Almost seven months into a pandemic now, I notice in myself and the people around me that we have to be very careful about our inner state, we need clear actions to take care of ourselves. We are definitely feeling the weight of these times. I have seen yoga work for me and many other people guiding us through the toughest times, this is an ancient practice that is alive because it works, so let’s trust it and use it to navigate these waters.
One thing I know firsthand is that when we notice ourselves falling into the pool of negativity it’s better to catch us early and recover than to let the water come too high. The earlier we catch ourselves, the easier the recovery. That’s why for me yoga is crucial, it is the tool that allows me to notice the early signs when my attention is put outside too much and I begin to feel the side effects of it.
In yoga, we use the term “ahara” to define that which feeds ourselves, or anything taken into ourselves through our senses, acting as antennas, this is the food for the mind. Between uncertainty, facing all the things we can not control and the amount of information we are dealing with, practices to bring those antennas back in are crucial to re-establish our inner power.
Imagine your core, and then all each sense through which you receive information as an arm, your attention is going in that direction, in many directions actually, at the same time, and many times related to things you deeply care about. There is when overwhelmedness, tiredness, and frustration come and at times it might feel impossible to stop focusing on the external, but it’s just a matter of shifting our attention into the things we can do and re-establish ourselves in that inner place of pure love and strength.
The mistake is in thinking that we do this one time and then we are set for going. Reestablishing ourselves, gaining back our power has to be done daily, again and again, it is a way of nurturing ourselves. We will fall, get drowned by feelings of fear, sadness and negativity, but what if instead of trying not to feel those feelings, not to reject them, we sit down to feel them deeply, and then slowly begin to let them go without forcing them out.
- Practicing gratitude: choosing between being the first thing I do in the morning, squeezing it during the daily, journaling about it or doing it before bed, or altogether because the more the merrier! 🙂
- Allowing myself to feel what I feel without trying to change it.
- Eating healthy and good food.
- Having a steady daily yoga practice, combined with longer practices throughout the week.
- Having a daily meditation practice.
- Choose wisely the amount and kind of information you consume.
- Asking for help.
- Looking to have moments of joy with your loved ones, even if it has to be online.
- Listening to music.
- Listening to inspiring podcasts.
- Taking breaks.
- Looking at nature and celebrating its beauty.
- Accepting that we don’t have to be at our 100% every day, giving ourselves permission to be as we are, knowing that it will change.
- Learning to choose where you put your focus and acknowledging that you can change it.
- And last but not least, paraphrasing the Serenity Prayer from Reinhold Niebuhr, asking the universal force to give us the serenity to accept the things we can’t change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
It’s all about not fighting the situation, without that meaning that we do not care, about taking the responsibility to nurture ourselves wisely on daily basis. Because we are feeding ourselves, the thing is that many times the food we are giving to our body, soul, and mind is the opposite of what we are needing. Our life is not on hold, our life is happening and this is a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about taking real care of ourselves, about reading our signs, and taking action to nurture ourselves wisely so we can navigate the change in our life with more ease because change has always been and is always going to be part of our lives.