Living in a big city sometimes sucks. There is so much going on, so many noises and distractions. There is less of the natural world and fewer connections.
As a yoga teacher, I observe that many students are disconnected — from themselves, from nature, from their breath and from others. Disconnection from the breath changes the essence of the yoga practice. It becomes more about the physical and tends to place an emphasis on achieving poses. Many people breathe in a short, rapid manner, which creates a stress response in their body. Taking slower and quieter breaths can help ground you and deemphasize feelings of anxiety or being overwhelmed.
A good way to emphasize breath connection is to breathe together! If you’re a student of yoga, pay attention to a calm neighbour’s breath and see if you can mimic their rhythm. If you’re a teacher, cue breathing together. It creates a sense of intimacy and community within the class. When we’re disconnected from the breath, it follows that there is less connection to yourself, nature and other people. As humans, we need connection, touch and validation. Learn to nurture these aspects in you and your student’s lives.
The longer I’m on this journey of life, the more I realize that I’m sensitive and intuitive. The activity, noises and distractions of a big city pull me away from my true nature and my highest self. I have a number of practices that I carry out daily to help me move through a busy, urban landscape with more ease.
For instance, before I leave my house every morning, I protect myself. I physically protect my skin from environmental pollutants with moisturizer and essential oils. I spiritually protect myself by smudging with sage and meditating. And I energetically protect myself with stones and mala beads. I also spray a reiki essence on myself before I walk out the door. It sounds like a lot — I know!
I find myself feeling more grounded, connected and in tune after these practices. This is imperative for me as I work and communicate mindfully, kindly and honestly with others. This isn’t to say that I don’t get bogged down in distractions or procrastinations or that I’m calm and cool every day. But I’m less likely to react or feel anxious.
Wearing stones and mala beads during the day gives me a touchstone to return to: a physical reminder that I am in control, I am powerful.
Written by Cat Doyle, MalaRae OMbassador
Crystal healing for “Protect & Connect”: