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Ready or Not, Re-Entry is Upon Us: Yogic Tips for a smooth transition to the "New Normal"

Making time now to prepare for the post-pandemic “New Normal” can make for a much smoother transition to a fast-moving pace of life with lots and lots of sounds, places, people, interaction and activities.

Physical Body

· overcoming inertia

· overcoming reduced physical activity (sedentary syndrome)

For almost two-years, many of us have experienced a reduction in physical activity/fitness with our routines disrupted in a variety of ways such as: working from home and/or staying at home & supporting kids with remote learning, gyms and fitness centers closed along with businesses and other venues.

The law of physics teaches us that a body in motion, tends to stay in motion. Conversely, a body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by a force. Remember, how difficult it was to move from full-speed to still in March, 2020? Now it is time to reverse the pattern and pick up speed, intensity and activity level for the “New Normal.”

Your yoga practice can help you steadily increase the intensity, pace and length of engagement in physical activity from a space of focused awareness, flexibility and balance. Stepping up the pace and holding postures for longer and reaching a little deeper each practice can help signal to our brains that we are ready for the increased intensity that the “New Normal” likely will bring.

In addition to your yoga practice, now is an excellent time to evaluate how physically active/fit you are in this moment. Without shame or judgement, make an assessment and address any areas that may need improvement. Many people have discovered that the core of their body might not be as firm or holding it’ pre-pandemic shape and size. Yoga incorporates many core strengthening movements and can be part of your plan for a smooth transition to the “New Normal.”

Accept yourself and current physical fitness activity. You know your body better than anyone. Assess and evaluate your options for your next steps to increase your physical activity. Perhaps, you can continue to do your current activity and increase the speed, intensity or length of time you spend engaged in physical activity. Set goals and strive and meet them, then set new goals. The more we are moving now the smoother the transition to the “New Normal” will be.

Sensory Input/Processing

For almost two years, we have been sheltered from everyday noise levels that we once encountered with ease, grace and flow. After sheltering in place with vastly reduced interaction with “sounds of the world” and intensive face to face interactions, we need to prepare our ears and sensory body for a much louder, constant barrage of sounds that we are simply not used to during the pandemic.

Reflect on how easy it might have been for you to focus and hear one person speaking while crowded around a restaurant table with 8-10 people in a crowded restaurant with loud music and multiple and competing conversations happening all around you. While we all look forward to such normalcy, two-years in the quiet of the pandemic has “quieted “our screening and sensory processing skills. Anything we can do now to “turn up the sound” in our homes can help us prepare for a smoother re-entry into the world of sound and intense social interaction. Maybe it begins with turning up the TV to loud volumes, turn on the radio and talk to someone on the phone at the same time. The sensory processing is like a muscle, it needs to be stimulated/worked. If we wait until we encounter such a sound/interaction-rich experience, we might find ourselves feeling overwhelmed or out of sorts. It might serve to choose to participate in such louder sound and interactive experiences for a short period of time and build up your sensory processing “muscles.”

We have waited and waited for the opportunity to interact and socialize with friends and family with lots of places to go and events to attend. By making some simple preparations in advance, we can flow through the transition to the “New Normal” with even greater ease, grace and flow.


Geralyn O’Reilly,

Emerald Mind & Body Wellness

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