Nov 18th, 2020, 10:45 PM

Keeping Calm During Confinement

By Sophia Sedki
Image Credit: Olga Strelnikova/Getty Images.
Exploring ways to take care of our mental health during COVID's second wave.

As the evolution of our daily lives and current events destabilize us, it’s important to focus back on ourselves and our mental health. Meditation and yoga are practices that date back to as early as 5000 BCE, but the power and positive effects of these practices in our modern world still help us find inner peace and harmony. It is scientifically proven that yoga and meditation help reduce stress, improve sleeping patterns, and increase self-esteem. As some of us are stuck at home in confinement or are frantically packing up to head off somewhere else, I’d like to share some digital resources that can help keep our spirits up and heads clear during these difficult times

Yoga YouTuber Adriene. Image Credit: Yoga With Adriene

With almost 9 million YouTube subscribers and hailed as YouTube’s biggest yoga guru, Adriene is an energetic, upbeat yoga instructor who gives her viewers a range of different yoga exercises to choose from. Yoga with Adriene is based on inclusion of people of all shapes and sizes (and genders!). Is this your first time trying yoga? No problem! Adriene has a whole section of videos dedicated to beginners. She also has yoga exercises for waking up, going to bed, or helping with back pain. Her videos can go from 10 to 50 minutes long, making it easier to fit even a short yoga session with Adriene into your schedule. 

Image Credit: Calm

Featured as Apple’s App of the Year in 2017 and Google Play’s Editors’ Choice in 2018, the application Calm has raked in over 50 million downloads. Calm centers itself around meditation, mindfulness, and healthy sleeping habits. From bedtime stories read by Harry Styles and Kelly Rowland to meditation sessions led by LeBron James, you have an array of different audios you can listen to to help get you through the day or to help you get to sleep. Calm also helps you get through strong waves of anxiety by providing breathing exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime, any day. Calm offers you guidance on stress, relationships, work, anxiety, sleep and much more. The free version is limited but comes with a free 7 day trial of the premium version.

Image Credit: Julianna Swaney

The Raja Yoga centers in Paris provide online yoga and meditation sessions as well as in person sessions at their centers scattered across Paris (when COVID restrictions allow). These organized digital morning and evening gatherings are in 100% French, providing you with a great opportunity to get involved in Parisian yoga and meditation culture while picking up on some new vocabulary words! These sessions are free and explore topics such as spiritual well being, learning how to meditate, self reflection and confidence, and group discussions. 

The world is in rough shape right now. With the stress of everything going on, we forget that mental and physical health should be one of our main priorities. Take advantage of the time we have in confinement (or in semi-lockdown) to pick up on some new habits to make this period a bit easier. Happy meditation!

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