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  • Heather Hagaman

Waking up with Anxiety....Again! I need tools!

Updated: Jan 18

I used to wake up scared and anxious for many years! These were the years that I used the tools of outside substances to feel better. Alcohol, food, spending and codependency were my primary coping tools and they worked temporarily. Unfortunately, the sides effects were always the same: guilt, shame and remorse.

Now I no longer use those strategies and I am on this road of recovery and discovery. I want to do all I can to not start my day with these emotional imbalances. I want to begin anew! I have spent years searching for healthier ways to be freed from the stranglehold of uncomfortable emotions (especially the morning ones!). And finally, it was through the system of yoga that I found some tools of resiliency that really help me!

What is resilience? It is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences such as waking up everyday with anxiety.

Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't experience difficulty or distress.

Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.

Yoga helps us to understand that we are multidimensional beings. We have "layers" of us that need to be integrated therefore yogic tools of resiliency involve the first three "layers" of the being. The first tool is for the body, the second one is for the breath and third one is for the mind. In yoga, we learn that when we integrate these three layers together, presence is established. " I am here now, I am present," is my mantra most of my day. From this state of awareness, the yogis show us we can regulate and self soothe ourselves. We can remember who we are and that we are not just our anxiety!


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First tool: I place my feet on the floor. I press them, I tap them and I play with lifting my toes. Big toe stands up and little toes stay down. I think the words " grounding" and "stability." I open and close my hands. I touch the ground. I massage them and affirm that the choice to shift is in my hands and no one else can do this for me. What day is this? What year is this? And then I stand up and I look around,. I look out the window and I see the outside world and practice no judgement. A rainy, dark day can be beautiful and perfect. If it is possible, I try to get outside and walk fast as I see the world of life around me. I need that aliveness to establish connection. I breathe in the words " I am not alone!"

Second tool is that I begin to exhale with the sound of "ha." I lift my arms up and inhale and exhale a loud "ha" a couple times as I float my arms back down. I check in and ask how am I feeling? Better? Then I breathe out with pursed lips as if I can blow out a candle.

Third tool: I talk to my mind and befriend it internally. "Mind, let's collaborate today. We need to remember that everything is ok: I am safe. There is a lot you need to attend to but remember we more than just our busy minds, we have purpose here on earth. We are in Service to Love."

I have customized these tools for me, may you experiment and develop your own tools for your body, breath and mind. And please know I am here and available for you! Being in Service to Love means I share all that I know to help you to alleviate your suffering. Namaha, Namaste!


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RESILIENT YOGA 4 YOU

Serving DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia

Based in Reston, Virginia

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