“Wait, where am I? And where did I go?” I ask myself as I open my eyes. I’m lying flat on the floor, headphones on, pillow under my head, and cozied up under a blanket. I stand up and get back to work, feeling rejuvenated and centered.
Lately, this scene has become more and more frequent. Brief sessions of mindful meditation have quickly become my remedy for the dreaded afternoon slump. For this newfound routine, I have my recent completion of a yoga challenge to thank.
The spiritual aspect of yoga is something that has always intrigued me. Mindfulness is a hot topic these days, and I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. These days, I’ve got so much on my plate that the idea of bettering the way I react to and organize my thoughts appealed to me.
Taking time, every day, to tune the world out, get out of my thoughts, and turn my focus inward, has become addicting. I’ve started to look forward to my daily “me time.” It has worked its way into my routine as my go-to mid-day work-break and as a way to “let it all out” in the evening. Working moms can relate, it’s easy to feel like you’ve got a ton of balls up in the air. Daily meditation lets me hit the reset button, refocusing on things that truly matter.
As it so often goes with resolutions and goals we set for ourselves, we start off strong. Seeing and feeling the fruits of our labor, we begin to envision a way that this could fit into our routine. The pluses and minuses start to reveal themselves.
Personally, I need exhilaration to take on something new. If it doesn’t captivate me to the point where I’m always thinking about ways I can improve myself, I know that’s a red flag that it’s not meant to be.
When taking on a new challenge, it also makes a huge difference having somebody to keep you accountable. Whether it’s a class setting or a friend taking something on with you, having a buddy in the trenches with you makes all the difference.
For this, my team and I were there to keep each other accountable. We would frequently stretch together mid-day and even did a couple of yoga practices at the studio together. During work travel, we diligently kept each other posted on our progress.
Although I managed to find enough time to practice yoga during my business trip, I started to realize that I’m not confident enough to lead myself through a yoga flow. With the help of various online resources and video classes, I was able to get the time in but found I missed the pressure of a class setting. Practicing on my own lacked the intensity of the workout I was looking for. But then again, mindfulness yoga isn’t about an intense workout.
Even back home, it wasn’t easy to stay committed. With the push and pull of three kids, running a business, and training a puppy, I found it easier finding the two hours to meal prep each week than I did to sneak in ten minutes of yoga every day. It’s safe to say; I didn’t make it to the 5:30 AM yoga class at my gym most days and that I fell short on the 10-minutes a day yoga time.
Through this process, I figured out daily yoga simply isn’t for me. Or at least something I can put at the top of my priority list every day.
As with every commitment, there have been some unexpected takeaways. I’ve learned the value in frequent stretching, and I can touch my toes for the first time, ever maybe? Plus, my daily meditation practice has stuck with me. That, I’ve really enjoyed.
I plan to develop my mindfulness practice and see where it takes me. Isn’t that the beauty in trying new things? Discovering what works for you and what doesn’t?
Setting new goals for yourself shouldn’t add pressure to make a lifestyle change. Rather, I think it’s an excellent opportunity to evaluate what’s working for you and incorporate things into your routine. Take some things and leave others!
Here are some resources that helped me get started in my mindfulness practice:
Mindfulness in a moment, 3 short and simple steps to get centered and present.
N.O.W. (Notice Open Wait), a present moment mindfulness practice to create the change you desire.
There’s no right or wrong way to become a better version of yourself. The discovery is what’s most exciting and I’m glad I took the time to do yoga most days, even though I didn’t feel like I was good at it.
Here’s to taking ourselves out of our comfort zones every once in a while, setting our sights on something we may want, commit to it, and seeing what it does for us!
Take with you what you like and leave what you don’t.
What have you done lately outside of your comfort zone?