A theme I’ve been using in the yoga classes I’ve taught since the New Year — which is more important than ever these days — is that this is all a practice. Really take in that word — practice.
We’re all just practicing here.
We don’t wake up one day perfect at anything we do; not raising our children, not doing a handstand, not writing marketing copy during a global pandemic… you get the idea.
But you keep showing up, and you keep practicing. You practice again, and again, and again. Some days you’re great, and some days you’re off, but what matters is that you keep practicing. You keep going. You keep trying. You keep meditating if you’re calm or if you’re stressed, even when your mind is wandering your entire meditation. You keep practicing.
The last meditation I want to offer requires nothing but your breath. It’s a type of breathwork called Sama Vritti. In English, this phrase loosely translates to “equal ratio breathing” or “same breath”. You can do this practice anywhere; from sitting down at home to waiting in line at the grocery store.
Start by observing your breath. Take a big inhale through your nose, and a big exhale out through your mouth. And then follow these steps:
- Naturally breathe in and out through your nose only
- At the start of your next inhale, breath in to a slow count of four
- Pause at the top, retaining your in-breath for four counts
- Exhale out through your nose to a count of four
- Pause at the bottom, retaining your out-breath for four counts
- Repeat five times, or as necessary
The four-count is merely a suggestion here. Maybe you start with three or go up to six. Maybe, as the meditation goes on, you adjust your count. What’s important here is not the count number, but just keeping that number consistent through each cycle. After a couple of rounds, you may find that your breath is more smooth and calm — and that you are, too.
I hope these meditations have helped you in some small way, even if it was one 10-minute session that made you feel relaxed and calm. Be gentle with yourself and proud of every small win with your well-being.
This post is also a part of the Daily Anchor email series, which we’re sending out to help provide you support and grounding and hope during this challenging time. If you’d like to receive the Daily Anchor in your inbox each weekday, you can sign up here.