In the past few months I got a new job, kept two old jobs, took on additional volunteer work and parted ways with my lover. I open with this because it has reminded me of something precious: times of crisis and transition teach the potency of self care. In times of change these rituals are how I build solid footing under my feet again. Thus, they are precious to me, and I share them in the hopes they can be useful for you too.
Step 1: Yoga
You saw that coming, didn’t you. This practise is my basic baseline of sanity and different every day. One thing stays the same though: an initial meditation. If you are a regular to TPRYoga classes, you will know this practise well. It is how we open class to calm your nervous system as you become present, grounded and re-energised.
Recently I committed to a morning meditation, BEFORE my 9-5 schedule. As I am not remotely a morning person, I set the time required at manageable six minutes. (This means I now wake up exactly 7 minutes earlier than usual. Seven minutes. Manageable).
Here is yours, free to download. You can do it sitting up in bed, on your mat, in your office, on the tube. All you need is 6 minutes where you can have your eyes closed.TPRYoga-Morning-meditation-Summer-2016.m4a (258 downloads)
Step 2: Sacred rituals off the mat
Now that I have your attention.. we get to some thoughts of ‘yoga off the mat’. In recent times I have been thinking of mundane tasks as rituals, as conscious engagement to care for myself and my environment. It has shifted my engagement from a place of stress and obligation to one of gratitude and choice. My invitation to you is to treat this list as food for thought; try them out if you like or make your own list. (Especially if you are as stubborn as I can be, in which case it is best if no one but you decides what your rituals are). So, seriously; what are yours?
Here are mine:
- A made bed.
When I leave for work in the mornings, it has always been in a hurricane of chaos. But I have learnt: If I come home at 6PM and my bed is made, I feel I have taken time to respect my space of rest. I get to nod to morning me and say “thanks dude, I like you.”
- 8 hours of sleep
We all need different amounts of sleep: my housemate has 6 hours and is happy, as long as he gets a nap. I have finally reached a point where I understand that I need 8 hours of sleep. Consistently, 6 out of 7 nights a week at least. Cornerstone of sanity, right there.
I dare you to change nothing about your routine except commit to drinking two litres of water on the daily. Do it for 3 days in a row, and tell me you don’t feel more alive.
This one has two points to it. The first is, plan your meals. I cannot describe the sense of “I am a fully fledged adult who kicks ass and looks after herself” that I get when I unpack my little lunchbox to a healthy, beautiful meal I cooked for myself. Picking up a £5+ salad from Prêt has never had that effect. I also save bucketloads of money.
The second is: post-use, wash your tupperware and keep it in your bag. I have successfully gone for dinner with a friend and carried home 2+ days of leftovers, all without using any additional packaging. I shamelessly did it at a recent training’s buffet, and walked away with these gems:
- Self love rituals
Not self care. Proper declarations of love.
- Yin yoga: This is the practise I choose when I stop trying to be efficient. No core work, no cardio, no arm balances, no big shapes. Just healing and release. TPRYoga courses always involve at least one yin class. Here is one I do regularly to recover from my 9-5: https://www.yogaglo.com/class/3567
- Targeted body therapy. We all have different areas we hold tension. Mine are my shoulders (hence the above class), my outer hips, glutes and feet. For my outer hips and glutes I use the Acuball mini alongside a playlist designed to keep me on this little miracle devise. For my feet I love Footsavers. Your feet will never feel the same again. (If you’d like to try either of these, give me a headsup and I will bring them to a lesson)
- Moisturising. I am not kidding. Your skin is your biggest organ. Give it some love.
- Leaving the city: Even for a day. Always feels like therapy. The fun will be there when you get back, I promise.
In conclusion, as TPRYogi Eliane put it recently “Yoga can either just be elaborate stretching, or a way of life”. What will be yours? No matter how mundane or ridiculous they may seem, let us know. We all have basic cornerstones of sanity to share and learn from.