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. Try to end the flow with a gift to yourself. Savasana or Corpse Pose is the easiest and also the most challenging. The tricky part is to relax all your muscle groups and not to let your mind wander too far. Stay in the moment. You can stay in this pose for as little or as long as you like. Your call.
Hopefully the last 30 minutes helped you feel focused, rejuvenated and centered. It’s right at this point where the snacks come in. Not only does it feel good to nourish your body, but when you can do it in a way that also supports your workout, even better. Resync Collagen Blend can help promote your muscle and connective tissue health and when you’re exploring your body’s limits this is so essential. I try to take Resync Recovery or Collagen depending on my level of activity within 30 minutes of completing a hard workout or light activity. The collagen blend is loaded with antioxidants, which can promote a healthy blood flow and other ingredients like red spinach, red beet and aronia berry which promote healthy joints. Even on rest days, Resync fits into my breakfast routine; the supplement is that adaptable. It really can integrate well into anyone’s everyday lifestyle.
Now, full disclaimer: I can only speak to my own experience. As a chef and a runner, yoga has been essential to my physical and mental well-being, but it may not be what everyone needs to get the same result. The biggest takeaway from this post is to find a way to carve out time for yourself at least once a week and do an activity that lights up your body, your mind and your sense of gratitude.
And as always, consult a trusted health professional before starting a new fitness routine. 😉