Do you ever have those "off" weeks? Or months? As a self professed "flow" lover, I realized in December I was off my game and feeling (for the first time in a very long while) like I was adrift and without my internal compass. Following my own advice (thank you, archives!), I decided to sort this out the fastest way I know how. Movement.
In my experience the most effective and efficient way to get out of your head and back into your life-groove is through a steady diet of heart-pumping, balance-challenging, boundary-pushing workouts. And no matter how much I might enjoy a practice at home, it is always through a brilliantly taught class that I'm able to get to that head-clearing space. An amazing instructor that plays killer music and peppers the workout with inspiring words of wisdom is always a welcome discovery.
Back at the yoga studio, deeply invested in 60 and 75 minute hot yoga sessions I am finally able to clear my head, realign my priorities and identify areas of my life that needed work. Honestly, nothing works for my body, soul and spirit like vinyasa yoga. The dim room, challenging workout and self-discovery of the workout is the ideal antidote to the tension formed by my very tightly wound type-A personality.
Not one to pause during my day for meditation, I find that vinyasa flow is ideally suited to a sort of moving meditation. My mind is quieted. My anxieties are soothed. Anything causing me stress is individually examined over the course of the class and I'm able to pair creative solutions with life's little problems. No matter how crowded the room, there are blissful oassages of time where it's just you, God and your inner most self. Pure bliss.
All of this occurs while I'm simultaneously getting the most intense workout. I finish class renewed, restored, and a much more chill, centered version of myself. My I can only hope that each of you have a form of exercise that allows you to enjoy moving meditation and mindfulness. If not, lace up and take a hike in nature. I swear this works wonders on a girl!
FASHIONABLE FLOW-FINDING FAVORITES
No matter how shy you are, after about 10 minutes of intense movement and 90 degree plus temps you're ready to strip down to your skivvies. My solution? Layers. Thin cropped leggings and a fabulous bra top to keep "the girls" secured for the journey ahead.
DOES A BODY GOOD
A great mat is key. And I find that the more intense the class, the more I value a well-designed mat. I'll be upgrading to this textured beauty with a carry strap soon. My mind isn't all that needs enlightenment, those pesky shadows under my eyes in the morning are open to a bit of illumination as well! To keep my face looking fresh I'm not too proud to tell you I dab a bit of this magical concealer & hydrating lip balm before heading to the studio.
Immediately after class I take Super Elixir powdered greens with filtered water. My body is eager for the flow of nutrients and alkalizing elements in this (my absolute favorite!) green drink. While at the gym I like to take a quick shower to refresh my body before heading home. Since I'm not inclined to pack a large back filled with my facial cleanser & specialty hair products, I have a few on-the-go goodies to handle those needs. These facial wipes do a great job of removing grime while leaving my skin hydrated. My hair benefits from a quick burst of air from the hair dryer and this lovely hair perfume.
FACE THE DAY
A former sun-lover, I now cling to my precious bottle of Clarins SPF as if it were liquid gold. This invisible shield beneath my moisturizer of choice keeps my skin dewy and protected. A quick swipe of Charlotte Tilbury's lip/cheek tint serves to enhance that natural post-yoga glow with a subtle yet necessary rosy glow. Now I'm rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Back to the topic of flow. I'm not quite there yet. I'm pruning the rose bushes of my mind one by one and discovering a few blooms that need to be nipped and others that need careful nurturing. It's a process, right? The formula for repair for me is quite simple. Work the outside to change the inside. Push through challenging (and endorphin-raising) workouts. Get out in the sun early and often. Develop healthy and positive routines that serve you. Be consistent. Be good to yourself. REALLY good to yourself, because no one will ever care for your whole person with quite the same intensity as you.
The new year is about to begin. What better time to draw a line in the proverbial sand and dedicate time each day for bettering yourself, caring for your mind & body and giving your mind a window to be still, quiet and reflective.
Happy New Year to you all. Much more positive messages to come in 2016!