Heavy stuff, I know.
Whether a short conversation with an acquaintance or a life-altering occurrence, it all has to be dealt with and dealt with honestly if we hope to healthily assimilate the experience and continue feeling balanced. That's a long winded way of saying we have to deal with our lives to remain healthy.
Catching up with an old friend can be a great way to excite samana
There are many ways to encourage samana vayu. Obviously asana practice can work to encourage this assimilation and balance (here is a good practice to aid samana), but there are many other ways to excite this process. Writing, meditation, baths, talking to a good friend, etc... whatever helps create that mental space and openness to work through our days is beneficial to us in the long run. Often we don't allow for enough time or freedom from obligations to really think through what we're doing or what is happening in our lives. It's easy to get wrapped up in our routines, but what if we made this time for ourselves a part of those routines? This time will look different for each person, depending on what provides you mental clarity and calm. For some it might be listening to music, drawing, letter-writing, crafting, painting, journaling, walking, dancing, or simply creating a quiet space for yourself a few minutes a day and the list could go on and on.
Journaling and writing can also encourage balance
Long baths and journaling have always been my go to calming actions. The journaling began when I was a kid, writing about the boy I liked or what happened at school that week and continued to the present, documenting the minutiae and the milestones of my life. I love having a record of my adventures, the boring as well as the life-altering. Maybe it's a fear of forgetting, but the act of committing it all to paper helps me process. As I grew older I discovered the wonderfulness of a nice, long, relaxing bath gave me a similar feeling. I wasn't always writing it all down anymore, but that calm that comes with working through your experiences was the same.
I always feel better and more balanced having giving myself some time to just relax and think. That quiet and mental calm is invaluable and I notice that I begin to feel a bit off or tense when I'm not giving myself that time. We all need to process our lives in whatever form that takes and making the time is the first step.
Once you know what works for you, make it a priority for yourself. It's so important that you give yourself this time and space. Do something that you really enjoy and in the process help create balance within yourself. Have fun with it and enjoy the relaxation and calm!
Take a tip from this guy- our cat Louis, 2008