Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day Meditation - Befriending the Pause

Not everyone is comfortable with the global pause we are all experiencing together. In this short video, I offer a guided meditation using a breath technique in which we become aware of the natural pauses in our breath as a means to become more comfortable with pausing in general.

I hope you are staying safe and well during this strange time.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Open-Close Breath Practice to Calm the Nervous System

Here's another short breath practice for quieting the nervous system. In this one, I'm using the open-close motion from Tai Chi, in which we float the hands apart on the inhalation and float them back toward each other on the exhalation. I like to add the slowing of the exhalation, which stimulates the vagus nerve to activate the parasympathetic nervous system - the part of the nervous system that returns us to a quiet, non-stress-elevated state.

Stay home, stay safe, stay well, and don't forget to BREATHE.

Friday, March 27, 2020

A Short Breathing Practice to Remove Fear and Other Obstacles

Hello! Since my last post, we have moved deeper into this new reality that is the Corona Virus pandemic. We are staying home and keeping our physical distance from others, in order to protect us all, and especially those at highest risk. There is a lot of fear - fear of getting sick, fear of the loss of freedom, fear of loss of income, fear of the unknown future.

At our yoga studio, we quickly transitioned from classroom teaching to online classes. We are a small business, and like all small businesses in this environment, very much at risk for survival. So we learned FAST how to use technology to serve our clients, stay connected with our students, and keep the business alive. In yoga, it feels weird to switch from what we do, which is so heart-centered, to the cold, hard realities of business. Neverless, we've risen to the occasion and within a few days, were up and running with classes. This week we ran 12 classes online, and had over 300 attendees. Last year, we ran 42 classroom classes, with 500 students. I'd say we've done quite well!

It was a little nerve-wracking - not scary, really, but nervewracking - to teach in this new format. But after the first day, I was filled with happy excitement for day 2. It felt right to start both my classes a certain way - drawing on the energy of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles such as fear. I coupled the Ganesha Mudra (a hand position) with a companion breathing practice. The two together release tension around the heart and quiet the heart-mind.

This video isn't from my actual class - I recorded it later so I could share it more widely. It's just six minutes long, but gives you a sense of the quieting effect of the combined mudra and breath practice.