I hope this finds you well. And, I don’t mean well – like “happy” well – because I’m quite certain that you are all mediating all the feels and emotions that come with “times like these.” The crazy thing is that we as a planet haven’t experienced anything like this before. We are all new at this one. We are all grappling. We are tender and vulnerable AND courageous and strong AND resourced and creative. It’s a lot of this and that and this and that…so much to hold right now that it can feel disorienting, depleting and scary.
When I lean into the yoga teachings and teachers and wise guides in my life I’m reminded of the practice of trusting. I’m reminded to leverage these techniques that we have honed and played with on our mats and use them NOW more than ever in this time of colossal shift and uncertainty. I’m making good use of the tools and spirited energy I get from the communal experience of yoga AND the insights and reflections I’m gleaning from my personal practice and daily ritual of breathing, being, listening and visualizing. It’s a time to balance connections with our friends families teachers through our devices or walking in the neighborhood AND a time to really pause with the planet, to slow WAY down, to gather inspiration and ideas from the inside of our whole selves to resolve, to soothe, to clarify and to imagine. The personal then ripples out into the communal and then into universal. If there’s ever been a call to go inward, this is it…loud and clear. The time well spent inward developing strength and clear mindedness will give way to the path forward.
Keep it simple. Be kind to yourself. Resist the temptation to be really good or “perfect” at a pandemic and instead be inquisitive, be trusting, be creative.
Tips for a Home Practice…
1. Find a place in your home that is workable to set up your mat, light a candle and use a scent (diffuser or rub essential oil in palms) or play music that will woe you to your ritual of being with yourself each day
2. Try to find a time that will work most days (I realize this could be difficult with young kids at home or other distractions) So be flexible but try to make it a formal practice ie: you don’t go by your feelings, you go by your commitment and self-discipline
3. Do a practice that is grounding and promotes longevity…forward folds, hip openers, a backbend, a twist, plow and breathwork. Do the same practice every day.
4. Make a deal with yourself. Count the breaths in each pose. Choose a number that is meaningful for you or count to your age. Or say I’m going to do each pose for 4 minutes (because we are in the 4th month of the year)
5. At the end of your practice smile at your achievement and linger in gratitude.
There is freedom in containment…Throw your arms in the air and breathe! With patience and trust doors and windows and insights will open. I hope this gives you some guidance and support and more tools to use to promote wellness, goodness and a sense of personal power.