By Renee’ Fulkerson
I thought that a 14 day mandatory self quarantine was going to be rough however, that was not the case.
Self quarantine: verb – to refrain from any contact with other individuals for a period of time (such as two weeks) during the outbreak of a contagious disease usually by remaining in one’s home and limiting contact with family members.
My father had become ill and left his physical body at the end of March. I spent the next month on the mainland doing all the things one does in an event like this.
When I left the island I had been informed upon return I would be required to self quarantine for 14 days. I had so much on my mind I did not really think to much about it. Turns out it was a time of great healing.
Upon my return back to Kauai I felt depleted.
I found my physical body at this time to be very tired, tense and wanting to curl up into a ball. I found my breathing to be non existent. In other words I was unconsciously holding my stomach so tight I could not take a full breath. My mental state was mostly distracted by anything and everything.
The good news is this was and is all fixable!
I knew I had two weeks of self quarantine and in that moment I felt great relief in knowing I could focus on myself. Let’s face it in our day to day lives the thought of even one day to focus on ourselves seems unattainable.
I began this self quarantine AKA Self Love Quarantine by:
- allowing my emotions to show up good, bad and ugly
- not judging my accomplishments or lack thereof
- sleeping and eating on demand
- asking for help
- tuning into my breathing patterns
- being patient with my tense and tight body
- letting go
I also participated in all the tangible supportive rituals like – journaling, meditating, chanting and most beneficial for me YogAlign.
I have found in my personal yoga practice and teachings the majority of students can connect to the physical part of their yoga practice first. Why? Because it is tangible and you can feel it. That is what is so amazing about the YogAlign Method you can physically feel the benefits instantly. Once your physical body feels good everything else follows. Your breath flows more freely, your mood elevates to happy and you are back in balance.
Example of this for me during this 14 day Self Love Quarantine was freeing up the frontline of my body so I could breath. I mentioned earlier I could not get full inhales and exhales due to me clenching my tummy. Which then made my entire frontline shorten and my backline stretched out and exhausted. What to do? The YogAlign Downward Dog Series.
This series of postures is going to create space and length along my entire frontline and backline from head to toe. With this newfound space and length I am able feel the balance return to the front, back and sides of my body. Bringing what felt like a C posture collapse in the frontline (chin to chest) back into my bodies natural curves, balance and breath.
The YogAlign Downward Dog Series: when practicing this series use the SIP inhale (sipping through a straw) and exhale either with the S snake sound (with a smile) or lions breath (tongue out). Moving through the sequence taking three breaths per posture and per leg.
YogAlign High Dog
YogAlign Traction Dog
YogAlign Core Dog
YogAlign Psoas Dog
Another posture I rely on when I need to create space in my belly is Cobra. Like the postures above- Cobra will balance the fascial forces between the front and back body. The superficial front line is again lengthened from the top of the toes to your head, and the core line is strengthened in length and integrity.
The Cobra Pose
During this 14 day Self Love Quarantine I realized what a gift this time had been for me. It was not all fun and games however, I would not change a thing. I was able to fully relax in my body to allow the feelings and emotions to move through me without restrictions. Reconnect with breath allowing my inhales to expand my rib cage and let out a lengthy sigh of tension. (much like lion’s breath)
Sigh: verb – emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling.
Ironically, I ended up returning to the mainland a month later for various reasons and had a second opportunity for a 14 day Self Love Quarantine.
This time was a completely different experience as I was in a much different place. I will say it was much easier and more timely to achieve some of benefits mentioned above and then some. And although I know it is unrealistic to have this amount of time as well as mostly unnecessary. I highly recommend taking a few day(s) for a Self Love Quarantine every now and again.
Sending love and aloha