Paying attention to relaxation: Meditate under COVID-19

Meditation and relaxation exercises can be beneficial during these unusual times we are living. We decided to round up the most common and useful relaxation and meditation secrets to help you get through your lockdown. 

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone in different ways, but stress and anxiety have a pretty common impact. Whether or not you were already taking some time to meditate regularly, practising could be extra helpful for your mental health now and in the coming weeks and months.

Setting the atmosphere though can be very important. According to some studies recreating natural sounds can lead to a calmer and more relaxing mental status.  So whether you are a whale sounds or a rainforest monsoon enthusiast set first thing first a music playlist to unwind and then understand which relaxing exercise suits you more. 

When you’re feeling anxious, you might notice that your heart rate and breathing get a bit faster. You may also begin to sweat and feel dizzy or lightheaded. In this challenging situation, one of the best suggestion to remain calm is to get your breathing under control in order to relax both your body and mind.

To get your breathing under control when you’re anxious, follow these steps:

  1. Sit in a quiet and comfortable place. Put one of your hands on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  2. Take a slow and regular breath in through your nose. Watch and sense your hands as you breathe in. The hand on your chest should remain still while the hand on your stomach will move slightly.
  3. Breathe out through your mouth slowly.
  4. Repeat this process at least 10 times or until you begin to feel your anxiety lessen.

Multiple breathing techniques, coming from older and ancient Indian traditions, imply inhaling for the same amount of time as you’re exhaling. The awesome thing about all of this is that you can actually practice it wherever you are and whichever position you choose, be sure to get comfortable.

  1. Shut your eyes and pay attention to the way you normally breathe for several breaths.
  2. Then, slowly count 1-2-3-4 as you inhale through your nose.
  3. Exhale for the same four-second count.
  4. As you inhale and exhale, be mindful of the feelings of fullness and emptiness in your lungs.

There are 3 main positions I would highly suggest:

Standing position

If you’re more comfortable upright, try standing meditation. To do this: 

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Shift your feet so that your heels turn slightly inward and your toes are pointing slightly away from each other.
  • Slightly bend your knees. 

Kneeling position

The most common one is the kneeling position. Not only because of its beneficial posture position and it helps you to keep your back straight, but it is also quite helpful to control and track your breathing during anxious circumstances. To do this:

  • Rest on the floor on bent knees. 
  • Your shins should be flat on the floor with your ankles below your bottom. 
  • Be sure to root your weight back and down through your hips. This keeps you from putting too much pressure on your knees.

Lying-down position

You may find it easier to relax and release tension if you lie down. This way your body is totally supported. To do this:

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended alongside your body.
  • Put your feet hip-distance and your toes can be turned out to the side.
  • Modify the pose to support your lower back, if you don’t feel comfortable.
  • Place a pillow underneath your knees to slightly elevate them while lying flat.

Maintaining a correct posture can also be quite helpful in focusing on breathing and relaxing as a way to take your mind off the anxiety status and overwhelming feeling.

Our body is our temple and any part of it can join in the process of calming down from your spine to your hands. It’s all about finding the perfect balance between your mind and your body: 

Spine

  • Straight your back as much as possible, as much as you can.
  • Continue to root down through your body with each exhale. 
  • Lift your body up and lengthen your spine with each inhales. 
  • Feel the line of energy that goes from the base of your spine out through the crown of your head. 

Hands

  • Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing down. 
  • Keeping your hands placed down will help you to feel and to be more grounding and help relax your body’s energy flow. 
  • You can also stack your hands in your lap with your palms facing up. This hand position is said to generate more heat and energy.

Shoulders

  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and comfortable as you draw them slightly back and down. 
  • Check-in with your posture from time to time. 
  • Maintain your spine straight 
  • Pull your shoulders down and away from your ears.
  • Pay attention to the height of your shoulders.

And finally, if you want to dig deeper into the world of meditation and, why not, making this a daily practice with or without COVID-19, have a look at this highly (personally tried!) suggested apps on your phone that will help you schedule your daily meditation routine. 

Insight Timer

Smiling Mind

Calm

Zen Sand

About the author

Carlotta Cutrale


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