Fall is a time of transition. Seasonal changes affect the planetary whole - that includes us, and definitely our bodies! In the Indian system of health, Ayurveda, the fall and spring are the optimal time to do a cleanse because we are more susceptible to getting sick when “weathering” these changes.
We undergo many major transitions in our lives; it’s these in-between times that create higher levels of stress in our physiology. How can we navigate challenging conditions with more ease?
We’re all familiar with the big events that change our day-to-day lives; marriage, having a child, moving, starting and/or ending a job or school, divorce, financial issues, a serious illness and the death of a loved one - to name a few. Most of us have experienced at least one of these during Covid.
They may be an occasion for joy or grief, excitement or insecurity. All mark a major life and lifestyle change, leaving the familiar behind for the wild unknown. In regards to Covid, the transitions are ongoing and will be part of the landscape for some time to come.
It helps to be mindful and take better care of ourselves. Of course that’s when our self-care routines tend to go out the window, just when we need them the most! It takes practice during “normal” times to embody these antidotes to stress. Then they are available to you, and can even anchor you in the tumult. Don't worry - it's never too late to start...
What kinds of practices are most helpful? Those that regulate your physiology have a powerful effect. The breath especially can do that, as it is autonomic - happening without our thinking about it, thankfully - but we can also step in and control it. In yoga’s pranayam, there are many different types of breathing to use in various situations.
The 3-part ujjayi breath is the most basic, and alternate nostril breathing (shodhana) is specifically designed to calm down or activate the physiology. Both stimulate the vagus nerve, which positively affects many of our systems, bringing them back into homeostasis (modern science “proving” what the yogis of old knew!)
Meditation is always helpful if we can take the time. I use the breath to prepare for meditation, and also while lying in bed to begin and end the day. The more I do that, the more often I think of doing it on the fly! Again, practicing in calmer times helps cultivate it as a reliable resource when needed.
For grounding, a quick visualization will also help to be present and reset yourself. My all-time favorite is the Hara line. There are many others, so find the one(s) that resonate with you and start practicing. Do the same for breath. Ironically, there is a resurgence of interest in breathwork from its heyday in the 1960’s, like so many other healing modalities.
Homeopathy, vitamins, herbs and other supplements all have a role to play. In addition, make it a priority to start integrating some of these energetic tools for the inevitable transitions in your lifetime - and for everyday stressors too!
Peace, love and healing -
If you're wanting some in-person instruction and practice on these and other self-care healing methods, I am teaching a 4-day class - next week! - at Mercy Center in San Francisco. There are still 3 spots left for this incredible experience in a beautiful, intimate class setting. I am so excited to share with you! Are you ready? Email me at [email protected] to find out more.
If class is not in the cards for you right now, check out my free resource for the Hara line technique to ground and align here - https://www.bearmckay.com/hara-line-download