When the whole world feels upside-down, we have a lot of questions. Fear and uncertainty can be overwhelming and builds anxiety.
If you are social distancing, in quarantine or isolation it is easy to be tempted by forward thinking:
Am I going to get sick? Will my family get sick? When will we be able to go out again? I don’t have symptoms, but am I a carrier? Will my business survive? Will I lose my job? How will I pay my bills?
Our mind is quick to find the worst-case scenario and we instinctively hop on the worry train, recursively lost in the past or future. How often have you found yourself dwelling about the past? Or stressed over future work deadlines?
With the realities of COVID-19, our new normal is marked with a lot of uncertainty. We may find ourselves yearning for a sense of balance and strength.
Meditation may be the key for you.
What are a few simple recommendations to begin a meditation practice?
- Breathe. Whenever you find yourself in the grips of fear or anxiety, take a few deep breaths. Count to five both when you inhale and exhale. Breath is a powerful tool to get us out of our recursive thoughts, while helping calm down the nervous system. Plus, it can be done anytime, anywhere!
- Find guidance. Nowadays, there are many meditation apps conveniently at hand. However, under current circumstances we recommend finding virtual, live sessions where you can share your experience with the instructor and get personalized feedback that can help improve your practice.
- Shake it up. Sitting still is not necessary for meditation. It is fine to fidget; it’s ok to lay down; you can even walk around. Releasing stagnant energy will help you let go, start fresh, and feel more grounded given current circumstances.
Is there a type of meditation that is recommended during this quarantine?
There are a handful of meditation styles, but we rounded up three practices that can help during these challenging times:
If you’re feeling tension or feeling gripped in coronavirus fears, breathing techniques can help bring you back to equilibrium, relax your muscles, and reduce stress. Such techniques include diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing), alternate nostril breathing, lion’s breath, and ocean breath (Ujjayi) (among many others).
If you’re looking for something more therapeutic and healing, there are more active breathwork practices like shamanic breathwork, holotropic breathwork, or circular breathing. These practices facilitate emotional, physical, and spiritual breakthroughs. We highly recommend guidance with these types of breathwork, but some of these can also be done virtually! It’s important to consult your physician if you have a medical condition.
We recommend this practice for those wanting to hop off the worry train. This practice of attuned awareness is the first stage to cultivating a life experience of ease and contentment. It can help us become more resilient—to pay attention to the present moment, be in acceptance of our feelings, be grounded and optimistic, learn from failure, and make life-affirming choices filled with integrity and compassion.
For those having more trouble sleeping during this crisis, yoga nidra is the way to go. Translated to “yogic sleep”, this style is generally practiced lying down. It allows the body to relax while the mind stays alert and focused on the senses, following a guided body scan. This meditation practice is a conscious physical, mental and emotional relaxation that can help ease insomnia as well.
Acknowledge feelings of frustration if your first try at meditation is imperfect; you may find yourself in rumination or worry. Take notice and discover where these feelings may manifest physically.
This is part of beginner’s mind!
While meditation is accessible to everyone, practicing consistently is what allows us to experience the benefits.
This challenging moment may call to us as an opportunity to focus on the present in a more attentive, purposefully, and non-judgemental way, for which practicing meditation is key.
This post was contributed by recharj.