Without a doubt, every time I get on my yoga mat (or this ocean-front concrete patch you see above!), I love the practice more… but we all know absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes a little time away to reflect and break our normal routine gives us much better perspective and clarity.
It’s a great to do your yoga practice every day, but it’s even better to practice all the ‘limbs’. So, once in a while (ideally once a week if you can!) get off that flippin’ coloured mat and go see how you can start to practice yoga in your daily life instead.
Not only will this give your physical asana practice (your poses) a huge shot of vibrant, vital, purposeful energy, but it can literally deliver pure, light-hearted joy, and will leave you feeling youthful, ageless even, and way more inspired. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?
Here are five easy ways to get off your yoga mat and find balance:
Be kind to yourself… Go for a run
I love soft sand running (although it’s a counter to hamstring flexibility, but hey, that’s probably over rated anyway). A run is a great time to breathe and meditate. Try running without the head phones, hear the silence speak, and practice kind self talk.
Have lunch with a good friend
Sure that cheeky food and wine might make Marichyasana D (a deep twist pose) hard tomorrow, but meaningful connection with loved ones is good for the soul. I love getting together with a mate who I can be completely truthful and myself with. We all need people in our lives who don’t judge, but will tell you straight up when you’re being a t**t. Those people are the best soul food.
Go somewhere you can be completely present
I love going to an art gallery, a garden or the beach on my own; a place far away from my phone, iPad, laptop or to-do list. Go and sit without newspapers, magazines, music or any other masking distraction, in a place where you can be completely present. We steal time from ourselves so often by worrying about this and that. Learning to be present within ourselves can teach us to steal less and give ourselves more.
Have a mini adventure
Get in the car, or jump on a bus, train or (go mad!) hop on a plane. Go somewhere you’ve never been, but don’t take a map. While on this mini adventure, speak to people you’d not normally interact with, then watch mindfully the exchange of energy. Be kind, open and switched on. Follow your nose for the day.
Clean out your closet
Go through your wardrobe and get rid of those threads that no longer align with who you are. We need to learn to shed layers. Old clothes can just hang there like trophies, or worse ghosts, anchoring us heavily to the person we used to be. Learning to let go and not hoarding more than we need is a necessary ability to keep our atman (our true self or purpose) clear and vibrant. Plus, it makes space for that new Saint Laurent jacket you’ve got your eye on. Or is that me? (Hell, I’ve gotta get my tax done…)
See, there’s no reason to be chained to your yoga mat!. Be kind, truthful, start giving and not stealing from yourself, have more mindful exchanges of energy with new people and let go. This is as ‘yogi’ as it gets. Peace Out!
TIP: Being real with ourselves can lead us away from a false or unconscious sense of self and take us toward real purpose and that feeing of ageless abundance where we can do and be our best selves every day.