Can I be honest with you? When this whole thing started in Saskatchewan, there was a period of about 3 weeks where I REALLY struggled! I spent most of the week wanting nothing more than to stay in bed & hide from the world and showing up to teach, which I normally LOVE sometimes felt like the last thing I wanted to do. I was in a state of full on overwhelm, consumed by stress, anxiety, & fear and dealing with an increase of pain and inflammation in my body.
The reality of our world has not changed since the middle of March, so why did I struggle in the beginning and how have I managed to find more equanimity since then? It all comes down to stress.
The Physiology of Stress
In our normal lives, we all have everyday stressors (work, kids, relationship challenges, etc.) and, to some extent, we move through the world, even at the best of times, with this sort of low-grade stress response. Depending on individual temperament, this low-grade stress pattern affects some a lot (leading to persistent pain and illness) and others less so (leading to tension and increased pain with aging). In our new reality, having to distance from loved ones and the uncertainty we’re all facing are adding an extra component to that chronic stress state.
As humans, we’re meant to experience stress as a survival mechanism, it tells us we need to take action to get out of danger. However, biologically, we’ve evolved to experience stress, take appropriate action to get away or resolve that stress and then rest in community once we find ourselves back in a situation of safety. Without this resolution and cues of safety for your nervous system, the body can’t settle into a state of restoration. It is in this state of restoration that our body is able to digest, repair and through this process, strengthen & support the immune system. To maintain mental and physical wellbeing, resting and cultivating safety are critical, even in our everyday lives. In this time of uncertainty we need to take intentional steps to support ourselves, cultivate safety, and connect with others so that our body can resolve out of the stress response and into a state of rest
The Power of Attention
When the realities of this pandemic hit Saskatchewan, I was well versed in what I needed to do to support myself in life’s everyday stressors but my usual routine is not sufficient for global pandemic levels of stress. Thankfully, the embodiment practices of yoga (awareness, attention, movement, and breathing) supported me in navigating my way back to joy, comfort, ease, and peace in the midst of the chaos. Because, by paying attention to and being present with the entirety of our experiences (thoughts, emotions, and sensations), we can begin to identify the best ways to support ourselves from moment to moment. Meditation and journaling are two tools which are incredibly helpful in processing overwhelming experiences, which is why I’m excited to share those practices with you in a FREE weekly class!
We’re all in this together and my goal is to serve you in the best way that I can. I’m offering my time through group classes and private sessions (all with a sliding scale pay structure starting at $0) with the intention of spreading as much comfort, ease, and light as I can. For more information, to sign-up for group classes, or to book a private session with me, please visit http://remyoga.ca/offerings/
I’d love to hear from you! How have you been able to find ease in these unprecedented circumstances? Tell me in the comments below.