My dear yogi friends,
I hope this post finds you well and safe inside your homes.
It is no secret that the world is in a current state of panic with the COVID-19 virus captivating the masses. Because of this, a lot of your favorite shops and restaurants may be currently closed; you may have had to cancel a trip or a gathering that you were really looking forward to. Times are truly uncertain and uneasy, to say the least. It's times like these that we need our yoga practice more than ever, and although many if not all yoga studios have temporarily closed their doors to maintain the safety of all members and teachers alike, there are still ways to practice yoga and mindfulness at home.
Of course, there are numerous resources like YouTube and Facebook available to help you practice your physical asana in the comfort of your own home. (Check the Mountain Yoga Studio Facebook page or contact Prairie Burt about MYS live video practices.) But as we all know, yoga is so much more than asana – it is the practice of presence and finding solice wherever you find yourself. So, while you are keeping yourself and your family safe from illness, consider implementing a few of these practices into your daily life to keep your mind, body and spirit in alignment.
Number One: Consume news and media mindfully
I always recommend consuming news and media mindfully and in small doses to maintain a healthy and steady mindset, but it is especially vital during times of global crisis. These days, everywhere you turn, you will hear and see something pertaining to the virus and the current state of our nation's (and the entire world's) health. The news and most social media platforms are saturated with alarming articles, breaking news, and shocking tales that will only serve to increase our panic and anxiety.
Yes, we need to stay informed and aware, but we must also stay sane and calm. So, by all means, watch and listen, but please do so with the state of your well being and that of those around you in mind.
Number Two: Meditate and/or focus on your breath
You all knew this one was coming, didn't you? Of course you did.
When we feel stressed and panicked, we have a natural tendency to hold our breath, which only ever results in more discomfort and panic in the mind and body. So simply taking a few moments each day to sit comfortably and quietly to observe the sound and sensation of the oxygen entering and exiting your body will do wonders for your elevated nervous system, and help to bring it back down to a healthy level.
Number Three: Move your body
In the same way that we hold our breath in times of stress and unease, we also begin to store tension in our joints and muscles. The most common places are the hips and shoulders. This is why making time to exercise and move your body is crucial to maintaining a healthy mind. Not only will it help to ease the tension in your physical being, it can also aid in making you feel more productive and less stir-crazy while you practice social distancing. So, roll out your mat, go for a walk, lift some weights, or lunge up the staircase – whatever you need to do to get the juices flowing.
Number Four: Reach out, don't retreat
Although we are all (hopefully) practicing social distancing), we should not retreat from the ones we love or isolate ourselves in a way that inhibits our psychological need for connection. It is so important to maintain your connections with others, even if you have to do so from a distance. For some, this may seem like a no-brainer, but for others this stressful experience can trigger feelings of depression, which can ultimately lead one to completely isolate themselves from others. But I encourage you to reach out and stay connected. We are all in this together; each and every one of us are experiencing this pandemic, and we owe it to ourselves and others to reach out from a place of empathy and compassion.
One simple meditative trick that I picked up a few years ago has really helped to ease my own anxiety when it begins to consume me. It can be done anywhere, at any time, for any reason, without drawing any attention. Simply tap your thumb on each of your four fingers while repeating the phrase “Peace begins with me.”
I hope that you've found this post helpful and that you will reach out to us over on the Mountain Yoga Studio Facebook page to stay connected and up to date on our virtual classes. The most valuable thing to remember throughout the chaos is that we are all in this together. No one is alone in this. And if we all commit to practicing social distancing and basic hygiene, we can slow and eventually stop the spread of this virus.
1) Due to the new social distancing rules in place, Mountain Yoga Studio will be temporarily closed. Check our Facebook page for virtual yoga and PiYo classes.
2) We are always updating our schedule for the changing seasons, so keep your eyes peeled and your mind open to the endless possibilities of your practice.
3) One of our teachers and brightest yogis, Jessica Cenotti, has brought her vision to life and made some special goodies for all of your self care needs. Packed with nourishing essential oils, and wrapped in quality packaging, all of her Witch Doctor products can be found in the studio, with sample-goodies available for testing.
Stay up to date on our Mountain Yoga Studio Facebook Page for more information, or drop by the studio for a chat! Your mental and physical health are our top priority. Come hop on your mat to rediscover your light.