So first, if you’ve been with me for a while and took some time in the beginning of the year to set some intentions, take a moment to revisit those.
Then, I’ve got a few practices for you to celebrate the equinox.
Normally I would film a video for you, but my video production capabilities are on hiatus currently for multiple reasons. Videos will be back soon!
In the meantime, I want to share with you a taste of the stick figure practices I share with myprivate clients to help them develop a normal yoga practice routine.
This way, you get to make the practice your own.
Move at your own pace, do your best with your understanding of the postures.
The most important thing is to breathe!
Alignment-wise, make sure your stack your joints. That means in lunges your knee stays over your ankle
Have fun with it!
*And yes, I give you permission to laugh at my stick figures. I’m a writer, not an artist! It makes me human, right?
Spring equinox playlist inspiration
If music is your thing, I’ve been listening to a Bon Iver Pandora station recently that for some reason motivates and inspires me. I’m not a big music person, but in case you want some ideas for pairing up some music to your practice, here are some of my favorite artists, yoga-related and not:
Bon Iver Pandora station
Iron & Wine
Of Monsters and Men
Band of Horses
The Head & the Heart
Take a moment to breathe. Turn off the music for a moment and bask in silence, even if it feels uncomfortable. Let your breath be your music instead.
Use Dirga breath to get clear and calm before you move on to the contemplation and intention-setting exercises below. Even if you don’t get to the contemplation, this breathing exercise alone is enough to get you grounded and reset your nervous system.
Take your time with it and nourish your body, mind and soul.
Here’s how to breathe:
Lay down on your back.
On your inhale, feel your belly, rib cage and chest expand.
On your exhale, let your chest, rib cage, and belly fall back to neutral.
Let the expansion create space in the front, sides, and back of your body.
If it’s helpful, you can visualize a warm, golden light spreading through your body as you breathe.
Take at least 10 breaths, but if you can, stay for 5 minutes.
Notice the pauses at the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale.
See if you can lengthen your exhale longer then your inhale.
If you’re a writer, get out your journal and use these prompts to help you do some reflection and contemplation.
Ask yourself these questions, even if you didn’t set intentions at the beginning of the year.
How has your year been so far? Be honest! Mine’s been, well, intense.
What have you learned about yourself?
How have your intentions served you?
What has kept you from taking the actions needed to live intentionally every day?
If you set intentions at the beginning of the year, do those same intentions still serve you or do you feel compelled to set new ones?
Setting intentions will give you focus in the month ahead. I do this seasonally so that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to be doing in December. Life changes fast! This is a more flexible approach that has built-in check-in periods to make sure we stay on track.
What has worked in the last three months?
What hasn’t worked for you in the last three months?
What do you want to achieve in the next 3 months?
What do you need to DO to live intentionally every day? Do it!
Lastly, choose one thing to do this weekend that allows you to play.
Do something you wouldn’t normally. Be spontaneous. Be in nature. Play with kids. Play a game. Be silly. Tap into that child-like quality of awe within you. I know it’s still there.
Taking time to play is a great way to get out of our minds and into our body. So, a card game or a board game, as much as I love those, doesn’t count. Move your body!
Enjoy your spring equinox!
By Ashley Josephine
I started practicing yoga to stay in shape and release stress. What I learned was how to love my life. How to have faith. How to find your community of people who support you and love you unconditionally. How to get back control. Today, it is my mission to help busy Type-A overachiever women like me gain back control of their lives, live pain-free, and love the life they want to live through yoga lifestyle practices. Visit www.ashleyjosephine.com to get free yoga lifestyle tips to help live healthier, happier, and pain-free.
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