Are you feeling off balance? You aren’t alone. As we move towards greater freedoms, we have to adapt towards seeing the world in a new way, and interacting in it differently. We have to acknowledge the painful losses and the reassuring gains during this past a year of pandemic. We are in transition.
Getting in touch with your senses and having a practice that connects you to your body will help you get out of your head, bring you into the present moment and find a sense of balance once more.
Here are 10 ideas inspired by yoga – and suitable for everyone. See what works best for you.
1. Let out a big sigh! As soon as you notice you are out of balance, there is something wanting to be released. Very often I don’t realize how tense I am until I sigh. Its has an immediate relaxing affect.
2. Take several deep breaths, allowing yourself to feel fresh energy entering your body and stale energy being released. Feel renewed with each inhale, and refreshed with each exhale. If possible, connect movement with your breath by moving your arms out and up on the inhale and then down on the exhale.
3. Close your eyes and scan your body in your mind. Notice where you are holding tension. As you notice it, imagine sending your breath there and let the area soften. Breathe into each tense area and be mindful of the relaxation taking place.
4. Stretch. Standing tall reach for the sky and come on to your toes. Breath fully all the way into your belly. Release your heels back down on an exhale and repeat as often as it feels good.
5. Listen to music. Find a song or melody that’s either enlivening or calming, depending on your mood and what you most need.
6. Put your feet up – literally. Try moving to a wall and then raising your legs and resting them on the wall. Bring your hips as coo to the wall as you can. Make yourself comfortable with a pillow under your neck. You can bring your legs over a chair and let your legs rest there.
7. Smell a favorite smell. It can be useful to carry an essential oil or scent with you. Experiment with a citrus scent, lavender, or mint to see what feels most refreshing.
8. Dim the lights and light a candle. Gives your eyes a rest from the screen or wherever you’ve been focusing. Let the soft light and flicker soothe you.
9. Lie down with a gentle back support, and a blanket or pillow supporting your head. Allow your shoulders to relax. Feel your ribs and the space around your heart gently opening as you inhale and relax as you exhale. Rest here for several minutes.
10. Ground yourself. Take your shoes off. Notice the four corners of each foot and then wiggle your toes for several moments. Notice how your feet are making contact with the ground and imagine sending down roots through the soles of your feet and deep into the earth. As you inhale, imagine drawing up strength and nourishment through these roots and into your whole body. I hope you enjoy these mindful moments to nourish and replenish.
p.s. Print this off and keep the list handy – I do!