– Halle Berry believes that finding ways to release stress and negative energy is crucial for maintaining your health and wellbeing. (Oh hey yoga.)
– Her go-to practices are yoga and stretching, which she incorporates at least three times per week.
– She says poses like downward dog and her yoga wheel help her restore balance.
Thanks to plenty of personal experience, I believe that if we allow negative energy and stress to fester within us, they profoundly influence our health and wellbeing. In fact, when I’ve allowed this energy to house itself in my body, I’ve felt it affect everything from my mood to my blood sugar to my digestion.
That’s why, throughout my life, I’ve developed a few simple practices that help me work through and release stress, fear and negativity so that I can better manage my health (particularly my diabetes), be a better parent to my kids and show up in the world from a grounded, balanced place.
“It’s absolutely essential that we find ways to establish calm within ourselves amidst uncertainty.”
Though I’ve been working with my energy for years, this work feels especially relevant and important right now. The current state of our country—and the world—makes it very easy to feel afraid, lost and depressed.
However, I think it’s absolutely essential that we all find ways to establish calm within ourselves amidst the uncertainty, so that we can come together as humans, to really listen to each other, to speak up, and to find the compassion for each other that will be necessary for us to finally achieve unity.
One of the most helpful stress-releasing practices for me is yoga. To me, it’s a physical form of meditation that allows me to move negative energy out of my body. Whatever type of yoga I practice, focusing on my breath and really feeling my body as I flow through and hold poses really centres me. It’s like the stress just lifts right out of me.
I try to do yoga at least three times a week—even if just for 15 minutes or so.
Something that goes hand-in-hand with yoga for me is stretching, so it’s another big part of how I release bad energy. Sometimes I just hang out in downward-facing dog pose for a few minutes to stretch out my legs (my hamstrings tend to be tight from fight training). Or, if I need something relaxing, I’ll sit in child’s pose with my kids for a while. It’s such a comforting position, but you feel a nice stretch in your hips, along your sides, and in your back and shoulders.
I also use my yoga wheel to stretch my back and legs when I really need to sink deep into my body and let go. It’s such a simple tool, but it helps me to connect with myself and help my body release.
In addition to making these practices a regular part of my routine, I also turn to them in the moments when stress threatens to seriously throw me off or consume me. The other night, for example, I found myself stretching in my bedroom at 3 o’clock in the morning because the sound of helicopters outside was making me anxious. (I’m honestly a big fan of punching a pillow or kicking a heavy bag in these moments. Sometimes you just have to fight that unhelpful energy right out of your body.)
Whatever you’re working through right now, I hope that these simple rituals will help you let go of stress and heaviness so that you can find the balance we all need to be our best, healthiest selves and come together.
Halle Berry is a producer, director and actress. Now known as one of the fittest women in Hollywood, Berry recently launched rē•spin, a community for stories, conversations and products for health and wellness seekers. In her weekly WH column and #FitnessFriday Instagram posts for our partners in the US, she shares a personal look into her own health and fitness—along with the tips, tricks and advice behind her famously fit physique.
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This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com