I love the 5 x 5 Method to help those with anxiety or panic attacks. Interacting with your surroundings as a way to ground yourself in the here and now; a mind to body connection that is very beneficial. 5 things you can see. 5 things you can hear. 5 things you can smell. 5 things you can touch. 5 things you can taste (this one might be a bit tricky).
My grounding is typically done via my daily yoga, so when I saw the 5x5 Method suggested as a writing prompt, I immediately flowed into Samasthiti (or Mountain Pose) and kept my journal nearby.
See: The sunshine is flooding in my patio doors. Beyond the glass I can see my potted plants; bright pink geraniums and purple petunias spilling over the pots. My garden is my happy place and it really gives a zen quality to the indoor space when you can see the outdoors. There are also a dozen pink plastic flamingos on my lawn because it's my 50th birthday and my family is hilarious.
Hear: The tinkling of the water fountain on the back deck. A mama bird has built her nest by the door and I can hear the faint chirping of her hungry little ones. (I am choosing not to focus on the various sounds within a busy household!)
Smell: Jasmine! I usually light some incense when I do my yoga practice and this is my favourite scent. Faint notes of my blooming lilacs filters through the patio doors. Scents are can trigger so many emotions and past experiences, and having two of my favourite scents is definitely giving me happy feels.
Touch: The soft firmness of the yoga mat beneath my feet as I press down into the floor. There's a gentle, still cool spring breeze coming through the doors that glides across my skin. Also the stiffness that has come from age in my lower back and hips, which was far worse before I began daily yoga. At one point the soft tickle around my ankles as our kitty Nugget tried to claim some real estate on my yoga mat.
Taste: Definitely a tricky one, but I am pretty sure there are a few cat hairs in my mouth now lol. Far more delightful is the lingering mix of bitter and sweet from my morning coffee and the fresh pastries my husband bought for my birthday breakfast. A delicious almond croissant from a local bakery.
Connecting to my five senses definitely took my yoga practice to another level. Typically I am so focused concentrating on my poses and my breathing, that I forgot the immediate world around me. As I read over the descriptions for each sense, it is clear that they are very much connected to emotion and memory. It elevates all the happy feels as well as my practice. All the natural sounds, smells and feels is truly giving me a sense of the outdoors coming inside and since Nature really is my first church, I am finding that I don't even have to focus on breathing -- my soul is taking deep gulps of restoring beauty.
Often I can become very frustrated with my home practice - especially given the current lockdown and just how many distractions are around me. Today, I feel very connected inwardly and outwardly and this has been one of the most uplifting and rewarding yoga flows that I have every enjoyed inside my home. Bonus - a great writing exercise too.