open your eyes to it.
4. Journal on paper
Typing thoughts don’t have the same tactile experience of writing it down on paper. You are forced to slow down. Feel the ink interact with the paper. Doodle. Draw. Avoid writing inside of the lines. See the magic emerge.
5.Turn on Music and Dance
Music is like a portal that can take you to another world where all things are possible. Allow your body to embody the music. Feel the down beat, the crescendo and decrescendo of the music. Where does breath lie in the music? How does the rhythm allow you to breathe?
Try it out. Embrace your inner child and note how you feel. If you have children, it’s also important they have a chance to feel grounded.
In the age of constant smart phone use, raising young children or having a full-time job that requires the use of your hands, it’s not surprising that your wrists can hold you back when practising Yoga or Pilates. Repetitive strain can cause tension and pain in the flexor and extensor muscles that course along the forearm and control the movement of the fingers. You will also find that the muscles that control movement of the thumb are also stiff and painful. This chronic muscular tension can negatively impact the alignment of the carpal bones of the wrist, thereby reducing joint mobility.
This misalignment can be experienced as a “pinching” sensation when weight-bearing on the hand. Wrist extension is required while doing Plank exercises, Chatturanga or Downward Dog. Even more advanced asanas like Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose) or Pilates Leg Pull Front depend on strong wrists.
If you can relate, warming up can help to improve joint mobility and reduce pain during your practice. Here are 3 exercises to do before your class begins:
Wrist rotations: Circle your hands clockwise eight times then repeat counterclockwise eight times. This improves circulation and warms up the joints.
2. Wrist flexor stretch with overpressure: Positioning yourself on all fours, place the heel of your hands on the mat in front of you with your hands palms down and your fingers pointing towards your knees. Place a gentle over pressure on your wrists by leaning forward and backwards. You should feel a stretch along the surface of your forearms that face away from you.
3. Wrist extensor stretch with overpressure: Positioning yourself on all fours, place your wrists on the mat in front of you with your hands palms up and your fingers pointing towards your knees. Place a gentle over pressure on your wrists by leaning forward and backwards. You should feel a stretch along the surface of your forearms that face away from you.
If during your practice your wrists are still sore, you can roll the end of your mat several times to create a cushion that will support your wrists in slight flexion. If it is still painful in certain poses, take a rest in child pose. As you continue to practice, stretch and strengthen, your tolerance in wrist weight bearing will improve. If recovery is too lengthy and you are starting to feel concerned, see your health care provider.
Did you know that your muscles adapt to the level of activity that you do? The heavier you lift, the bigger your muscles become. Likewise, the more you stretch the longer your muscles become.
For example, when you sit for most of the day, your hip flexor muscles shorten. You may think that this is not be a big deal , but when you want to start to become physically active, you become more prone to injury because your body is not used to being lengthened, especially if the range of motion is ballistic (quick spurts).
To prevent injury, stretch once a day and hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds.