I am sending this newsletter a little early, under the circumstances it seems like it would be helpful now. I think we are all watching the news and making changes and adjustments daily.
There are a number of ways we can protect ourselves. Of course it looks like social distancing is essential but so is keeping ourselves as healthy as possible. Not only avoiding getting the covid-19 virus but also not getting anything else which would put pressure on the medical system, our families or ourselves.
What is of the utmost importance is keeping our immunity high, stress low and our minds from going into panic mode. The fear is palpable out in the world right now. Students are telling me they aren’t sleeping well at night and some people are extremely stressed about finances and economic losses.
Now is the time to put all of our tools to use. Now is the time to get serious about all of our self care practices that we know raise immunity, strengthen our faith, increase a sense of calm and resiliency. I have put together a list of proven immune boosting activities below.
Personally, I am using all of my immunity tools every day, diligently. Here is what I know for a fact works:
- Get good sleep! I have been going to bed by 9pm every night without fail over the last couple of weeks. Some nights I have even fallen asleep as early as 8pm. The time change throws us for a loop, so I have been sticking to routine to help me through this transition. Try a short floor practice with slow deep breathing to calm the nervous system if you cannot sleep (I have a bunch of these in my online membership). A hot bath followed by the application of body oil is also very soothing and supports sleep.
- Drink water all day long. If you are a vata or kapha type, consider sipping on hot water throughout the day (may feel too heating for pittas). While I never drink cold water, sipping hot water is a new habit for me and it’s helping me to take in more water every day. It flushes the digestive system and helps to cleanse naturally. I am not 100% positive this is true, but I did read somewhere that sipping hot water might reduce the chances of a viral infection because whatever is ingested gets taken straight to the stomach where it’s killed, via the hot water.
- Eat probiotic foods every day. I have been adding yogurt to warm cereals in the morning to replenish my gut with good bacteria. Most of our immunity lives in the gut, so gut health is essential. You can try other forms like sourkraut, miso soup and kimchi.
- Exercise daily. Moving the body reduces stress and boosts immunity, especially done outside in nature. This is a fact.
- Meditate. Meditation calms and clears the mind, reduces stress and boosts immunity- also a fact. I meditate every morning for 20 minutes at the same time. Make a commitment and find a method. (I have tons of meditation videos in my membership).
- Take herbs every day. Chyavanprash is an Ayurvedic daily vitamin that boosts your system. Take a couple teaspoons full each day. You can also sip herbal teas appropriate to your constitution.
- Eat fresh foods that are in season. Foods that are in season and grown in close proximity to where you live contain natural microbes that supply the gut with good bacteria. They live in the soil and give us what we need at just the right time. Eating foods rich in prana that are whole and fresh support good digestion and optimal absorption.
- Don’t get caught up in fear stories that aren’t actually real. I have caught myself going down the road mentally of worse case scenarios. Imagining “what if” and imagining the apocalypse. It doesn’t help. The truth is right now, right here, I am ok.
We will get through this. We will come out of the other side of this pandemic, even if it takes a while. I want to reiterate that this is the time to increase our practices. We really all need to put our practices to good use. Yogis are meant to be flexible (not physically!!) but mentally and emotionally, able to ride the ups and downs of life with more clarity and wisdom gathered from our yogic techniques.
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. I will probably do some live pop up classes on line this week as well.
Love & Yoga,