Meditation and natural ways to cope and destress in a pandemic
Yoga and meditation, getting outside, and organic food rich in vitamin D have help to keep me sane in this dark time of year.
In this article I outline how to meditate, a yoga sequence that is good for your immunity, and 5 natural ways to destress, survive and thrive in these unprecented times.
Tip 1 – Get moving outside
I know how hard it is when the wind is howling and the rain is splattering. Those with a dog to walk, a bike commute, or vineyard work to do, confirm, we feel better when we get outside and move. It is proven, sunlight (even soft winter sunlight) gives us a boost of vitamin D and movement gets the endorphins going. Courage. It’s worth it.
Tip 2 – Eat healthy organic food
A few years ago I gave the tip of eating hemp seed to get through this dark phase of the year , then I recommended dark chocolate and candied orange peel (recipe) to feel happy happy happy (and a glass of La Source). Turns out those hemp seeds contain vitamin D and a raft of other useful things. Many healthy things are also aphrodisiacs – oh yeah! – see our guide to natural aphrodisiacs here.
Tip 3 -Spread the love
Which brings us to point 3. Tell someone you love them with a hand drawn heart (not only on valentine’s day but if you need help with that we have you covered). Having someone/s to love and care for is fundamental to our health and happiness.
Tip 4- Meditation – how to do it
When we meditate, we are looking to join with the great consciousness, to become aware that we are part of everything, not separate.
It is a kind of joining with the divine. We can feel this at moments where we are not actively meditating, like the first time I walked into Notre Dame in Paris, monks were chanting and sun shone through the stained glass, I felt a deep connection with the Divine, a sacred spirit.
We can be transported to this wonder by music, by dance, by rituals, by meditation. When we feel it, a sense of bliss, and love for everyone and everything. This is what we can find with meditation. It costs nothing and brings deep joy.
If you are new to meditation, it can be as simple as sitting and focusing on your breath and heartbeat or a mantra. Here are the key steps to starting this practice:
1. Sit in a comfortable position – ideally with feet lower than hips as described at the start. Your spine should be straight, and you should be comfortable. I prefer to have my hands cupped upwards one inside the oth-er resting against my lower belly, some prefer hands palms up on the knees.
2. Close your eyes and take some long deep breaths.
3. You could follow your breathing or heartbeat to start and / or you could silently repeat a mantra – a good one to start is ‘so hum’- I am – so on the in breath and hum on the outbreath. Continue to focus on your breath/heartbeat or your mantra.
4. Don’t worry about thoughts coming into your mind – each time one does, don’t judge it – just gently return to the breath/ mantra.
5. Do this for a few minutes to begin with – perhaps 5 minutes is a good start – set a timer with a gentle sound to bring you back. Gently return to the now when you finish your meditation.
Meditation has been proven to offer health benefits when practiced daily. The ideal time is in the morning. A few minutes to half an hour is recommended.
Tip 5 – Start the day with a short yoga session and meditation
Start the day with a 15-minute yoga and meditation (or half an hour if you have it). Before you have coffee or tea, before anything, roll out the mat and give yourself these 15 minutes to love your body and to give it care. Set your intention for the day and listen to your body.
Short Yoga sequence to help your immune system
Start all your yoga sessions with a breathing exercise then a warmup like cat and cow followed by something a bit more active like a simple sun salutation, then move onto other poses. The poses below are useful poses for helping boost the immune system.
• Forward fold
• Down dog
• Head down between the legs (this is like a forward fold but with your legs apart rather than together) * *Don’t do this if you have acute back pain, sciatic pain or high blood pressure.
• Legs against the wall
When we listen to our bodies, we can better understand what it needs. We need to listen to its need to move, to dance, to rest.
Meditation and yoga offer us a way to connect with ourselves and beyond.
We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our Virtual Events our sizzling virtual valentine party or give your loved one the Virtual Discovery Wine Course which offers you 6 diverse tastings that you can explore over 6 date nights using our videos and supporting material. Read about the story of this organic vineyard– the series includes three books Grape Expectations; Saving our Skins and Glass Half Full by Caro Feely.