How Emotions Affect Your Voice And The Power Of Self-Acceptance- Written by Kirbanu, Commentated by Annie

Annie Au Yin Yoga Self-Acceptance Spleen Meridian

How emotions affect your voice and the power of self-acceptance

Emotions & Your Voice

Have you ever heard the term, “It’s not what you say but how you say it that matters?” Ever noticed that the sound of your voice changes when you express different emotions? That when you speak words in anger your voice sounds completely different compared to when you’re happy? Have you ever felt an emotion so strongly that you were simply unable to get the words out and you felt like your voice was trapped in your throat or shut down?

“In Chinese medicine, our organs correspond with specific emotions. Our Liver connects with anger, Spleen with worry, Lung with sadness, Heart with excitement and Kidney with fear. Our speech is an extension of how well our Qi (energy) flows. With proper training, we can hear directly in our speech which organ(s) is affected.” - Annie

Whether we like it or not, we are emotional beings. We feel and our feelings affect both our thoughts and our bodies. Our emotions are energy and the voice, located within - and produced by - the body, is significantly impacted by them. 

How Emotions affect Your Voice

Inside the body, it is the limbic system where the majority of our emotions come to life. When a feeling is activated there, nerve signals with information about how the body should behave based on that emotion, get sent throughout the body. This includes being sent to the muscles involved in breathing as well as to the jaw, neck, shoulders, tongue and larynx. All of these areas are involved in the mechanical creation of your voice including the physical vibrations produced by the vocal folds which are located in your larynx. What this means is that every emotion you feel directly impacts the muscles mechanically involved in producing your voice. 

In life this fact can play out in disempowering ways. For example, imagine the following situation: you’re standing before your boss needing to speak about an important, uncomfortable topic, but no matter how many times you’ve practiced what you wish to say your voice still shakes, your pitch goes up two octaves and you squeak out the words instead of expressing yourself confidently. Or imagine this situation: you need to talk to your partner about a problem in the relationship, but despite your best preparation, when you go to open your mouth the words barely come out. Your knees wobble, your voice becomes raspy and you’re unable to say what you wish to. Or this situation: you’re finishing teaching a yoga class and you’d like to sing a mantra during Savasana but you’re so nervous that your voice cracks and shakes and you can’t sing the mantra in the way you can when you’re alone.

Emotions Guide the Voice

Emotions guide our voice and we can choose to either work with this fact or have it work against us. In vocal production, whether it be for speaking or singing, our emotions impact:

  • The pitch we express ourselves in

  • The speed we say things at

  • The strength or weakness heard in the voice

  • The melody of the voice

  • The breathiness of the voice

  • The way words are articulated and emphasized 

  • Even the words we choose to say, or not say!

Self-acceptance is the Key to Vocal Freedom

Self-acceptance means accepting yourself as you are in this very moment. It means accepting the story that brought you here - the good and the bad - and accepting all that you think, feel and are, now. At times this idea may be overwhelming. But when we fail to accept ourselves we cause a split within our own being which has a ripple effect on our voice. We shut down parts of who we are, which disempowers us and it disempowers our voice. 

“Yin yoga is unique in a way that we’re forced to face head on with our emotional obstacles while holding a pose. In Yin yoga, when practiced earnestly, we learn to sit with the discomfort and accept our body and mind for where they’re at in that moment.” - Annie

Failing to accept ourselves includes failing to accept how we feel in the present moment. In my own experience this often happens because I think “I should” feel something other than I do in response to a situation. So if I’m feeling angry and I try to speak to the person I’m angry at, and my voice shakes, I might feel frustrated at myself. Rather than accepting my anger and how it expresses itself through my voice in that moment, I try to control it and make it sound different. And when that doesn’t work, the frustration I then feel causes a split within me, and within my voice. This often makes my voice break and causes me to not be able to express myself at all. Which leads to more frustration and the cycle continues!

What I’ve learned overtime through my own singing and mindfulness practice, is that self-acceptance is the key to vocal freedom.When we can accept ourselves and how we feel in the present moment, we become complete and can actively use our emotions to energise and colour our voice. This is a very loving and nurturing practice.

“Being yogic is to cultivate loving awareness in all aspects of life. This can be done through singing, talking to others, eating, walking, and even sleeping (Yoga Nidra). Our vocal speech is directly related to the Lung and Large Intestine meridians. These channels resonate with our ability to let go of our own expectations and past conditionings, which allow us to express freely.” - Annie

Using Emotions as Food for the Voice

The following exercise is one I share in my online courses for yoga teachers & students . The idea behind it is to allow ourselves to actively use our current emotion as energy for the voice when we speak or sing. To do this exercise, sit in a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed:

  1. Tune into how you feel in this moment without judging or trying to change it. Simply allow your feeling to be there, as it is, now.

  2. Imagine this feeling is a living energy. You can give it a colour if you wish to. 

  3. Locate this energy in your body. Again, practice being the observer - all the time allowing your experience to be as it is.

  4. Now chant Om. As you chant imagine that the energy of your feeling moves out from its location in your body through your voice. Allow how you feel in this moment to be carried on the vibration of your voice and out into the world. Repeat this five times.

  5. Close your eyes and observe your experience.

For me doing this is an incredible form of self-love and self-acceptance and the result it has on my voice is dramatic. Working with our emotions and our current state as we speak or sing allows us to accept who and how we are, now. Sharing our voice from this place of self-integration is a valuable and empowering gift for ourselves as well as for those around us.

To learn more about your voice and how to use it with confidence, power and impact for yoga teaching and/or singing mantras, take a look at Kirbanu’s YOU ARE YOUR VOICE online courses. Enjoy 10% off when you enter the code: ANNIESL003.


Kirbanu

Kirbanu is an Australian voice coach, musician & yogi  who fuses vocal science with mindfulness techniques to teach people how to use their voices in empowering ways for speaking and singing. Her passion is to share practical tools & techniques with you so you too can experience the joy and confidence a holistic connection with your own voice brings.

Her online Voice Courses for Yoga Teachers & Students: YOU ARE YOUR VOICE

Find Out More: www.instagram.com/kirbanuwww.facebook.com/kirbanuwww.youtube.com/kirbanuSpotify, i-Tunes, Apple Music @kirbanu







Podcast with Kombucha + Colour: Balancing Yin and Yang

Podcast episode:

Balancing Yin and Yang with Annie Au

Last week I had so much fun recording an episode with co-host Anna Marsh on her podcast Kombucha + Colour. We covered so many topics over a heartfelt conversation. I’m pretty new to the podcast world and Anna definitely made me feel comfortable & relaxed.

We spoke a lot about how I started from an Ashtangi to Yin yoga teacher trainer. We also talked about how to create a personal practice that matters to you, why Yin yoga is not as relaxing as one would think, my personal view on yogic diet and lastly why ‘observing your thoughts’ alone would not serve you down the road..

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

I’d love to hear what you think about the show. Make sure to leave a comment below!

Annie

What Is An Emotional Edge And Why Do We Need To Respect it?

Emotional edge, what is that?

Annie Au Yin Yoga Teacher Training 2020

 

For many seasoned Yin yogis, you might be quite familiar with the physical edge. A famous analogy of the physical edge is the Panda vs. Black Knight. As famously coined by the founder of modern Yin yoga Paul Grilley, the Pandas are students who never lean enough into their physical edge in a Yin posture, thus never receiving the benefits of Yin yoga (the works of Yin yoga is to stimulate our connective tissues through passive hold over time). On the contrary, the Black Knights are those who believe in the mantra ‘No pain, no gain.’ They are the students that Yin teachers need to look out for, as they tend to push beyond their physical edges and put themselves at high risk for injuries.

So what about the emotional edge? What exactly is it?

Ever done a practice where you’re on the verge of crying? You might be feeling emotional that day or you’ve been going through some hardships in life. We’ve all been there. There are also times where you don’t even know where the tears are coming from, but they’re there. This, my friend, is our emotional edge. It’s an abstract line that divides you from experience hard human emotions. For some people, forward folds trigger anxiety and for others hip-openers are the doorway to sadness. It could also be irrelevant to the poses; you’re just feeling all the feels that particular day.

While we’re practicing, we must respect our emotional edge the way we respect our physical edge. Imagine our uncomfortable feelings are our connective tissues. We lean in just enough to maximize awareness and stimulate growth. We check in with ourselves to see what our emotional landscape is that day, and how we can navigate our discomforts through self-acceptance. If we never lean in, we’re always lingering superficially and never go to the depths where our highest potential awaits us.  On the other hand, if we over step our emotional edge, we are damaging our psyche and abandoning self-love.

Respecting our emotional edge is an act of non-violence (Ahimsa). We learn through our Yin yoga practice how to create healthy boundaries for ourselves. Overtime, you’d see that the awareness you have in your practice would transfer to everything you do in life. Establishing a symbiotic relationship with our intimate partner, family/friends, and coworkers requires us to respect our emotional needs and set clear boundaries.

Everything starts with us. Begin on the mat and slowly out into the world.

 

Namaste & LOVE

Annie

Mantra Singing to Help Heal Anxiety

Mantra singing to help heal anxiety

Written by Kirbanu + Excerpt by Annie Au


Mantra is a sacred prayer. It's a sacred chant using words that have been imbued overtime, sometimes over thousands of years, with intention, reverence and manifestation. Every mantra is an opportunity for us to turn within and focus on an element of the human experience that we wish to shine light on, unfold or understand in a deeper way. The repetition of mantra helps us to calm the mind, open the heart and enter into a communion with our higher nature, each other and the divine.

Singing mantras forms a great focus point for meditation, one of the main natural techniques we can use to combat anxiety. When we repeat a mantra aloud, the mind is forced to focus upon a single thing and we relax. We align our mind and emotions with the meaning of the mantra and we learn to surrender into the moment.


"In Traditional Chinese Medicine, imbalances in the Heart Meridian may cause anxiety. The diaphragm is connected to the heart organ via the pericardium sac, and is often tensed. Singing mantra helps release the diaphragm and
restore love and compassion in our heart centre."- Annie Au Yoga



The act of singing helps us focus on what we're experiencing within our body: We hear the sound of our voice, we're aware of our mouth, tongue and lips shaping the form of the mantra, we feel a vivid bodily connection to the sensations that the mantra brings us, as we sing it, in that moment. When we combine this felt experience with our focus upon the meaning of the mantra, we offer ourselves an incredibly opportunity to self-nurture. We provide a loving, gentle healing to the part of ourselves that experiences anxiousness.

Overtime, as we develop our mantra singing practice, we begin to learn self-acceptance. We allow ourselves to be as we are, in the moment, with all our fears and anxiety. And we use these as fuel for our singing. This level of self-acceptance is transformative. We feel the gift within us of our own voice and the joy it brings to use our unique voice as an altar of worship to express mantras through.

There are a number of elements we can focus on when singing mantras. Here's a few that I share in my online You Are Your Voice! Courses for Yogis & Yoga Teachers:

  • Focus on your mouth sensation: How does the mantra feel in your mouth when you speak the words? Practice saying Om and focus entirely on the feeling it brings you in your mouth.

  • Focus on the sensation in your body: How does the mantra feel in your body when you speak the words? Practice saying Om and observe the feelings it brings you in your body. Is there a place where you feel it stronger than others?

  • Focus on the meaning of the mantra: What does the mantra stand for? What meaning does it have? And what does this mean to you? Think about it. Feel it. Be it.

  • Focus on the sound you hear: How do you hear your own voice singing the mantra? If you're in a group, how do you hear the voices of others singing the mantra?


If you are looking to improve your voice for yoga teaching and/or singing mantra, YOU ARE YOUR VOICE is the perfect course for you! Enjoy 10% off when you enter the code: ANNIESL003.

About Me:

kirbanu Yin yoga the voice mantra-Annie Au Yoga

I'm Kirbanu, an Australian voice empowerment coach, musician & mindfulness practitioner. I fuse vocal science with mindfulness techniques to teach people how to use their voices holistically and in empowering ways. Having performed over 500 concerts in 5 years and taught vocal workshops worldwide, I truly understand the necessity of being able to express ourselves clearly, with confidence and in a way that is in alignment with our mind and body. My deep passion is to share practical tools & techniques with you so that you too can experience the joy and confidence that a holistic connection with your own voice brings.

My Voice Courses for Yogis & Yoga Teachers: YOU ARE YOUR VOICE

My Music & Mantras: Spotify, i­Tunes, Apple Music @kirbanu Instagram:

www.instagram.com/kirbanu

Website: www.kirbanu.com





Releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Yoga Twisting Postures  

by Annie Au

In this modern world, we as human beings are often trapped in the pendulum of love and hate. As we may have experienced, the flip side of love is a raging river of anger and jealousy, flowing through us often unapologetically. Based on the meridian system in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), love flows through the Heart meridian while anger runs in the Liver meridian. When our Heart and Liver energies are balanced, we express compassion to all beings and are passionate about life. Conversely when energy stagnates in these channels, our heart and liver contract replacing love with explosive anger and irritation.

Interestingly, there is an essential muscle that connects the anatomical heart and liver in our body. This critical muscle is our diaphragm. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. It is the primary muscle that the body uses when breathing. The top part of the diaphragm is connected to a small sac called the pericardium, which protects and holds the heart in place. The bottom part of the diaphragm is connected to the liver. According to the meridian system, promoting healthy flow of energy in the actual organ as well as its orbs of energetic influence is absolutely crucial in maintaining health and wellness.

The heart sits on top of the diaphragm, while the liver is tucked under the diaphragm on the right side under the rib cage.

The heart sits on top of the diaphragm, while the liver is tucked under the diaphragm on the right side under the rib cage.

 

Twisting postures help release tension in the diaphragm. Sequentially, by releasing the diaphragm, we also indirectly massage and soften the heart and liver. As you try out these poses, visualize all the negative thoughts and emotions exiting the body. In return, the vacated negative emotions are replaced by contentment and joy.

Reclining twists (5 minutes per side)

Lie down on your back and shift the pelvis to the right slightly. Draw the right knee towards the chest and slowly bring it to left side of the body. Keep the right arm parallel to the shoulder and the head facing the ceiling.

 

*Keep the head facing the ceiling helps prevent blood stop in the arteries along the neck. This is especially important in yin yoga practice where we hold a posture for several minutes.

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

 

Hold for 5 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

Cat Pulling Its Tail (5 minutes per side)

Lie down on your back and shift the pelvis to the right slightly. Draw the right knee towards the chest and slowly bring it to left side of the body. Bend the left knee and kick it back towards the buttock. Hold the left ankle with your right hand. Use a strap if necessary.

 

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

Hold for 5 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

Restorative Side Twist  (6-8minutes per side)

This posture is more restorative than Yin. Sit sideways like a mermaid. Place a bolster or pillow against the hip. Slowly twist the torso towards the bolster and lay down on it. This is a more gentle twist and can hold for several minutes.

 

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

Hold for 6-8 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

You can infuse these postures in your regular yoga practice or practice 1-2 postures above before bed.

How to be more forgiving through your meditation practice

How to be more forgiving through your meditation practice

by Charlie Morley

How to be more forgiving through my meditation practice Annie Au yoga

 

Forgiving a person for something that they did wrong can either be very easy or extremely difficult, it all depends on the situation. For example, forgiving your spouse because they forgot to buy milk is a lot easier than having to forgive a cheating partner.

Quite simply, the act of forgiving might not always be easy, however, regardless of other's actions, forgiveness can be a very important step to take in order to move on to the next stage in your life.

 

A lack of forgiveness can foster anger, anxiety and ultimately a whole host of other negative thoughts and feelings that could have severe effects on your mental well-being.

Fortunately, regular meditation nurtures mindfulness, as well as a host of other qualities including gratitude, which in return goes hand in hand with forgiveness.

Let's take a closer look at how being mindful through meditation can help you to be become a more forgiving person and how you can incorporate a short forgiveness practice in your everyday routine.

 

Name it

Identifying the source of your anger is the first step on your journey of forgiveness. It is difficult to forgive if you don’t know who to forgive and why.

With the help of meditation and being mindful of the situation you can clear up the question of who and why. Write it down in order to make it even clear if needed.

 

Flip your focus

How to be more forgiving through my meditation practice Annie Au yoga

Meditation creates a space where you are able to process all of the relevant information in your mind without any outside influence or judgment.

Over reaction and premature assumptions are often times the main causes of anger. 

Place yourself in the other parties shoes, try to understand why the acted the way they did. Understanding their point of view, or their way of thinking will go a long way in the process of forgiveness.

 

Take action (baby steps are ok)

Confronting the person that wronged you can be very intimidating, taking action doesn’t imply that you have to do this, start small instead.

 

Take action by doing small deeds that empower you.

Regular mindfulness meditation is a great example of how to take action and empowering yourself. It is a lot easier to forgive when you feel empowered and confident within yourself. 

 

Find meaning through your pain

With the help of mindfulness meditation it is possible to find meaning through your pain.

Through meditation you are able to think about your pain in a clear and objective space and learn from what went wrong, you might find that this will foster empathy and understanding in the long run.

 

Guided forgiveness meditation practice:

 

Step 1 - Think of someone who has caused you harm, or someone that you may hold a grudge against.

 

Step 2 - Visualize the time that you were hurt by this person, feel the pain and emotions that this hurt brought about

 

Step 3 - Be aware of how you body starts to feel, focus on your anxiety levels, heart rate etc.

 

Step 4 - Now ask yourself the question, who is really suffering from this? Is it you? Or is it the person that you are holding the grudge against?

 

Step 5 - Are you ready to forgive this person and remove this pain from your heart and mind? It is ok if the answer is no, but if you are ready then acknowledge this pain and also acknowledge to yourself that you are willing to forgive and free yourself from this burden.

 


Author - Charlie Morley

Charlie enjoys both yoga and meditation and incorporating both as part of his morning routine is something that he strives for everyday. Outside of work, Charlie enjoys sports and other social gatherings. Follow his spiritual journey at Kenshō way.


 

3 Ways to Overcome Anxiety During Your Yoga Practice

3 Ways to Overcome Anxiety During Your Yoga Practice


It may seem ironic that doing yoga can trigger anxiety. Around the world, millions of people are practicing yoga to find peace in their body and mind. However, the true nature of the yoga practice is like a sacred mirror to our internal landscape. Suppressed emotions begin to unravel as we twist and fold our body, and anxiety can occur if we’re unable to cope with these surging emotions.


It’s true, anxiety plagues me during yoga. The feeling of breathlessness overwhelms my entire being. I have to stop. I look out for the teacher hoping that she would notice. Or not. I’m not sure. I feel helpless and at the same time ashamed. Why should I feel anxious at all? It’s just a yoga class after all. As I bend into paschimottasana (a very intense seated forward fold), as my chest compresses into my thighs, it’s only a matter of seconds that I’d burst into tears or anger. Whichever it is, these uninviting emotions have been lurking in the darkness of my subconscious mind for months or perhaps years now. Anxiety, if only I knew is just a play of the cosmic mind, I’d be free from years of heartache and heaviness. How is it that I’ve tried to escape the entrapment of my own emotions, seeking solace in this spiritual practice that promises mankind liberation, yet to find myself consumed with anxiety on my yoga mat?

Annie Au Yin yoga teacher training 2019

That was my internal monologue in 2012. That year marked the beginning of my spiritual journey. I had just completed my first 200hr yoga teacher training. The training was arduous to say the least. It taught me to stretch my body in different ways and more importantly to extend my mind beyond my limited beliefs. But what seems to stay unchanged was my battle with anxiety. I suffered from anxiety since I was 19. It started off as short bouts of difficult breathing especially after drinking or if I was very tired. I shook it off hoping it was just a transition, I was 19 after all, and coming into adulthood was not an easy task I told myself. However, my episodes ensued and at 20 I was hospitalized. Being hospitalized had shown me how debilitating anxiety was. I was afraid to drink, to watch suspenseful movies, to be in a hot room...the list went on. My mind had reduced me to live life in what felt like a square inch of space, a space which I struggled to thrive in.

Fast-forwarding to now, almost 7 years later. I now teach yin yoga teacher trainings and workshops around the world. I have given talks about the functions and the mischievousness of the mind. Despite my practice in meditation and yoga, anxiety still gets a hold of me every now and then. Unlike in the past, the anxiety that I experience now is more like an ex-boyfriend whom you’ve tried to block out of your life for many years, but once in awhile he pops up out of nowhere, and the faint memories of that relationship linger albeit annoyingly. Luckily, I no longer identify with my anxious thoughts, but rather, I observe them like a spectator at the zoo- that wild one called the Mind is one wondrous animal.

Over the years, I have come up with ways to overcome anxiety especially during a yoga class. These methods are derived from my personal trials and studies. With no empirical evidences, I share them with you hoping that they would serve you somehow somewhere.


1. Ease into the pose

I used to see yoga poses as a means to an end. I rush into the postures like jumping into a bath not knowing the water’s temperature. Sometimes a posture gives me immense joy and a sense of release, and other times (especially in hip openers) I land myself in deep waters unable to bear the feelings of suffocation. How we do the poses are way more important than achieving the poses. Check in with your feelings as you mindfully ease into the posture. If the sensation of anxiousness arises, instead of deepening or coming out of the pose, take a pause but try to stay in it. The moment of stillness gives you a chance to take control of the mind and restore calmness. Afterwards, with honesty and compassion, you can choose to stay or release the posture.

“How we do the poses are way more important than achieving the poses.”

2. Take deep breaths

Anxiety triggers the body to activate the sympathetic nervous system (also known as the fight-or- flight response). It doesn’t matter if you’re in real physical danger or just trying to put your legs behind your head in yoga nidrasana, when the body is in a fight or flight mode, it triggers a cascade of responses to help you cope. These responses include an increase in heart rate and secretion of the stress hormone called cortisol. Breathing can help you manipulate your nervous system. By deepening your breath, you can trick the body to convert to the parasympathetic state also known as the rest-and-digest system.


3. Develop a positive association with triggering yoga poses

Associating a positive image or mantra can help ease your anxiety when practicing triggering yoga poses. For me, forward folds are my nemesis. However, instead of avoiding them, I consciously picture a positive image like the symbol of Om or reciting the Gayatri mantra silently while I practice forward folds. Over time, you’ll feel neutral or even become fond of these particular yoga postures.


These 3 strategies have helped me to remain calm when feeling anxious during my yoga practice. I hope these methods will also help you in finding tranquility on your yoga mat.


Yoga Nidra / Yogic Sleep For Deep Relaxation

20-Minute Guided Yoga Nidra For Deep Relaxation


Do you have a hard time sleeping?

A good night sleep is important for balancing our hormones, regulate muscle repair, and calm the nervous system.

Yoga Nidra or Yogic Sleep is the best way to promote deep relaxation in the body and mind. This guided meditation allows you to release any hidden tensions, softening your thoughts, and slowly bring you into a deep state of relaxation. It is believed that Yoga Nidra is even more effective than conventional sleeping.

If you're looking for ways to relax and let go of stresses, this 20-minute guided Yoga Nidra video is for you!

If you know of anyone who would benefit from this video, don't forget to forward it to them! Also feel free to share this video on social media. :-)

Namaste~

Thinking Too Much? Top 3 Yin Poses To Get Rid Of Your Worries

“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.”

― Master Shantideva

When was the last time you worried? Perhaps last night? This morning? Or a few seconds ago? As purported by many scientific researches, humans are designed by nature to be fearful. This is logical as fear encourages us to be cautious, to run away from predators or to preserve food for an unexpected famine. However, as we progress in time, many of our worries are based less on real life danger, but rather on hypothetical stories that run incessantly in our minds.

Annie Au Yin Yoga Poses to get rid of Worrying

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), sickness can be caused by blocked emotional expression or prolonged/ intense emotional stimulation. These emotions may include anger, worry, fear, sadness, and mania. The concept and practical use of Chinese meridian system distinguishes Chinese medicine from other ancient healing modalities. Out of the twelve regular meridians, the Spleen/Stomach meridians are associated with worrying, as well as emotions like remorse, regret, obsessiveness, self-doubt, and suspicion. Commonly, when energy stagnant in these two meridians, you are likely to over-worry about things that may not have any tangible connections in your reality.

Yin poses help relief energy blockages throughout the body. The mechanism behind is similar to how water runs through a garden hose in your backyard. Just like pinching a garden hose with water running inside, the water pressure would increase behind the pinched spot. Upon release, the water forcefully pushes forward, carrying with it any toxic residue that may have lined the inside of the hose. Comparatively, while holding a yoga posture, the compressive or tensile force created in the body pinches the flow of energy in the meridians. After a few minutes as you come out of the pose, the energy is also released removing any energy stagnation in the channels.

If you’re a constant worrier, here are the top 3 poses you should do to help clear your worries away:

1. Sphinx/Seal- Hold for 3-5 minutes

Annie Au Yin Yoga Sphinx
Annie Au Yin Yoga Seal Pose

Start by laying on your stomach and place the elbows under the shoulder. Place the feet together or slightly apart, relax the legs. Slowly sink the chest and shoulders downward. You may feel slight to medium compression in the low back and tension in the chest and stomach.

To intensify the posture, go to Seal by lifting the elbows off the floor. Adjust the pressure in the low back by walking your hands closer or further away from the hips.

If you feel any sharp pain or numbness, go back to Sphinx or release the posture completely.


2. Saddle- Hold for 3-5 minutes

Annie Au Yin Yoga Saddle Pose
Annie Au Yin Yoga Half-Saddle Pose

Sitting on your knees or in hero pose (see picture), slowly walk the hands behind you on the floor as you lean back. Stop once you feel tension in the thighs and hip flexors. If you feel a lot of sensation in the low back, place a block or bolster under the spine for support. Only go as deep into the pose as you can breathe comfortably.



3. Melting Heart (Anahatasana)- Hold for 3 minutes

Annie Au Yin Yoga Anahatasana Melting Heart Pose

This pose is a gentle opening for the upper and mid back. Start on your hands and knees, slowly walk your hands forward until the chin or the chest touches the floor. You can place a block under the chin or forehead for support. The hips can be slightly forward or behind the knees. You may feel slight to medium sensations in the shoulders. You can also widen the arms to see if it softens the pressure in the shoulders. Note: If you feel any tingling or numbness in the arms, come out of the posture slowly as you might be experiencing nerve/blood vessel compression.