There's something about stepping into a yoga studio that brings an instant wave of calm over me. It's likely my conscious decision to carve an hour out of my day for self-care that is at the root of this tranquility. However, the clean wooden floors, the clutter-less four walls, and the marshmallowy smell of incense burning in the room definitely don't hurt either.
But, realistically, there are some barriers for both the seasoned yogi and the new-comer when it comes to getting into the studio and experiencing this bliss.
+ Class schedule
+ Class cost
+ Unfamiliarity with the teacher/style/studio
+ Parking...oh, parking.
With the Seven Days of Rising Rooted video series launching one week from today, I thought it might be helpful to share some ways you can cultivate some at-home zen to support your practice on those days when getting to the studio just isn't an option.
Select your space. Designate a space in your house where you can roll out your mat. You'll be doing yourself a favor if you pick an area without much clutter. Who can relax with clothes strewn on the ground or mail on the countertop? Clear surroundings can aid in clearing your mind. Just be sure to be easy with your perfectly imperfect conditions. I've practiced in hallways, dorm room floors and, admittedly, a (clean) bathroom floor once or twice. With experience of dogs in my face and both roommates and neighbors catching in me semi-compromising positions, I can tell you that having a good attitude and letting your "you" time unfold with a light heart is the only way you'll walk away from it with the intended consequences.
Diffuse those oils. Or light your favorite candle. Botanicals have been used for thousands of years to treat generalized maladies like upset stomachs, headaches, and fatigue. They are also used frequently for emotional support. Back in the day, it was picked from the ground, bush, or tree before it was ground down and used. In modern day, the work is now done for us and we can find them in conveniently packaged glass bottles with descriptions of their potential benefits. For a good mood boost I love doTERRA's Elevation or Cheer. And for those busy days when I want to relax and destress, I reach for Balance or ClaryCalm. A few of you might be wondering if I think essential oils "work" in terms of the benefits they are associated with. My answer? I think they work if you believe they will. Think about it this way- has the smell of fresh laundry or warm chocolate chip cookies ever let you down?
Choose your tunes. It's a widely accepted notion that music can serve to generate some of our rawest emotions. In yoga, a good playlist might be the difference between some physical movement and an experience. Need some inspo? You can find my newest personal playlist here.
Grab a journal. And, while you're at it, a cozy mug of whatever you like to drink. Lemon water, coffee, tea... my hands around a warm mug definitely helps me unwind pre-practice, to set an intention for my day, or post-practice, to jot down some things I'm grateful for. If you don't currently journal, I challenge you to peruse the aisles at Home Goods or TJ Maxx for one that's spiral-bound so you can keep it open while you practice. You might surprise yourself with how your perspective on a thought changes once you see it on paper. But, if nothing else, you can simply admire your penmanship in this ever-so-digital day and age.