I'm sure; you know a situation like this one:
Last week on Tuesday I left my house right on time, prepared for a day with a tight schedule.
And you know what? I caught traffic at an unusual hour. On the A5, to my second Yoga session. Even the app WAZE couldn’t redirect me on to a secret lane.
I arrived 20 minutes late. For Portuguese habits acceptable. For me: nope. I felt like the red devil emoticon.
To the third class, I rushed up and down the hills of Lisbon for about 15 minutes; my veins were pumping.
With my last power, I pushed myself up the stairs to Aravinda Yoga Shala, because the elevator wasn't damn working.
The students waiting in front of the door and I crashed my heavy bag down and fell into the victim mode.
Without breath I stumbled something: Oh, I’m always running from here to there, from there to here. This traffic! And I’m so sorry I’m late.
We were laughing. I heard a sweet voice welcoming me: Stef, it’s ok. You’re here! My heart melted into ease.
Sometimes, there’re days I just don’t get it together. I’m on the run. Trying to catch the carrot ahead of me and, of course, I’ll never reach it.
On other days my ten years, Yoga practice pays off.
Here’re my five favs to slow down on a tight and hectic day:
Breathe! It's THE first action to do.
That’s why you practice yoga, to be able to connect with your breath, come back to presence and figure out, what matters right at the moment.
Surrender! You can plan your day. Some happenings aren’t in your hands though: traffic, broken down car, strikes, accidents, heavy rain, your sick child, an argument with your partner. Take the situation as it is. Adjust to the circumstances! And, trust.
That’s what we practice on the mat, too. At some point the only thing you can do, while moving through Yoga postures, is surrender. It’ll take time to make it to a habit. But it's worth your effort.
Have clear transitions! Before you go to your next thing in your cal, wrap up the one before, breathe, set the intention and move on!
The Ashtanga Yoga practice’s got transitions too, called “Vinyasa”. They’re as important as the actual postures. They neutralize and get you ready for the next pose. Thank god to Brendon Burchard who also showed in his book “High-performance habits”, that high-performance people do that: they take transitions seriously.
Take a break! When you feel, you rush around like a mad chicken, stop for a moment! Sit down on a bank on the way to your next appointment! Don’t look at your mobile when waiting for a red traffic light. Look around and do nothing. 1 minute, 2 minutes, a few more, they can occur like an eternity, help you to recollect yourself and take the next steps of your day from there.
On your mat, you take rest after your practice. That’s the part to let it sink in. Rest isn’t the opposite of activity. It’s complement.
So hey, you’ve got permission to pause!
Love your fam! On a messed up day, come home, throw your shoes in the next corner and chill out with your fam. Zion and I we do fun. Dance! Scream! Watch a short movie! It brings me back to what matters most - to connect with myself and my son, to love and share life. Then I feel ready enough, to tackle the last tasks for the day, review and plan the next day ahead.
After all, I believe, that’s what Yoga’s about: to cultivate a sense of self-love for yourself and act from there.
Chose one of these actions, you could take into your life right now! Write it down, post it to be reminded! Give it a try for at least a week!
Or have you got something else magic in your pockets? Share in the comments below your favorite habits to calm down! We can learn from one and the other. And feel, that we’re not alone with the daily hustle.
If you want to give Ashtanga Yoga a chance to figure out, how to stay cool on hectic days, then drop me a line for Private Sessions and Group classes: firstname.lastname@example.org with your mobile number and availability to speak over the phone.
So what’s left to say: Thank you for reading! And, have a good one tomorrow ;)!
With so much autumn love,