- The self-giving care
- The person cared for
- The universe upholding those cared for
perform action which should be done (your duty). For, by
performing action without attachment man reaches the supreme.
- Tadasana (Mountain pose), coming into Utkatasana (Chair pose), and then sometimes wiggling and shifting into Malasana (Garland pose)
- Marjaryasana (Cat), Bitilasana (Cow), and then Balasana (Child’s pose)
So much goes into caring that my asana practice is often taking a few powerful asanas and really trying to enjoy the yumminess of each posture and the transition into each. As my dear friend Amy taught me, “Each transition is also a pose.”
- Listening to my breath.
- Feeling my breath move into my nostrils, mouth, and parts of my chest.
- Asking if my breath is going deeper into my back lungs or feeling shallower, caught in this feeling like I can’t complete a yawn (this is always a source of stress or pause for me).
If my breath is not feeling at ease, I try to bring greater ease to it in one or several practices:
- I breathe deep into the back lungs/rib areas.
- I lift up my arms and side bend over to the opposite side, then breathe into the lung tissue under the armpit, taking turns on each side.
- I sit or stand against a wall, close my eyes, and try to breathe, feeling supported and safe against the sturdiness of the wall and calmer with less sensory stimulation to my eyes.
- I extend my exhalation, making my exhalation twice as long as my inhalation by breathing in for, say, a count of 3, then exhaling for, say, a count of 6. Then I gradually lengthen my exhalation even more in the hopes of slowing any racing-ness of my heart from stress.
I have also found that adapting my meditation practice to sit with fear, adopting many principles and instructions from the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tonglen meditation, welcoming the suffering in, breathing out more love into the world, has been a center in constant whirlpool of shifts, waves of politics and noise whizzing by, and mothering to do.
Sarah Blunkosky, M.A., 200 E-RYT, RYT 500, RPYT, RCYT is an integrative education consultant, certified peer-breastfeeding counselor, and registered Accessible Yoga instructor specializing in family, children’s, special-needs, and prenatal/postpartum movement/embodiment. Her learning life spanned teaching high school social studies at Open High School in Richmond, Virginia to studying slavery and social history on a graduate school path that pivoted when her eldest daughter’s intellectual disabilities and medical needs required an intensive lifestyle shift. She started Learning Heroine LLC in 2015. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook sharing her dharma/mission: Set learning free. When she isn’t homeschooling her kids or teaching yoga, you can find her writing articles and working on a book. A forever student of yoga, she is also studying to become a certified yoga therapist.