I am finding it quite challenging these days to stay present to what I am doing in the aftermath of the FL and other shootings. This is partly because my own backyard no longer feels safe. In my small town of Santa Fe, I have received 3 robo-calls from my son’s high school about threats to students, the principal and the school in general. Every time I receive one of these calls or think about dangers in our schools, I am overwhelmed by fear for my son and all the other parent’s sons and daughters. I know it is a tough conversation and there are many sides, but I am saddened by what is happening in our country and am confused as to why raising the age to acquire a gun and taking assault type rifles off the market is so difficult. We are talking about human lives and our future generations. Our kids aren’t allowed to legally imbibe alcohol until they are 21 but they can buy a gun at 18. I believe a gun will kill many more individuals than a glass of beer or wine (I also know there is much controversy over this topic as well).
I recently had a friend share that her daughter, who will be attending my son’s high school in the fall, although excited about ninth grade, is also terrified of going to school there. My son too has expressed concern about going to school although the school has discussed emergency procedures and keeps the kids informed. This week, we were informed that additional police will be patrolling around our schools. I know this is not the world I grew up in and it is not the world I want my son or anyone else’s sons or daughters growing up in.
Although I appreciate the conversations with family and friends, I am turning to my yoga practice as a way to manage and take care of the parts of me that are scared for my child and disheartened in many of my fellow human-beings. I thought I’d share here my short practice for finding a few moments of calm. Click for the audio version or follow the written instructions below.
12-Minute Practice to Feel Safe and Bring Love
Start lying down on your back.
Bring your hands into Hridaya mudra (the heart gesture) by curling your pointer fingers to the base of your thumb and touching your thumb pads to your third and fourth fingers. Extend your pinkie fingers.
Imagine drawing breath through your hands to meet at your heart. Allow your breath to be deep and slow. Stay here for 3-4 minutes.
Draw your knees to your chest and gently rock side to side. After a few breaths, roll to one side in fetal position and take a few breaths into the backside of your body – behind your heart.
Slowly press up through sitting into table position (hands and knees).
On an exhale, draw your tailbone down and round your spine to the sky like a frightened cat. On your inhale, lift the tailbone, pull the ribs forward and open the chin into cow positions. Repeat this a few times focusing on the space behind and in front of your heart.
On an exhale round your spine and then press your hips toward your heels into child’s pose. As you inhale lift to kneeling, arching the back and raising the arms forward and up over head. On your exhale release back into child’s pose. Repeat this movement a few times.
When you are ready, from child’s pose pull forward into table once more and lower down onto your belly. Draw your arms into T-position, turn your head to the right and slide your right knee to a 90 degree angle with your hip coming into a ½ frog position. Rest here for 10 breaths, feeling the earth beneath you. To release, slowly lift and then turn your head to the left, slide the right leg back to meet the left. You may want to windshield wiper your legs a bit and then draw the left leg to a 90 degree angle. Take 10 more breaths here.
Bring your forehead to the mat, release the left leg and once more press back into child’s pose. Take three deep breaths in and out.
Slowly release child to return to your back.
Bring your hands back into Hridaya mudra. This time as you breath in say to yourself, “I am love”. As you breath out say to yourself, “I give love”.
Stay here for as long as you like.