March 2020 LGY Newsletter: On Confinement

 

Today, 7am, on 11 March 2020, my last morning practice at the Arlington before confinement.
 

On confinement

What strange times we live in. Our life has changed dramatically, certainly in the short term, but possibly in the long term too, perhaps forever. We are slowing down, we are creating time to consider what we need, how and with whom. This, difficult as this might be for some people, is necessary.

For many, what we are going through has been part of their daily life for one reason or another. I have been paying a lot of attention to them, and putting into practice all I have learned in my various retreats. These are the things I have been telling myself (this is not advice, mind you, we all have advice coming out of our ears!):

  • Don’t attempt to keep normality. These are not normal times and we should all have time to adapt, mourn, feel sad and frightened.
  • This also means that you should not expect to be productive in the way you were before the quarantine. You might end up painting the living room, but don’t set yourself up for having to achieve anything during confinement.
  • Integrate contemplation in your new life. See this partly as a gift.
  • Create a new routine for yourself, whatever it might be. We might be here for longer than we think … I don’t mean getting up at 6am to do yoga (I have reverted to Spanish times!) but creating times when work and rest are separated, when you completely switch off, when you take care of yourself.
  • Speaking of which, take care of yourself. Mind your food, mind your exercise, mind the activities you do to be happy. Add some nourishment every day.
  • Confinement does not mean isolation. Connect with someone every day. Maybe get in touch with one person you have not spoken to in a while, or catch up over tea with co-workers, or co-practitioners.
  • We don’t know the consequences of this new way of living, what being on screens all the time is going to do to our physical, emotional and mental health, what this new pace might mean for us, so listen to yourself and do what is appropriate each moment and each day.
  • Keep positive, but surrender to uncertainty. You have no idea whether that trip in July will happen, whether you will be able to India in October. That is OK. Try to approach any challenges calmly. Fear, while important to acknowledge, will only make things worse.

I am so happy to be in touch with you. If you have anything you want to share with me about how you have been coping with confinement, please do. I am really learning lots, even without intending to.

You are all on my mind though, and this period, so far, has really been one of rest and recovery for me. I am much better, and now I have the capacity to reach out and help anyone who needs it. If you want pranayama one-to-one, a listening ear, a creative partner, or just cup of tea over Skype, let me know.

Laura x
https://www.lauragonzalez.co.uk/yoga

 

 

 

What I have been practicing

Pranayama, now more than ever, has been my grounding practice, my support. I have taken this opportunity to connect with my breath as it is, putting into practice everything my teachers (Kia and Sudhir) have taught me. The practice is simple, nourishing and effective, if done carefully and sincerely. In the video below, Sudhir Tiwari explains how kriyas, asana and pranayama can help the immune system. If you don’t know anything about pranayama and want to be introduced to very simple and safe practices, please get in touch with me.

 

 

 

What I have been listening to

On the weekend of 13-15 March, as the world was going into lockdown, we met in Glasgow to celebrate Rosina’s life. I am so glad we did. Having Kia here was the most healing, both backwards to the wound of the loss of my beloved teacher, and forwards to anxiety of the loss of our life as we knew it. And since, Kia has been a daily support. Her words on this soundscape and the video below have been an invaluable inspiration. The video has visuals of Mysore Yoga Paris practitioners captured by Sandra Schultze merged with a talk by Kia Naddermier to the community facing quarantine. Kia’s talk was recorded on the Sunday at Rosina’s celebration in Glasgow, and the soundscape is by Yotam Agam. They are all part of my extended yoga family.

Kia is dedicated to support practice through this delicate time, creating an inner shala where we can always meet. I am so grateful for this!  She posts resources, talks, meditations, practice soundscapes and inspiration. This is her gift to all of us as we remain closer together. If you want to receive her inspiration directly, sign up to her newsletter here.

 

 

 

What I have been reading

If you don’t have a home practice, this is the one thing you should do at this time. But how? Sarah Hatcher gives gorgeous tips on her blog. It does not have to be long, it does not have to be fancy. You just need to show up regularly and listen to what you need, even if it is just 10 minutes in savasana. A personal practice means to connect with yourself, to develop your inner teacher (we all have one), to take responsibility for your physical and mental wellbeing, to be autonomous. It will change your life, but don’t make it a stick to beat yourself up with!

 

 

SPECIAL WORKSHOP: BREATHE AND SLEEP
Monday 18 May 2020, 11-12.30
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

(as May is a while away, I am keeping this on and signing people. I may need to cancel as this crisis progresses but I will know in late April/early May)

 

A practical workshop exploring breath practices to enhance good quality sleep.

Led by Professor Laura González, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week
.www.mentalhealth.org.uk



For a free place email l.gonzalez@rcs.ac.uk. Places are very limited!

As part of her Creative Scotland Open Project Funding award, Laura is studying the practice of pranayama (breath control) to enhance presence and resilience in performers.

She will be offering a free open workshop focusing on breath and sleep and the impact both have on the mental health of performers. The session will be introductory, practical and open to everyone.

As part of this workshop you will:

• Learn about the breath and its link to mind and body.

• Be invited to deepen your breath safely, allowing you to become more aware and calmer

• Be introduced specific practices that will help you to connect to your parasympathetic nervous system, which will allow you to sleep better.

CLASSES

All of my open classes are off until the quarantine in the UK is lifted. Once I settle into this new way of work, and if we are still here on the 20 April, I may set up a few zoom asana classes and pranayama (one-to-one).

In the meantime, I have been attending Maureen Thorpe‘s zoom classes and Judi Farrell’s Sunday Counted Primary at Merchant City Yoga. Both are a joy and you should try them! Please email me back for details.