Whether we are teachers or parents – students or former students – we feel the fall approaching. For many of us the summer allows some lollygagging and the fall does not. Things speed up and there just isn’t enough time to get it all done. It is therefore the perfect time to remember to take care of ourselves. We need to replenish our wells. It is important, not selfish. The more we take care of ourselves the more we can take care of all the things that need our attention. Here are some practices that can be useful when we feel the need to clear our minds; find focus & clarity; or get a good night’s sleep.
Take a Break & Clear Your Mind
This first video is a mere 3 minutes long. The practice offered is a seated sun breath where we synchronize our arms with our breath. Inhaling arms up and exhaling arms down with the option to add expanding the abdomen on the inhale and contracting the abdomen on the exhale. You can do this standing, sitting in a chair, or sitting on the floor. The recommendation is to do 10 rounds (inhale and exhale is a round) at any point during the day when you feel the need to take a break and clear your mind.
Find Focus & Clarity
This second video is 7 minutes long. The practice offered is to lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. We’ll then move the knees toward the chest on the exhale and move the knees over the hips on the inhale. We’ll take this movement 10 to 20 times and then take a twist. To get into the twist, we’ll bring the feet back to the floor, wider than hip distance apart, and place the arms out to a T. We will then let the knees fall to the right for 10 breaths and then the left for 10 breaths. The recommendation is to do this once a day – maybe in the morning – for focus and clarity.
A Good Night’s Sleep
This third video is a 16 minute recording of a body scan. When I was 14 I went to my first yoga class and my teacher, Sue Luby, used a short version of this practice. This practice is done lying down (seated works too). Sometimes if we are struggling with settling down after a hectic day, this practice can help the body and the mind prepare for sleep.