As we try to find our new “normal,” I’m hearing from friends and family that the initial panic seems to have faded, but the emotional roller coaster continues—with good days and hard days.
So today, I wanted to share some resources for all of you in the hopes these practices will help build up your foundation and help “put your mask on first, before taking care of others.” This pandemic is definitely a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s the little things we can do for ourselves and the ones we love that will make the biggest impact.
One of the yoga principles states that our connection to the earth should be “steady and joyful.” And right now, it feels anything but steady and joyful. But moment by moment, as we adjust and accept, maybe just maybe, we can use these ancient practices to find a new kind of joy.
Each day, we can remind ourselves that it’s often the simplest of practices that will make the most profound difference–and that is breathing.
The Extended Exhale Breath helps calm your nervous system and can be practiced any time of the day, whether you’re seated in your morning meditation or standing during the day. Take a pause, breathe in for 3 to 4 counts, and breathe out for 6-8 counts.
Take the time to discover what you need right now to have the stamina to get through this. I’ve found myself turning to the science of Ayurveda to rediscover how to balance my dosha, so I thought it might be helpful to share with you, too.
For example, I have a dominant Vata imbalance, and after a depressing rainy day indoors reading too many doomsday articles, I got clear on the things I need to do each day, including:
- morning meditation
- get to bed early
- eat healthy food
- follow yoga videos
- limit social media
- and get outside
In contrast, my husband has a strong Pitta imbalance. Each day, he needs to break into a sweat doing physical labor or exercise, get plenty of downtime, and be reminded to lighten up and enjoy life.
Knowing your dosha type might help you embrace what your body needs in terms of diet, routine, and exercise. This understanding might also help bridge the gap to accepting the needs of the people in your household.
I keep wondering why the quarantine life feels as busy as before. And then I have to remind myself that life is meant to be “steady and joyful.”
So as we are looking after our basic needs (food, water, sleep, and exercise), we can begin to add active rest experiences during the day. Cuddles on the couch has become a daily practice for my daughter and me. This was hard at first, because my mind was racing, but I’m slowly embracing these quiet moments during the day. I’m finding that we both need these gentle moments to transition through the trauma of the situation and bring us closer to each other.
If you can grab a few moments, try restorative yoga postures to begin to breathe deeply, let go of stress, and melt into your mat. Whether you’re quarantined at home with your family or working on the front lines as an essential worker, even taking a few moments in restorative poses would be beneficial to your health and state of mind. Include your family members if that makes sense, too.
For more restorative yoga poses and their instructions, find our Restorative Yoga Cards for Grownups in our shop.
As always, please let us know how we can support you during this time. We’re busy working on some resources to encourage connection at home, through movement and laughter.
If you have any special requests, don’t hesitate to reach out.
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