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It's a small world after all

"It’s a small, small world."

These words ring truer than ever as around the globe we face a new virus together. If ever there was a time to foster brotherhood and world peace, we certainly have the opportunity now. Yet, the virus is causing us to keep a social distance of six feet apart and to avoid social functions. These functions become easier to avoid as businesses and gathering places are being mandated to shut down. Basically, our options are to stay at home or perhaps take a daring walk on the wild side, aka the grocery store.  Rhyme or reason are not fitting well into the equation of who is catching this virus, but certainly prayers are in order for the many who have.

Cocooning at home may be enjoyable for some of us, but certainly not all of us. In fact, some of us don’t even have homes to stay in. So, this is indeed a time to be ever mindful and sensitive of the hardships of others and find possible ways to ease their burdens. As you read this, you may yourself have a burden that may be mounting and feeling perhaps even as if becoming unbearable. You are not alone. When the world looks this way, consider moving your body in simple and subtle ways to lift your perspective.

Since you are most likely reading this sitting down, here are a couple suggestions of simple seated exercises to help move - lift - strengthen your body:

Put your hands along the base of your chair or if you are sitting on the floor, flat palms alongside you. Straighten your back. Then lift your chin up and tilt your head back. Push your chest forward and arch your back so in essence you are doing a backbend.

Hold this back bend for several moments - several deep inhales and exhales.

Breathe deeply so your full body can envelop this expansion of your heart and vibrant energy of your spine.

Next, bring your hands in a prayer position in front of your chest. Keeping your hands in this position, inhale deeply as you bring the arms straight up over your head. Exhale them back down in front of your chest. 

Do this movement of inhaling and exhaling the arms up and down as long as is comfortable to do.   Make the movements slow and the breaths deep. This exercises your heart - the seat of your compassion.

It is more than ever important now to strive to keep a level head amidst the turmoil of daily life. These simple exercises above increase body awareness. Pay great attention to the inter-connected movements of your breath with your body.  Increasing awareness of the synchronicities within your own body and breath can help increase your sensitivity and compassion for yourself in your time of need, and in turn for others in theirs.

Joan can be reached at .  She is a resident of St. Charles . Her Yo Joan Column appears here every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. Joan’s award-winning Yoyoga website is at   Her book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meditation, has recently been released as an E-Audio Book available on Amazon and Audible Books.

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