Getting through a pandemic. That’s a subject I never thought I would write about. But here we are. I’ve been thinking a lot about how all of this affects us individually and as a society. How can we take this as an opportunity for growth? Our experiences are ranging from boredom and social isolation to overwhelm at learning how to homeschool and everything in between. What we have in common is that our lives look very different now in a way we probably never expected; and there is a lot of uncertainty.
In class, we often talk about connecting to our core. The muscles and bones that hold us upright and allow us to exercise effectively. Here are my very simple steps to connect back to our centers throughout this time.
If you’ve taken Pilates, you know that breath is integral to performing the movements correctly and safely. And research shows how truly effective breathing is to calming the nervous system. Now is the perfect time to deepen your understanding of breath. That might mean reading an article like this that breaks it down or simply doing this breathing exercise to recenter yourself throughout the day:
Breathe in through the nose for 4 counts.
Hold for 4 counts.
Breathe out through the mouth for 6 counts.
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I recently went through an anxiety relief workshop with Gabby Bernstein. She outlined 6 techniques used by trauma therapists and other practitioners to help calm the mind and body. One method she shared was to choose again. A big part of this is forgiving yourself for any “negative” or “crazy” thoughts you might be having and then to choose the next best thought or feeling you could have. That could look like, “I don’t have enough to handle all of this, ” changing into, “I have what it takes to handle this moment.” It might also mean forgiving others for what we view as irresponsibly handling this crisis. We can’t afford to live in a constant state of anger either at ourselves or at others.
If you’re reading this, you know that movement is powerful. You might also be realizing that being at home can sometimes make it more difficult to move! I, myself, have been doing so much work on the back end to keep things going with the studio and my household that I’ve had a hard time getting into class! However this looks for you, commit to moving actively at least once a day. It might mean a walk or joining Move It at Home (even if your pets or kids interrupt you, it still counts!).
You are a once in a lifetime event and so is each person around you. Right now it is so easy to obsess over so much that seems wrong in the world both on the micro and macro level. Trust me, I’m right there with you. But when we focus on those things, we miss our lives! Tara Brach puts it this way, “Who would you be if you accepted that nothing was wrong?” Obviously, we know there are many things wrong, but if we choose to accept our reality, we can truly live our lives.
Let me tell you, this is not easy for any of us. But we are in this together. You have the power to be a part of the solution, just by being you. I’m leaving you with this beautiful prayer written by Leah Fox Sherman below. See you soon.
Deep healing has never been sourced from comfort.
Birth, death, trauma, loss, crisis, etc : act as a gateway into a complete new way of being, demanding our complete attention and energy to find the best ways to move forward.
To remember what practices ground us, and lean on those even more.
This is a bridge we are crossing.
We won’t be here forever, and this will be forever imprinted in our being.
Now is a time to lighten the burdens of our neighbors however we can, listen tenderly to the earth, spot divine miracles amidst the turmoil and uncertainty.
Here we get to shed all the fluff.
Cry, grieve, release what you held so tender. What you once called home. That you knew intimately. We are in a deep transition that is messy, heartbreaking, and heart expanding. I am right beside you.
Let this be the beginning of one long and never ending prayer that continues to be spun in our collective consciousness.
I see you here and in all of this.
And together we will rise, as we always do.
(call, text, email)