There's nothing more completely frustrating than when you're on your way to yoga class, the one you've planned your whole week around, and something goes wrong.
Your train gets stuck.
Your sister calls with a crisis.
You're stuck in a meeting.
You run into an old friend.
Life happens. So what now?
Granted, if you're anything like me, you were probably already busy envisioning yourself in shavasana before you even got to class (oops). And maybe being able to skip class came as a relief.
But you also know how yoga improves your mindset and brings you into balance, which is beyond necessary for the lifestyle (I can assume) you lead. So how do you reclaim the time and energy you were just about to spend on yourself?
I've spent some time considering why I had such a strong tie, mentally and emotionally, to get myself to yoga class in the first place. I associated the class with permission to relax, unwind, disconnect and look inward. But the thing is-- we don't need a formal invitation to do this. We don't need a special studio, a mat, or set of movements even. Yoga is a way of life, and can and should be practiced often.
Sometimes you won't make it to class,
being okay with that is yoga
I'm going to share with you 4 of my favorite practices that I incorporate on my walks to yoga class (or anywhere else for that matter).
1. mindful steps
I avoid listening to music while walking around. I live in a relatively quiet neighborhood in Brooklyn, but spend most of my day in NYC, which tends to not be as laid-back. I've found that by wearing headphones all the time, I was shutting myself off from the world around me. I instead choose to keep my focus inward, and myself occupied through mindful walking.
Sounds enthralling, no?
You might be surprised how satisfying this can feel.
I prefer this practice barefoot on the beach. The grass in the park works well too, but so do your sneakers and the pavement.
New to this? Focus on these points first:
- before you begin, feel your connection to the ground, feel the weight of your body being supported in your feet
- note the changes in pressure, temperature, sensations in your toes, and the pace of movement
- choose to focus either fully on the process of walking or move your awareness to your breath
2. aromatherapy on-the-go
I've been keeping a tranquility oil at my bedside to bring me back to equilibrium after a long day, but I've recently decided it might be a better idea just to carry it with me (at all times).
I discovered Palermo Body- a Brooklyn-based, all natural company; at a sound bath I recently attended. They make this lovely rollerball I now keep in my backpack.
I apply behind my ears, swiping down to my collarbones on either side of my neck. Sometimes I'll also add a bit to my wrists when necessary (which is often).
Scent has such a powerful effect on our mental and emotional states. To be able to transport yourself, no matter where you are, is very empowering.
3. wear an all-day "hug"
I'll admit I have it easier than most on this front. My "uniform" as a personal trainer doesn't get more serious than a pair of leggings.
The real struggle though, is to find something to wear that's not only soft and comfortable, but also give you the flexibility to meet each and every aspect of your day with confidence. Your outfit has the ability to empower you to strive toward your goals, but it also has the power to hold you back.
These Dusty Plum tights from Athleta, add some (much needed) color to my wardrobe. They are beyond soft, wash and wear beautifully, and the material provides total coverage which means confidence in every pose (for when you do make it to class).
4. don't forget your crystals at home
Crystals are to energy as ice is to water. If you'd like to disagree with me on this, fine. But would you just look at how beautiful they are? Isn't that reason enough to stash one or two in your coat pocket and hope for the best?
I am a firm believer in the healing and energetic powers of crystals-- SO I cleanse and recharge mine crystals during the new moon to channel new opportunities, fresh starts, and to remind myself to keep a light heart open to new beginnings.
Right now, I'm keeping a large pyrite crystal (pictured above) and a small clear quartz on hand.
Pyrite energy encourages a deep look at ourselves and our actions. A source of reflection, literally and figuratively, pyrite helps us examine behavior and thought patterns that may be holding us back from our success, especially relating to financial abundance.
Clear quartz brings clarity to the mind. It amplifies energy and thought, and is known as the master healer. When I hold onto my clear quartz, I imagine a white light washing over me and resetting my mindset, mood, and outlook (which feels as good as it sounds).
Though I hope life never gets in the way of your yoga practice, remember you can always give yourself permission to reset, yoga mat or not.
Let me know if you have any practices I didn't mention. I'd love to hear from you!