Tag Archives: meditation

Successful Stress Management Techniques

Beth J Shaw author of YOGAFIT

Stress Management means basically, learning how to manage stress, by witnessing it, and releasing it.

Stress management, is simply, a daily process to let go of tension stored in the body and mind. Without this letting go process, we become candidates for ulcers, heart attacks, migraines and premature aging. All known to be caused by stress. Stress Management techniques, allow us to discover and experience, how, we hold emotions, thoughts and experiences in out bodies. Exercises will offer us the opportunity, to tune into different moods, feelings, attitudes, and states of consciousness beside the low-grade stress levels, most people in our society, operate under. In our busy information society, we are constantly bombarded by external stimuli. A good stress management program, can help tune out the exterior world, and allow the participant to drop inside their bodies, and find a place of stillness. Some techniques that aid in this process, are deep breathing, extended stretching, and body scanning – all done in a quiet, warm room, with soft music playing, or simply, the relaxing sound of one’s own, deep breathing.

We learn to increase the probability of desired moods, and feelings through our heightened self–awareness, while simultaneously decreasing negative states of anxiety. Excess of stress can also shutterstock_224788153result in an extended period “flight or fight syndrome” which over time can drain the adrenal glands. Participants in a stress management program gain a powerful awareness of how to positively influence health, reactions, feelings and response. A good mind/body class can give clients the tools they can use for the rest of their lives.

Yoga is the 6,000 year old secret to health and vitality. Yoga can be considered technology for getting back in touch with our true essence and ourselves. It is a way of remembering the health and wholeness that is our natural state of being. Yoga, when broken down to its most simple form is breathing and feeling.

Through this breathing and feeling we learn to control our reactions to events and people. It is not the events and people in our lives that give us stress but the way we react to them. What makes yoga unique in terms of stress reduction is in its multifaceted approach. By working at the physical and psychological levels concurrently, yoga reduces stress at each level and this reduction in stress is supported by the work done at other levels. Yoga postures combined with deep breathing facilitate deep relaxation that combats stress.

Physically, yoga massages the skeletal system which supports bone mass and growth while taking the stress away from the supporting muscles and tendons. Yoga mechanically removes tension from the muscles through stretching. The steady even yoga breathing reduces stress levels in the body. Stress response, is accompanied by rapid, shallow breathing., Yoga encouraged deep diaphragmatic breathing activating a relaxation response. Yoga also massages the internal organs reducing high blood pressure, stress in the cardiovascular system at the level of the heart, arteries and blood. The nerves are massaged and stretched through yoga, conducting messages; throughout the body.

Emotionally the body believes what the mind believes. Affirmations about peace, calm, and tranquility, along with positive imagery are conveyed to the nervous system. Yoga brings greater relationship with others, life, and us. As we begin to explore these relationships more, we see which interactions genuinely support us in moving towards calmness. As we become more relaxed through yoga and stress management classes, we release addictive behaviors, which are often used to relieve stress. Yoga brings awareness to the emotional blocks that limit our experience of life. Our perception of life has been conditioned by our experiences and sometimes we close ourselves off from feelings and emotions. Through yoga we learn to bring awareness to all parts of ourselves with the understanding that through integration, we come to a natural place of balance. Many of our stressful habit patterns are conditioned. Yoga teaches a whole set of patterns which are helpful in reducing stress.

How to Meditate On the Gomed desk

It’s a common misconception that meditation can only be done in one way, and in one specific type of place. You might think that in order to meditate properly you need to be in complete solitude or total silence or somewhere in the natural world. The truth is, there is no proper or superior way to meditate, and although some environments may be more calm-inducing than others, the most important aspect of meditation is to practice it regularly so that you become more and more familiar with your calm center and increasingly able to access it easily and deeply.

There’s no need to feel intimidated out of meditating by preoccupations about the setting in which you do it, and there’s no need to procrastinate on your practice because, as I’ve said many times, all you need to commit to is 10 minutes per day. That’s all it takes!

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That’s a period of time that virtually everyone can carve out of their daily schedule; time that will bring you great rewards in your emotional, intellectual, and biological wellbeing.

What’s my best advice on meditation? Just do it. The ‘where’ and ‘how’ matter much less than the regularly of your practice, and you don’t need to be in an ashram to make it happen.

Having a packed schedule is no reason to deny yourself the opportunity to meditate. When I’ve got a very busy day, I like to meditate just after waking up to center myself before starting work, or just before going to bed to wind down and release tension. Alternatively, you can build in ten minutes for yourself to meditate during the workday. You could try meditating in a quiet place during your lunch break, in a calm spot outdoors, or even at your desk. Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, and breathe deeply with a soft belly. If you are preparing for a meeting or performance of some kind, visualize yourself succeeding and allow your body to feel the sensations of your success.

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Naturally, when there are people and things going on around you, it can be more difficult to quiet your mind. For these situations, I recommend planning ahead by downloading a guided meditation on your smart phone. Guided meditations remove you from the noise in your surrounding environment, and provide calming and useful reminders to focus on the breath and on letting go of troubling thoughts. Guided mediations address various themes, and are helpful if you desire support in a specific area of life. For example, the YogaLean Love Your Body meditation would be perfect for anyone looking to embrace her physical self more fully, and it runs under ten minutes!

If you don’t have a guided meditation with you, I recommend using an affirmation in your meditation, especially for beginners who may find it inviting to focus their energy on a positive statement.

Here is a list of ten powerful and concise affirmations to use in meditation. These are excellent for kickstarting your meditation practice. Try a new one each day for your first ten days:

Ten-Minute Affirmation Meditation:

Day One: I am ready for positive change.

Day Two: Today I am strong.

Day Three: I am peaceful, calm, and relaxed.

Day Four: Today is a new day.

Day Five: I feel good.

Day Six: I have the power.

Day Seven: I am shifting.

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It’s important to remember that meditation is a practice. If you feel distracted or fidgety the first couple of times you try it, respect those feelings, forgive them, and simply return to your practice the next day. Remember, there is no “perfect” meditation. This is an opportunity to honor yourself exactly as you are in the present moment.

As you are starting out, remember these helpful tips and tricks:

  • Use earplugs.
  • Don’t expect a clear mind at first.
  • Breathe your way into it.
  • Be patient.
  • Honor your thoughts—all of them.
  • Set an alarm.

Incorporating a brief meditation practice into your daily life will transform you. With a commitment of such little time, you will begin immediately to enjoy improved energy, sleep, tranquility and focus. With a little preparation and guidance, you really can meditate any time and anywhere– in the office, at a café, in the gym, even on the subway! If your friends or coworkers find your meditation practice unusual, educate them, and invite them to join you!

For more inspiration on different ways to meditate, uplifting affirmations, and more fitness and nutrition ideas to supplement your practice, download the YogaLean smartphone app!

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7 Ways of Using Essential Oils for Weight Management

oil water

Essential oils have myriad health and mood benefits, some more familiar than others. Most of us have heard of the calming effects of lavender and the invigorating effects of peppermint, but we seldom consider the fantastic support these and many other essential oils can add to our weight management efforts.

There’s no reason to wait for a special occasion to benefit from the transformative powers of essential oils. I love to incorporate a variety of oils in my daily life for many purposes. Below are a few of my favorite tricks for using essential oils to encourage weight management. I especially like our partner’s oils because you can inhale them, apply them to your skin, and ingest them.

peppermint oil

1. Peppermint oil has a powerful ability to awaken and stimulate the system. It offers a terrific boost in energy and an excellent alternative to that sugary snack or excess cup of coffee that, while providing a quick fix, will soon lead to a crash. I love to put a few drops of peppermint oil in my water to wake up in the morning. And, before I go on a run, I massage a couple drops into the back of my neck for alertness and endurance. Peppermint is an excellent aroma for greeting a new day!

2. Eucalyptus oil, like peppermint oil, has a powerfully enlivening effect. It’s perfect to keep on your desk, dot a little on your wrist, and treat yourself to an inhale in the middle of a tiring workday.


3. Lemon oil has a bright, fresh flavor that elevates the mood. It is also an excellent detoxifying agent, working to alkalize the body and purify the liver. I like to use it to flavor my drinking water.

4. Cinnamon oil can be used as a sweet treat in your coffee that tastes indulgent while remaining lean. It’s an excellent, aromatic alternative to the sugar-packed seasonal lattes we tend to see at Starbucks.


5. Ginger oil has a sweet and spicy aroma. Ginger in itself has often been known to have a positive effect on digestion. I like to pair this with lemon oil in water or juice for delicious and detoxifying support.

6. Lavender oil is deeply relaxing and known to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that makes us hold on to extra weight. Its calming properties are very conducive to meditation– I love to dab some on the scarf I wear while meditating. You could also drop a little in a hot bath or on your pillow to promote deep, peaceful sleep, another crucial component of weight management.

7. Grapefruit oil is purifying and energizing, producing an alkalizing effect in the body. This oil makes a refreshing and highly beneficial addition to your water, especially if you’re doing a cleanse.

grapefruit oil

These oils help ensure our success in weight management by enhancing our mood and energy level. They are integral daily elements to any weight management process: easy to incorporate, simple to use, and wonderfully effective. For further detail on the health properties of these wonderful oils, visit BethShaw.com.