We in the industry like to say that knitting is the new yoga. Really, though knitting is just another, wonderful weapon in our arsenal of mind and body health maintainers (I should be probably use a more passive synonym given the topic. But I digress.)
Although we may not be able to stretch our bodies as we would with yoga, we can most certainly use knitting to practice mindfulness of spirit. Here are my Top 5 Tips for using the craft that we love to help de-stress the life that we live.
1. Choose a small project that you can finish quickly. A finished item equals a small, endorphin-releasing triumph!
These self-patterning, Patons Kroy, Yoga Socks not only knit-up much quicker than traditional socks, they’ll also keep your ankles warm while you get your “Ohm” on!
2. Use a mega bulky yarn so even short, knitting sessions produce progress you can see.
3. Choose patterns with simple repeats. For a meditative effect chant them to yourself as you knit.
I first gave the concept of focusing on the simplicity of the phrase of a pattern like, “knit 1, purl 1”, or “Yarn-over, knit two-together”, while listening to Stephanie Pearl-McFee’s talk, “This is your Brain on Knitting.” Since then, whenever I’m working on a a piece that doesn’t require shaping and has an easy to memorize stitch pattern I try to take at least a few minutes to zone out on the process. Projects like my, Spyro Gyro cowl or Bernat’s Big Basketweave Blanket would work perfectly for this practice!
4. With every stitch or two, breathe in and out.
According to WebMD, when you breathe deeply it sends a message to your brain to relax. All of those things that happen when you’re stressed such as, increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you take a moment to fill your lungs with air and then release.
5. Knit a gift. Making someone else’s day is surprisingly therapeutic!
I don’t know anyone who loves a handmade gift more than a mom. With Mother’s Day soon upon us, why not give her the warm fuzzies by knitting her, well, something warm and fuzzy?