(article published in linked in https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tips-when-we-lose-balance-laura-miñano/)
In our fast-moving world, events overlap with our current overloaded life. Stress takes over in many shapes that actually lead to a loss of equilibrium. Ancestral cultures, as well as our own ancestors, have means to restore balance that are simple, obvious and efficient. Here I’m going to name some of them.
According to yogic philosophy, the solutions are grouped by elements. The four elements. Nature, as well as human beings, are composed of a combination of the four. When one element is lacking or is in excess, the equilibrium is lost which can lead to stress symptoms.
One we lose Earth in our personal elements, we lack grounding. We stop being realistic or even lose the sense of “where is my North?” and “where I am heading to? The primary solution to recover the Earth element is walking barefoot for at least 20 minutes. It is said to be a very stress-relieving practice, and helps us find our equilibrium. Actually, we do practice it every summer when we go to the beach. Also in many ancestral cultures, it is practiced by kids who walk barefoot. Walking, dancing and running are all good for grounding, specially in Nature.
Water is the energy of our emotions. When this is out of balance, the easiest solution is to have a shower. It can be a cold or warm shower, depending on the time of the day. For women, it is important to take into account the stage of the monthly cycle. Also a mild bath with sea salt or essential oils is a way to recover the water. Some people like to add some apple cider vinegar.
Don’t forget that dehydration is perceived by the body as a stress. That is why it is important to keep the body well hydrated, especially during stressful periods in life.
Fire is more present as an element during the summer months. Sunbathing helps charge our fire element. However during winter time we also need this element. Some practices to reduce stress for people lacking this element are: staring at a fireplace, staring at someone else’s eyes, lighting up a candle, taking a sauna. To reduce stress or balance excess fire, use less artificial lighting, screens in your homes and dim your lights.
Air is the word, the vibration. For stressful lifestyles, group singing can do wonders. It is a way of exchanging the inside energies with the community energies. It is a way of distressing used by many ancestral cultures. Also silence and meditation are healing this side within us. Eleven minutes of daily meditation is what Kundalini Yoga underlines as a first step to transform your lifestyle. Listening to calming music, instrumental or classical music is a way to entering the silence or meditative zone.
Breathing is also the air. We should be able to switch our breathing during the day from a shorter breathing when we are active to long deep breathing when we are in relaxation mode. However some people cannot detach from the shorter, action-oriented breathing, and this affects their relaxation time, and limits their ability to recharge. Finally, it is important to take the time during the week to breath, at least once, in Nature.
Wishing you a successful transformation into a more stress-free zone, enabling your body to fully thrive and be who you really are.