Movement… you’ll never regret it!

Empower Day 18

It is day 18 of my 30 Days of Yoga Empower challenge through Yoga with Adriene. Instead of simply providing an update of how I am doing thus far (but I AM doing fantastic, thanks for asking!), I am devoting this post to movement.

Movement… as in another word for physical activity or exercise that sounds less intimidating.

One thing I have learned about myself over the years is that to get and stay healthy, I have to develop habits over time. Good habits. I like to think other humans work the same. So, perhaps you have found that developing habits over time works for you too (as opposed to the “change everything all at once and then give up in defeat after 4 days” mentality).

Yoga is movement. But so is running, walking, Crossfit, PiYo, Pure Barre, Insanity, Zumba, dance, tennis, and so on. When I truly listen to my body and what it needs, often I am drawn to a certain form of movement that day. Now, I developed this habit over time. When I first started getting active and formally “working out”,  I just had to get into some sort of routine first. And to be honest, I actually loved elliptical machines. I despise them now. But, they helped me develop the regular habit of movement.

Movement is active medicine for your body. It can be free (or relatively inexpensive even if you pay for a gym membership) and really does provide you with more energy and gets those “feel good” hormones activated. Movement is simply something that you’ll never regret! Find different forms of movement that work for you. That you can find delight in, even if it is just a tad bit of it.. come on, you know that doing punches in a kickboxing class makes you feel like you just beat up your old micromanaging boss! 😉

So how does this post on movement even relate to me doing more yoga? Well, yoga helps me be more mindful. And that is a habit I am currently developing. I am working on finding what feels good and using my mind/body connection as a guide. It’s okay if I don’t want to run a marathon today (or ever, really) and it’s also okay if I planned to do yoga, but chose to go for a walk instead. Movement of any kind can provide mind, body, and spiritual benefits.. if you allow it.

With that, I wish you more days of movement! What’s your FAVORITE way to move?

 

Empower Day 10

Empower Day 10

10 is such a powerful number. It kicks off the two digits.

And to be honest, once I wrote the word powerful to describe the number 10, I got curious and decided to look up the number 10. According to this numerology expert I found on google (not saying he is right or wrong, because hell if I know), the number 10 is associated with peace, harmony, leadership, optimism, confidence, independence, creativity, originality, and adaptability, among a few others.

How cool. Whether it’s true or not, on this very 10th day of Empower I do feel a lot of those energies. I feel more confident in myself. I feel at peace with where I am at, where I’ve been, and where I will go. I feel optimistic and creative. In fact, I was doing yoga this morning before work and had a huge “smile” moment where I genuinely felt happy. I took in the realization that true joy comes from each step, each day, and appreciating that moment you are in.

What I love about yoga is that it brings forth mindfulness. Yoga does not force you to become something you are not, nor does it really change you. It just allows you to reconnect and check in with yourself. It can bring forth emotions, absolutely. It can allow you to see something you want to change. It can also allow you to see the little things that make you who you are and what makes you happy. That’s where the confidence boost comes in.

Life is not all candy and roses. We know that. It’s important to have tools in your tool belt that work for those hard days. Tools that can reconnect you with who you are, where you are, and the knowledge that you will be okay. Yoga is a tool for me. It’s one of many tools for me. And Empower is helping me see that.

With that, I hope you all have tools that work for you when the going gets rough. Namaste, friends!

Empower Day 3

Empower day 3

 It was day 3 of Empower today. I did my yoga sesh first thing in the morning. In order to get the “full experience,” I set an intention before each practice. Not only because Adriene tells me to, but also because I like it. I am digging it. It gives purpose to little things throughout the rest of my day.

So with that, today’s intention was “Listen.” I know, it’s simple. But sometimes the simplest things bring the biggest joy in life. And today was no different. I did the following…

  • Listened to the rain as I went through my 45 minutes of yoga. It was peaceful.
  • Listened to my cat as she purred while attempting to do a few yoga poses with me (including one of her favorites in the pic above- corpse pose). It was entertaining.
  • Listened to my breath as I moved through each pose. It was calming.
  • Listened to my body as it told me to back down a bit or go a little deeper into a pose. It was reflective.

The above was during my yoga, but I also kept listening throughout the rest of my day. I had a deep desire later in the day to go for a quick 30-minute run. Why would I ever want to run, you ask? Good question. I don’t always want to run, but I do love running when I get the urge to, especially post-rain. I love taking in the fragrance of fresh rainwater. I love the break from 100 degree weather in Texas. I love connecting spiritually with nature and God. And I do love the way I feel after a good dose of cardio. Blame it on the endorphins!

I had a day where nothing was officially planned (except for my job, of course) and I literally got to check in with myself and listen to what I really wanted or needed right then and there. I want more days like today. I get it that it is not always possible to be spontaneous, but heck, we sure need to enjoy it when we do get to be. There are joys in the busy and there are joys in the calm. We just have to appreciate those joys. And often it is about finding purpose in what you are doing in the moment.

Here’s to being more in the moment. Namaste, friends!

Day 1 of Empower

Empower day 1

 

I woke up today with a little bit of anxiety. So, thank goodness today was day 1 of empower. My body and mind… okay, more so my mind, needed it.

I had a lofty to-do list for today and had some decision-making on my mind. I am not the best decision maker and it often takes me years and years (or hours) to make up my mind.

Today’s hard decision-making was based on my weekend coming up. Do I ride with a friend to Houston for great company or do I drive myself so that I have my own wheels (i.e., freedom of time for getting there, leaving there, and hanging out with other Houston peeps)? Do I hang out with one of my best friends on Friday night that I love so dearly or do I spend this weekend all on the bride-to-be? I know, I know.. I should be lucky that I have friends to hang out with, that I have arms to drive, and etc. First world problems!

But, these questions are real to me. I have the “I want everyone to be happy” syndrome. I fear that I will let down a friend or two. I don’t like that feeling. It makes me uncomfortable. I am a self-admitted, always working-on-it “people pleaser” and a “yes” person. We all have our pros and cons, friends… and here I am being vulnerable, admitting some of my biggest weaknesses. But I’m okay wit ‘dat….

What I realized today is that yoga can bring some things to the surface. Day 1 started with the first 28 minutes of the Heart (Phase 1) video. I decided I would take on the first half in the morning and the second half during my lunch break. I had to hustle and bustle this morning to get my to-do list done, ya know.

But what happened later on was a very cool thing. I found myself yearning to start the day over. To press pause on my crazy mind and do the video in full during my lunch break.

You see, I don’t want to cross Empower off my to-do list everyday. I want to allow it to alter or influence my thoughts and everyday patterns. I want my daily yoga practice to empower me. Not cripple me. I did the video in full and felt a peace come over me. I realized that I can help myself get over the discomforts of my hard-decision making issues simply by asking questions. A few of these questions include:

  • Do I want to be dishonest and not say what I truly feel? Or do I want to be open, honest, and comfortable with my decisions?
  • Do I want to be a time waster and fill up my time with more to-do lists, tasks, extracurricular activities, etc. or do I want to appreciate time and spend it wisely, leaving time for relaxation, play, and company?
  • Do I want to be a worrier and make decisions based off fears? Or do I want to check in with myself and base decisions off of wants, desires, and reality?

Very important lessons I learned on the mat today. I am very thankful for day 1 of empower and am looking forward to this journey.

Side note: Cali did yoga with me again today so the pic is of us in child’s pose. And with that… namaste, friends!