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  • Isabel Castro

Yoga lessons for turbulent times

As I was practicing a yoga mini-session this morning, I couldn’t help but see how fitting yoga’s teachings are for these uprooted times. Yoga = union. It brings all of our pieces back together – body, breath, mind and heart. Asana, the physical practice of yoga, invites us to breathe as we shift into different positions. We can let go of external pushes and pulls, and check in with our own inner tides. The mind makes its way back from its wanderings, and wanders within the body. It scans for tension, strength, and ways that we can shift for more ease. Breath slows, expands, and strengthens. Waves of calm wash over us as we let go of to-dos, responsibilities, and dramas. As we settle back into ourselves it reminds us of what it feels like to be back home—a home that we tend to, care for, and maintain. In Ayurveda, the definition of health = svastha = being settled within ourselves. I think of it as being comfortable in your own skin. The current epidemic can make us feel worried and uncertain. At the same time it’s inviting us to slow down and shift our usual daily rigamorale. For me I notice that simply slowing and deepening my breath allows me to call my mind back into my body, allowing me to feel more calm and centered. I invite you to first notice when you feel out of balance. You may notice that your emotions are building, or that you’re headed down Worry Road. In those moments, you can call your attention back home with a few deep, conscious breaths. You’ll tune into your inner compass and act from a place of calm and center rather than worry and uncertainty. You can also explore what activities and practices help you to feel comfortable in your own skin. It's simple. Do more of those...even if in mini-ways. Next week I'm offering a few online classes to support your mind-body-spirit health through Ayurveda. We'll go over a supportive daily routine, simple practices to support digestive health, and a creative exercise to work with emotional challenges. Stay tuned. In the meantime, breathe. :)