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As we are heading into an unconventional holiday season and approaching a brand-new year in 2021, it's going to be more important than ever to ground, center, and align ourselves. This year’s energy is less about resolutions and #goals. It’s about creating intentionality, peace, and grounding within ourselves first.
The season’s energy can bring about grief for a plethora of reasons outside of our current times, the nostalgia of how we were accustomed to spending our time, and the people we were surrounded by. Putting a few grounding routines and mindfulness practices into the new daily life can make a huge difference in emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Here are a few practical tips that you can take with you for the next few weeks as you ease into 2021 feeling grounded, intentional, and inflow with your energy.
Check out this article where I share with you a few non-fussy and easy breathing techniques that you can try out anytime. Mindful breathwork is the #1 way to regulate our body’s natural healing systems. It helps us calm down our body especially during a time where we are experiencing a lot of transitions. It also helps our body release and regulate feel-good hormones that we might be lacking, especially during seasonal changes.
In times of lower daylight and sun exposure, we have to take extra caution to allow our bodies to produce some of the feel-good hormones, and we can do that by mindful breathwork.
A breathing practice doesn’t have to be complicated. We aren’t talking about going into an hour-long shamanic breathwork session. We’re talking about adopting a 30-second to a three-minute routine that you can repeat several times during the day as you wish. This is a gamechanger for how your body releases and processes hormones, promotes calmness and peace, and regulates flow within the body. Find one to two breathwork techniques that feel doable and implement them into your daily life right away.
In this unconventional year, nothing has been normal. You might feel that your routines, your patterns, and even your identity have changed in the last few months. With so many things in flux, we could experience something known as a spiritual hangover. This is when you’ve been doing a lot of mindfulness and inner work, self-reflection, and getting hyper intentional about what you’re creating in your life. Because of this, you very well may be exhausted.
Now, our natural inclination is to fill up our time, to create more projects, to be busy, to surround ourselves with more stimulus and to-dos. And as much as we may want to do that, it’s okay if we just allow ourselves to be exhausted.
No one is expecting you to be a super person at a time where we are all doing the best that we can. So, what would it be like for you to give yourself time and permission to rest? This may be a radical idea, but try clearing out your time, even if you have to schedule it in your calendar. Remind yourself—I’m going to do nothing but rest and serve my soul in a way where I do something that feels energetically nourishing rather than depleting. For you, this might be literally sitting and watching TV. It might be working in the garden. It might be listening to music. It might be a breathwork dance party. Find the form of rest that aligns with you and catch yourself if the habit of creating busy work starts to creep up.
In 2020, we cheekily called it 20/20 vision—The Year of the Vision and played that one to the ground. But this year really did clear up the vision for many of us. Now is a great time for you to be very intentional about habits, thoughts, patterns, and even people that you may want to separate yourself from going into the next season of 2021.
Reflect on where your precious time, energy, and resources have been going and if it aligns with what you envision for yourself to experience in the upcoming year. Your energy is more valuable than ever. We have experienced working from home, separating from our families and friends, changing routines, adapting new roles, and so much more. The time, the energy, and the resources you will utilize going forward must come from a place of absolute intention.
You must involve play and joy back into your life. Staying in a state of worry, sadness, and grief can become extremely harmful to your overall well-being. Yes, we absolutely do need to process and acknowledge it as a collective, AND we get to find ways where we can still have fun. We have so many blessings to count; we have so many things to be grateful for and it’s okay if you give yourself permission to do something that makes you crack up.
In fact, go ahead and place both your hands on your belly and laugh like you heard something hilarious. I mean it. Laugh like you heard the funniest thing in the world. Put on that comedy and laugh. Tell that dumb joke to your friends. Tell yourself something that brings you joy. Dance. Move your body. Express yourself. Let’s fingerpaint.
Not only is this energetically healing, when we laugh and find joy, we actually produce the feel-good hormones right here in our own body. When we laugh, we’re essentially pumping out our gut hormones that have oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine. Turns out, 95% of our neurotransmitters are produced in our gut flora; When we allow ourselves to move, have fun, and play, we’re not only having a really good time, we’re also giving our body a dose of amazing feel-good hormones.
Notice if your relationship with joy and fun have been compromised in the last few months. If you’ve been going through it or if things have been tough, maybe you have felt guilty for having fun. Maybe you’ve been feeling guilty for doing something that brings you joy like playing outside with your pets or laughing like a maniac. Right here, right now we get to do something completely radical—we get to give ourselves that permission to play. We get to know that we are living, we are alive, we are well, and we have the opportunity to decide to be intentional about the vibration and the energy we are wanting to bring with us into 2021.
So as you ease into the flow of 2021, breathe, be gentle, reflect, and have fun.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.