Over the last month my internal mantra has been “allow time.” Some of you who follow my social media have probably seen some of these posts I have made about allowing time and space in your practice. To me this means many things, but this month it has been glaringly obvious to me how integral it is to allow time.
Allow yourself time to breathe. Now, as a yogi, this could mean a meditative breath practice. Focusing your whole self for a set amount of time daily or weekly to practice the breath. I do this in a few ways. Hint: Try these in bound angle pose for a more grounded feel.
1. Start by inhaling 5 counts, exhaling 5 counts, holding the breath for 2 counts in between inhales and exhales. I will sometimes start here and see how many counts I can hold or extend the breath. This usually helps me center and ground myself, sometimes great before a big test or bedtime.
2. Sitting in an easy seat pose, place your left thumb over your right nostril. Breathe in for 5 counts, hold that breath for 3 counts, and then exhale for 5 counts. Once you go through 5 rounds of this, place your hand back on your knee and take a few clearing breaths. Then repeat with your right thumb over your left nostril.
3. Focusing on the exaggerated rise and fall of your chest and belly. Whatever breath you choose, fast or slow, focus on how it feels to expand and contract your physical body. Putting hands on these areas, or visually watching these movements allow us to see that breath. Watching the breath, realizing the exaggeration and capabilities will allow you to believe in the strength.
Allow yourself time to be quiet. Do you ever feel like you come home and your cheeks hurt from talking or interacting all day? This is your physical body asking for quiet time. You have had enough human time, it is time to internalize and absorb the benefits of social time and use this growth for your quiet time. To me, as an introvert, this comes easy to me. I will sit at home and listen to Youtube videos that engage my mind without me having to directly participate.
Allow yourself time to grieve. You do not need to have experienced great loss for this. To me, I consider this the loss of something meaningful for me. Grief takes shape in many ways and often experiencing the grief a few times over time can be cathartic. I will occasionally allow an amount of grief that I visualize as a size. I will visualize this as the size of an orange, sometimes larger depending on how much space I need to grieve. Visualizing these emotions as items allow control over how much that feeling takes up inside. I will grieve the loss of an idea, a time in life, or any negative energy that enters my space. I will sometimes allow time to grieve something then determine that grief to be filled, that space no longer there. Sometimes I will revisit the grief and allow myself to feel it, then cast it away until it is appropriate to visit this again. Last month, this grief manifested itself and I allowed it. I still allow it. Sometimes every day I allow myself a small, lemon-sized amount of grief. And I feel okay with it, I have welcomed it for those times. I will continue to grieve, and I allow myself whatever amount necessary to cleanse it. And be careful yogis, only after you decide what is worth grieving should you allow it a weight such as a lemon or a melon. If it is worth it, feel it- then use it as fuel just as our bodies do.
Sometimes these allowances are going to interfere with other experiences. Occasionally it is okay to take 15 minutes out of your study time to breathe, or be quiet or grieve. It may make you a more productive or clear minded person for the rest of your day. It may prepare you to face tomorrow stronger than you feel in the present. It may allow you to flow more free in your vinyasa, or tackle your next adventure. Please, allow yourself whatever you need. Take what you need today, and leave what you do not.
Be strong, be brave. Namaste, yogis. So much love.