Mudras - Yoga for the Hands

From Yocalm and Sun Power Yoga

Tse Mudra/ The Secret Gesture

For fighting sadness, fatigue, depression and loss of mental focus


Fold the thumb of both hands into the palm. Fold the 4 fingers over the thumb. This will look like a fist.

Sitting comfortably with a straight spine, either on the floor, against the wall or on a chair; Place both hands onto your thighs


Close the eyes and bring your awareness to your breathing.

As you breath in acknowledge your state of mind, hold for 2 counts and as you let the breath go out again through the nostrils imagine your worries, tiredness, sadness leave the body by drawing in the belly toward the spine.


Do this 7 times in each session.


Then notice how quickly you feel drawn into a space that is very still and centred. It’s so fast acting that no matter what it can be used when you feel like you need to focus, want to relax the mind or in an emergency.


You may have noticed you have used this before as an adult or as a child. It is very commonly used when feeling a strong lack of confidence or alone-ness.


It works!

Chin Mudra/Conscious Breath Gesture

Chin Mudra is the most common gesture used in Yoga classes and for meditation.


Placing the first finger and thumb together and the other 3 fingers open encourages a sense of discipline, preparation and on a physical level encourages good flowing abdominal breath. Sit with a straight back and follow the breath in through the nose inflating the belly and then follow it out again through the nose deflating the belly. Do this at least 7 times.


Abdominal breath relaxes the whole body as it allows for deep breathing. Use anytime especially if you feel rushed and seem to be breathing in a shallow manner.


3 steps to easy Meditation

So you want to meditate??

That’s great news for you and….. you :)

We have set out 3 simple steps to help get you started with meditation. Remember Yocalm is here for you if you need a guided session


Step one #1


Begin by sitting upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, or in the meditation pose, cross-legged on the floor.

The main thing is to keep your spine and head erect. This ensures that the chakras (energy centres) are in alignment.


Step two #2


Breathe through your nose. Take several deep abdominal breaths.

This is where you push your abdomen out on your in-breath and let it return towards your spine on your out-breath. This takes a bit of practice and may be the opposite of your usual breathing.

Make each breath slow and rhythmic.


Step three #3


Inform your mind of the duration of your meditation and ask it to be still and silent throughout. Anywhere between 2 and 10 minutes is a good starting time.


Slowly built your practice up to 20-30-60 minutes. Do not force your mind to be still. Simply count the movement of each breath in and out of your body:


Inhale ~ exhale one

Inhale ~ exhale two

Inhale ~ exhale three.


Let your mind become still and focused.

Whenever your mind wanders start counting again from one.

This simple technique can be used by anyone anywhere to relax and refocus your body and mind. With practice meditation will enrich the quality of your life.


Don’t take my word for it. Give it a try…


Yocalm Expert: Caroline Shola Arewa

Start your journey for free at YocalmTV

6 ways to combat depression

Yocalm - Relaxation Experts

Scientists know that depression is caused by low levels of certain chemicals (called neurotransmitters) in the brain.  Some people are genetically predisposed to have less of these vital chemicals, and some scientists theorize that the lack of amino acids in our national diet could also be a culprit.

Either way, there are many ways to boost mood and combat depression naturally, and yoga is just one way to get natural relief from depression. Here are some drug-free ways to brighten your mood and be a #happypanda

Sleep.  If you’re not getting enough sleep, chances are you’re not producing enough serotonin, one of the feel-good chemicals necessary for good mental health.  Doctors advise people to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep per night.  If you have trouble sleeping, consider taking supplements of tryptophan, melatonin or calcium an hour before bedtime.

Exercise.  Yoga therapy is particularly useful for restoring serenity and boosting mood, but any kind of exercise will naturally boost your brain’s production of neurotransmitters: cardio, strength training or even a long walk.  Just make sure you don’t over-do it or your hormones will start depleting.

Eat right.  Your brain won’t work at its peak if you don’t supply it with the nutrients it needs, and crash-dieting or eating junk will ultimately make you feel worse.  Eat balanced, regular meals with plenty of fruits and veggies, and try to balance your carb or sugar intake with some protein to keep your blood sugar from dipping.

Get enough fat.  Fat is essential for brain function and mental health—in fact, your brain is composed of about 70 percent fat.  But that doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want—unfortunately, it’s only the so-called “healthy fats” that boost NT production.  Try incorporating flaxseed, olive oil and coconut into your diet.  If you eat meat and you’re not squeamish, organ meats (like liver) have a high percentage of good fat, too.

Say no to drugs.  Over time, things like sugar, alcohol and caffeine can seriously deplete your brain’s capacity to produce hormones.  Of course, all three are fine in moderation, but, if you’re seriously about combatting depression, you should cut back as much as possible.  Additionally, avoid artificial sweeteners: the chemicals in them can interfere with natural hormone production.

Get the right vitamins.  Your brain needs plenty of calcium and magnesium to produce enough serotonin.  You can get this through leafy greens, nuts and dairy products.  You may also want to look into taking a Vitamin B complex.  B vitamins are important for brain function, but they tend to get used up by the body in times of stress.  All of the B vitamins work together in synergy, so look for a supplement that contains a good amount of each of them.  Finally, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D.  The best source of vitamin D?  Plenty of natural sunlight.


What are the negative effects of Cortisol?


Cortisol is a hormone that is absolutely crucial for life. Without it we would not be able to survive. However, when we live in chronic strain, worry, and stress, the adrenal glands produce relatively high amounts of cortisol. The problem with cortisol is that our bodies are not meant to be exposed to these relatively high amounts for long periods of time. However, many people who have stress as an obstacle to cure are experiencing the negative effects of cortisol.

  1. High cortisol decreases immunity. Cortisol is a corticosteroid and like prednisone, cortisone, and beclomethasone, it inhibits the actions of white blood cells. Initially, this usually leads to increased susceptibility to infections. Eventually, this may actually lead to long stretches of time without colds because the immune system is so weakened.

  2. High cortisol increases abdominal fat deposition. For reasons still unknown, high levels of cortisol induce the body to lay down adipose tissue in the abdomen and upper back/neck. In fact, for those people affected it is next to impossible to lose abdominal fat without addressing stress.

  3. High cortisol breaks down muscle, bone, and connective tissue. Cortisol is a gluconeogenic hormone. Gluconeogenesis is a process that creates sugar from existing tissue. Cortisol promotes the breakdown of muscle, bone, and connective tissue in order to increase blood sugar for the brain.

  4. High cortisol inhibits thyroid hormone activation. The thyroid gland makes 2 major hormones; thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyroine (T3). It predominantly makes T4, which is actually an in-active hormone. T4 is carried in the bloodstream and eventually hits a receptor on or in a cell and becomes activate to T3. High cortisol inhibits this conversion and thus creates a form of hypothyroid.

    You will also notice people eat more refined foods containing high sugar levels, become angry, tired and irritable.

Healthy Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a hormone that fluctuates during the course of the day with the circadian rhythm of the body. However, stress can greatly affect the way cortisol is produced and secreted and result in significant changes from the optimal circadian rhythm. Upon rising each morning cortisol levels are about at their highest. In fact, relatively high cortisol levels are one of the things that wakes us up in the morning. As the day goes on cortisol levels should gradually decline until they hit a trough around 8-10pm. They will stay low during deep sleep and gradually begin to increase around 4-6am until you awake.

Stress significantly impacts the production and secretion of cortisol during the day and night. Chronic stress not only elevates cortisol levels during the stressor but may also lead to cortisol spikes during the evening and overnight. High cortisol in the evening is one of the major reasons for insomnia, frequent waking, and night sweats.

Natural treatments to restore healthy cortisol levels are crucial for anyone suffering from the effects of elevated cortisol.Stress management techniques are extremely important and may include deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Adaptogenic herbs, B complex vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, glandular extracts, and homeopathic remedies support the adrenal glands and help restore the circadian rhythm.

Start your own personal protection against adrenal fatigue and high cortisol levels by learning how to control your emotions using yoga based techniques - be Pro-Active not Re-Active to stress!

Start with Yocalm for free

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