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How are you?
….No really- How are you?
There is no question that these last few weeks have been unsettling.
Everybody is being affected by the impact of Corona, and the measures that are being taken to control it. Many people are afraid, many people are deeply stressed.
My heart goes out to every single person affected by this (including myself!), and in my heart, I feel deep surrender that everything- even this is part of the flow.
When seen through the lens of self-development, everything is a potential opportunity.
The past weeks have been an opportunity to surrender, to trust Life, and to define who each of us wants to be in relation to all the things happening around us.
Quick self-reflection practice:
Do you want to be kind or Do you want to be selfish?
Do you want to be afraid or do I want to trust?
How can you be of most service?
And how can you learn to let go of fear about the things that you cannot control?
“If you can solve the problem, then what is the need of worrying? cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?” — Shantideva
The practise of letting go of thoughts about things we cannot control is something we can keep returning to when our stress levels begin to rise in response to all the un-settlement, uncertainty and change that each of us has been through in the past weeks.
A short meditation practise to reduce stress, that you can try right now…..Take a moment to notice how your physical body is right now, are there any areas that are stiff or tense, can you let go of any of this tension? Can you sit up a little taller? Can you drop your shoulders and relax your jaw?
Take a moment to notice any mental patterns that have been emerging in the past day. Are you using your precious mental energy to find solutions to the challenges that are arising for yourself and others? Or is your mind taking you down the tangents of anxiety and fear for the future? Can you bring your awareness back into the here and now? How are you? Right here right now?
Take a moment to slow your breathing down- especially focusing on long exhalations- See if you can make your out-breath longer then your in-breath. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system and will help to bring about more calmness regardless of your external situation (…which by the way, is a very good thing for your immune system).
Mantra practice for mental focus and strength.
In all Eastern traditions, mantra practice has been a foundational tool to help bring clarity and focus to the mind as well as to bring relaxation and spiritual awareness.
Here is a Sanskrit mantra to cultivate strength and courage that can be recited in times of stress:
Durge, Durge, Durge Jai Jai Ma,
Jagadambe Kali Ma,
Kali Kapalini Ma
Literal Translation… Salutations to Durga, Salutations to the Mother of the World, Salutation to Kali Salutations to Kali, Durga and Divine Mother in all Her forms
Deeper interpretation of this mantra: I honour the strength and courage within my self and within the Universe, I release my ego & all fears, trusting the Universe to bring me the lessons I need, I offer my salutations to strength, courage, and to the endless divine love flowing to and through me.
Yoga is also a wonderful tool to help relieve stress in times of uncertainty.
Here is a simple stress-relieving yoga practice you can do right from your home:
If we each find the time to take care of ourselves then we are better able to give our love and our support to those who need us.
I hope these quick practices benefit you today.
Originally published at https://yogawithsacha.blogspot.com on March 20, 2020.