3 May 2020    The second phase, INNER COMPASS
I was asked to write something and stupidly I wrote this 3 weeks ago….but I am bad with the last step of actually posting something hahaha…not funny. There is already a lot of advice for health and movement, so let me look into the next phase after the initial shock and isolation. Also because for many the opening of society feels slow and insecure. Now our deeper fears will and our deeper love can surface.
 
Yogis have always used solo retreats to observe the flow of consciousness and what holds one back…that definitely isn’t all about bliss, one can move through many states. For me, I miss my work tremendously, I miss people who bring liveliness. It is intense and confrontational to not live within my normal structures.
‘I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.’
(*amazing poem: the Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer)
 
Can you come to your natural flow? What brings you closer to what you love?! Personal rituals can make you more stabilized, let you enjoy small things and notice changes more consciously.
Within fine tuning your rhythms my advise is to stay close to yourself, to allow emotions. What happens if you allow yourself ‘sleep in-days’, ‘cry about all the future plans lost-days’, ‘bounce around-days’?….you can still hang on to your rituals and let life unfold. What do you really hold dear? Where do your emotions lead you? Not for the drama of them….no…to use them as pointers, signs where to practice more courage and opening.
 
It is your time to look at what you are grateful for and from that pluck up the courage to see the shadows in your self-confidence, in your marriage, in your frustrations. You can observe a state coming up in you and then let it be there without acting out. If it brings up a lot of anxiety then only feel the body and give a name to the sensations WITHOUT going into the story and then do a breath regulation. Then only if you feel stabilized, you may ask yourself what you need to bring more wholeness in that theme. Can you see it from more than one side? Can you ask someone to reflect or support?
 
5 min Breath exercise for any time of the day: Our breath is always the link between our body and mind. The first stage helps you assess states at different times, the second stage can help your energy up when you feel low or tired and relaxes when you are tight or stressed.
Observe your Breath for 3 minutes just the way it comes where you are; sitting, standing or lying down. Notice some qualities like tight, deep, fast, irregular…and name them for yourself without changing anything.
Then do a Regulating Breath to give your nerve system a message of ‘calm, collected’: Sit comfortably on the floor or a chair, close your eyes, face and shoulders and hands relaxed, then breath 4 counts in, 4 counts out through your nose, counting steadily 10 rounds. Just that….short and very simple (complexity is unnecessary). After some times you can add a whispering sound in the back of your throat, still breathing through the nose, and divide the amount of air very evenly.
 
Our retreat center is called Sharanam, which means ‘welcome’ and ‘to take refuge’. It is an invitation to stay in one place where you explicitly choose to be with yourself to see your true nature. In these times we offer our guidance online to do exactly this!