Hurricanes and Health | Yogic Principles Applied to Hurricanes
Here in Florida, life has been a bit exciting, to say the least. Preparing for a hurricane can be useful for practicing Yogic Principles. Practice and preparation go hand-in-hand. In other words, each day on the yoga mat, we are given a chance to work on our breath, movement, and mind in order to improve our overall vitality. Each summer, in Florida we are given a chance to practice our preparedness skills for the real hurricane. The drill makes it less traumatic when the real event occurs. But it is easy to ignore doing what is right for us until we are faced with the Tiger.
Fight or Flight –
The Tiger kicks in our primitive brain. The primitive brain is great for quick decisions. Unfortunately, it clouds our thinking for logical planning. In hurricanes (at least in a country with as much technology as we have), we are given plenty of notice and plenty of time to prepare. But if our “Flight or Fight” response is activated, we are immediately jumping into action–getting out of Dodge too fast, being rude to other people in line for water and plywood boards, or at worst, getting ourselves sick from all of the stress.
There Is Another Way –
Sit quietly for a few moments. Inhale and feel your ribs go out to the side. Then open your mouth and exhale with a whoosh sound. Do this calming, centered breath ten times and repeat as necessary throughout the day. This is a practice I have been using with my students this week that I learned during an Online Yoga Workshop with Yoga Therapist and Master Teacher Leila Stuart.
So Should You Stay Or Should You Go
That depends on your circumstances and your state of mind. If staying is too dangerous or no matter how much you try to feel calm, you can’t, then leaving might be the best solution. But first, make sure your mind is clear enough and that you have taken in all the available information and sorted through it calmly. Be aware of your own primitive brain. Talk to it and reason with it to see if it has all the facts. Short calming activities can help you sort it out. Be calm, be kind, be safe. Hope to see you on the mat Southwest Floridians when this is all behind us.