Starting on Jul. 26 and lasting until Aug. 19, Mercury will be going into retrograde motion — cue the mass pandemonium. Just kidding, Mercury retrograde is not synonymous with chaos in the way certain alarmist stories have inspired us to believe. While it's easy to pin our issues on a planetary phenomenon, Mercury retrograde doesn't have to take the blame this time around. If you're mentally prepared for the astrological event, you'll be able to fight against its effects. With some some simple meditations to help you survive summer 2018 Mercury retrograde, you can namaste your way to a zen place that chaos can't touch. Or, at the very least, a zen place that makes you more equipped to face challenges. There are so many ways to use your body to soothe or support your mind, and with the right exercises, that seemingly complex concept is incredibly simple.
Bustle spoke with yogi Andrea Curry about ways in which we can brace ourselves for the potential twists and turns that Mercury's retrograde might create for us. With a combination of breathing and meditative exercises, we can stay balanced, and practice ways to quickly achieve a state of calmness in even the most stressful situations. With a background in Astanga, Vinyasa, Anusara, Iyengar and Forrest yoga traditions, Curry has a deep understanding about the relationship between the body and the mind and how the two influence each other. Here are some of the exercises she recommends we utilize during this retrograde period to unite the body and the mind and protect ourselves from the planetary effects:
To get your mind into a focused and calm space, Curry suggests, "repeat the word 'SO HUM' over and over silently to yourself." The word "SO HUM" means “I am that” in Sanskrit and is the reminder that we are all connected through our joys and our struggles. Curry says that you should try this meditation exercise for at least five minutes to give your mind some time to wander away and wander back.
Five Deep Breaths
If you're walking around or at work, this is an easy breathing exercise that you can do without anyone else noticing. "Take five deep breaths into your low belly, then give into your rib cage, and then five into your upper chest," Curry instructs. "This will calm your nervous system and ground you, and if you repeat two times takes about two minutes and is very effective," she adds.
Set a timer for five minutes. According to Curry that's all you need to get our mind into a meditative state. Focus on your breathing and as thoughts come into your mind, just let them float away. Clearing the mind will help you to stay grounded during a time where you're bombarded with situations that threaten to uproot you.
If getting yourself into a meditative state does not come easy, you're not alone. Reciting mantras to yourself can help to quiet and focus the mind. Try repeating "I am grounded" and "I am calm" to yourself to get the meditation started.