Recharging Strategies to Start Your Day
Written by: Coco Oliva
By now we’ve all stopped hearing the overly cheerful mantra “New Year, new you!” For most of us, what fitness means in January starts to feel very different than what it means in March. What do you do when that New Year’s motivation starts to peter out?
Wherever you are on your fitness journey, it’s hard not to be initially drawn into the optimism captured in that simple phrase, only to find that a simple catch phrase cannot buoy us up in the face of everyday stressors like work and family. The struggle is real. And you are not alone. What if there was a way to harness that motivation and give yourself a boost every week?
Ladies and gentleman, I give you my Yoga Morning Ritual. It involves some effective exercise and flexibility but, ultimately, it’s about self-care, mind/body connection and recharging. Ideally, this morning would be done three times a week but if you have time constraints, the weekend is perfect for the longer version of the yoga flow. And there will be snacks.
It starts with the early morning hours, before anyone else in the house has woken up. Imagine it’s just you, your body and the quiet stillness that not only allows your body, but your thoughts the space it needs to expand. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, Vinyasa is a great form of yoga that teaches breathing techniques and eases tension in your muscles. (Particularly useful if you experience stress or have a rigorous exercise regime.) It’s also a great idea to practice on a non-carpeted, hard floor. This will allow you to really plant yourself in the poses and feel more grounded for the rest of the day.
There are so many yoga flows (or you can think about them as combinations of poses) out there, it will take time to find one that suits your needs. You can find a great beginner’s yoga for runners from Runner’s World HERE. Or if you prefer to tailor a flow based on time and physical constraints here is a great resource from Yoga Journal. Initially, it may tough going but with more practice your flow will become more—well, flowy.
A flow should ideally last at least 30 minutes. Maybe you start off with Easy Pose or Child’s Pose, take 5 deep breaths in between poses. At whatever point when you ease into Downward Facing Dog you’ll start to feel a delicious stretch; your calf muscles will light-up and extra blood will flow into your heart and hands. And as you move through different poses, you’ll start to feel all the different parts of your body---how each part is working in conjunction with each other. Your feet will plant down into each pose, not only rooting you into your space but also your present....