By Tendai Angela Rokkones
Certified Yoga Teacher trained at Routes of Yoga, Ubud Bali, Apprentice Teacher at Atman Yoga School, Norway.
Train your gaze to see the wonderful alongside the terrible; to attend to and meditate on what you Love, even in the midst of difficult realities and as part of working for justice. – OnBeing
One of my favourite postures in yoga is sirsasana, the yogic headstand also known as “King of asanas.” It is a posture that places you upside down, seeing the world from a new perspective using a combination of strength and flexibility to maintain balance in the body. It is known as a ‘fear pose’ in yoga but with practice and patience one is able to step into the unknown and with ease float the toes off the mat with fullness of breath, silencing the anxiety and noise finally rising into a steady, stable and focused mindset that emerges from a deeper and subtler level of your being. This sense of inner knowing comes from the wisdom body (vijnanamaya kosha), the layer composed of intuition and awareness.
With the recent pandemic of COVID-19 there is no question that many people feel their worlds have been turned upside down, our collective strength and flexibility during this time will help us to sustain our balance to see the duality of the wonderful alongside the terrible and that begins with you and I. This is a time to cultivate clarity, community and Well Being.
Writer and thinker Rebecca Solnit wrote that “There’s a way a disaster throws people into the present and gives them this supersaturated immediacy that also includes a deep sense of connection… When all the ordinary divides and patterns are shattered, people step up to become their brothers’ keepers”. Zimbabwe, we are each other’s keepers. Situation does not affect our mind. Our mind influences the situation. When we remember and revise this daily, our vocabulary, thoughts and feelings change. We become fearless.
In the chaos of modern society rituals and routines help us activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms us down, strengthens our immune systems and allows us to breathe deeper, feel more peaceful, powerful and safe.
Below are a few tools and lessons to tap into your wisdom body to create the environment within yourself for success and lift off into power, clarity, purpose and stability as we rise stronger and wiser together after this lockdown:
- Future Self journaling. Who do you want to Become, write it down, and visualize yourself living in purpose and peace, what new skills can you learn in this time to assist, what does he/she look and feel like?
- Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function; a good sleep improves productivity and concentration. By developing a sleep routine through a talk down meditation( I recommend Michael Sealy on youtube), listing 5 things you are grateful for, or a self massage as used in ayurveda called “abhyanga” . Sleep becomes your super power!
- Exercise consciously- Place your Self into a comfortable seated position, eyes closed and scan your body, do you feel any aches, pains, tension these could be physical injuries or emotional injuries that have manifested themselves as blockages tension and/or disease within the body and now move and flow like no one is watching. Find a workout or workin that works for you.
- Space clearing; social media, procrastination, assumptions, doubt, fear, pain, anger, grudges anxiety, shame, guilt… clear it all. Heavy emotions such as fear weaken the immune system. Address each one with softness and release it. Allow yourself to feel Light. Call people to apologise, call to say I forgive you, call to say I love you, call to say I need you. Free yourself from heaviness.
- Be sustainable for now and the future, there is a holistic and sustainable approach to the ecosystem of yoga that can be applied to all facets of our lives whether you practice yoga or not. Being mindful of what we consume, the value of products and where they have come from add depth to our lives through relationships formed and caring for material items ourselves. Apart from growing your own food and cooking for those around you which I find great Joy in doing; below are a few long-term approaches to shift into:
- Fashion Revolution – Asking the question #whomademyclothes.
- Viva Lilly- Butterfly menstrual cups that last up to 10 years instead of tampons and/or pads.
- TheSkotchkart- Nourishing local food made with care for the community.
- Chikafu- Local food directory linking producers with buyers in your neighbourhood.
- Sena Yoga: Aromatherapy & WellBeing – Locally produced tools for yoga, meditation and wellbeing at home.
- SweatNation OnlineIsolation Training- Online Workouts for the community get your dreambody.
- Eat good food, try new recipes for meals and fresh juices; My current favourite fresh juice is ginger, apple, turmeric and a hint of cucumber. Try it and let me know what you think!
- Find and feel all the Joy that surrounds you!
In case you were wondering, while in a headstand pose the force of gravity helps in drawing oxygenated blood to your brain giving you a burst of energy, this will brighten your mood, motivation and focus, stimulates the pituitary gland and helps you to calm and rejuvenate the mind. This is our headstand, may we become fearless whilst seeing the world from this new perspective.
Be responsible. Stay at home. Speak out your truth. Cultivate kindness. Become resolute in who you choose to be and manifest that person into reality. Learn to communicate this new person with Love, vulnerability, courage and ease. You have a Purpose. The world needs you.
Tendai Angela Rokkones