Here is a three part practice: 15 mins of mindfulness meditation and Three Part Yogic Breathing, 15 minutes of asana practice that can be done on a mat or in a chair, designed for joint mobility and all over gentle stretch, and 15 minutes of deep relaxation to quiet the nervous system. Enjoy!
Nikyta’s List of Self Care Practices for Lockdown, November 15, 2020:
Now that we are seeing a huge surge in Covid-19 Cases nation wide, I made a list of best practices that I saw be really helpful for me and my community. Take good care of yourself in this time!
Take actions that help hold you accountable to your best self.
–Prioritize your physical health through a regular practice of yoga and exercise.
If you have weekly yoga classes, fitness classes, regular times at the gym, KEEP THEM IN YOUR WEEKLY ROUTINE. Stay with your favorite teachers as a way to support them during this time, and to keep your health and well being as a PRIORITY in your life. It’s easy in our home to make reasons and excuses to skip online classes, so here are some tips I’ve found to help hold you to your goals:
-Pay in advance for classes so you are motivated to attend
-Make agreements with friends and family members to attend together, so you hold each other accountable to show up and participate fully
-Take this time to focus on individual goals— if you always wanted to learn something new or try out new teachers or styles, take this time to sign up for online offerings and PAY for them! This will support the teachers who might be otherwise out of work, and will hold you accountable to show up.
-If you have the financial resources, sign up for private sessions so you are getting the wrap around care for your whole being during this stressful time.
–Make short term goals you can achieve. Even if it’s just “I’m gonna wear pants 3 days a week” just the act of writing down and achieving a goal gives our brains the reward dopamine we crave. Also having positive goals written down somewhere you can easily see can give you ideas for when you feel bored or edgy at home. Then when you check them off the list, there is a sense of completion.
-Prioritize your partner/who ever is in your bubble. The pandemic has been ruthless on partnerships. So sit down with your partner or who ever is in your bubble/living space and make agreements about how to best get through another intensive time together.
-Have separate and distinct spaces to work at home away from each other, if possible. This could even mean designating a specific corner or space in a room for each person in the household. Have each person create their own sacred space to inhabit when needed, and hold mutual respect for these spaces.
-For partners: prioritize date nights! Making a distinct and sacred night for partnership that is pre-planned and committed to can do wonders for the prolonged stress of cohabitation. Whether it’s dinner and a favorite movie, reading a beloved book aloud, mutual massage or conscious touch, or what ever feeds your sense of love and connection and provides you both space to nurture your partnership. One night the power went out, my husband and I decided to keep it off and continue to eat by candle light even when it came back on 15 mins later. That device and media free evening led to some serious romance that might not have been there before!
-Consciously choose your pods. Make agreements now with your nearest and dearest for how to sustain and support each other during the lockdowns. What are your agreements? Plan to communicate with each other about new risks in compassionate transparency.
-Make weekly routines you can stick to. Having a routine/schedule can help us with a sense of grounded continuation, not just groundless chaos. Make a weekly schedule for yourself that includes your exercise, meditation, time with friends and family (even over zoom), date nights for with your partners, self care practices as well as work time.
In our Walking in Grace workshop I co-facilitated with Gretchen Krampf leading up to the election, I coined a phrase called “Pocket Practices”. These are practices that are small enough to fit in your pocket and can thus be taken with you and practiced nearly anywhere.
-Intentional hydration: Infuse your big glass of water with intention. Just say into your water what ever you might like more of as a focus- like Energy, Kindness, Ease, etc. It’s easy to drink more coffee, tea and alcohol in prolonged periods at home, which can lead us to inadvertent dehydration. So this both sets your conscious trajectory for where and how you want to move forward, and keeps you hydrated as you get there.
-Take 5. This is just 5 long slow breaths in transitions in between things.
-Mindful eating: make it a habit not to do anything else while you eat— like read or scroll or listen or watch. Take even just 5-10 minutes and turn off all your devices, and just be present with your food, it’s taste, and the slow and intentional act of enjoying eating. This will also help decrease mindless snacking which can lead to pandemic pudge.
-Beauty as a necessary act: consciously create and appreciate beauty. This could mean beautification of your self as in conscious dressing in beautiful things that make you feel good, to creating small altars or collections of items you find beautiful and pleasing near spaces you inhabit often.
–Nature heals us: even 5-10 minutes spent mindfully outside, in any weather, can decrease your stress level and remind you of the beauty and healing of the vast natural world. Even rain and snow become beautiful and fascinating when viewed mindfully. Check out forest bathing for more information about how to let the natural world wash over you for health and well being.
Here are some new meditations and video offerings.
I have created these meditations in specific elements and qualities. The first meditation is on stillness, and going within a balanced breath pattern to find the stillness within.
The subsequent meditations are each embedded in the larger breathing, body of earth. Each is in a particular landscape and is themed around a particular quality. I have made them during the Covid-19 Crisis, specifically for folks who may not have access to the wilder, more than human world. And these meditations will continue to live on, to remind and inspire our hearts, minds and bodies, about the importance and the power of wild spaces.
Please enjoy them and pass them on.