One of the biggest storms in our lives is moving from one house to another. The transition itself is overwhelming, and then adding the steps it takes to make it all happen is taxing on the body and mind. I’ve heard that moving is the biggest stress, beating out divorce and even death. So, it’s serious!
I have been blessed in this life to have the opportunity to move a lot! I mean, seriously, a lot. Not only have I been traveling straight for 10 years, but I also have moved homes numerous times. Regardless of the reason for the move, it’s always stressful.
This month, I moved from Los Angeles to a small town called San Luis Obispo in California. I needed a break from the polluted air, frantic energy, and massive amount of people. I am grateful for the gift of this town and community of yogis here.
As with every excitement there is anxiety hiding behind the shallow breath. I have caught myself shallow breathing a lot in the past week. It’s always nice to reunite with the depth of breath that makes it to my lower back. That’s one way I found peace through the moving storm.
Another way is an “emotional release,”which translates to screaming my face off and having a good ol’ cry! We need to honor the powerful stirrings of emotion that surge through us because if they are denied (repressed) then we erupt and become hardened. This can cause stress, disease and other problems.
The last thing we need is to add more problems to our lives, although we can change our perception of the “problems” into opportunities. I love the word “opportunity” because it shows us we that can create whatever we want with the situations we’re given. This is a pretty harsh world with many fluctuations, so we will always have events or situations that cause stress. But this is a subject for another blog.
OK, back to the stress of moving and how I overcame the madness. First I tried to breathe through it all. As I was packing, as I was calling the truck rental, as I was crying – having a breakdown, through it all, I was catching myself and reminding the air coming into my body to go down into my lower back. I relaxed my shoulders as this was happening.
Then, getting enough sleep and rest was my next big remedy to reduce the stress. Although I was unable to sleep through the night, I practiced the “SO HUM” breathing technique. It’s a silent practice where you breathe in and focus on the sound SO (hearing it internally) and exhaling hearing “HUM.” Continuing this “SO HUM” is a way to relax the mind.
These sounds are mind tools that can give your brain the focus it needs to stop incessant chatter. A sound vibration, even an internal sound like this, is called a “mantra.”This was a very helpful practice during those couple of nights before the move and the few nights after, and I usually fell asleep as I was practicing. That was a bonus!
Here are my suggestions for anyone who needs to overcome a move or anything else that presses on them, causing the breath to be shallow.
1. More awareness on breathing. When you realize that you aren’t breathing, take a forgiving breath in and relax into the sweetness of the moment.
2. “SO HUM”your way into sleep and relaxation.
3. Express your frustrations, angers, all of your emotions into a pillow (scream it out) and shake your whole body.
4. Go for a walk, and get outside and exercise. I know it’s challenging to make time for this but even a 10-minute walk around the block helped me to relax and incorporate the changes.
5. Honor the big changes you are making.Give yourself a little space to deal with all the change.
Remember to do little things for yourself and try to drink lots of water. As with any change, our bodies need water for nourishment and to ground us. I wish you well with everything that comes into your life!