As those of us in the UK transitioned into 2021, I felt my body release a long, audible, full-bodied exhale.

This exhalation wasn’t one of relief from the closing of the chapter of what was a challenging year, but a deep knowing of what my “Here and Now” is — and will be — for at least the next few months.

Lockdown 3.0 and Homeschooling 2.0!

Since COVID-19 cases have sadly astronomically increased here, the need to completely lock down the country and move school back home was undeniable. (And, to be honest, the thought of my daughter going back into school was not going to be ok for us.)

So, this is here; this is now.

In feeling and metabolizing this reality, it's of the utmost importance to maintain my connection to ground, to my center.  This deeply matters: both for my own wellbeing and ability to feel spacious in this storm of pandemic and political and social upheaval, but also to serve as a stable ground for my family.  

Navigating the challenging last year and creating internal support and embodiment for 2021 involves three practices that are a non-negotiable in my daily routine:

  1. I need to lie down, connect to the ground and find a sense of surrender in some yin yoga postures. One of the aspects of yin that I love so much is that all shapes are floor-based. They're about connecting the physical form to the ground so that we have an opportunity to feel supported by what is underneath us, to access this ground within, and find that sense of letting go. By embodying a soft place to land, we can release our mental churnings and more fully inhabit the feeling body itself.
  2. I connect to my breath. The simple act of placing my hands on my body and feeling how each breath cycle gently creates space soothes and draws me into a deeply-grounding presence.  Just feeling my breath slow down while watching each inhale and exhale keeps me in touch with what is most alive and present in this moment, and generates a sense of space when everything external feels more constricted.
  3. Getting outdoors each day for a long walk, playing catch with my daughter or some other type of active movement provides me with a sense of expansion. I need to connect with nature, to breathe fresh air, and to feel the cold of winter. This is simultaneously reassuring, energizing and peaceful.

In all of this, I remind myself to be gentle.

I can’t do it all.

My family's work/life balance is thrown off, and my element of time has changed. But I can cultivate a sense of comfort and ground within.

These practices provide such richness, connection and opportunity to relate to all of my life.

And for that, I am incredibly thankful.

Guest post by studio BE Facilitator Janine Tandy.

Practice with Janine via her custom-designed grounding yin class for lockdown on the studio BE platform.

Janine holds a Master of Public Health and is a RYT vinyasa and yin yoga teacher. She is a certified Wellness Coach with the Institutes for Integrative Nutrition, and is currently enrolled in the 500 Hr Insight Yoga Institute. You can learn more about Janine on her website or @janinetandyyoga.

Feature photo via the author