Calming the disquiet

There’s a swirling sense of anxiety. And it’s making me unsettled. 

Woman wearing a white disposable mask holding up one thumb (like thumbs up)
We all doing okay?

I know logically that I’m quite well-protected. It’s not a challenge to stay fed and sheltered and entertained. I’m pretty healthy and likely to stay that way. I have just about every creature comfort at my disposal. But those rational thoughts don’t stop me from fretting about the state of the world. 

A few things help: talking with friends, family, and a professional (shout out to Building Bridges for excellent online counselling), giant hugs from my very-in-bubble husband, staying off social media if I’m feeling meh, getting into nature, cuddling with Sofie (she’s less and less amenable, but occasionally consents), and meditating.

I’m not one for hardcore meditation styles (no vipasana retreats in my future!), just approachable types that focus on gratitude or breathing or overall mindfulness. My hands down favourite style of meditation is yoga nidra, a part-by-part body scan that encourages the body to be still; a guided journey to relaxation. It’s easily accessible, straight-forward, and doesn’t take long for me to feel the benefits.

This is my heart on yoga nidra

Spot the nidra drip! (I can’t take credit for most of the peaks and valleys. I only wore the watch for about an hour and my resting heart rate is naturally higher than my husband’s.)

I wore my husband’s heart-rate-monitoring watch while I did a guided meditation with Monica Piriani through HealHaus. I expected a somewhat lower heart rate, but the trough that showed up during the nidra part blew me away! 

I was surprised to see that low and steady my heart beat. I knew that I felt a different mentally and emotionally during and after guided relaxation, but I hadn’t anticipated such a substantial physical reaction.

Slow breath + relaxed mind … really does = relaxed body!

Nidra resources

Want to do yoga nidra in the comfort of your own home (or wherever you happen to be)? I’ve got you covered.

I posted a few yoga nidra practices to YouTube during the first (and maybe only?) Swiss lockdown last spring. 

Sadly, Monica doesn’t have any recordings of her nidras, but you can try one from her mentor, Yogi Charu, on Soundcloud.

I also really enjoy Elena Miranov‘s guided meditations. They’re amazing in person—and nearly as good on Spotify.

Live guided meditation

Tomorrow’s monthly virtual yin yoga session will be heavy on relaxing and escaping from the chaos of the outside world. We’ll do a long yoga nidra—and perhaps your heart rate monitoring device will show the same kind of slow consistency! (Although often not wearing a watch or FitBit is even more relaxing.)

If you are registered, look forward to an email with all the details a few hours before the live class, a video replay you can watch throughout the weekend, and 75 minutes of rest.

First image created from a photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash.

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