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and then the people stayed home...tips for grounding the body & mind

As many of us hole-up and get cozy at home, we can use this time to plant firm in new ways of being. Here are a few tips for seeking calm each day. 
  • Shake your body parts like warming-up for an improve class; this will help calm adrenaline and channel concern elsewhere.
  • Practice breathing and grounding exercises - From guided yogic breathing to using a strong smell like lavender oil, grounding exercises are calming and can help bring you back to reality in a fight or flight moment.
  • Appreciate simple, centering poses like uttanasana: bend over to touch your toes and then very slowly stand up.  Or simply root solidly in tadasana.
  • Allocate a daily “worry period” - Give yourself half an hour to worry to your heart’s content, and then go and do something else.
  • Treat yourself - It doesn’t need to involve spending money: cook yourself something nice, listen to a song you love, have a hot bath, take a walk.
  • Try muscle relaxation techniques - Tense up your muscles in a focused area of your body, count to five and then release for another count of five; work your way up your body,
  • Redirect - There is a meditative, noise canceling aspect to crafts and other projects: draw mandalas, piece together a 1000 piece puzzle, create a collage, string beads, knit, fold origami, scrap book, mend clothes.
  • Be present - As we stumble through these challenging times, it’s calming to be here and now:  butter your toast mindfully, fold your laundry more neatly, re-read a beloved poem or book.
  • Write - Find some stationary and send a letter to a friend, establish a daily journal practice, join an online writing group like The Intuitive Writing Project.
  • Laugh - Re-watch a favorite comedy series, try some laughing yoga (!), call that friend who always makes you laugh.
  • Remember that your anxious state isn’t permanent.
  • Take a moment for distracted focus - Tune in to breath, mala beads or smooth stones. 
  • Plan - Now's a good time to plan...a trip, a project...something to look forward to and to contemplate creates focus and hope.
  • Jump online - Join one of the many many online yoga, meditation or exercise forums.  Or pick up a language with an app like Duolingo.  Download Zoom or another video chat app and arrange a virtual coffee date, book group meeting, or evening cocktails (!) with friends.
  • Be safe - If your studio is open, consider bringing your own mat and other props including eye pillows and take space as it's likely less students are attending class these days...enjoy the extra room and distance your mat a few feet from others.
  • Pay it forward - It feels good to do something for others;  there's satisfaction that creates a bit of calm when you're able to take action.  Many people are shopping, picking up Rx, walking pets for neighbors.  Some are playing instruments across yard fences.  Others are able to help in this financially stressful time:  If you have a favorite yoga teacher, massage therapist, reiki healer, or other valued appointment-reliant person in your life, and the means, now is a good time to buy a future session for yourself or as a gift others.  
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