They say, “Live in the moment!”
They say, “Rules are meant to be broken.”
Even yogis say, “Go to your edge.”
But, what happens when living in the moment and breaking your own rules push you past your edge?
That’s when it’s time to re-center yourself and remember that as long as no one got hurt, wherever you are is okay and you’re perfect just the way you are — and there’s nothing like a good yoga practice to help you do so.
It’s easy for us to lose ourselves sometimes, to get caught up in the moment, and to behave in a way that maybe we’re not proud of. I don’t care if you’re 21, 31 or 41, we’re all constantly trying to figure out who we are and where we fit into this crazy world. Life is a bit of an experiment. Sometimes you’re successful in proving your hypothesis and sometimes you blow up the lab — or at least cause a little bit of smoke and flames. When this happens, it’s so easy to beat ourselves up, to hide under the covers, or to blast Pink or Kelly Clarkson tunes (not that I know anything about that… ). But, I’m here to tell you, that’s not the answer and all it’s going to do is push those emotions further down.
So, here are my suggestions.
1. Roll out your mat. Just do it. And sit. Close your eyes and breathe. I mean really breathe. Long, deep breaths. Challenge yourself to breathe in for a count of six and out at the same depth and length. Turn your eyes in to the third eye. Focus on the breath and forget the thoughts that have been swirling around in that head of yours.
2. Move. Get the energy flowing. It starts with sun salutations, or even half sun salutations. Just something to open the energy channels that are probably pretty blocked at this point. Start building internal heat.
3. Open your heart. As if just getting yourself on your mat wasn’t hard enough, let me be the first to warn you. This is really hard.
Today I did something that seems like it would be the easiest thing in the world, but it was super hard – and even physically painful. Lie down on your back and place a block on its edge at the tip of your shoulder blades. With your arms out to the side, try to relax your shoulders towards the earth and feel your heart open. With every exhale, feel your shoulders relax more and your heart continue to open. Be in the moment.
4. Continue moving through your practice with attention given to opening your heart as much as possible. You can do this in relatively simple positions like downward dog or even lunges as well as more advanced postures like backbends.
5. Figure out where you hold your tension. Is it in your thighs? Your hips? Your back? Breathe into that spot and get the energy flowing!
There are not many guarantees in life, but one thing I do guarantee is that if you do this, you will feel better. You will remember that rules are random. They’re machinations of our mind and sometimes they’re necessary, but sometimes they can also make us feel as if we’ve done something wrong, when we’re just doing what felt right at the moment. Accept yourself. Love yourself. Yoga will help you do that.