When is the last time you've had "one of those weeks?" You know the kind. The alarm blares and the first thought that flickers into consciousness is, "Friday?" For a seemingly endless amount of days, the answer is a resounding, "NO...sucker." Weeks like this can be a vicious downward spiral and before you know it, your whole life is getting lost in the desperate shuffling from one weekend to the next. You may lack energy, feel depressed or stressed. Throughout the day, you might be clock-watching, scatter-brained or unmotivated.
The bad news: this crappy week might be at least partially your fault
The good news: you can reverse the cycle!
I hate to break this to you, but not all crappy weeks are bestowed upon you by a stressful job, relationship, health issues or unforeseen challenges. Besides striving to improve your attitude and being mindful of your many blessings, consider setting aside time each day to practice just 15 minutes of quiet yoga. I know, you don't have any time to set aside, right? Who does? The fact of the matter is: we all have the same 24 hours allotted to 1 day, we just have different priorities. Person A might be ignoring the dirty dishes to go for a run while Person B is furiously polishing the hardwood. Person B might later be sleeping soundly while Person A is lost in the world of Facebook.
You might not realize how much time you spend each day doing things that can wait, are unimportant or feel much more important than they are.
Challenge: set aside 15 minutes for yoga (heck, even 5 minutes) at the same time every single day. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day, but give it an honest try for at least 1 week. Ideally, sometime in the morning is when you are most in-tune with what your body needs, but just do a few poses...whatever feels right. I would encourage you to practice in your pajamas for convenience, style and comfort. If you already exercise or practice yoga regularly, use this 7 day challenge to work on the spiritual and emotional aspect of it. Don't allow your practice to become another thing to check off your To-Do list or a sequence of meaningless poses.
Some ideas for the daily challenge: Neck rolls and shoulder/arm circles in Mountain or Easy Seated Pose, Forward Fold, Ragdoll, Cat/Cow, Child's Pose, Threaded Needle and Down Dog. Sometimes, that's all I want, need or have time for, but if you feel up to it, move into some controlled vinyasas (Sun Salutations).
Move slowly and allow time to deepen and breathe into each pose. Along with a strong ujjayi breath (read more about that here), yoga will jump-start your day, loosen tight muscles and get some blood flowing, in turn releasing endorphins, calming the central nervous system, slowing the heart rate, boosting your mood, strengthening the diaphragm and allowing you to better cope with stress throughout your crappy week. PLUS, you get a 15 bonus minutes in your pajamas. ;)
Email or comment to let me know if you're planning to give this a whirl or if you have any questions. Or if you'd rather have no accountability, let me know how it went once you're done!