In an age of speed, multi-tasking 24/7, eating fast, working more, sleeping less, and being constantly connected, there is nothing more seductive than slowing down. Delna Mistry Anand gives some tips on finding a small private oasis of calm, even in the midst of an emotional storm.
Start with the most basic meditation technique: Breathe!
This, we can all do with no prior experience or learning. You simply need to sit and observe your breath. Simple yet a wonderful and powerful way to start meditating. As you wake up, before getting out of bed, close your eyes and slowly take a deep belly breath. As you inhale, watch your belly rise. Exhale fully and the belly contracts. Notice how it feels to simply observe your breath. Notice the sensations. You can repeat this 5-6 times or even more. If you like, you could add some words that go along with the breath, such as breathing in: “I inhale peace” and exhaling: “I let go everything that doesn’t serve me.” You can also use a single word, like “peace” or “relax” for both inhale and exhale.
Stretch your body
In today’s times of beer yoga and goat yoga, its easy to balk at many modern “wellness” trends, they are either too expensive, elitist, time-intensive, or just plain absurd. But you do have a choice to make a start, from home. Spend a few minutes stretching your arms and legs, or twisting your spine for that delicious side stretch. Lie down on your back, spread your arms at shoulder level, put your knees up and feet on the floor as close to your body as possible, and then drop your knees to one side. Stay there for a few moments and then repeat on the other. The internet is filled with simple yoga stretches. Go slow and find what feels good.
Make the floor your friend
There’s an emerging wellness trend that’s worth checking out, a practice that requires neither aspiration nor great motivation: lying on the ground outside. I agree, the floor may not be the first place your mind goes when you think of relaxation, repose and rejuvenation. But when you lie down on the floor, its firm, flat surface reflects the state of your posture. When you lie on the floor, it helps you feel inconsistencies, imbalances and tightness in the musculoskeletal system. It gives you a better sense of what hurts and what doesn’t, and as you gradually adapt to the floor’s firm surface to find a comfortable, effortless position, you can release some of the tensions that are hard to detect when standing or seated. Even when you walk on the floor bare foot, you can sense the ground better. Do it slowly and attentively, focus on how your feet contact the floor, and you will feel more grounded. This practiced sensation of grounding not only promotes dynamic posture and balance as you age, but also has a calming effect. If you want to relieve a lower back ache, stand with your feet together, body in one line, butt tucked in, tummy in, chin chest and shoulders relaxed. Now lift the two big toes off the ground and feel the sensation in your body and how the stress lifts off the back.
Beauty Sleep Regime
Just as important as having a morning routine, is having a sleep routine. Like we’d do for a baby, create the perfect ambience for your own bedtime. Escort your gadgets out of the bedroom, put bedsheets that feel good, using colours and fabrics that you love. A warm shower, light music and a cup of chamomile tea goes a long way in prepping you for a relaxed night.
Find completion in the incomplete
There are some things that are best dropped incomplete. There will always be items on the bucket list bring you more anxiety than peace or drive, tasks that you have been putting off unnecessarily. Identify them, and gracefully bid them farewell. Find a better way to deal with the situation. Don’t overcrowd your plate. Be ambitious but beware of heading towards burn out. You are the best judge and your only trusted Guru. Look for the guidance within and do all it takes to live happily.