Last Friday, May 4th 2012, Japjeet Kaur Khalsa from Yoga.me.uk held an interactive two hour session on Kundalini Yoga and Stress Management at Warwick University in Coventry. She was invited by Warwick University's Entrepeneurs' Society to come and speak to the students about Kundalini Yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and nutrition, and give them practical tips to help them in the stressful exam period, but also in their daily life and in the business career that lies ahead of them.
A good thirty students attended the session in the International Digital Laboratory on the Warwick campus. First, they were guided through some exercises to help them get a clearer insight in their own stressors and stress responses. Becoming aware of one's own stress responses is the first step to counter certain patterns before stress levels become too high. Students learned about the relation between stress, vitality and relaxation, and about healthy and unhealthy stress. They also learned which chemical processes take place in the body when it is put under stress, which hormones are released, and what effects all this has on their nervous system, glandular system and immune system.
In what became a very lively interactive session with a good balance between information, exercises and ample room for questions from the students themselves, Japjeet Kaur shared many techniques with the students to help alleviate stress, increase vitality, and induce deep relaxation. She taught the students about Long Deep Breathing; Right Nostril Breathing and Left Nostril Breathing; Alternate Nostril Breathing (which Japjeet illustrates in the following video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReFzDqHFhhQ ) and Sitali Pranayam (illustrated by Japjeet Kaur in the following video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F_kclVWacE ). She shared simple exercises like Spinal Flex, Shoulder Shrugs, Frog Pose and Cross Crawl. The benefits of these simple exercises are immense: they relieve tension from the back, shoulders and neck, they refresh the spinal fluid, open up the energy channels to the brain, make the brain hemispheres work together, bring clarity to the mind, and tap into the reserve energy stored behind the Navel Point.
Together with advice on nutrition (what type of foods to eat, when to eat, when not to eat; the importance of whole grains, green vegetables and fruits that contain lots of prana, superfoods, etcetera), advice on how to get a good sleep (see our earlier article Kundalini Yoga Evening Routine), and on how hydrotherapy can give them energy when they are in need of it ((see Yoga and Hydrotherapy A Cold Shower in the Morning)), the students left the session with a toolkit filled with easily applicable yet very effective techniques to get them through the coming weeks and to support them in the rest of their lives.