We are moving into the 7th consecutive week in which Mind Body Flow Yoga’s doors have been closed and all very recently learned the news of school closings for the remainder of this school year. I am stunned by this. Never in a million years would I have imagined this. I still find it so very surreal that this is the reality at present.
Much like wild thing pose, things are a bit wild in our world now. While being isolated is good for our general health right now, it can be very challenging for our thoughts and emotions.
Saturday, February 29th
11:00 AM – 1:15 PM
Isolation, and the multitude of changes we are faced with at present, can lead to fears, stress, worry, depression, and anger.
Have you ever noticed yourself caught in a feedback loop of worry and anxiety? Does it ever feel like the loop has no end in sight and is fueled by negative thoughts?
It is an easy trap to fall into. We don’t have the multitude of options we had prior to quarantine for a change of scenery. Our new options are now:
- Zoom conversations,
- some outdoor time when the weather is cooperative,
- the same people we’ve been seeing for weeks,
- and our minds.
LIVE Music Vinyasa
Vocalist and guitarist
8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
However, there is hope. There is always, always hope. As I often say in class, we have a toolbox that we can access at any time to change the climate of our thoughts and emotions. A toolbox that includes breath, Drishti (a powerful, focused gaze), movement, and the ability to shift our mindset – to name a few.
We can’t control the circumstances at hand in our world. But, we do have control over our thoughts, attitude, response, and approach. It is important to remember that during this time.
It is also important to allow ourselves to feel our feelings. Cry, scream, vent to a trusted loved one. Feel what you are feeling and acknowledge that it’s there. Then, gently dig into your toolbox and pull out the tools that will help you to re-set.
We know by now that one of these tools is our physical yoga practice. Another powerful tool is breathing and being present to our thoughts.
While yoga and running are my go-to tools, I have found it critical to stop for a breath or two, and refocus. There are days where I find myself consumed with worry and stress. My worry and stress centers around the studio’s financial sustainability through our indefinite closure, while juggling my three young children in the home and learning to homeschool. Along with everything in between, there are times when I have felt paralyzed and hopeless.
In those times, I have literally paused, sat down, prayed, and took deep, intentional breaths. A few minutes to sit still with my eyes closed and breathe has been so powerful in those moments. I have made it a daily habit now.
These short meditative periods of time have helped me to maintain a sense of hope. They keep the promise of better days to come on my internal horizon. It’s like opening that first window in spring and letting fresh air into the sealed room of my mind.
Whether you’re seasoned at meditating or a newbie, give the following meditation a try. There is no “right way” to meditate. Do what you can. You’ll find it gets easier each time you try.
You might try having one of your loved ones in your home read the following to you for a guided meditation. You can also listen to the recording of this dose of inspiration, starting at (04:50):
A GUIDED MEDITATION TO REFOCUS AND RECENTER
Find a place where you can be still and undisturbed or distraction-free for a few minutes.<
Sit cross-legged on the floor on a yoga block, pillow, or blanket. If this is hard on your hips or knees, tuck pillows or blankets under your knees or sit upright in a chair instead.
Open your hands and rest them palms-up on your knees.
Sit up straight and close your eyes.
Roll your shoulders back and let your spine lengthen from your seat.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth five times. Think slow, deep breaths. After your fifth breath, assume ujjayi breath (breath in and out of your nose with your lips sealed closed.
Acknowledge any thoughts or feelings that present themselves. Let them pass without judgment or attachment. You’re just breathing now. Thoughts will pop into your mind, allow them to drift out of your mind as if they’re floating away like clouds in the sky.
As you breathe in, think of what you hope for. Think of someone you care for. Think of what they would hope for you right now. Feel the warmth of that thought, of hope.
As you breathe out, think of releasing fear.
Breathe in, imagine the warmth of hope getting warmer and radiating outward from your heart center.
Breathe out, release anxiety.
Breathe in, the warmth of hope gets warmer and radiates even more. Think of what you can say or do to express this, a word or action.
Breathe out, release depression.
Breathe in, the warmth of hope gets warmer still and radiates even more.
Breathe out, release anger.
Breathe in, the warmth of hope gets warmer still and radiates even deeper.
Breathe out, release uncertainty.
Continue in this manner for several more breaths. Allow hope to grow and expand with each inhale. Release any feelings causing you pain with each exhale.
As you continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, let the warmth of hope wash over you completely.
Keep repeating this meditation. Continue to ask and focus on what gives you hope or what you are hoping for.
Maybe it’s health and healing for yourself, loved ones, the world.
Maybe it’s easy and fun.
Maybe it’s the days ahead when we can be with loved ones again.
Or doing all the things we took for granted — getting back to “normal” life.
When you identify your hope(s), examine it, nurture it, and allow it to grow and take root.
Take a few more deep breaths.
When you’re ready, wiggle your toes and fingers to slowly transition out of meditation.
Open your eyes.
Each time you take a minute for yourself and take some deep breaths, think of cultivating that hope and feeling that warm glow expand with each breath.
You can access this hope at any time. Maybe even set a daily reminder to take a minute to tend to your hope every day. Use it to help you release fear, anxiety, worry, depression, frustration, anger – any and all feelings that are surrounding you during this time.
You and your self-care matter. Take time each day to check in with yourself. Make this a habit. We have the tools – the tools to help us to continually come back to center when we feel off-center.
As we access our tools, we can surround ourselves with hope and harvest our hopes together.