“We’re going to start today’s class with a headstand.” I announced to my Age UK class yesterday. There was a collective gasp of horror.

However, (having just encouraged them to read the Facts and Symptoms about Coronavirus) I quickly explained that it would be a mental headstand. One to turn the current situation on its head and take a look at things from a different angle.

Our mental headstand was the following poem: A Smile For You

“Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,/ when someone smiled at me today I started smiling too./ I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin/and when he smiled I realised I’d passed it on to him./ I thought about that smile, and realised its worth,/ a single smile just like mine could travel round the earth./ So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected/ let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!”

And in keeping with the positive slant to the lesson I incorporated some immune boosting humming and a variation on the loving kindness meditation:

“May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be peaceful, may I be safe.”                     

(Then think of someone you love/care about, or several someones and say:

“May they be happy, may they be healthy, may they be peaceful, may they be safe.”

(And think in turn of:- people you know; people you don’t know; all the people in the world; all the creatures of the land, sea and sky; and of Planet Earth itself; For each group in turn say the second sentence. Feel free to use visualisation.)

It’s a great practice to do when life seems overwhelming. A proactive way of feeling like you are doing something useful and, in the process, calming yourself down.

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