Yoga with Amie
When I look back to exam time in school, I wish that I’d had access to Yoga as a tool to help me cope with the stress and anxiety leading up to GCSE’s & A – Levels.
My nerves meant that I found it really hard to focus, and it became increasingly hard to find headspace. It was a vicious cycle, and the more I panicked the less productive I became whilst trying to study.
Yoga is proven to help increase focus & productivity, so I’m going to share a couple of really quick & simple tips that will help you to get some head space, and keep your cool under exam pressure.
First and foremost , just BREATHE!
In Yoga, we use breathing techniques to calm & focus our busy minds. We call this ‘’Pranayama’’. Here is a Pranayama exercise that I regularly use when I’m feeling stressed, nervous or overwhelmed.
Nadi Shodhana (Alternate nostril breathing)
Sit up tall on a chair or on the floor with ether the legs crossed or if you’re on a chair, feet on the floor.
Close the eyes & roll the shoulders a couple of times and then take five nice deep breaths in through the nose and out the mouth.
Now bring your right hand in front of your face and rest your left hand on your knee
Place your two first fingers of your right hand between your eyebrows. Place the right ring finger next to your left nostril, and your right thumb next to your right nostril
Take a long deep breath in through both nostrils, then close the left nostril & exhale through the right.
Inhale through the right nostril, then seal the right and exhale through the left.
Repeat this 5 times
TURN THINGS UPSIDE DOWN!
I don’t mean stand on your head or swing upside down from a tree, but its been proven that changing the direction of your blood flow can help improve circulation, reduce stress and lift our mood.
Try this on your study break – Stand up with your feet about hip width apart. Take a big breath in whilst reaching your hands up over you head and give yourself a stretch.
On your breath out bend your knees and slow fold over your thighs until your stomach is resting completely on your thighs. Bend your knees and let your head completely go.
Take hold of opposite elbows and let your head hang between your arms. We call this pose ‘’Ragdoll’’ for a reason, so make sure your head and neck are nice and relaxed so that you can gentle swing side to side a few times like a floppy rag doll .
Take between 5 and 10 deep breaths here, and then to come out, drop those hands to the floor, tuck the chin and slowly roll up the spine. Once you get to the top roll the shoulders a couple of times and you’re ready to take on the world!
KEEP ON MOVING!
You probably already know this, but exercise is one of the best stress busters out there. Many people think that Yoga is just sitting on our bums and chanting, but there are some forms of Yoga that are different to others. Ashtanga Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga can get the heart rate going and give us a great full body work out. An Ashtanga, vinyasa or power Yoga class can burn between 400 and 500 calories in just 60 minutes!
Even just a few minutes of gentle, consistent exercise can make a massive difference to our productivity throughout the day. When you get out of bed in the morning, try giving yourself 15 minutes to try my mini morning sequence. Here’s the link –www.yogawithamie.co.uk/eatloveasana/2017/2/10/mini-morning-flow
Another important part of staying calm, focused and happy during is exams is eating right. Snack on stuff packed with good fats such as raw almonds, brazil nuts and seeds. One of my go – to snacks when I’m stuck to my computer is a banana with my favourite almond butter on top and some chocolatey cacao nibs sprinkled on top. Raw cacao is high in magnesium, a mineral that helps promote stable mood and turn the food we eat into energy Eggs, oily fish, dark leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are all fantastic brain foods which give you the right kind of sustained energy we need. Check out my blog for some simple, healthy recipes at www.yogawithamie.co.uk/eatloveasana
Give these tips a try, I hope you find them helpful. And remember just breathe!
Love & Light -Amie x