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3 ways to adapt your yoga practice during lockdown

In this months blog I'll share how you can deconstruct your yoga and meditation practices in order to make them adaptable to your current life situation. Perhaps you have always carried out your yoga practice in a specific way and now that we are back in lockdown you have no motivation or space to practice? Perhaps you have not moved in a while and the thought of doing a full hour of yoga on your own just makes you want to curl up in bed?


Whatever your situation, frame of mind or current thought process is around your practice, I am here to tell you that you are able to adapt it to suit what you need right now.


So lets start simple, no new you, no fresh start, keep it simple, choose one aspect of your yoga practice that you think will help you get through this month. This could be the movement, the meditation, the breathwork, or perhaps there is another element that is more personal to you.


Here are 3 ideas to help you manage your emotions and hopefully get through lockdown 3.0:


One - Breathe


It is perfectly natural to lack motivation to move at this time, many of my students have told me that they are able to do a 60 minute class with me in person with no problem but when it comes to doing this same class from home they are usually unable to focus for the entire hour. So, on the days that you don’t feel like to moving, perhaps choose to simply breathe.


Whenever you feel like you are spiraling into anxiety, uncertainty or fear, take a moment to simply breathe consciously. What do I mean by that? It’s simple; focus your attention on how you are breathing. If your mind is racing, try the technique of counting backwards from 27 along with your breath. Counting backwards helps to distract your mind from worries and interrupts the habits of over thinking and uncertainty.


Practice:


Wherever you are right now, simply bring your awareness to your breath, no need to control it. Notice how it feels. Is it deep or shallow? Is it quick or slow?


Inhale to the count of 4, hold for the count of 4 and exhale for the count of 4. If these numbers don’t work for you, breathe in any way that feels comfortable, but make it conscious. Do your best to focus all of your attention on your breath.


Try to keep this going for as long as possible, anything from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, and use your intuition to stop when it feels right for you.


Release control of your breath, and notice how you feel.



Here is a breathwork video for you to follow if you prefer to be guided.


Two – Move


As you spend more time within your yoga practice, you tend to develop favorite poses or styles of yoga, and this will be unique to every individual.


So now you are not able to do that Dynamic Yoga class with your favorite yoga teacher anymore, or perhaps you are recovering from COVID, or perhaps you are grieving the loss of a family member and have no motivation to move at all.


Whatever your reasoning, continue to move in any way that feels good for you. This could be something as simple as stretching, which keeps the muscles flexible, strong and healthy and maintains your range of motion. This way, when you do get back into your yoga class you will be able to call on your muscles for activity without them feeling too weak.


Practice:


Wherever you are right now, stop what you are doing for a moment and take 5 minutes to stretch out.


Raise your arms overhead and reach up as high as possible. Perhaps take a side bend if that feels good. Don’t forget to breathe.


Point and flex your feet and toes. Open and close your fingers.


Sit up straight and perhaps do some gentle spinal twists.


Release it all and notice how you feel.


Here is a short yoga sequence to slow down if you prefer to be guided.





Three – Focus


Efficient selection is a function within the brain that allows for important information to filter up your thought processing ladder and allowing it to be processed while irrelevant information gets suppressed.


By taking a moment to focus your attention on a single point, you allow yourself a moment of relief from the current circumstance as well as a chance for your mind and body to re-align.


Practice:


Wherever you are right now, close your eyes.


Bring your awareness to the space between the base of your nostrils and your upper lip, also know as the anapana spot. Just maintain your focus there for a few seconds.

Now start to focus on the feeling of the breath over this space, notice that you can feel your exhale more prominently than the inhale. No need to control your breath, just notice it caressing the space.


Try to keep this going for as long as possible, anything from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, and use your intuition to stop when it feels right for you.


Release all control and notice how you feel.


Here is a mini meditation practice if you prefer to be guided.





I hope that one of these practices resonated with you in some way. If these specific ones did not resonate, then find one that does and stick to it, allow it to evolve, or stay the same. The point is that there is no goal, there is only compassion, self care and empathy for whatever you are experiencing in this time. We are such a goal driven society and in this time when we are being forced to slow down and stay inside and live life in this way that we are not accustomed to, it’s important that we adjust our perspective in order to reconnect with whatever is important to us at this time.


“Our yoga practice should be alive and adaptable to our needs as we go through the seasons of our lives” Paul Grilley.


Love and Light

Eliza


xxxx


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