Lets recap week one…are you making your bed….I had some great conversations with people about this!!
This week were talking routine. This is about more than just what time you go to bed, the truth is this is an exercise in setting and maintaining boundaries for yourself. Can you learn to show up and respect yourself enough to turn off Netflix and go to bed….(uh this is super hard sometimes)….can you remember to nourish yourself each morning with breakfast before starting your day (does coffee count 🤷♀️…sadly no)…once you start and realize how good you feel you begin to realize sleeping in on the weekends isn’t the reward you though it was, and rather showing up for yourself is where you find the wins.
Drop a comment or send me a message I wanna hear about your routines and your wins so far this month…where are you building that good momentum and where do you think you need a little push to get going?
Seriously though guys if you wanna boss up you gotta start small, you can’t build without a solid foundation!
Our first week kicks off with adding one simple habit…make your bed…try for first thing as soon as you get up…bonus it keeps you from crawling back in for 5 more minutes!!
The real goal here is all about checking in with our daily habits, are they taking us close to our goals and pushing us further away from them. Taking these one thing at a time until they become automatic builds that solid foundation we are talking about block by block, creating a platform that we can build anything from!!
First up lets see those vision boards!! I share mine, it was a lot of fun to make and a great way to spend a chilly afternoon snuggled up inside. This time of year we may be thinking a lot about change….let’s remember to be gentle with ourselves as we navigate the areas of ourselves we maybe aren’t so fond of. It takes a long time to develop our habits and lifestyle and changing them takes time as well. Find a balance point that works for you and make that your goal, maybe its 80/20 or maybe 50/50 to start. Allow the space for when life happens, for me this makes it easier to start over again tomorrow. Most important find space for joy and rest!
As we continue our yoga journey together this month we will focus on standing forward fold…. This is one of my favorite poses and stretches, I do it often to help relieve tension in my back. And as a foundational pose that is often overlooked during our practice I thought it was the perfect pose to take a deep dive into as we start the new year. This is one of those poses that some days feels better and comes more easily than others so having lots of options to make it accessible like we looked at during our practice this week make it possible to find your way there everyday!
Take a day 1 photo so you can get a good look at where your body really is in this pose, we need that birds eye view to really see where we are in space and where we need to work on things to improve our alignment in the posture, my day one photo is above…. Commit to practicing this pose in some variation each day for the entire month, grab another photo maybe in the middle and again at the end to compare, you can share your photos or not, entirely up to you! You can also keep a journal with your practice and take a moment after each time you hit the mat to jot down what comes up, was today little easier, or maybe a little more challenging, did you not want to spend time today but you did it anyway, could be as simple as just a few words.
My goal here is less about getting better at the pose and more about the journey of the pose throughout the 30 days. No doubt we will improve a posture by practicing everyday, but the practice of yoga is less about the shapes we make in the body and more about what comes up during those shapes. I encourage you to take this time to connect to your body, your mind and your practice in a deeper or at least different way. I am looking forward to taking this journey along with you.
Check out our week one mini practice for some alignment tips and variations and different ways to approach the pose depending on how your body feels each time you show up to practice. Remember just because we can do something today doesn’t always mean its the right thing to do tomorrow, so maybe today I don’t need blocks but maybe tomorrow blocks feel great! Learning to listen to the body is just as much an advance in your practice as is deepening a pose. Don’t forget to join the Facebook Group if you want to catch these classes live!
Tis the season where we all start thinking new years resolutions…although this year I have a sneaking suspicion were all just happy to have made it through! I am not a fan of resolutions at all, but I do think there is a ton of value in sitting down and allowing yourself some space for a little year in review, some time to decide what stays and what goes as we transition into a new year. It’s been a few years since I’ve made one but something made me think vision board, this is a great tool for your year in review and future planning! I’ll share mine once it’s finished and I’d love to see yours if you make one!
Last week we talked about fitting these practices into our lives…join me for a walk where I’m doing just that. When I share with you all each week you can be sure these are things I do and try and work on everyday myself…Kali and I walk 2 or 3 times a day everyday and this is always how it plays out…I weave in and out of the present moment and the story in my head as Kali pulls me in one direction or another…what I really notice is how I begin to show up in other areas of my life with the same ‘pause…take a breath…be in the moment’ mentality and how much that has changed my life for the better.
Pause….close your eyes or turn to look at something beautiful….take a deep breath…once more….now just be
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve likely heard about meditation…you might even have an app on your phone you downloaded and used a few times. If you’ve tried meditation it’s also likely that you’ve had thoughts like I’m no good at meditation or I don’t have time to do this. Good news! The secret is we all feel that way and here I’ve got some ideas for how to start building a practice and how to get “good” at meditation.
For starters know that you can start right where you are, you don’t need a fancy chair, or any other stuff, you don’t even need to carve out new time in your schedule – you can start simply by making tasks you are already doing more mindful. Take walking meditation for instance, maybe you already have time set aside to take a walk in your routine, can you make that time really present and mindful and let it become your meditation practice? This is one of my favorite ways to include meditation time into my every day.
Take the pressure off of meditation also, there is no need to be good at it, the only thing that matters is just doing it. No one is good at meditation they just do it all the time, afterall it is a practice.
Week 1 – Meeting the Posture or rather this month the Breath
Alternate Nostril Breathing, or the sanskrit – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
As we continue our yoga journey together this month we are going to really change things up and work with a breath practice instead of an asana or physical practice. Alternate nostril breathing or nadi shodhana pranayama is a calming practice that helps bring balance to the body, perfect for this hectic time of year. Practice this anytime you need to feel some peace, or make this a regular part of your morning or bedtime routine.
No photos needed this month, but this might be the month to include some journaling with your daily practice to track how this breathwork evolves over the course of the month. Commit to practicing this breath everyday for the entire month noticing how it makes you feel each time you practice. Some days might be easier than others, just like in our physical practice.
Here is today’s mini practice introducing this month’s challenge….don’t forget to join the Facebook Group if you want to catch these classes live!
Week 2 – Pitfalls and Modifications
As much benefit as we can gain from our yoga practice, we have just as much chance to injure ourselves if we are not being mindful of the body in the poses. We can push our flexibility to improve and gain strength in more difficult poses, but we do all have some structural limitations and our bodies are not built to move in some ways. This is why our teachers give so many alignment cues for poses to help us with a few things: finding our body in space; learning to manipulate the body safely while maintaining alignment; and helping us to adapt the pose for our body and our practice level in that moment. Very often in class I speak about knowing the direction we are headed even if we arent there yet, the directions let us guide our body safely towards the way we want to go while allowing for the time needed to travel there. This month is a little less about what our physical body is doing and more focused on our breath but it is still important to maintain our posture.
Some things we wanna be mindful of while doing this practice are:
Our seat – while we want to be comfortable we also want a good posture. Whether you sit with crossed legs or on the floor, on a cushion, or in a chair be sure to find a tall spine to allow for a full breath. Sit tall letting the lower body sink as the upper body floats.
Hand position – let the left hand rest in the lap while using the right hand to manipulate the nostrils, in the video I demonstrate the breath with the first two fingers resting on the third eye, you can also practice this with those fingers folded down towards the palm; the thumb closes the right nostril and the ring and pinky fingers close the left.
Be honest, do you even know the last time you truly took the time to nurture yourself, oftentimes even our self-care becomes part of our to do list, sure maybe you go for that manicure every two weeks but if making it to that appointment always stresses you out its not self-care anymore…it’s just stressful. Starting with how we think about how we take care of ourselves is the first part of true self care, if we treat it like a job or punishment it will not bring joy, if we think of it as something we get to do…as something nurturing it actually will be.
Happy Friday!! In this weeks Wellness off the Mat video were hitting the kitchen and making breakfast….stewed apples to be specific. This is a super easy breakfast that anyone can make…its a great way to get your digestion fired up for the day….plus its basically apple pie for breakfast…who can be mad about that!! Send me a message or drop a comment and let me know how yours turns out!!
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