Finding Balance: Foundational Practices for Mental & Physical Health
In this season it is important to keep in mind self care and self meaning. The holiday season can mean different things for everyone. Often times we experience grief differently during this time of year. Try to be gentle with your process. I invite you to explore a variety of different yoga offerings from my teachers. During this time of great change, stress and grief; remember the only way out is through. We have to feel to heal. Yoga practices can be a way for us to gently explore both emotions and body sensations in a safe environment. These supplemental activities can help embolden and add to our individual psychotherapy, medication management, couples therapy and group therapy to round out our overall mental and physical health.
What is Yin Yoga?
“Yin yoga is a gentle application of tension and compression to the body which induces a health phase change in the tissue. Yin yoga practice is characterized by long, static holds, using floor-based asanas for muscle relaxation and myofascial release, allowing for a meditative focus. Targeting connective tissue, as opposed to the muscle rhythm and repetition, Yin yoga is specifically beneficial for the overall health of the tissue in the body.” -Lindsay Nova (Oracle Yin Teacher Training Manual)
Chinese Medicine: Energetic Approach to Yoga
“Chinese medicine is an ancient medical practice from China that dates back more than 2500 years. The foundation of Chinese medicine is based on the flow of Qi (energy) through energy channels (meridian pathways) around the body every 24 hours. There are 12 main pathways, 8 extraordinary and many more. Chinese medicine may be defined through Taoism and it’s nature of yin, yin and the 5 phases, through which natural herbal remedies, Tuina (massage), Moxibustion, Qi Gong, Acupuncture and Acupressure are used for treatment of disease.” -Lindsay Nova (Oracle Yin Teacher Training Manual)
Yin Yang Theory
“Yin yang is the most well-known concept within Taoism. Yin and yang are two opposing principles that remain inseparable. Yin represents the sunny side of a hill. Yin never resides fully without yag and vice versa. The concept of yin and yang represent the concept of balance. Too much yin is not good, and likewise too much yang is not good either: balance is needed.” -Lindsay Nova (Oracle Yin Teacher Training Manual)
Here is a 25 minute Yin Yoga class for the Lung Meridian with my teacher Lindsay Nova
30 Minute Yin Yoga Class:
90 Minute Yin Yoga Class:
Interested in exploring other modalities? Below is a list of classes highly recommended from my Ayurvedic teacher Sandhiya Ramaswamy.
Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep)
“The ancient practice of Yoga Nidra is a wonderful practice to completely relax and more importantly heal and activate an empowered life (this happens in the sankalpa intention setting process). You practice this in Savasana, fully supported – a small pillow under your head, bolster under your knees, an eye pillow and a blanket to cover yourself with. Allow the voice of the instructor to guide you deeply within. It is said that 1 hour of Yoga Nidra is equal to 4 hours of deep sleep. Here is one of my favorite Yoga Nidra routines. I did this today after our 3 pm call and it refreshed me (I had an interesting night of sleep with lots of dreams and things coming up so did not get a great quality of sleep last night).” -Sandhiya Ramaswamy
Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh
“The whole routine is almost 50 minutes, but divided into 3 modules. Do as much as you can, don’t overdo it this week. Please be sure to do the meditation and guided relaxation at the end after your practice.” -Sandhiya Ramaswamy
Ashtanga Yoga with David Swenson
5 Tibetan rites with Raageshwari – under 15 minutes but packs a punch
Below are some meditations and affirmations to keep in mind as we all continue to find balance in our lives, our schedules, and within ourselves.
Meditations on Transformation
I don’t have to be who I’ve been.
I don’t have to believe the stories I tell myself about myself.
I am allowed to change.
I may have already changed and not noticed because of the old stories.
I can create new stories anytime.
Affirmations of Agency
My autonomy is sacred.
My agency is sacred.
My boundaries are sacred.
My no is sacred.
I will not succumb to coercion.
I will not submit.
Any dynamic, relationship or community that demands my submission is unhealthy and dysfunctional. I can choose to walk away.
By Clementine Morrigane