What is the dominant emotion you are feeling right now?
Asking my yoga students and friends this week, the words that came up are:
- Lack of space
- Too much noise
- Feeling lost
As parents we are used to having limited time to ourselves, that is the deal, but lockdown has changed everything and the precious ‘me-time’ previously carved out of the week is no longer available.
We have people around us 24/7.
There is no silence.
There are more demands on our time and energy; to be carers, educators and entertainers. We are trying to be everything to everyone, with little time or space left over for ourselves.
Not everyone find this lack of space difficult to the same degree and it is interesting to consider where on the personality spectrum we lie and how this influences our experience during lockdown.
Are you introvert or an extrovert?
Which statement feels most like you?
A. I feel drawn to people and energised by social gatherings. I am happiest being around people and feel depressed when I spend too much time on my own. (Extrovert)
B. I need time to myself to replenish my energy, especially after social gatherings. I find being around lots of people draining and I need quiet time after to recover. (Introvert)
You can take this fun quiz to find out where on the spectrum your personality lies.
Most of us will identify with both (an Ambivert) and be somewhere on the spectrum, perhaps with a leaning towards extroversion or introversion. You can be a shy extrovert or an introvert who loves to party.
I think it is fair to say that the majority of us need some time alone to replenish our energy.
Personal space allow us to process our emotions so we can move forward. It gives us room for our our creativity to flow.
Without this time and space, we tend to internalise our feelings and become stuck creatively and emotionally.
A human pressure cooker of emotions where ideas no longer freely flow.
One simple practice to create space
Set aside a regular time every day in a quiet spot and at a time you won’t be interrupted. I get up early before the children and noise kicks in.
Nadi Shodhana breath, also known as “alternate nostril breathing” is a breath practice to create space in frazzled minds. It helps slow down our racing thoughts and leads us towards clarity, focus and calm.
In simple terms, we are regulating a slow flow of breath through the nose, slowing the heart rate and rejuvenating our nervous system.
- Sit comfortably with the spine straight;
- Take a few natural breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Use this breath to settle your mind and connect with your body. Once you feel calm, switch to breathing in and out through your nose;
- Raise your right hand to your face and hover the thumb over the right nostril and ring finger over the left nostril;
- Block off the right nostril with the thumb and take a long, slow breath in through your left nostril for the count of 5;
- At top of the breath, pause, block off both nostrils and hold the breath for 5;
- Release the thumb from the right nostril and exhale for 5;
- Inhale through the right nostril for 5;
- Block off both nostrils and hold for 5;
- Release the ring finger from the left nostril and exhale for 5.
This is one round. Repeat for 3 to 10 rounds, allowing your mind to be quiet and still.
At the end of your breathing practice you may find it helpful to close with a simple personal statement to inspire, comfort or motivate you during your day.
Your personal mantra.
Repeat your mantra regularly during your day, stick it on your fridge, use it as your screen saver. Use it to guide and support you.
This week my mantra has been “I am doing my best.
You are doing your best, we all are.
Have a lovely week,