Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Keeping Winter Blues at Bay

Today is probably the first day of this winter that I have felt ho-hum. The sky is gray and it is windy and cold. Of course, that has been the case for more than one day; we do live in Minnesota after all. But this is the first day that I feel somewhat affected by it.


I am learning, however, that I do not have to give in to my fickle feelings. My feelings don't lead me around by the nose and direct the kind of day I'm going to have. Instead, I choose to take a more active role in my behavior and responses to my circumstances. I am not denying the feelings that want to be there, but I'm not letting them take the lead either.

So, when I did not feel like going to the gym this morning I did yoga and meditation instead. If I didn't do anything physical, I think that would have made me feel worse. But I also really didn't think that I had a run in me this morning. Yoga was a good compromise: a way to be gentle on myself while still moving (a definite mood booster!).

Ironically, the routine today was not one that matched my craving for comfort, but was instead more active an invigorating. I didn't let myself off the hook so easily after all! :)

I have been working through "30 Days of Yoga" on the YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene. I have to just say here:

I LOVE THIS CHANNEL!

I don't have time or extra money right now for a yoga class. I love yoga classes because of the variety, the camaraderie, and the conversation. Sometimes the conversation is just one-way, with the teacher doing the most of the talking, but it is interesting to me how thoughts and words flow with the vinyasa.

Well, this happens for me with Adriene's channel. When I have not been able to join classes, my alternative has often been video workouts. But the repetition always lost me eventually. It's not as inspiring knowing exactly what the instructor is going to say next. Because of this, last year I was often doing yoga alone in my bedroom just listening to some great Pandora channels (Nature Wilderness Channel, Zen Garden Radio, Yoga Sanctuary Radio).

Having an at-home practice is one of the benefits of yoga. It's highly portable, highly customizable. I love the option of being able to mix things up just as I please for what my body needs for the day. But one of the things I also love about taking a yoga class is that I don't have to think. I don't have to make decisions about what my next pose is going to be or what pose would flow best into the next one. I, like you I am sure, make decisions all day long, and handing off that responsibility when it comes to yoga is an extra goody in the mix!

So I urge you to check out Yoga With Adriene if you are looking for a new way way to practice or a new option to add into your yoga practice. Adriene is a great teacher and she offers these classes for free on YouTube! Her "30 Days of Yoga" series is going to remain up on her channel so that when it is done, you can revisit your favorites or do it all over again. I'm actually behind; I just did day 18 and, as today is the 28th, I'm behind. But I'm just kind of picking and choosing my way toward catching up. Some of her videos are under 20 minutes and I usually want between 20 and 30, so those are the ones I have been doing. Plus, I am not doing it every day; I don't usually do yoga on the days I run.

Turning the corner with my mood now that I'm settled in for the evening. Writing always helps. And the fact that my daughter, Maia, is making dinner for us tonight. Plus, I'm reminded that although it looks like the picture at the top of my post right now, it COULD look like this:

This was taken LAST February! We'll see if our mild winter can hang on. That's definitely something to smile about! :)

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