Overdoing the commitments much?

Orla Crosse, Sports Physiotherapist and Yoga instructor gives us a reminder to take a step back every now and then and observe our weekly schedule. If you feel overwhelmed or on the verge of no return it’s time to change one small thing to improve your quality of life and continue to be the best version of yourself.

‘Running yourself into the ground’ is a familiar Irish phrase, usually heard from a concerned parent or loved one. We all know the signs of pushing too far in our own body; lack of energy, poor sleeping patterns, craving sugar and coffee! We often feel that we can’t do much about a particular busy spell but often that mind-set can be challenged.

Work and family commitments definitely influence your energy levels and often these things can’t be changed with immediate effect. A complex set of psychological factors are involved with burn our and chronic stress, including excessive expectations from a boss, family member, competitive stress, personality structure, monotony in daily life, personal or emotional problems, home – work related demands. The list goes on. You can put strategic plans in place to get more support, but that’s often easier said than done. We yogis have figured out a very simple tool that you already have access to, and can put into immediate effect; your breath and a restorative yoga pose.

Pigeon Pose. Orla Crosse. MISCP.

When we feel we are about to burn out, stress and fatigue levels are high. ‘Take a deep breath’ is often the first piece of advice a friend would give you if you were explaining a stressful scenario to them. They are right. A deep breath can do so much more than give you more oxygen. Try it now, feel your shoulders relax, even with just one.

A suggested restorative yoga pose to try to help relieve stress is lying on your back near a wall and placing your legs up the wall. You immediately assist your leg circulation and take tension out of your shoulders and lower back through the support of the floor. This pose feels like your plugging yourself out for a while, giving you a chance to re-charge your batteries. 5 minutes is a great start. You’ll find you want more time here though, it’s so good! There are many more restorative poses and I find myself going for them at this time of the year to reboot for 2017.

Try this easy breathing exercise in the above position. Enjoy and unwind. It’ll make getting back to those jobs a little bit easier.

  • Focus your attention on your breath as it moves in and out of your body through your nose or mouth.
  • Notice the natural lift of your belly as you inhale, notice if your shoulders rise also.
  • Place your hand on your belly near your belly button.
  • As you inhale, breathe all the way into this area and allow your belly to rise slightly more. Then, exhale completely. Try to keep shoulders relaxed.
  • Next place both hands on the sides of your ribs (underarm area).
  • As you inhale, breathe all the way into this area and allow your ribs to expand outwards. Then, exhale completely. Continue to keep shoulders relaxed.
  • Finally place a hand on your chest, near your collar bone.
  • As you inhale, breathe all the way into this area and allow your chest to rise slightly. Then, exhale completely. Try to keep shoulders relaxed.
  • Now – try to put all three parts together
  • Inhale, your belly lifts, your ribs expand, and your chest rises. As you exhale, your chest drops, your ribs contract, and your belly softens and lowers.
  • Continue at your own pace, gradually letting the three parts of the breath flow smoothly without pausing.

Let’s mind ourselves and mind each other. If you have any friends that might benefit from this advice, send it their way.

Orla Crosse is a Chartered Physiotherapist and Yoga Instructor. She treats patients and teaches Sports Performance Classes in Limerick and Clonmel. To book an appointment or for any queries contact orla on orla@performanceyoga.ie. Orla has an upcoming Sports Performance Yoga workshop scheduled for Dublin on Sat 1st April 2017 in Personal Health Rathmines. We’d love to see you there. Get in touch for more info.