Here’s your go-to yogi packing guide from Yoga Expo founder Kyle Michaud.
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You’ve heard what they say: new year, new you. (*Secretly rolls eyes*) But if you’re anything like me and have already started 2017 with 12 too many Bagel Bites and conveniently forgetting that Saturdays count as a day you promised to exercise on, it’s soon more like new year, new whoops.
This year, rather than accepting this as just the way it goes, take some time to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success—and make it even easier to achieve those resolutions, all year long.
Feeling overwhelmed by the weight of your resolutions? Keep your goals short and simple to help them seem less daunting and more possible. Try making them all S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely). For example, instead of broadly declaring I’m going to drink more water from now on, your new and improved S.M.A.R.T. goal would be I’m going to drink 2 glasses of water every day this month. You’re still drinking more water like you wanted, but now you have something tangible to track and will know for certain if you’ve achieved it.
One of the best ways to stay on top of your goals is to keep them at the forefront of your mind. If you don’t think about them constantly, they’re going to slip and become less of a priority in your head. Whether it’s notes in your planner, words of encouragement on your mirrors, sticky notes at your desk or in your car—keep the reminders coming. The more you see each goal, the less likely you’ll be to “accidentally” forget or talk yourself out of it that day.
Another way to avoid talking yourself out of your goals is by scheduling a specific time you’re going to do something. When it comes to plans, I’m the least committal person you’ll ever meet. So when I do sign up for something, I know I’m going to show up. Use your schedule to your advantage—plan out exactly when you’re going to get that workout or yoga class in, so it becomes more of a reality in your routine. (We know of a great app that can help you book classes and appointments ahead of time…just saying.)
Going after your goals at the beginning of the year is always fun—you have momentum from the excitement of the new year ahead and are stoked to hustle hard to achieving them. Now fast-forward six months in. You’re starting to fall behind on those goals and the hype is fading. Sounds like it’s time to switch it up a bit. Let’s say your goal is to exercise more throughout the week. Maybe one month you try a bootcamp, then the next it’s Spin® classes, then the next is aerial yoga. Or maybe you like mixing it up throughout the week by doing something different every day. Changing your routine keeps it fresh and exciting, and prevents burnout and boredom. Not sure where to start? Search the MINDBODY app for iOS and Android to find something new to try near you.
Your friends, family and coworkers are a great way to stay motivated to stick with your resolutions. Invite someone to your weekly workout or class. You can even let them in on your overarching goal—they’ll probably be willing to do it with you, too. Not only will it be more fun to have someone on the journey with you, but it also holds you accountable and makes you feel bad for bailing (nothing like a little guilt to keep you on track, right?). The MINDBODY app even makes it easy to share your favorite businesses, classes and appointments through text messages and social media. You are officially out of excuses.
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.