I’ve recently had a string of clients that have been quite vata and/or pitta aggravated, which prompts me to ask the question: what do you do for stress relief – how do you handle your stress?

It’s really interesting to me, that the number one response seems to be exercise.

Should that be the immediate response? Is exercise effective for reducing stress, and pulling excess vata & pitta out of the body/mind? Although exercise is without a doubt helpful, I’m not so sure it’s the most effective.

When I ask someone how s/he handles stress, I’m really looking to find out if s/he’s practiced meditation, or perhaps done things like hiking in the woods or walking on the beach. Or even something like eating your meals in silence, where the act of eating food is done to nourish the body, rather than to stop a certain craving (an issue that you’re probably addressing while sitting in front of the TV).

As I’ve become more sensitive to feeling energy (as it gathers in different chakras; feeling it in other people’s chakras, etc.), there’s one thing that I’ve noticed—I can only feel this energy, and manipulate it, when I go within. I have never been able to feel my chakras while running the Santa Monica stairs, or biking down to the beach.

It has been my experience that calming the body, calming the mind, focusing your attention within by using a meditation practice, is MUCH more effective at balancing the mind/body/spirit when we’re out-of-balance.

The next time you feel all stressed-out, instead of going for a run, perhaps try going within, and learn how to control the mind (rather than letting the mind control you). When you gain this control, you will be able to handle any stressful situation with ease and grace.