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Best Practices For Dealing With Stress w/ Ritu Riyat
Lifestyle Mindset & Meditation

Best Practices For Dealing With Stress w/ Ritu Riyat

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Steph Gaudreau

This is Episode 283 of the Listen To Your Body podcasts on today’s show. I’m welcoming stress expert Ritu Riyat. And she is sharing with us strategies for decreasing stress for incorporating meditation into your life and so much more. The next evolution of harder to kill radio is here. Welcome to the Listen To Your Body podcast. on this show, we’ll explore the intersection of body, mind and soul health and help you reclaim your abilities to eat and move more intuitively. Hear your body’s signals, and trust yourself more deeply. I’m Steph Gaudreau, a certified intuitive eating counselor, nutritional therapy practitioner, and strength coach. On this podcast. You can expect to hear expert guest interviews and solo chats that will help you deepen your trust with food movement and your body. Remember to hit the subscribe button and share this podcast with your friends and loved ones. Now, on to the show. Hello, my friend, thank you so much for joining me on the show today. First of all, huge, huge thank you goes out to you because this little podcast has now hit over 3 million downloads which is crazy, crazy crazy. I am so very grateful that it’s now just about five years on the nose will be five years. On June one that I launched this podcast, of course, it used to have a different name that was Harder To Kill Radio. But now we are continuing to carry that torch with this show and it just blows my mind every time I think about the number of folks who have been able to listen to the show to gather information, knowledge, and peace of mind from My guests, and listen to me ramble and rant and rave about all the things that are in my universe. So, first of all, just wanted to give you a massive, massive thank you and express my gratitude. For you. It means so very much that you tuned into the show, and that you tell the people you love about this podcast. Of course. One way to show your love would be to hit subscribe on your podcast app. To understand really quickly what that does is it helps the show to be visible subscribers is one of the ways that a show game that recognition and so what that really does is it organically helps new people find the podcast. So it’s very, very important and very much appreciated. I’m very excited to welcome to the show today. Ritu Riyat. She is somebody that I’ve actually known for many years and we were trying to Figure it out at the top of the show how exactly we met each other. But recently Ritu has a really amazing program, all about stress. And I saw her share it on my personal Facebook not too long ago and thought, Oh, I need to ask her to come on the podcast because she has experience in the yoga world. She has the experience now teaching how to really reduce stress in our lives, but not only that really understand what stress is. And she also weaves in things like mindfulness, and mindfulness meditation, however, she has some strong opinions about meditation. So if you’re thinking about picking up a meditation practice in this stressful time, you’re going to want to tune in to the rest of the show and find out her thoughts on that. Before we hop in, I just would love to remind you to join the Listen To Your Body newsletter. I am cooking up some opportunities for you to work with me on developing a more peaceful relationship with food and your body. This is continuing the work that I do with my intuitive eating small group coaching and so much more. There are more details that I could possibly tell you on this intro. So if you want to get in the loop and make sure you are the first to know about how you can work with me in these new and exciting ways, then join the listen to your body newsletter. It comes out about once a week, and I share more goodness with you so you’re going to want to go there it is StephGaudreau.com/LTYB and that, of course, stands for Listen To Your Body. Alright, let’s jump into today’s episode. Oh my gosh, read through what Welcome to the show. I’m so incredibly glad that you’re joining me today on the podcast.

Ritu Riyat

Thank you so much, Steph. I am really happy to be here with you.

Steph Gaudreau

Yeah, I was thinking back I was trying to go back in my memory. Bank and remember exactly how we got connected with each other. It’s been a long time. And I wasn’t Yeah, I wasn’t actually able to remember how we got in like it came into each other’s awareness. But nevertheless, I’m so glad that recently you know, I know I think things come into your consciousness for a reason but you talk a lot about any of this amazing course about stress. And I see your posts pop up on Facebook all the time. We’re Facebook friends, but I saw it not too long ago and I just thought I would love to have her on the podcast. So here we are, all these years later. Remember how we got connected?

Ritu Riyat

You know, I kind of do it, it’s almost been a decade. And I think I’m not sure if you did the I am nutrition program. I know I definitely was doing that. And I think I had met someone through that maybe that connected me but Remember, you’re cycling your shoes?

Steph Gaudreau

Yeah. Yeah, I was, I was racing mountain bikes.

Ritu Riyat

Yes. And I had just gotten into cycling because I had done the AIDS lifecycle, or I was just starting to train for the AIDS lifecycle bike ride. And I think I was into CrossFit at the time. I think you might have been and yeah, just and some worlds colliding, I might have been introduced to you through a connection. So yeah, that’s what I remember. I reached out and we had a great conversation. You were cycling distances or mountain biking, and I was doing this long-distance bike ride.

Steph Gaudreau

Right? It’s crazy. Yeah. So I didn’t do it when I went through the NTP program through the MTA, but But yeah, isn’t it funny how these, these worlds kind of, you know, like, we’re both riding bikes, racing bikes, doing all this biking stuff, and then that fell away and then just getting reconnected and reacquainted and watching your own journey and your professional journey, change and adapt and go in different directions. And I’ve always just really appreciated that, that you seem to really lean into these areas that you’re finding really interesting or that you have that expertise in and we could talk all day about, about business stuff, but that’s not necessarily why we’re here.

I was really struck by obviously right now there are just so many people feeling so many things amplified in a lot of ways. And the stress and anxiety that people are feeling are really overwhelming. We’ve had some guests on in the recent past, talking about anxiety, but I really would love to, you know, have you just give us this finger on the pulse of what you see happening right now. And we’re gonna also talk about some things having to do with meditation, and then also, we’re going to end you’re going to end by doing a little extra With us, so I think this is going to be really a useful conversation. But I know that one of the things that you have is a course where you teach, kind of how to detox your life from stress, and it’s more workplace-related. At what are you seeing right now with just sort of the collective of what’s going on in terms of people trying to deal with cope with stress?

Ritu Riyat

Yeah. So let me kind of back up and try to give an overview of the stress detox that I have and my interpretation of stress because I think there’s a lot of different ways that we defined stress and the way that I’ve come to define it for myself and what I teach is and what my understanding of stress which really helped me get a handle on my own stress and anxiety, having been a yoga teacher for almost 15 plus years now and been in the mind-body world for a long time. And a public health educator I actually personally thought I had a handle on my stress and anxiety until one day I just found myself crippled with anxiety, like having a panic attack and I thought, wow, I eat great a workout I do all of this stuff. How am I experiencing this? And God’s gonna realize like no one for me, you know, we all experience stress, we all can experience anxiety and stress is actually quite normal and important in our life. The way I define it is stressors. our body’s natural response to change. And change is constantly happening. And it’s really recognizing how much control do you have in that situation that you’re in. So when things are when change starts to happen at an accelerated rate, we may feel a loss of control Or we may be able to adapt to that change. Strike is really a perception of our mind that what’s happening within our mind and how we’re perceiving that situation but outside of us. And so with the stress detox and for me personally when I started looking at, okay, why am I experiencing this anxiety and the stress and started peeling back the layers and really putting on like my researcher’s hat to investigate? Where is the stress hidden in my life because I thought I felt great. I looked great. I was exercising, I was doing all of this stuff yet. Still was experiencing this anxiety, which didn’t happen overnight, and actually happened over time. It’s just, we ignore when our body’s telling us, hey, something’s going on. Hey, something’s going on. Until one day that the alarms are going off really loud and you have no choice but to listen And so that kind of became the framework of the stress detox program that I created, which is deeply rooted in awareness. So developing your self-awareness and your own personal response to stress. Because one person may respond to structure that change happening, and it could be exciting, and another person could look at the same change and just be in a complete panic. So it’s very personal and recognizing your own personal responses and symptoms of the change that you’re experiencing. And then kind of putting on your detective hat and really going in and looking at where is the stress hidden? What is that hidden stressor? We often think of the big things like oh, work is stressing me out or my relationship is stressing me out under big. Those are huge things in our life that can’t just change so quickly. And oftentimes, when you do change them You find yourself in a similar position in that new job, or in that new relationship because there’s something deeper going on. And so really peeling back the layers to discover where stress is hidden, those subtle things. Now, of course, what we’re experiencing right now, is, is not subtle. There. It’s actually very much obvious in our face this change that’s happening. So it’s a different level of stress. It’s really acute. It’s happening right now. The stress detox program was designed to really dig into some of the chronic stress that we were all experiencing prior to this pandemic. And we were all ready, especially in our workplaces on the verge of burnout. And this has just accelerated the process and we’re alongside this pandemic. We’re also having a mental health crisis. We have to address and then we can have the tools and strategies that we have to manage stress and applying them in more in a more strategic manner. So when you discover, hey, this is what’s real, this is my hidden stressor. And let me take a pause at this time on this day.

So that you’re being more strategic with the techniques that you’re using versus I meditate first thing in the morning, and then I don’t do anything else throughout the day, right? Because then it begins to pile on, and you’re not addressing or giving yourself a break to process the stressor. Yeah, I love that.

Steph Gaudreau

I was gonna say that’s such a great, it’s just such a great overview of the sort of what’s going on right now. But go ahead and finish what you’re saying. said then I have a couple I have, like, have so many questions that I’m asking.

Ritu Riyat

I was gonna say so that’s kind of the overview. And that became the framework for distress detox. It’s really it almost is Simple, but it’s not easy. But because it requires a lot of requires work to really develop that self-awareness to constantly check in with yourself and to notice how you’re responding to the changes that are happening. And then building resilience. So the other side of stress is the resilience of adapting to the change. Now, I think I started off saying that stress isn’t bad, actually, we all need a healthy amount of stress. And there’s a stress spectrum. So if you even Google the stress spectrum, it kind of it’s a, it’s a curve, and on one side of it, you’re in a state of calm. And then when you’re when you have some health challenges coming into your life, you actually begin to experience some level or increase in some of these stress hormones. A little bit of cortisol comes into your system, a little bit of adrenaline that gets you motivated, that gets us you know, wanting to do that work. And that’s what we want. That’s what Need, we thrive off of that, and you enter into this zone, which we may be call our peak performance, we call it the zone. In terms of the science of stress, it’s called your stress. So you SPR e FF. And that’s to help the amount of stress. And that’s where we that’s optimal performance. Now, what happens is, if the challenge then becomes too much for us, or we have some sort of fear of the challenge, and that challenge could be something like a deadline. You know, maybe the deadline was a healthy challenge at first, but as you got closer, you felt like you couldn’t need it, it, the stress level began to go increase even more, and now it enters into this zone called distress. Oftentimes, when we talk about stress, and we’re so stressed out, we’re actually referencing that state of distress. So when I look at it that way as this curve, it’s not that we’re trying To eliminate stress from our life, what we’re really trying to do is recognize where we are on the stress spectrum. And when we’re approaching distress. That’s when we apply our tools to take a pause and bring ourselves down that spectrum back into you stressed or maybe a state of calm, and just kind of slide up and down that healthy face over there between calm and use stress, pushing our edge, but not tipping over and where we get into overwhelm and burnout.

Steph Gaudreau

Hmm, that was gonna be my first question was can you describe the difference, you know, is all stress bad? And I think that that’s such a huge thing that you know, certain things in science in culture and health and wellness spaces get a really bad reputation, right like cortisol. Well, hey, cortisol is a natural, normal hormone that we actually I’ll need it has a lot of great benefits that it does for our body. It’s very important but It’s sort of like the poisons in the dose, right? Like it’s how, how chronically Are we being exposed to that kind of thing? And then how, how much recovery time are we allowing ourselves? So I’m really glad that you talked about that. You know, one of my other questions and you hit upon this just a little bit earlier is that oftentimes we feel we were we become like acutely aware of when stress is just gone off the chart for us. But you said earlier that there are a lot of more subtle signs that your body is going to send you that you are sort of entering into that state of, of where you’re not in the US stress category anymore. And you’re tending to lean more towards that burnout phase. How what are some of those more subtle signs that people will want to look out for

Ritu Riyat

what and subtle clues some of them happen on a mental level, a physical level, emotional level, and behavioral responses. So those subtle symptoms can occur in any one of those areas or all of those areas and some of them could be fatigue, it could be on extreme levels. Dry skin, your skin could start responding and start having highs and breakouts. Your heart starts to be faster, profusely sweating. On a behavioral level, eating changes, either overeating, the craving, lack of exercise were or the exercising before and then you just lost your motive motivation to exercise or maybe even indulging in too much into exercise or substances. Those are some of there’s so many that I could delve deep into And again, they are so personal. So just recognizing one, it goes back to your awareness. How is your life structure? Great. Now? How are you when you’re in a calm state? And then beginning to notice when subtle changes happen, right? Am I craving too much sugar today? Am I you know, wanting that extra glass of wine? Do I just want to sleep in and not do anything? Can I not sleep at all? So those types of changes in our habits are indicators that something’s going on.

Steph Gaudreau

Hmm, yeah, those are, I think will be really helpful for people. And, you know, I think one of the biggest things that people tell me is that they’re just, they’re not feeling like themselves, you know, you kind of build up these years, perhaps decades-long. Sort of, you know, this is how I usually feel or these are, how this is how I’m normally functioning. This is kind of what’s baseline for me. Not that those things are always, you know, because we can get really accustomed to things being not okay. And having that just become the new normal. So that’s not necessarily what I mean. But I think that there’s just that huge awareness piece that of thinking, you know, how is this normally how I would function and have things gotten worse from there? I think that’s probably what I’m talking about is how far from that, that baseline how things shifted? And, and so, yeah, so important, like you said, to consider everything really holistically, right. I think sometimes people are like, Oh, well, you know, it’s just that I, my digestion is messed up or something, but it can be that mental, emotional, spiritual, physical thing, right, that that we may not expect. That could be that little indicator, that stuff’s shifting in a direction that’s not so healthy for us.

Ritu Riyat

Yeah, and I think you touched on something that’s really important to recognize is that general feeling of something’s not right. Like, I don’t feel good. And in order to get there, we have to first acknowledge that however, we’re feeling is okay, and validate our own feelings. And that’s even extremely important right now in this current, you know, the pandemic that we’re experiencing because people’s feelings are all over the place. And everyone is dealing with it differently. And however, you’re dealing with it is okay. And however, you’re feeling and this moment is okay. And in order to change, you know, or move in some direction, you have to know where you are right now. So kind of have that assessment of how am I feeling right now? How am I really feeling right now? And if the answer is not really feeling that great, well, now you can start digging a little deeper to do something about it.

Steph Gaudreau

I love that. You know, you also mentioned as you were talking about Developing self-awareness. And as somebody who works on this all the time, and can read I can remember a time when I had practically no self-awareness and I think back to those days and how different life felt. How does it? How does somebody even go about? Beginning like if you’re not aware of your thoughts, feelings, actions, that sort of thing? Like how do you even become self-aware or you do start to become self-aware, especially when there are so many things grabbing at your attention? Now more than ever, what does this look like on a really practical level for people?

Ritu Riyat

I will say one of the best tools to develop self-awareness is a mindfulness practice to the meditation practice. And, you know, meditation can mean a lot of different things to lots of different people. What that means to me is to really just sit with yourself in stillness, in silence. And instead of looking outward at everything else that’s happening, turning inwards and reflecting, asking yourself and self-reflection questions. What I tell some of my clients, especially in the workplace is these four self-reflection questions of what went well today. What didn’t go so well? What could I? What could I have done differently around what didn’t go so well? And what am I grateful for? And just asking yourself some questions. Those are great questions to ask every day or, you know, maybe having some other questions that you that resonate with you asking questions to yourself and answering them quickly without analyzing them, just allowing that answer to come up and noticing what that answer is. for yourself because it’s an inquiry, right? Self Awareness is an inquiry and we’re so used to, it’s not that we’re not aware we have a lot of awareness. It’s just a lot of that awareness and a lot of our awareness has been developed to be external. By being aware of what someone else needs or being aware of deadlines, being aware of, you know, how someone else Chrissy says, what other people are going to say kind of, you know, the impression that we have on others. We have done very little and haven’t had a lot of training always been our traditional schooling them to look inward and really trust our intuition and trust ourselves and allow our intuition to guide us.

I love how it starts with an inquiry.

Steph Gaudreau

Yes, you brought up so many great points in there too, which anybody who listens to this podcast who will not be a stranger to so I’m not gonna harp on those too much, but it is like you said so. Important start, start tuning in getting curious, right like inquiring and listening for those answers that come through without judging them. So I want to shift a little bit because you talked about this before we were on the air. And I think this is so incredibly important, especially with what’s happening in the world. At the moment you did mention one of the tools that you can use to build your own awareness would be things like mindfulness practice, or meditation practice. And before we started recording, I asked you, is there something you’d really like to talk about? And you said that meditation may not be for everyone, especially now. So I would love for you to expand on that. What do you mean by that? How, how do we start applying that lens to us as individuals with listening to ourselves, our bodies, our own consciousness, things like that?

Ritu Riyat

Oh, yeah, meditation is a great tool. I’m a huge advocate for A, like, encourage everyone to work on building a meditation practice, or, or a self-awareness practice to just sitting in silence and stillness. And it’s difficult to do. When I first started meditating, which is been a long time ago, because I started Yoga 20 years ago, it was challenging for me, especially coming from a mindset of I’m on the go all the time. And when I did start being with myself but sitting still with myself, there were a million thoughts and I just kind of thought, This is not for me, I can’t do this. And it took me a while to build that self-awareness. And eventually, I did a 10-day silent meditation retreat of the personnel where I was meditating 10 hours a day. And it That was my first realization of Wow, this is work and this is difficult and There’s a lot that comes up in the mind and how important it is to, to, there’s a lot that comes up in the mind, and you have to be at it in a somewhat stable place to really deepen that practice and having a lot of self-compassion.

So all that to say, right now, everyone’s feeling like you’ve hurt your feelings may be all over the place. And there’s a lot of articles that I read that say, if you’re feeling stressed out, sit down and meditate. It’s a great tool to work with distress. And I wonder how is it exactly a great tool to work with, with stress, just because you sit and stillness doesn’t mean your stress is going to disappear, or that you’re going to know how to act on it. I think it does give you self awareness of Okay, this is how I’m feeling. I’m feeling anxious right now. But you need to know how to address that anxiety when you come out of your meditation. And maybe when you sit down To meditate, and you have a lot of thoughts in your mind and your heart is racing and you just, there’s so much uncertainty in your life. You can’t actually sit and be still with those thoughts. Meditation may not be the best thing to do right now maybe it’s another practice that helps you slow down so that you can get to the stillness, like coloring in a book like using adult coloring books or going for a walk or moving your body. Some say Mind Body practices. Traditionally, meditate is yoga practice, the practice was designed to tire your body out so that you could sit and meditate. And when you practice for a long time or develop your practice, then there were some Yogi’s that they would sit and they could go right into meditation, but early on, it’s really physical. As you want to release a lot of that surface energy so that you can sit and meditate. So, it is something I wanted to address that if you’re hearing this advice of, well let me sit and meditate even if you’ve been somebody that meditation center regular part of your practice, but it’s challenging right now. It’s okay. And just having compassion for yourself. And, you know, getting creative with other things that you can do to slow down and then maybe approaching the meditation

Steph Gaudreau

I love that I think that’s such an important distinction to make. And I know for myself I’ve I’m relatively new to meditation in terms of it being a regular practice in my life and I’ve been doing I’ve been trying a lot of different kinds of meditation for me personally, the idea of doing have Aptana is just like not gonna happen at this point in my life. It just doesn’t, doesn’t feel like the right match for me and lots of people are done with Aptana and they just say I felt the same way. And then I came out of it. And I was so glad I did. And I’m like, I’m not I just don’t feel ready for that. It doesn’t feel like the right match for me at this point. But I’ve been really trying lots of different meditations. And so for me personally, one of the hardest things is to sit in and be in that space where I’m more still or I have no, I’m trying to, like, attach to no thoughts. For me, I really love listening to things like singing bowls, Crystal bowls, Tibetans evils, like just having the sound there is something that I can focus on is really is feels good for me. So I think, you know, what I’ve seen too is a lot of people are like, well, this is the one way that you can meditate and not exploring other options or feeling like that’s not gonna work for them. Like I can’t sit still for five minutes right now. So it’s just like it’s completely off the off table for me. And I think what I hear you saying is, you know if walking gets you into that meditative state, and you can walk right now and it feels good to move your body. That’s, that’s awesome. For me, I also knit knitting, for me is like very, it’s almost like coloring, right? It kind of gives you It gets you into that alpha brain state. And that’s very soothing. So it doesn’t have to look one way. And I think that’s kind of what I hear you saying?

Ritu Riyat

Yeah, absolutely. But I will add to that, I am saying that until like a meeting is a great example of it. It helps to just slow down, slow down, slow the mind down, and you’re doing a mind-body type of practice. And then maybe when you complete the knitting, you can spend even a minute doing the check-in like, how am I feeling? Because that’s where the self-awareness comes from. And that’s important with what meditation really teaches us. One, you know, there’s going to be thoughts in the mind and it’s not about having no thoughts But it’s about more recognizing, oh, my mind just wandered away. Okay, let me bring it back to my point of focus. And at least with the positive practice and the best-focused meditation practice is just absorbing the sensation. And just to, so you’re just observing and noticing, Okay, back to prison, and that’s falling that tourism, and that’s fallen. And it teaches us and it builds our resilience because you become more accepting of change, because change is constant. And so you’re not as reactive to the change that’s occurring. Outside because you become familiar with working with change inside your body. singing bowls, and other there are other practices like there’s one that I practiced in a yoga training of mine called mesh from the bog and it was working with the sound. So you just listen to sound and sound good, right? And then maybe it’s a bird chirping. So you wouldn’t analyze Oh, that’s a bird chirping. I wonder what kind of bird it is. Instead, you would just hear the sound, and then it would slowly fade away, and then maybe another sound comes, and then it would fade away. That’s a similar practice of just not attaching. Same with singing bowls, you hear a sound, and then it fades, and then another sound and it fades. So all great practices of just being in the moment and present, right, and not attaching to one sound or the other, but instead being able to just adapt as the change happen.

Steph Gaudreau

I love that. I think that’s such a great explanation of what meditation can really help us do. And you talked about this earlier, I think before we started recording of how it’s one thing to sit down and do your meditation in the morning and then it’s done and then everything else piles on to you throughout the day. But I think what I hear you saying is that Practicing, that gives us the flexibility to adapt to what’s happening outside of the meditation practice as we live our lives.

Ritu Riyat

Hundred percent so that you’re in control. And I mentioned this, in the beginning, is really when we start to feel or approach that level of distress is when we feel a loss of control a perceived loss of control in the situation. And so, how the question I always ask myself and what I have my clients ask themselves is, what can I do at this moment? To feel a sense of control, what is the smallest step that I can take? And, and most of us do have control over our own bodies, what we put in our bodies in terms of food, how we move our bodies, and how we think we weak that’s something we can control. It’s not easy. But it is something that we can control. And then when we really when things seem so uncertain as they are right now in our world, I encourage you to go back to what you can control really going and developing routine things that you can that is certain for you, like, I’m gonna do a workout at 10 am. Tomorrow I’m going to move my body or do something. So you have your own routines that make your mind feel like okay, things are okay because I have a level of control in my life. Mm-hmm. I love that.

Steph Gaudreau

What do you love to share a little bit of meditation with us?

Ritu Riyat

Yeah, I for whatever you were thinking about? Yeah, we’ll do just a very short, a couple of minutes. So with meditation, it doesn’t have to be. Say that consistency is better than quantity. So it’s better to, you know, one Five minutes a day versus 20 minutes once a week or one hour, once a month. And so we’ll just do a short practice. Right now if you’re sitting on a chair, just go in and sit at the edge of the chair, your back is not against the backrest. You want your back nice and straight, your feet are flat on the ground. And just go ahead and take your shoulders back and down.

And then softly close the eyes.

Take a deep breath in through the nose and exhale out.

And just take a moment here to notice any thoughts that begin to arise in the mind. Knowing that when you do become still and silent, the mind may get very loud and chaotic and that’s completely okay. Just observing these thoughts as they begin to arise without analyzing or judging the thoughts and then like clouds in the sky allow the thoughts to float on by. As you bring your attention and your awareness, the very tip of the nostrils and the space above the upper lip.

Keeping your attention and your awareness here begin to notice and observe any subtle sensations of the breath as it travels in and out through the nostrils. Perhaps you notice the tech of the breath or the temperature of the breath.

Maybe you notice the speed of the breath.

just observing any sensations at all, without judging or analyzing the sensation.

Keeping your attention and your awareness air now connecting the mind to the breath. As you observe yourself breathing in through the nostrils, they in your mind, inhale. And as you observe yourself breathing out through the nostrils, say in your mind, exhale into appears. breathing in through the nostrils. Say in your mind, inhale, and as you observe yourself breathing out your nostrils, stay in your mind, exhale.

Continue at your own pace with your breath.

And if at any point your mind wanders away from the breath gets caught up in any thoughts at all. Just acknowledge that your mind has wandered away. disconnect from the thought and gently nudge your mind back to the breath. Back to the inhale and exhale.

This place of clarity and connection. Now bring to your mind one experience you had today that you are grateful for. Regardless of how small or large just experience, visualize that happening, and allow the sensations of gratitude To watch over you go ahead and release this experience from your mind and bring your mind back to the breath.

Take a deep breath into the nose.

Deep breath out and wiggle your toes and your fingers just reawakening your body.

Then whenever you’re ready, you can softly blink the eyes open.

Right so that was just a couple minutes and It’s just a great way to drop back into the present moment into the sensations connecting with the breath and hopefully feeling a little bit calmer.

Steph Gaudreau

I love that. That was wonderful. And I learned something new there because when you were talking about just like seeing the word or, you know, seeing inhale in your mind and then seeing exhale in your mind, like that was really, you know, thinking the word or I know some people don’t actually, they don’t see words. Or they don’t hear themselves speak in their mind, which I’ve recently learned. So some people see words are what that was really I love that gave me a focal point in my mind as well as in my body of observing the sensations so that was wonderful. Thank you so much.

Ritu Riyat

Yeah, you’re welcome. I really like using the mean again. So that does use kind of a mantra is giving your mind something to do, especially as a beginner in meditation, the mind can seem very unfocused. And so you want to bring it to something and the sensation can be so subtle of the breath, especially it’s difficult to feel in the beginning. So connecting, you know, okay, I observe myself breathing in and saying or thing, inhale, just began to connect that mind-body breath connection. Eventually, as you continue practicing, you might just drop into the sensation of the breath, and feeling the breath versus, you know, and your mind is just there with it.

Steph Gaudreau

So powerful. I love that and I’m so grateful, grateful to you for sharing that with us. With me and all of the people listening to this show, I think, you know, hey, if you feel like you can’t meditate or you, it’s just not possible for you and you’re able to use it and just be with that exercise no matter what the outcome was or what it was like during it. I mean, there you go. You, You broke the seal on your first, you know, maybe your first experience which is so powerful. I love this conversation. So much, I really appreciate you giving us this conceptual framework for understanding stress or understanding self-awareness. And then the practical side of things, considering whether meditation is, you know, right for us at this point in our, our lives, what kind of meditation may benefit us and really how simple but not easy? It can absolutely be. So I think that this is going to be such a wonderful conversation for people to listen to, and I can’t believe our time is already over. Really how fast it goes.

Ritu Riyat

It was a great conversation. Thank you so much for having me here and allowing me to share my practice and my teaching with you and your audience.

Steph Gaudreau

And yes, absolutely. And yours. You have such a calming, grounding voice, which I really appreciate as well. Let us let people know where they can get connected with you learn more about your program, learn more about the things that you’re doing in the world, and we’ll make sure we link all that in Show Notes, but let us know where they can do that.

Ritu Riyat

Yeah, you can find out more about me and my practices my work at my website, Read Through React Calm. There, you can find a link to the stress detox program, which is on Udemy. And you can also find a link to my five-minute mind program, which I just relaunched. It’s a short practice for building a five-minute meditation practice and five days, one minute at a time, so you can access that there as well, as well as other tools and tips that I have around stress management right now.

Steph Gaudreau

Awesome. And like I said, we’ll link all that up in the show notes. Oh, my goodness, this was so wonderful read through. Thanks so much for being on the show for continuing to be my friend. After all these years, we’ve all gone through so many changes. But truly, it was wonderful to be able to get reconnected in this way and to be able to share your gifts with my community. So thanks so much. For being on, listen to your body podcast.

Ritu Riyat

Thank you.

Steph Gaudreau

There we go. That’s a wrap on this episode with Riku Riyat. I so enjoyed having her on the show. I hope you did too. And if you loved this episode, if you learn anything, if you want to share with us what you thought, there are a couple of ways you can do that. First is to share this post on social media or share this episode I should say on social media and tag the both of us and we would love to see your thoughts on that. The second way is, of course, to leave a rating or review on Apple Podcasts or iTunes. That is extremely helpful. We’d love to know what you really took away from this show. What did you learn what did you like? And you can also hit the subscribe button that just helps new people find the show. I shouldn’t say just it’s very, very important and very much appreciated. And I’m so grateful for you taking that extra time. Step to share about the show, to get the information into the hands of the people you love and care about. It is so meaningful and so impactful. And of course, you can get the Show Notes for this episode. over at my website, StephGaudreau.com. There you can find links to everything from Ritu’s course to her social media, and so much more full transcript, the full meal deal, you know how it goes. Alright, so, go ahead and grab all of those goodies and I hope to see you next week on the show. I have another really cool guest. I’ll give you a little teaser. When my husband heard her talk. He was just doing that might you know that mind blown like he’s like, Mind blown with his hands. So she’s incredibly interesting and the things that she’s talking about. I know you’re gonna love alright. Until then, be well.

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