How are you feeling?
Take a moment now to check in with your mind and body and notice,
What do you feel?
Where do you feel it?
How much of it do you feel?
Moving through the last 14 months or so have been a bit of a hazy daydream for some of us, and a nightmare for many more. However, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel and although there appears to be a fresh sense of joy and hope in the air – the sudden lifting of restrictions have left many of us feeling anxious and unprepared for the new world. So what might this tentative new world look like? And how can we prepare ourselves to meet this newness with the confidence that we deserve?
While the past year has been challenging, frightening and uncomfortable in many ways, it has also allowed us the space to reshape our wellness practices in a way that best serves us for what we truly need. We have had the space the to reflect on what we really need on a moment-to-moment basis and how we truly nourish ourselves in mind, body and spirit. It became less about ticking the daily ‘wellness’ boxes and more about experiencing ourselves as nuanced and changeable, living beings. About feeling good, finding stillness, and taking care of ourselves at the deepest level. About slowing down, retreating… sometimes just surviving… other times sinking into intentional and loving space. Feeling it all.
Coming out of the other side, perhaps you’re feeling more tired than normal. Perhaps the feeling of overwhelm is prevalent or you’re feeling socially drained by the sudden onslaught of human contact and interaction. That’s all OK.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has had and will take a further toll on mental health across the world – with marginalised groups and ethnic minorities being particularly affected. Google trends show that in the last 5 years – yoga was most searched in the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK in March 2020. This indicates that globally, people are reaching out to stabilise their wellness by making time for themselves to move, breathe and feel. Yoga and other types of mindful movement have become popular in the public space at a time where the world desperately needs its healing powers. As the world begins to open its arms to us once more, we can take the relationship that we have built with our wellness practice and allow it to spread gently into our ‘real’ lives with a little more mindfulness.
As we move forwards into our brave, new world we can take with us this fresh sense of slowness. Of compassionate, loving-kindness and a respect for the space that we carved out every day for ourselves to just breathe and be still, or move our bodies. Most of us have a new set of priorities, and our general wellbeing is much higher up the list than it may have been before the pandemic struck. There may also be present a renewed sense of mortality and a zest for living every corner of life to the fullest.
We may feel a renewed respect and even a desire for the slower days and applying that slowness a little more luxuriously through our lives – allowing ourselves the time to process, integrate and experience any new opportunities that arise with full attention and awareness. Although our routines may have changed significantly we no longer need to compromise on our wellness rituals, practices and spaces – and one thing that is here to stay is the online world. If you were a person who thrived on zoom and lived for your YouTube Yoga sessions you’re in luck. As we return back to the IRL format, things have changed significantly enough for most studios and freelance teachers to see the benefit in maintaining a balance of both online and in-person classes (you can join me Tuesday evenings at Castle Hill Community Centre and Thursday mornings at Birchwood Park, plus my online classes!)
So as the next few weeks and months unfold with all their mysteries – allow the many lessons and triumphs of the past year to guide you in embracing what arises with compassion and non- judgement. Continuing to make space for your practice amongst the chaos of seeing old friends and family meet-ups, and above all prioritising what truly (truly!) makes you feel good. From the inside out.