Navigating the new normal—how I’m finding steadiness during unsteady times.
by Andrea Rice
The world as we know it has changed. Fortunately, it is in our nature as human beings to adapt. In a short time, we’ve navigated this “new normal” and have already found new ways to connect. In the downtime — for those who are fortunate enough to have it — we’ve turned our attention to the projects we’ve put off. In real-time, we’re reclaiming the pleasure of our own company.
The time is ripe for self-care, for tending to the inner garden and acknowledging what’s there. Slowing down is not always easy, especially for a culture that is always on the go. And as unsteady and uncertain as the foreseeable future may seem, this brief lapse of forward-moving momentum presents a golden opportunity for pause and quiet reflection — a moment to prioritize well-being from the comforts of our own home.
Real wellness is not a commodity — it’s not about boutique fitness and juice bars and yoga retreats. To take care of yourself is to take the journey inward. It is a lifelong process of self-discovery through personal agency. Turning within cultivates a connection to your inner nature, which in turn, deepens your sense of connection to the world around you to sharpen your awareness of the delicate balance of nature. Wellness is about attaining wholeness — it is a feedback loop of self-love and outward love. This holistic union is a fundamental tenet of yoga philosophy.
Yoga practice is so much more than achieving strength and flexibility. It is a process of reintegrating with oneself and the natural rhythms of life. That’s what my new book, The Yoga Almanac: 52 Practices to Stay Grounded Through the Astrological Seasons, is all about—creating alignment with the recurring cycles of the seasons through a yogic lens.
My co-author Lisette Cheresson and I structured this book by the astrological calendar because much like yoga and meditation, astrology is a powerful tool for self-study. Each of the 52 chapters presents a seasonal topic in terms of yoga philosophy or science and explains why this theme is applicable during that astrological period.
In finding my own way through this new reality, I’ve leaned on these teachings and practices during these first shaky weeks of spring and Aries season. I’ve reassessed some of the intentions I began at the start of the year and have begun taking initiative and action to realize some of those goals. Since studios have closed, I’ve learned how to livestream my yoga classes, and am remembering to take care of myself, too, with daily meditation, movement, and journaling. I make sure I spend enough time outdoors — from an invigorating run to the tune of a motivating playlist, to a leisurely stroll with a phone call to a loved one, to just sitting in the backyard to work or read or just be. Springtime is apt for new beginnings and fresh starts — for realigning with purpose, integrity and connection, and rediscovering what helps us get there, whether that’s yoga or meditation or something else, like a Zoom hang out with dear friends and good wine.