Friday, August 3, 2012

Consistency in Chaos

If your summer is anything like mine, it's been an almost daily get up and go, go, go!  It seems that every day is a new excursion and adventure for me and my two little ones.  Beach, camping, hiking, biking, picking fruits and veggies, museums, trips to the library…. I'm getting tired just writing it down.   While I love the spontaneity of summer, I tend to thrive when I have a routine.  Some things just don't get done when there's chaos! 

However, this summer I have been particularly proud of myself at the consistency I've kept with my home Yoga practice.  This is usually the first thing to go.  But when you compromise on your healthy practices, the next thing you compromise is your health.  Here's some strategies I've used to keep my home practice consistent this summer. 

1. Get Up
    Okay, this is a no brainer.  But in the summer it can be easy to sleep in, especially when your kids are sleeping late (aka 7:30). So…. get up!  Before the kids and have some alone time, even if it means going to bed a little bit earlier or setting an alarm.  Quiet Yoga in the morning= bliss.

2. Make it a Priority

    Yes, you need to vacuum, sweep, and clean the bathrooms.  But first…. you need to practice.  It will make every action and interaction for the rest of your day so much more engaged, peaceful, and meaningful.  If you don't get to the sweeping, forgive yourself and smile.  You stood up for yourself and what you believe in.

3. Get Creative
    Yoga doesn't always need to be on the mat.  In fact, I most often do Yoga off my mat.  While making pancakes, waiting in line, while the kids are taking their time, even driving.  It's easy to find time and space do practices breathing exercises and meditation.  Even some standing postures and balance postures are totally appropriate for public.  Get your kids involved and engaged in a family practice.  More on that later...

4.  Break it up
    Sometimes I feel like I am at the constant beck and call of my kids.  And I am.  It is a rare event that I get to practice Yoga without being interrupted by someone or something.  So, I break up my practice into bits.  Warm-up sequences here, sun salutations after breakfast, standing postures after clean-up, final stretches before bedtime…You get the idea. 

5. Forgive and Forget
    If you don't get to your Yoga practice one day, it's okay.  Forgive yourself and move on. Tomorrow is another day.  The important thing is that you are aware of how important your practice is to you, and that you honor yourself by taking the time for it every day that you can. 

And now…time for my Savasana (Corpse Pose) for the day.  Ahhh!  The sweet rewards of practice!


Kristin Henningsen M.S., C.H., R.Y.T.


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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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