The Charger Blog

Charger Blogger Discusses Spiritual Practices, Self-Care, Understanding Life

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 explores how incorporating practices such as stillness and movement into her routine have made a difference in her life. She shares the lessons she’s learned with her fellow Chargers.

March 4, 2024

By Beatrice Glaviano ’26

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 looks forward to some delicious cookies.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 looks forward to some delicious cookies.

Routines are an interesting thing. Frankly, I find the term to be a lot more soft and flexible than “habit,” which often seems to be something we beat into ourselves as punishment. Upon some Googling, it would appear as though habits are subconscious activities that occur repetitively while routines are more so planned. I’m not sure if I truly agree with this line of thinking – or really anything Google says – but there’s your daily dose of factual information.

Anyhow: routines.

We all have them, one way or another. Whether we brush our teeth in the morning, or bother to floss after, routines are a staple in how we go about our lives. It’s these little things we do repeatedly over the course of days, weeks, months, years, and so on that curve the trajectory of the life we live, and consequently, the target on which we land upon. Often seen in spacecraft landings gone wrong, when a curve is ever-so-slightly off, there is a risk that one may never reach the landing point. Even if they are small, our habits have a large impact on our lives. Without them, we probably wouldn’t be where we are on our journey now. (Remember that you are always exactly where you are meant to be.)

Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what works for me and what clearly does not. This has taken a lot of trial and error, self-evaluation and questioning, and many mistakes for me to figure out. Even to this day, my routines are changing, and I allow myself to be flexible with them, as I am a human being, and things won’t ever quite be in a straight line for me. Especially as a creative, haha. You can’t always force (or stop) creativity, but when it eventually ebbs or flows, you just follow its lead.

The practice of yoga is a great contributor in how I learned flow. Yoga, despite its many types (i.e. Yin, Vinyasa, restorative, etc.) encircles a few key concepts: acknowledgement, stillness, and release. Life tends to have a habit of being in constant uproar, doesn’t it? One assignment after the next, another meeting, another chore, another hour drive or grocery run – it’s rather relentless, haha. Yoga is a rock in the churning ocean of our society, and here is what it taught me in order to help stay afloat.

Lesson #1: Learning to acknowledge, accept, and sit with pain.

Pain hurts. “Duh” moment, I know. Pain being painful is an obvious thing – you fall on pavement when you’re a kid, and your knee is shredded by the asphalt. Blood trickles in, and you swear you’ll never fall on pavement ever again because ouch.

Going forward into the more recent phases of my life, I’ve realized that I have been running away from a lot of stuff. You probably have an idea of what that is by now, lol, and if not,’re not missing much, trust me. Anyhow, there is something about being able to confront that pain that makes letting it go all the easier, even if it does hurt for a little bit. In yoga, it’s not uncommon to feel an uproar of emotion in a certain pose; this is because we are tapping into the emotions our bodies have stored away. Think of it like a traumatic injury. When I was a kid, I had a nasty butterfly-spiral fibula fracture. Even after it healed (and to this day, mind you), the area of the break would occasionally hurt if I got too stressed out. The body remembers things, and even if it hasn't been physically injured, the body can’t figure that out on its own – a reason why we get a stomach ache when we are upset by something, or even worried.

With the practice of yoga, we are able to help our body release those emotions that our bodies have stored away, whether we know that or not. It will hurt. I won’t lie about that. But try to sit with the pain. Try to understand it, why it’s there, where it’s coming from, and release it. You don’t need pain to function. I find that so many people (I’m also guilty of this) tend to hold onto pain because it is something that defines them and provides some sort of meaning, even if it’s negative, and I’m here to tell you that you don’t need pain to be able to be worthy of existing. You just don’t.

So let it go.

Make peace with it.

And breathe.

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 enjoys a relaxing movie night.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 enjoys a relaxing movie night.

Lesson #2: Learning Flow, and How to Flow (AKA: How to Accept Change Even if It Sucks)

I was a dancer for ten years before retiring. I did jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, and hip-hop during that period of my life, and funnily enough, I was always known for my clumsiness. At one point, my instructor told me that I was the best at falling as I did it so often. It was a bit of a backhanded compliment, if anything, but oh well lol. When I first started my yoga practice, my balance was like that of a newborn giraffe: non-existent. I’d wobble, shake, fall out of the poses and become so frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t mirror the person on the screen exactly. Every single time I lost my balance, I became so angry with myself because why couldn’t I just do it? Why was it so hard?

Slowly, it became easier. Half-moon poses became easier to jump into and holding a single-legged lunge was a lot less complex.

I was only able to balance when I accepted the possibility of falling. That was the real lesson to learn. I’d always been so focused on not falling that I could never find the peace to balance myself. (There is a difference between the two, mind you). Being so worried about what could happen will most likely (and rather inevitably) lead to that thing happening, and, for me, it did. As I became more comfortable with the idea that yes, I could fall, I became a lot more familiar with the notion of allowing myself the grace and forgiveness to get back up. My mind eased out of its storm and smoothed over, allowing me stillness.

Young padawans, life is a series of falling down, getting up, and that moment your ankle buckles on the side of the sidewalk – and how badly you pray nobody sees it.

When I accepted that, yeah, bad stuff happens, but there are also so many good things that do too, life became a lot easier. I was able to flow more. Through acceptance and neutral judgment, I was able to accept things as they were, and move with life rather than against it.

Am I saying to drown in a river should its current become too strong? No, but what I am telling you is that perhaps fighting the inevitable is not the answer you’re looking for, and you know that.

Trust me. (That’s underlined for a reason).

Judging your life less frankly makes it a lot easier to live. I’d always belittle myself for not going to the gym or not fulfilling my morning routine in its entirety. Now, I’m familiar with sleeping in on the weekends and bringing true rest into my life. I’m allowed to lick cookie batter off of the spatula because who doesn’t??? Salmonella clearly isn’t real, and I’m just a stack of five-year-olds in a trenchcoat from the brand STEM.

*Salmonella is actually very real, so please don’t quote me and don’t eat raw animal products because that’s a really bad idea oh my god.

What I’m trying to get at is: allow yourself to be a human. God forbid someone else (another human, mind you, unless there’s some Men in Black alien piloting some poor schmuck’s body) tell you otherwise.

Lesson #3: Learning Stillness

There is flow, yes, but water cannot always be moving. At one point or another, it will pool and still. Similarly, you must allow this stillness to enter your life. You may immediately think, “Well alright, Beatrice, if we’re getting all Master Oogway-ey here, what if something drops into the water and it ripples?"

Beatrice Glaviano ’26.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26.

Well, rippled water goes back to being still, does it not? Or the spaces between waves are still.

Life – or at least the one that I am the most familiar with – is a constant series of events that somehow always seem to kick each other on the way out. When something ripples your pool, you must be able to find your balance again. This is one of those critical life skills that will not only make your life 10x easier, but it will also enable you to teach others the same. Get comfy with being uncomfortable. Re-try foods you hate to see if you still hate them. What’s the worst that could happen? It tastes bad? The texture is momentarily uncomfortable? Separately, if you’re afraid of social settings, try being a part of the crowd. Doesn’t mean you need to interact; maybe it involves just going to your local or school library and sitting among everyone. Again, no need to interact. Just people watch for a bit. It’s fun, and you learn a little bit about human behavior.

Funnily enough, I used to be freakishly shy. Like, hide behind my dad’s leg. Now, you wouldn’t ever think I could be so quiet, considering the chatterboxery I deliver on the daily. I still have my shy moments to this day – such as when my mom introduces me to people or a friend tells me they’re covering my bill – but that’s just a part of me. The other 90% of the time, well...

Author, in anatomy class: (in reference to the pelvic inlet and outlet) “It looks like a toilet bowl.”
My professor: “......”
Also my professor: “...You’re not wrong.”
I have no shame. The pelvic inlet is the rim and the outlet is the bowl. I am not wrong, and I will never back down from this statement.

Anyhow, what I’m trying to get at here is that I’ve been notoriously sidetracked in my conversation and now I’m talking about A&P when I should be talking about yoga. My bad.

Returning back to the topic: Being still can also involve just being bored. Y’know, waiting in a line and not being on your phone or just sitting and waiting while doing nothing in particular. Boredom allows us to regulate our dopamine and serotonin levels, as well as give our brains a well-deserved break from the relentless amount of stimuli – sights, sounds, words, information, etc. – tossed into the good ol’ brain bucket.

While yoga does have its moments of stillness in poses such as child’s pose or a forward fold, nothing really captures stillness like meditation, the other key component of my spiritual practice.

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 focuses on her studies.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 focuses on her studies.

Meditation is basically trying to think about nothing for however long. It’s an attempt to de-rail the mind’s constant hopscotching between ideas and bring attention to the body. Hear that? That’s your heartbeat, the acknowledgement of your breath. There’s a pause there, too. That’s the change from positive to negative pressure in your lungs to produce another inhale, allowing you to breathe and to continue living. Our breath is so important. Granted, EMT class has really nailed this into me, but it is truly miraculous what our body does for us and how it works together.

Your heart is made of autorhythmic tissue, meaning that it can pump on its own without nervous signals. The heart also has failsafes in case your SA (sinoatrial) node gives out, such as the AN (atrioventricular nodes) and the purkinje fibers that are lain all without your heart, which can maintain contractions for a little while if your nodes give up. Isn’t that amazing?? Isn’t that just so freaking cool??

Your lungs provide your body oxygen, something tissues are in desperate need of, including the ones in your heart. Without O2, your heart tissue will get irritable. Your brain tissues get cranky. Every single cell in your body starts to wilt like flowers left unwatered because they lack the oxygen to create chemical reactions. The body, without oxygen, ferments within itself before eventually dying.

It’s a bit morbid, but that’s the truth.

The next time you find yourself being hard on your body, remind yourself that your body only wants to love you and care for you. Granted, how it does that may not always be the best, but it will forever fight for your life. Work with that energy with gratitude, with acceptance. Treat your body well, and it will treat you in kind.

Be still and allow yourself to exist.

When it comes to treating your body well, there are multiple factors to take into consideration. The biggest one for myself, personally, was to make peace with exercise. Instead of punishing yourself with a workout, it’s much easier to tell yourself that you deserve to move your body and feel those benefits. Obviously, I’ve been decommissioned from the gym for the time being, but even in the movement that I’m able to do now – yoga, pilates, walking – I’m still very grateful for the chance to do so.

Normally, in my mornings, I do about 20-30 minutes of pilates followed by yoga and meditation. A tarot reading may follow after this, but that’s not always the case (especially on busier days, haha). Exercise isn’t here to make your life hell. It’s supposed to allow you to release energy that you’ve been holding onto, similar to yoga, and provide yourself time to spend with your body.

Movement never was about hating or changing yourself. It’s about accepting yourself in life, and trying to better your mind, body, and soul for the betterment, not for the pain.

For those who have seen themselves in a mirror and cried with their hands covering their eyes, for those who typed ‘how to get rid of hip dips’ into the YouTube search box, or spent hours Googling solutions to the problem that they defined as themselves:

I understand you. I know you. I see you. I was that person, too. I still am sometimes, but we are here to heal and move forward with a lighter foot.

In my notebooks and my planners, I never write “go to the gym” or “exercise” as a to-do. It’s just there in my routine written in my wacky cursive as “happy body movement” as that’s what moving a body should be. Happy. Joyous. Exciting.

Stop punishing yourself for your existence. You can’t help it. You’re a human being in a body that wants to exist, no matter what.

Author, looking at the page count and not quite done writing yet: “”
Author, turning to face the reader and sighing: “I’m at five pages of Google doc Times New Roman font eleven and single-spaced. I’ve also written more than 2,000 words. Should I continue? Be honest.”
Author: “Yeah, I think I’m going to stop here for today. I have work in less than an hour and it’s a double, and I’d like to get some journaling in before heading in. I hope you all have liked today’s entry, and while I wish I could write more on this paper, I fear that it would be 5,000-6,000 words and definitely too much to read in one go. Please expect the next article(s) to be about my self-care routines, as well as the givers and takers of energy in our lives. Please take care everybody, and I’ll see you in the next one. Ciao.

Author, shutting laptop and sighing. “I need more coffee.”

With peace, love, and all the peanut butter, your blogger,

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 is a nutrition sciences major at the University of New Haven.