Isolation becomes solitude, and regenerates my will to connect with others, whom I hope to support however I can, and in turn to receive so others may give. I am grateful for the ways in which my practice and relationships evolve during unprecedented times -- including these times of instability, disease, and devastation. I'd love to hear where your practice has been taking you (not including online!)
Lengthening the exhalation is the easiest, most natural way for most of us to deepen our inhalation, though we all have our own habits. As an asthmatic child, my usual habit was to gasp for breath, until I found yoga and learned to "breathe out to breathe in."
To relieve tension in the heart, I've been lifting the breath into the chest and taking a pause at the top of my breath in, before slowly breathing all the way out.
FACE THE EARTH
Downward facing poses (child's pose, kneeling for cat/cow, downward facing dog, downward facing savasana, belly backbends, etc.) and most forward bends have a calming effect for me, especially when I breathe into the back of the heart.
SPIRALS & WAVES
I let my movement originate in the breath and the spine, in non-linear, non-angular, spirals and waves. Orderly and repetitive, yet neither rigid nor uniform.
BALANCE & GRACE
Balancing poses require my full attention, and help me to let go of both fear and ambition. They remind me of what I can do to stay present, to lighten my attitude, and keep my breath steady, if nothing else.
To rest is to receive support in the body, freedom in the breath, and nourishment in the heart. The more resistant my mind is to resting, the more I recognize the need to rest, the quieter I become after waiting out that resistance, and the easier it is to yield without collapsing.