As we enter into another month of a pandemic-altered world and being physically distanced, we may find ourselves a bit off balance. Our routines may have changed and continue to change. We may be feeling more pressure from the lack of certainty. We have had major climate change indicators occur throughout the world from flooding, to droughts, to hurricanes and wildfires. We have many other factors such as a general divide politically. Social injustice has been brought more to the surface and opinions on how to handle the Pandemic continue to clash. As all these events and emotions occur in the outer world, now more than ever we need to keep grounded and find our center of inner peace.
I waited about 6 months after the onset of COVID-19 before seeing most family and friends. I have since seen some, physically distancing, while many others I have yet to see. It is an unsettling time and through it all, I have applied different techniques learned over the years to keep myself grounded and balanced on most days.
At times, I have been perfectly fine - other times, less so. I have learned from my practice that all thoughts and emotions will ebb and flow like the wild weather. I do my best to keep to a regular schedule, doing what I know will help boost my immunity, and keep me balanced, strong and calm. I invite you to stay connected to your inner balance and keep moving your energy in a positive, productive direction.
Here are some recommendations that I have found beneficial:
1.) Get up with the sun. This helps you keep in rhythm with nature.
2.) Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. This helps build the agni (digestive fire according to Ayurvedic practices) which aids in digestion.
3.) Get outside among the trees. Forest Bathing - Shinrinyoku in Japanese - is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.
4.) Move daily. Find an activity you enjoy doing. Dance, Walk, Bike, Swim, or practice Yoga! Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that will leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.
5.) Eat nutritious foods. Eat more plant based foods to keep your immunity up.
Plant based foods that boost immunity include:
Citrus - Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit all contain Vitamin C
Garlic - Crushed and minced garlic contains allicin which is the compound that has been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu.
Turmeric- Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and has high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color that can help exercise-induced muscle damage. It is currently being researched for immune boosting and antiviral benefits.
Red Bell Peppers- contain three times more Vitamin C than oranges (ounce per ounce).
Spinach and Broccoli-contain Vitamin A, C, and E, fiber and antioxidants.
Ginger- helps with nausea and digestion.
Almonds- contain Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that is needed for a healthy immunity.
6.) Take time to practice yoga, meditation and breathwork. Your practice does not need to be long or intense to be effective. Regular practice has been shown to build strength, boost immunity, release tension from the body, and promote calmness and clarity.
7.) Connect with family and friends. If not in person, schedule a video chat. It is nice for you and for them.
8.) Limit your time watching the news and social media. I recommend you have a morning routine of physical activity, yoga, meditation and breathing, connecting with your inner world before connecting with the outer world.
9.) Practice Loving Kindness and Compassion for yourself and others daily.
Remember, that it is not important to be perfect with schedule, routine, exercise, diet or lifestyle. Small positive changes make a big difference. Allow yourself to be just as you are- you are perfect and whole just as you are.
I look forward to connecting with you and seeing you in Yoga class soon!
“May you be happy. May you be healthy.
May you live with ease.”