Hi everyone… well, this is a difficult, unexpected time, isn’t it?
I hope you are all safe and well in your homes, and that you are able to maintain a calm and controlled mind. Sure, it’s easier said than done in the face of a crisis, but I wanted to reach out and remind you – you already have all the tools to deal with this situation. Most of you learned these tools in our studio – whether it was Bikram, Hatha, or breathwork you were practicing – but since life has changed so much since we last saw each other, I’d like to offer a little advice to help you get through these days.
- Accept the situation as it is
Time will be difficult for you if you don’t acknowledge the situation and you cling onto the past. Now is the time to be patient.
- Adapt to the situation as it evolves
Stay in the present moment (thinking of the past can bring melancholy and thinking to the future may cause anxiety) so use mindfulness in every moment of your day.
- Let go of attachments
This situation has taught us that we cannot be in control of every element of our lives. Accept this – yes, it is a challenge, but we can learn from this situation to grow spiritually. The world has changed, and we can change with it.
- Use your breath
Pranayama (breathwork) is a powerful tool and not only helps you maintain a balanced mind and connect with yourself, it strengthens your immunity, reduces anxiety and helps you remain calm.
- Exercise gently every day
Practice yoga, work out, or join an online class, with your doors or windows open for fresh air and Prana (energy). This isn’t the time to push yourself, but moving the body and circulating fresh energy throughout your system is essential to maintain your health. See below for more tips on self-practice.
- Practice, practice, practice
You don’t need a studio to put in practice what you have learned in class. Of course, home practice will be very different to what you feel in the studio – especially if you practice Bikram in the hot room! Don’t judge, don’t compare, just keep practicing and keep breathing. Dedication and effort will be required due to the change of environment – your only tool will be your breath, whereas in the hot room your tools are the heat, my voice and the rhythm of the dialogue to brings you straight to concentration. Let go of the attachment to the heat – mind control is your goal, not sweating!
Some of you have asked me to help you remember the Bikram yoga sequence – please, don’t hesitate to ask me if you need help with your home practice. One set of each pose every day is enough to maintain your body and mind in connection with spirit. Adapt to what has become your new practice and accept it, and you will benefit so much more. The mind can be very resistant, but if you keep trying, and don’t give up – soon the unconscious mind will recognise your new routine and you will find it easy to calm the mind.
We often talk in class about reaching the point of meditation. Now is the time to use your breath, go deep inside and find your inner peace – we all have it. Yoga is the study of the mind, and having control over your mind will help you greatly during these times.