International Day of Yoga: Three natural ways to manage stress in your life.

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Erin Blair

Kate Kendall, Co-Founder & Director of Yoga at Flow Athletic shares three natural strategies – including breathwork, yoga and meditation – for managing ongoing stress and it’s related health issues in daily life.

Anxiety is a normal part of life. However, sometimes your anxiety may take over and you feel completely overwhelmed. 

There are many natural strategies that can be used for managing anxiety and stress. Meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, exercise such as yoga, relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes are just a few things you can try.

The best coping strategies for anxiety will be different for each person, and the intensity of the strategy required will depend on each unique situation. 

Metta Meditation

This is a type of meditation from Buddhism and involves sending loving kindness to others. The goal is to cultivate loving kindness to all beings (especially family members, friends and co-workers who may push our buttons) including ourselves.

How to: 

Find a quiet place to sit or lie and pay attention to the gentle rhythm of your breath (through the nose). After a few moments of retreating inwards visualise someone you love and internally say the words:

May you be safe

May you be well

May you feel loved and love

Next visualise someone you feel resistance towards and repeat the same lines as you continue to hold a visualisation of them in your mind. 

Finally visualise yourself as a child. Repeat as above. 

Stay in the presence of the metta for a few moments or even minutes afterwards. 

Grounding Breath

This particular breath flow is designed to down regulate your nervous system. Great for ‘grounding’ and coming back home to the body when we feel off centre.

How to:

Take a moment to stop, ideally sitting but this can really be done anywhere including standing up on public transport. 

Lengthen your exhalation and complete it by drawing the navel gently into your spine. Inhale to the count of three, hold for three, exhale for six and hold out gentle for three. Repeat and continue for two-five mins.

Supta Badokanasana 

This is the reclined butterfly pose in yoga that we take to open hips and ground as well as chest and shoulders if we take the arms above the head. Being in a reclined posture gives your nervous system a rest and helps to ease tension in various parts of the body. Grab five minutes to yourself in a quiet place and settle in. 

How to:

Lie down and bring the soles of your feet together letting your knees spill out to the side. Either leave your arms by your side or lift them above head and lightly grip opposite elbows – letting them rest heavily into the earth. You can also apply the Grounding Breathwork as explained above here. 

Adopting a combination of strategies that work for you will allow you to choose depending on the level of anxiety and the environment you are in. 

Kate Kendall

Kate Kendall

Passionate about teaching the art of practicing presence, Kate is the Co-Founder and Director of Yoga at Flow Athletic. She's also the author of, 'Life in Flow' - a contemporary guide to living your Yoga off the mat.

Serving her community in Paddington and internationally, Kate recognises the huge potential and power in breathwork to dramatically shift mindset and mood and is humbled by the way it's changed her own life.

Kate Kendall

Kate Kendall

Passionate about teaching the art of practicing presence, Kate is the Co-Founder and Director of Yoga at Flow Athletic. She's also the author of, 'Life in Flow' - a contemporary guide to living your Yoga off the mat.

Serving her community in Paddington and internationally, Kate recognises the huge potential and power in breathwork to dramatically shift mindset and mood and is humbled by the way it's changed her own life.

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