I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was delightful and fun, with a healthy dose of yum! Ours was lovely–a good balance of family, friends, and good conversation while eating the feast Nick prepared. (I’m the prep cook and decorator/table setter, which suits me just fine.)
Lucky for me I’m fairly extroverted, which gives me a broad bandwidth for chit chat and the high volume that comes with a room full of people. But I have to admit, my bandwidth has decreased post-Covid. I find myself daydreaming of my jammies way earlier than I did three years ago, and I know it’s not just a natural aging progression. It’s a nervous system that’s out of shape for marathons of social engagement.
Thankfully, we have tools for this. I believe we can get back to pre-Covid party tolerance, if that is indeed what we want to do. Either way, I think these three things will help the most in navigating our way back to balance...
Whew! If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is here! Even if you're in the cooler parts, you know the heat is on its way. So how can we get into the practice of cooling off before the heat builds up to a boiling point?
As I was moving rocks and pulling weeds in my backyard this weekend, I remembered my favorite tool for cooling off IN THE MOMENT. Those of you who have been studying with me for a while already know where I'm headed: sitali pranayama.
Pronounced shee-ta-lee, this cooling breath exercise may look a little silly, but it's well worth the embarrassment. (And if you're tuning out like, "I got this. Moving on!" then I challenge you to do one minute before you click the back button and see how you feel :)
Here's how to bring the cooling magic:
That's it! It's an easy and ...
I don't know about you, but for me, time is starting to feel compressed. Like there's a lot to fit into a 24 hour period or a seven-day week. And when I start to feel that compression, what I've realized is that what I need is inner spaciousness.
To get this feeling of inner spaciousness, start by doing all you can do about the outer world, like removing things from the calendar or reducing commitments as much as possible. From there, try these things:
Happy Winter Solstice!
I like to think of this day as the end of Earth's very long (6 months!) exhale. You know that point where there's a brief pause before the inhale begins? That's what today is. The longest night of the year. The least amount of sun, or the least amount of breath in the lungs.
It's a beautiful time to get quiet and be present with what is. It's a beautiful time to experience rest and get in the groove of what Mother Nature is doing in winter.
Try this pranayama involving khumbaka, or breath retention:
Here's the thing: the inhale will always return. So does the sun. So will the light. This too...