Have you begun to notice a difference between “yoga days” and the rest of your week? Maybe you’ve even started scheming about to spring for that Unlimited yoga pass at your studio and how you’ll arrange for childcare, showers and changes of cloths for twice daily yoga classes?
Send us a note when you have that all sorted! In the mean time, good news: you can do yoga wherever you are, and apply the principles your yoga teacher uses to create the bliss you love in even the most stressful situations. You can find yoga poses in a line, in a car, at a desk and at the bar. You can even do yoga poses while reading Dr. Seuss rhymes to the pack before bed. Dog park duty? No problem, yoga poses for the park.... and, no, we don’t recommend Downward Facing Dog at the dog park. We have poses that don’t require touching the grass and let you keep an eye on your favorite pooch.
The formula you want to keep in mind is this:
Peace = Breath + Twist + Invert + Inside
Breath: Deep, deeply felt, deeply let it go.
Twist: Core engaged, wring it out, change your focus.
Invert: Just a little, head down, heart top.
Inside: Inward attention focus. You don’t have to close your eyes, just gather in, feel.
These are the essential ingredients your yoga teacher whisks together in every class, spiced with a huge dose of ahimsa (non-violence, a.k.a. helping you feel great about being you), a dollop of satya (truth, a.k.a. there’s no need to push there!) and samtosha (contentment, a.k.a. ‘cause look at the coolness you’re rockin right now!).
Here are four different applications to get you started:
1. You’re standing in the checkout line and the person ahead of you, who questioned every other price is now paying in nickels, while you have been calculating how short the lights have to be for you to arrive at class on time. And there’s only one cashier.
Inhale deeply, reach your left foot back (lunge). Exhale, pretend to pick up a stray nickel from right beside your foot. Inhale, look up to the right and beam smiles while you say, “Oops! Not a nickel!” Exhale, look down and release head and neck with hands on either side of your front foot, while being grateful for your debit card. Inhale stand up. Notice admiring stares and offer to lead the others through the other side.
2. At a stop light, the seventh light that’s gone red as you approached and you’re even on the expressway!
Inhale deeply, exhale stick your tongue out til it touches your chin while breathing “Haaaa!” three times. Next exhale look to your right, shoulder touching back of seat, next one left. Note terrified look on adjacent driver’s face from watching you do Lion’s breath. Drop head so as not to appear smug in your grin and delight. Enjoy neck and upper back stretch as you do.
3. Seated at work in front of the computer, having filled out same report three times and waiting for the server to process the last key strokes so you can bolt out the door before... “Hey! There you are! Got a minute? I’ve been wanting to run this year end report by you...”
Inhale deeply, opening your eyes wide! Exhale as you turn abruptly one direction, then the other, gathering your things. Place hands on desk and with your next exhale, really engage your core as you breathe “Weeeeeell...” and back up until you’re torso is parallel to the ground seeming not to notice you’ve backed Mr. Gotaminute right out of your cubicle (that’s a “Desk Dog” by the bye). Bend your knees and roll up, smiling as you saunter past and out saying “Good thing the year’s not ended! Look it over when I see you tomorrow!”
4. Hangin’ at the dog park with your favorite Downward Dog? While Fifi flirts with Fido, get in this no stress flow:
Close your eyes. (You’ll hear if anything’s amiss). Feel the wave of your breath as you inhale and exhale completely, sitting down into Fierce pose (like you’re in a seat). Lift your arms, exhale and bring your left elbow to outside of right knee - Revolved Fierce Pose. Inhale to center, exhale to other side. Do as many times as you can remain standing with knees bent. After your final turn, exhale through your mouth, tongue touching chin (Lion’s Breath) as you release your head and neck down, belly on thighs, hands on opposite elbows for a Ragdoll inversion. Press belly to spine to slowly roll up. Notice the cute dog owner checking YOU out!