Dear Beautiful Human,
I keep a running list of newsletter ideas as they come to me naturally and intuitively. They are usually based on something current that I am personally experiencing or working with. Last month my family went through a huge change when we moved both kids from a school we had been at for 9 years. That’s a huge change and I thought we navigated it really well. So I wrote down “embracing change” as a newsletter topic to be written in the near future, to share my strategies with you.
I had no idea what enormous change was coming for us all!
My teacher Rod Styker once offered a way to describe Aryurveda that caught my attention because I hadn’t heard it described that way before. I had always heard Ayurveda translated as “the science of life”, which it is. But he said “Ayurveda helps us manage change”. Wow. Yes it does.
So we are all undergoing a drastic change right now. Life as we knew it is gone. It’s a big deal and it’s hard. Most of us struggle with change and this one is gigantic. We all know the saying “the only thing permanent is change” and it’s true. Prakriti is nature and nature is guaranteed to change according to the Yoga Sutras. We suffer when we fight it or identify ourselves with the change versus the changeless.
How can we weather this storm and adjust using the wisdom of yoga and Ayurveda? I have a few suggestions that help me:
- Feel your feelings. If you are scared, worried, anxious, etc. don’t shove it down or push it away. This is a hard time and life always brings us hard times in one form or another. Let yourself experience what you are feeling. Realize that feelings don’t last and let them flow through you. Your mind may want to play fear stories on repeat, don’t let it. That is different from feeling your feelings and letting them flow. Give yourself permission to feel as you adjust. We will get through this. I recently heard this quote and found out it’s also a country song: “Every storm eventually runs out of rain”.
- Practice acceptance. Things are different now and we have to accept it. Fighting what is true definitely won’t make things easier. Wishing it would be some other way won’t make it so. Be present with what is true now. Fighting the new reality will only drain your energy.
- Implement vata balancing tools. Big changes are an increase in vata dosha. Vata dosha is a combination of the air and space elements and both are very changeable and volatile. So any big life-altering event would increase vata in the mind and body. What does elevated vata look like? Anxiety, worry, sleeplessness, fear, stress and insecurity. What reduces excess vata? All things grounding, nourishing, calming, soothing and reliable. Make a comfort meal, sip on a warm drink, let yourself sleep in if possible, meditate to soothe your nerves. You have permission to take a nap!
- Create a new routine to establish a consistent rhythm. This also balances vata. Our normal routines are out the door and so we need to make new ones. Humans thrive with routine. Sunday night I sat down with my 10 year old because she was feeling dread about Monday and the online school work. So, I said she needed to create a plan, a routine (I gave her the power to decide for herself rather than me). She wrote out a schedule of how her day would now unfold. She set a wake up time, work times, meal times and more. It was reassuring to her to create this new framework and it put her at ease before the week started. I let my practices slack for about 3 days when the storm first hit and then realized how much I needed them. Now I am back to my usual wake up time and morning meditation.
- Give yourself at least two weeks to adjust to this new life. It takes time to implement and integrate big changes. Don’t expect yourself to be on point. Allow for some push and pull for the first two weeks. Once our new habits are consistently in place, we will feel adjusted and more at ease.
Please know I am thinking of you all and the collective whole. While I too am integrating and adjusting right now, I can see some positive changes coming to my life as a result of this pandemic. From little things to big things, there are nuggets of gold to be found. I will share some of them with you in a future email.
Be safe and take care of you and your family.
Please join me online from the comfort of your home- use code NikkiGift for a free month of my online yoga membership There are practices of all levels and lengths, as well as meditations, guided breath practices and more.
Join me LIVE this week- Wednesday March 25th at 10:30am PT in my online yoga membership. More live classes TBA soon.
Love & Yoga,