This one simple exercise can help you unwind the tension that collects in the hips from long days of sitting and standing. The hip joint is both strong and supports us but can also move through a wide range with grace. Due to our daily living habits, habitual patterns and unique anatomy, we aren’t always open in ways that allow for grateful movement. Add this one stretch to your routine to start the process of unwind hip tension and accessing greater range of motion.
Wellness Challenge Day 5: Change mindset
Change is a big part of wellness. When we are interested in our wellness, we find ourselves working on change – changing our habits for the better. Bringing clarity to this very process of change itself can help us avoid a “New Years resolution” attitude about change – that change is sudden, permanent, and based on willpower – which tends to prohibit us from really understanding how healthly change can happen.
Start with mindset. Coach yourself. But don’t only focus on what, how, and why you want to make this change, instead create a storyline in which you can and will make this change.
Next, choose the easiest change you can make that moves you in the direction you want. Don’t try for something big and sudden, instead choose the 1%, easiest change you can make to get a sense of accomplishment and momentum.
Lastly, choose a timeline. Make a date with yourself in a week or two to sit down and check in on this change, celebrate progress, and refine whatever can be improved. Repeat these steps as bit-by-bit goals become reality.
Developing breath awareness is the seed of health and wellbeing. Breathing such a simple practice, it’s often overlooked. Why bother in fact when the breath breaths itself? But in fact, the breath has the power to tap into our deep nervous system patterns that influence stress responses, how we experience pain and the ability of the body to nourish itself. Back breathing is just one exercise for tapping into this mind-body connection and developing deeper breath awareness.
Our environment matters. Setting up your practice space in a supportive way is at least as important as the practice you do there. You want a space that you want to be in. You want a space that soothes and inspires. And a home practice space is ideal because you have complete control over it. Here are some tips for setting up your space:
- Start small. You need enough space for your mat plus a little room around it. This can be achieved in an unused corner or along a wall. If you have a whole room to dedicate, do so, but it’s not necessary.
- Clean. Declutter. Sweep and mop. Dust. This will begin the process of nurturing your space and connect you with it on a deeper level. This space is important and can be cared for as such.
- Make it special. Bring in a small number of special items to really make the space your own. A picture or poster. A plant. A treasured keepsake. These items might be yoga-related, but they also might not. Pick things that give you “the feels” to deepen your connection with the space.
- Manage time. You will need to make choices about how to track time in your space. If you are doing online classes the time will be tracked for you. If you have a small bedside clock find a spot for it. Figuring out a way to leave your phone outside of your practice space is highly recommended.
- Sanctify the space. Once you have your space cleaned and organized, choose some simple way to sanctify it. Play a song. Do a short practice. Burn some sage. Light a candle. Meditate. Choose anything you like as way to say “This is now my special space.”
- Nurture. As you practice and grow into your space, feel free to continue to adjust, add to, and deepen it. Keep it clean. Mark anniversaries or other special days. Add keepsakes when you feel moved to do so. This will be a new element of practice that will grow naturally over time.