November 4 is creeping up, right alongside stress and anxiety levels for most of us. (Even Larry David!) We all have that annoying Palin-McCain fan as a neighbor or coworker, and those sound bites are sometimes tough to tune out. With our eyes, ears, and brains near boiling point, we probably need some chill-out techniques to bring our nervous systems back to a functional level. Here are a few quick yoga fix techniques to calm things down a bit.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
This one has been used India for thousands of years to calm people down when they get too frazzled. Apparently election stress is nothing new. So first come to a comfortable sitting position. It doesn't matter if you are at home on your bed, or couch, or at work. This will only take a few minutes. Good thing we found out about it! Extend your pinky and ring finger of your right hand and cover your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through your left nostril for four counts. Close your left nostril with your ring and pinky finger (both nostrils are now closed). Hold here for four counts. Move your thumb away from your right nostril and exhale for four counts. Hold empty for four counts. Reverse the whole thing and repeat for a few minutes.
Three Wise Monkeys
I'm not sure if this is a traditional yoga move but it works. Adapted from Japanese tradition, these Three Wise Monkeys together embody the proverbial principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is also a fourth monkey appearing with the other three, Shizaru, who covers his abdomen, or crotch, or just crosses his arms. Shizaru symbolizes the principle of "do no evil." Not a Palin favorite.
Vigorously rub your palms together creating a little bit of heat. Place the heel of your hands on your eyes and let your palms and fingers rest on your forehead. Breathe here for a few breaths and enjoy the warmth moving into your brain. Repeat the rubbing of your hands and place them on your ears next. Hold for a few breaths. This move gives a nice feeling of shutting out the outside world, even if just for a few moments. Rub your palms together one more time and place them on your mouth. This is supposed to prevent us from saying any evil, a big test for all of us during anxious times. The last monkey, Shizaru, is considered as extra credit, although should probably be required for some.
Have fun and don't let 'em get you down!