The courage of child's pose

I was in a yoga class a few weeks ago when the instructor told me how she had been taught by her own instructor that child's pose, the place of relaxation and rest when the class gets too tough, was the most courageous pose of all. 

I have known since I started my practice years ago that yoga doesn't reward bravado. Your time on the mat isn't about being the best in the room, stretching the farthest, staying in an inversion the longest.

Our human tendency toward pettiness or jealousy will still rise to the surface at times, though, making it difficult to eradicate when we need to rest. It's all too easy to start comparing yourself to others in the room. To feel like you won't give your body the rest it's screaming for because you don't want to appear weak, or to be judged by others in the room. The problem with this line of thinking? Once you allow it to infiltrate your brain, it opens the door to millions of other self conscious thoughts.

By allowing fear and doubt to dictate your decision making in your yoga practice, you're unleashing it on the rest of your life. 

So have courage. Retreat to child's pose when your body feels weak and weathered in class. Put your head on the mat and focus on your breath. And take that pose with you outside of the class.

When your heart feels heavy and overflowing, allow it to rest. Give it a break and some space. Same principle applies to your mind. To your friendships and relationships. To your inspiration, your creativity, your journalling practice. Whatever it is that you're butting up against and wherever you might be encountering resistance, consider rest. With your forehead on the proverbial mat, gulping down air and releasing judgement, you'll find a new way to return.

You'll re-enter the flow when it feels right and natural, and those around you will always welcome you back in.

The power of routine

 
This post details the power of routine in building a life that you love. The post also contains a link to download "Reclaim your AM," a planning guide to creating a morning routine that benefits you.

Establishing a routine and following it isn't easy: but it WILL reap major results.

I'm 28 and just starting to embrace routine. I've been rebellious and reallllly stubborn most of my life, and resisted calendars and schedules because I felt suffocated. I recently decided that whatever I was doing wasn't working-I had no time for myself, and always felt exhausted and pulled in a million directions. I figured I had nothing to lose by trying a scheduled routine. 

 

I was as shocked as you are at the immense relief I felt and the way it changed my life. 

Now, I rise at 7 am for some yoga, coffee, reading and mindset work. I get to breathe in the first morning light right alongside my pup, and we get lots of bonding and cuddle time. I also have enough time to get ready for the day, which is critical to my sanity since I work from home. By beginning my morning in this way, rather than snoozing until my first meeting, I'm able to settle into my work calmly and energized when 9 am rolls around. Side note: No, I'm not perfect. Every day doesn't start this way - but the ones that do feel that much more magical.

Evenings have their vibes, which for me is much more flexible. I do try to end and begin the day with a book, rather than my phone, and I take a few moments to use my favorite face oil and slip into my most comfortable pajamas. 

What have I learned? If you are able to organize your day around your routine, you'll be better prepped for anything the Universe sends your way. Whether your routine is simple or complex, let yourself dive into the ritual. The act of doing can be peaceful in itself, and a source of calm continuity when life can so often feel volatile.

Going into your morning or evening routine with the right attitude is everything. Don't see this as another to-do on your never-ending list. Instead, learn to value this time as unapologetically yours, and relish every moment. It certainly makes getting up a few minutes earlier much easier to bear! On that note, if you're not into it, don't try to force it in your routine. Going to the gym has never worked at getting me out of bed in the morning. Books? Absolutely. 

 

Tell me in the comments: what does your routine look like?