yoga

Mid-Week Mindfullness - 5 Daily Exercises

It’s easy to let our day to day tasks overwhelm us and stress us out. Whether you’re dashing from one meeting to the next or scrambling to keep up with household chores there’s just SO MUCH to keep track of. On top of that you’re “SUPPOSED” to eat well, take time for self care, exercise, etc…

We get it how do you find the time? Well on those especially busy days (or weeks) here’s your Top 5 Exercises to keep you sane and working toward your bigger vision.

5. Breathe

I know it seems cliche and obvious that you need to focus on your breathing but studies have shown that even a few short minutes of mindful breathing can shift not only our mood, but also gives us a mental boost and reduces stress levels.

4. Journal

Keep it simple! This isn’t about coming up with your next novel or writing a ground breaking poem (although it could be). This is about getting your creative juices flowing! Just put pen to paper and set a timer for 5 minutes. Start with stream of consciousness writing. Whatever hits the page is perfect DON’T EDIT. You may find you have something specific you want to talk about, but you may also find you just write “this is my pen” 300 times. Just write…something…anything.

3. Walking

Get out and MOVE! The weather is finally turning nice enough that’s it’s pleasurable to be outside here in Texas. Take to nature and get moving. Aim to walk for 15 minutes to start. As you walk focus on your surroundings, the sounds you hear, and the smells around you. Start off without music or podcasts and just allow yourself to tune into the present moment. Even better combine this exercise WITH your breath practice!

2. Inspire

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Grab your favorite blog, book, or podcast that has QUALITY content. Something that truly inspires you. Something that after you’ve read it you know you just HAVE to get going and do your thing. Set your timer for 10 minutes and shut off all other notifications. Allow yourself to completely tune into what you’re reading.

1. Yoga

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world couldn’t be wrong, right? Hit your mat! You don’t need to do an hour or 90 minute practice (although you could) to get the benefits that slowing down and moving with your breath offer. Set your timer for 15-20 mins and just move. Uninspired to create a home sequence? Grab one of our free online classes (don’t worry they’re all under 20 mins).

The moral of the story take a few minutes to focus on YOU. Let everything sit (I promise it’ll be there when you’re done). You may find you’re even more productive or at lease more present in your work and personal life with just a few minutes each day.

Establishing a Home Practice

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Establishing a home practice is one of the most challenging aspects of practicing yoga regularly. While some people might enjoy keeping their practice in the studio under the watchful eye of a trained teacher, others may find that this is just not feasible for their current lifestyle, whether because of a strenuous work schedule, intense travel, or financial restraints.
I have had a home practice in my life ever since I began learning yoga. In fact, it’s how I got started with yoga, and I discovered a few things that might help you establish a home practice, too.


1. Separate skills from habit


Research shows that it takes 24 repetitions to make an activity or choice before it begins to not feel weird. That means that if you’re going to do yoga at home, you will have to do it 24 times before you can even think about not talking yourself out of it! That same research also shows us that you will have to roll out your mat at home for 200 times (that’s TWO HUNDRED!) before it feels automatic! So even if you don’t feel like doing yoga, get in the habit of rolling out the mat for at least 24 times before you even decide whether you can do this or not. Even if you set the timer for 10 minutes of child’s pose (it’s been THAT kind of a day!), go through the motions. You are training your brain to do something new (yoga in this place, at this time of day). The poses that you do or don’t do are not as important as the formation of a new habit.


2. Use props
 

Just as in the studio you are encouraged to use “props,” it’s OK to use them in establishing a home practice.....but I’m not talking about blocks or blankets or bolsters. The props in this portion of your practice are yoga videos. I began my yoga practice by meeting Jason Crandell on the mat every morning for his beginner morning yoga routine onYouTube. At that time in my life, I had NO money, 3 sons to feed, and 3 part-time jobs. If there was anyone on Earth that needed yoga, it was ME! I was determined to first establish a habit, then later I would find the money to get instruction. So every morning I had a yoga date with Jason. To this day, he is my favorite instructor in YogaGlo, and I can hear his voice in his blog posts and social media posts. Whether it’s a free YouTube video or a subscription service like Gaia or YogaGlo, set yourself up for success with the wonderful props when you feel your resolve failing.


3. Reward yourself
 

When you resolve to establish a new habit or routine, go ahead and set up a reward system, too. I promise, you’re going to need it before you’re 24 days in! For me (with part-time jobs and teenage sons to feed), shiny stickers on my calendar were my motivators. And then as I fell in love with my practice and began to love how my body felt after my dates with Jason, I began to reward myself with my own set of yoga blocks, or I signed myself up for a beginner series at the local studio. And the most important reward? On Day 25, put a big “X” on your calendar....a day of REST. Because rest is part of the yoga lifestyle, too.

susie fergus fort worth yoga


4. Redefine “home practice”
 

One of my early motivations for developing a home practice was the cost factor: after all, home yoga = free yoga. But there are other places where you can find free yoga, so take advantage of those! It’s not unusual to find a yoga teacher who offers their yoga classes in the park as a service to the neighborhood or community. When you attend a session on Free Day of Yoga (Labor Day weekend) or at Yoga in the Park, give yourself permission to count it as part of your home practice. After all, the point is to connect with your body and mind daily as part of a spiritual practice. And just like any other “significant other,” your practice benefits from the daily-ness of meeting yourself on the mat as much as your choices of Instagram-worthy poses.


5. Cut yourself some slack
 

“But what if I can’t do it for 24 days straight?” Anyone who has ever stopped eating sugar can tell you that there’s no value in “all or nothing.” You’re going to slip up, you’re going to oversleep, you’re going to get out of your routine. Life Happens! But each day is a new day....and if you choose to establish a yoga habit by rolling out your mat for a goal of 5 days out of 7, then you will meet your 24/200 goal at the time that is right for you! No matter how those shiny stickers are sprinkled on your calendar, they’ll look great, and you’ll feel the satisfaction of a home practice that is just the right fit for you.


Establishing a home practice isn’t so much about the poses you choose as it is about the daily choice you make to meet yourself on your mat. When establishing a new routine, give yourself grace to separate the content of the practice from the habit of it -- you’re sure to meet success that will pay dividends to your health and well-being!

Groove With the Music

Jenn Holmes Fort Worth Yoga

When it comes to building a playlist, it can be some serious business. Okay, maybe some serious fun business! For real though, when it came to building my first playlist for a public class, it felt somewhat daunting. I always stressed over playing music for a room of people, but then I realized I was creating the atmosphere and as long as what I chose wasn’t offensive, it might just help someone grow out of their zone or feel in their zone!

That’s the best part about music. It is different for everyone who hears it, feels it, experiences it! The same goes for yoga. Everyone has a different experience in their own body while they all may be taking the same class. So what could be better than creating your own playlist for your personal practice, your group class, your girls brunch - you name it! Creating something special with an end goal in mind feels so liberating once you do it!


How to build an awesome yoga playlist!


1. Theme is key


Whether it’s cozy night vibes, party rock or an entire playlist devoted to song about cats (I’ve done it and it rocked) - coming up with a theme or vibe for the playlist helps in curating the right kind of songs. This can help keep your tempo’s on track. Slowly building into those big upbeat songs and slowly making your way back to a low key sound. Coming from a background in music (nerd alert), I think of it in crescendos (<) and decrescendos (>). Pretty cool right?


2. Mix it up!


It’s fun to mix up different genres into the playlist in order to keep your listeners and practitioners on their toes. If you haven’t heard the songs fully before - make sure you do so that you know how one fades in to the other. Weird transitions aren’t the end of the world, but seamless transitions for the mood make your playlist keep going strong! Keep it new with fresh sounds in between songs of the moment.


3. Listen and Edit


Consider who is attending you class or gathering. Listen to what moves you, but edit out what doesn’t work. If I find something I like, but it doesn’t fit in with the vibe I’m working with, I will keep it on the back burner for later. Who knows when that one might come in handy!


4. Figure out your length


If you’re building a playlist for an outlined period of time, like a class, make sure you have a little time in the beginning to end to slowly ease in and out. I once made a playlist that was an hour for an hour and 15 minute class, that was definitely a learning curve! Check your times, and when i doubt - make it long or purposely short to let you students be okay with silence.


5. Let loose, it’s fun!


Above all else, listen to what moves you and makes you want to share with your audience. Music and yoga have two main things in common - they are food for the soul. So let your soul get full on what makes you happy and share that joy with people you care about!

Need a home practice playlist? Here's one of my favorites! 

Come find out what I’ve put on my playlist! Either in my weekly classes or at my special January class on Friday, January 26th - for a Funky Soul Flow! Let the music move you, loves!

Funky Soul Flow

Let's move and groove to some old soul and funk! This is a fun all-levels flow focusing on fun! This funky class will come with the sounds of legends as we flow through an invigorating practice that will awaken your inner god and goddess!