Staying Connected to Calm after your Practice had ended.....

We have all felt the effects after a particularly juicy or relaxing yoga class, we are relaxed, calm, and sometimes can feel what I like to call a yoga high, or yoga drunk. This moment of bliss usually lasts until we leave the building and we have to get back in our cars and drive, or we check our phone and we fall right back into our habitual patterns of stress and overwhelm. 

The real magic of our practice begins to happen when we can carry that feeling of being grounded and calm with us through our daily interactions, which can feel almost impossible. 

We are reminded to find our breath when things become challenging, to relax our jaw and breathe deeply in our chair pose, but when we are confronted off the mat we may hold our breath, clench our jaw and tighten all the muscles in the body, activating our fight, flight, or freeze response. 

During our practice we are encouraged to find awareness around how we are feeling, what is coming up, and how we habitually react, to observe all of this without judgement while our legs are usually burning in our warrior 2 pose. But once we step off the mat and have to deal with an uncomfortable situation with a family member or friend, we may just fall into our patterns without any awareness. 

So when you step off of your mat and into your world can you bring those same tools with you? Can you stop yourself before you act or react, find a sense of grounding, connect to your deep breathing, relax the body, and observe without judgment. Can you watch what comes up, what your habits are, and stay in that place of observation and then begin to feel, feel whats going on in your body, continue to breathe deeply and move forward from a more grounded and centred place. 

When we begin this practice off the mat, it is often very uncomfortable, we don't always like what we are observing, its important to remember we are all human, to not judge yourself or others. When we begin to respond from our centre we are doing what is true to us, we are less likely to have to apologize for a blow out, but are able to stand grounded and set boundaries with love for ourselves. 

So the next time you are losing that sense of calm as you open your phone after practice feel your feet on the ground, take 3-5 belly breaths, feel the sensations in your body and move forward from there. 

 

 

Simple Self Care

By the end of February I start to feel the spring itch, the desire to pull out my Birkenstocks, and be done with winter all together. It can be really tough to stay motivated this time of year, it's been 2 months since we set new intentions or goals for the year ahead and those can be long gone, forgotten about. 

We may have made a dedication to get to our mat more often and that's fallen by the wayside. I know when life gets busy anything that seems frivolous and unnecessary is the first to go out the window. 

My Yoga and meditation practice take a back seat, my eating habits change, and I “forget” to carve space and slow down. I can often have this all or nothing mentality, if I can’t get at least an hour of yoga or working out in, I am not even going to bother, I sleep in because I am sooo exhausted and then I don’t have time to meditate or make a lunch. 

My adrenals kick into over drive and I become addicted to the stress, to the busyness of life, this leaves me feeling anxious and overwhelmed. So how do we work with our schedule to make the space for self care, how do we change our view on self care from something  frivolous to necessity? Its often not until I hit a state of burn out before I start listening to my body's warning signs to slow down and take care of me. 

We’ve all heard the warning when flying to put your oxygen mask on first before anyone else's, this is true in life. We need to make sure our needs are met and we are taken care of before we can take care of anyone else, including our children, family, friends. 

Can we begin to let go of our all or nothing attitude, and start small, what small adjustments can you make in your schedule to allow for self care? What can you implement today to begin taking care of yourself?

Here is a list of the small things I weave throughout my day take care of me:

1)  EAT - making sure that my body and brain are properly nourished consistently throughout the day is a huge one. This one can sometimes be a struggle as I have  habit of living off coffee until the afternoon. Its not an easy cycle to break, but I know I feel like a different person when I make sure I am nourished with healthy foods, and drinking plenty of water,  in order to do this is takes pre planning and making my meals the night before. 

2) MOVE - whether its 10 Sun Saluations, a quick walk with my dog, a few forward folds at my desk, incorporating some type of movement throughout my day is so important. Movement gets me back into my body and out of my head. 

3) BREATHE - making it a priority to spend a couple minutes connecting to my breath, whether its while I am driving, or sitting in meditation, connecting to your breath for a few minutes a day has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. 

4) LAUGH - I make sure I seek out the light in the day, laughing with a friend, or watching funny videos on you tube. Life can get heavy sometimes but we need to remember we are here to enjoy ourselves. 

An easy way to make space for your yoga practice is our new online videos, I am so excited to offer a variety of 30 minutes classes for you to do any where anytime, so you keep up your self care. 

Self care is a great act of self love. 

Namaste

Katie Jolicoeur