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Before I met my life coach and current roommate Dayana Mendoza—just days before quarantine hit here in the Bay Area—I was overwhelmed with the frenzy of life and work. A spiritual teacher with a background in plant medicine wisdom, indigenous Columbian spirituality, and meditation, Dayana has invited me to begin each morning in mindful movement, meditation and grounding exercises to promote balance, calm, and creativity throughout my day.
First, we begin in a silent meditation to set our intentions for the practice and the day. I use this time to concentrate on my “mantra of the day,” a phrase that I will return to so I can return to my practice (and intention) whenever I need to. Some of my mantras are: Be here now, I surrender the the unfolding of what is, and I am everything that I’ve always needed.
In the next partner meditation, I lay on the mat with my feet tucked under me. With hands at either side, I allow my heart to be lifted and allow myself to feel the stretch in my thighs. With Dayana, kneeling over me, continues to hold my intention and instructs me when to move out of this pose. While this is a resting pose, the stretch is a bit more intense, and having someone guide me when it’s time to transition allows me to fully surrender to the current moment.
Next, we do a Kundalini exercise called Ego Eradicator. With our hands extended in a V-shape at a 45-degree angle and our fingers pressed into the pads of our hands with our thumbs extended, we perform rapid breath of fire (breathing in and out of the nostrils) for three minutes. This allows us to build heat in the body as we prepare for mindful movement.
Dance it Out
Time to play! Meditation can look different for many people. The founder of Spiritual Mamacitas, a group for women to unleash and embody all aspects of themselves, Dayana invites me to use dance as a way to check in with the subtle body. She taps into her culture with salsa music and we dance all the kinks out!
We end every practice with gratitude. Staring at each other with hands on our hearts, we witness ourselves in each other, give gratitude and thanks for this moment, and seal our intentions one last time before we continue our day.
From our Live Be Yoga Partner
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If you would like to tap in with Dayana, watch this meditation video for a quick morning practice to uplift your day and inspire creativity while calming the nervous system.
This year, Yoga Journal’s annual ambassador road trip—the Live Be Yoga Tour—is going virtual. We are calling it The Decompression. Recently, we’ve all been asked to journey inward, to take moments of pause and stillness, and to slow down, rest, and prioritize the things we value. Follow the Live Be Yoga 2020 series here, stay connected with us at @livebeyoga on social, and join the movement to find beauty in stillness.