As we continue to manage the enormity of the pandemic and the uncertainty arising from it, many people are experiencing new and pervasive anxious and sad feelings and symptoms of increased stress. COVID-19 has created so many profound and disconcerting changes to our lives as it has brought an abrupt halt to modern life.
However, times of enforced isolation can also provide opportunities to be quiet and reflective, and sometimes during a crisis greater self-understanding and personal transformations may occur. We may even discover that our lives will change in ways that are growth inspiring and positive, and result in learning to appreciate what is important. As we become more cognizant of the connections between us, we may also find deeper meaning in our shared experience and in our lives.
There are many different ways to cope with the effects of COVID-19. The ancient healing tradition of Yoga is one way and it can successfully address our personal and varied responses and help us to restore our physical, emotional and mental states. Why not access and practise its simple techniques which are literally at our fingertips?
It appears that now may be the new reality. And there is no time like the present to create positive transformations especially in such a stressful time! Yoga practise combined with restorative yoga poses for the nervous system, mindfulness meditation and pranayama practise can beautifully meld together to support us during and after the pandemic. These specialized yoga practises for managing stress, anxiety and depression and other responses are available online in my new Yoga Series to Cope with COVID-19 as well as in private yoga therapy sessions.
An enhanced sense of grounding, calmness, resilience, steadiness and hopefulness will be experienced through participating in this series. Some of the other unique and beneficial aspects of engaging in yoga practise to cope with COVID-19 include:
Enhancing one’s ability to remain present-focused which can create a shift in mood and greatly assist us in managing angst and anticipatory anxiety and depression
Training our reactivity through the control of the breath as Pranayama, breathing techniques, guides us towards our inner self and is the most powerful and direct way to self-regulate
Adapting to and developing a willingness to accept whatever is unfolding in any given moment as we learn to remain in the present through the practise of mindfulness meditation
Cultivating acceptance and accessing a sense of equanimity through enhancing our emotional resilience to change
Calming our parasympathetic nervous system and restoring our sense of balance and ease through specific yoga practises including restorative yoga poses
Developing greater self-awareness including being more able to tune into and understand our present emotional state
Recognizing and modifying our mental and physical habitual patterns of thought and behavior through svadyaya, or self-study
Identifying our unique physical manifestations of stress and learning how to create change and make improvements to our common responses
After almost forty years of devotion, it would be a big task to compile a comprehensive list outlining the many valuable lessons and skills I have acquired and learned from my yoga practise. However, some of my favorite teachings that have been so transformative and have provided me with consistent value over the years include: Focusing, grounding, remaining present in the moment, accessing stillness, serenity and calm, feeling compassion, contentment, abundance and gratitude, and cultivating acceptance. During this very strange and intense time, learning, accessing and utilizing specific yoga practises, philosophies and skills has been absolutely invaluable in helping me to successfully manage daily life. Please join me as we connect online and share the potent healing powers of yoga!