Most of the readers on this blog will know by experience how great a yoga practice can feel to the mind and the body. What if we cannot make it into the studio or even to the mat? It is entirely normal to feel like you are letting yourself down, but you are not! This is the perfect time to explore other feel-good practices that align with your mind and body.
If you know me, then you know that I absolutely love essential oils, and when in need, I have an oil ready to assist in any emotional, mental or physical activity happening at all times. My number one off the mat feel-good practice is Aromatherapy. When essential oils are inhaled through the nose, tiny nerves send an immediate signal to the brain and go straight to work on the systems that moderate our minds and bodies. We all have that favorite oil that is perfect for whenever we need a boost. My personal favorite is Peppermint. When they say that 1 Essential oil does 100 things, it is the truth! The oils are highly intelligent and they know right where to go and what to put at ease.
- Come to a comfortable seat and start to calm the mind by watching the qualities of your breath.
- Start to breathe deeper to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates the relaxation response.
- Take a drop of your chosen oil into your palm and rub your hands together with an intention to receive all the vibration of the plant matter.
- Cup your hands around your nose and breathe deeply.
- Gaze at the breath and notice how the oil feels as it travels into your being.
If you are not sure what oil to grab, I suggest researching on Pinterest. Also, I would be more than happy to assist you in picking an oil for a certain physical, emotional or mental state. Talk to me after your next class.
My second feel-good practice is to get outdoors. In my experience being surrounded by trees, plants, fresh air, and soil brings me back to myself. Being surrounded by technology in our daily lives can make us feel overwhelmed. Trees and plants are intelligent, but in a way that is beneficial to their very own being. They are always looking for nourishment to grow and just be. Scientific studies state that nature experiences lead to reduced stress and behavioral changes that improve mood and general well-being. Let’s get back to nature.
- Find yourself surrounded by nature. This could be your back yard in the grass, or completely out of the city.
- Start your breath practice as described above and notice what your senses pick up.
- Dig your fingers into the earth, gently run your hand through the grass or physically touch the trunk of a tree.
- Notice the vibration of nature. Whats does it feel like? Describe it in a word.
- Watch the vibration of your breath start to become one with natures vibration.
- Invite nourishment through your breath and the vibrations that surround you.
There are many other self love practices that you may already do. Some other great ones might be taking a bath, enjoying a cup of tea, positive visualization, receiving a massage or even cleansing your sinuses with a netty pot. What are your go to feel-good practices? Make a list and when you need a love boost refer back to your list.