If your life is anything like mine is right now, you are juggling the flurry of back-to-school energy. Maybe you're experiencing some sleepless nights as a result of new schedules, emotional family members, or the late summer humidity. (Or could those be hot flashes?)
In any case, despite anything that might be wreaking havoc on your own schedule, sanity, or slumber this week, I'm reminding you that connecting with your breath will very quickly bring you back to the here and the now so you feel stable and present.
Put your hands on your chest, right over your heart.
Inhale deeply, feeling your chest rise.
Exhale completely, letting your hands follow your chest as it relaxes.
Feels good, right? Feel free to keep your hands on your chest and breathe slowly and mindfully while reading the rest of this newsletter.
Here's a personal example of how change even welcomed change, can provoke feelings of anxiousness. My son went off to his first day of 9th grade in NYC last Thursday, but by Monday morning he had transferred to another high school. While this was a positive change, it's still very unsettling as it involved more decision-making when we are already overwhelmed, a new subway commute to an unfamiliar neighborhood, a new class schedule, new kids and teachers, and of course, lots and lots of feelings for all of us in my home to process. Hence the sleepless nights.
You, too, probably have things going on these days that are affecting the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your nervous system. As a yoga and meditation teacher, I want to remind you that caring for your body, your mind, and your spirit will support you in staying healthy and present. The thing is, no one else can care for you as you can.
Luckily, September is recognized as National Yoga Month and Self-Care Awareness Month. Starting today, you get to practice caring for yourself all month.
No matter what is going on within or around you, I guarantee that the more you regularly and routinely show up on your yoga mat to move your body mindfully and joyfully, while repeatedly re-placing your attention on the here and now, the more resilience, tolerance, and acceptance you will have to navigate any discomfort that shows up this month. If you put your self-care first, you will be able to show up and care for others effectively and with love, rather than from a place of exhaustion and resentment.
I hope you have found a way to stay connected to your yoga and mindfulness practice over the past few weeks, as well as the past year (or three). If not, you can always begin right now by placing your hands on your chest and inhaling deeply. Exhale fully and completely.
Wishing you a Happy National Yoga Month and Self-Care Awareness Month!