Updated: Feb 25
How yoga teaches you to give yourself grace
Sometimes I feel like I don’t take the best care of myself. Actually, a lot of the time. Not because I’m deliberately trying to sabotage my health or wellness, but because I’m not fully prepared or I’m just so overwhelmed with responsibilities. Life can be a freakin’ gongshow sometimes and that’s why I give myself grace as much as I can.
When I’m feeling crappy about how I’m managing my lifestyle, I bring myself back to living in awareness, just as I do when I’m on my yoga mat.
“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”
- Abraham Maslow
It’s not that I don’t truly want to eat well, sleep more, drink less alcohol or enjoy less screen time. It’s just that sometimes there’s so much happening that it’s nearly impossible to stay on top of everything. If I’m just winging it and not bringing awareness into my life as much as possible, everything can and will fall apart!
For instance, I’m aware that if I don’t make batch or two of soup or stew to “live off of” while my husband is away for work, I’ll either starve or live off easy to access foods like toast and cereal while he’s away. It happens to me every single time! I don’t like cooking for myself when he’s away, and my kids are PICKY so I’m already catering to their finicky palettes. If I don’t make time to prepare my food ahead of time, the quality of my diet suffers.
Another element that has my full awareness is my inability to go to bed at a decent time. No matter what, I always want to stay up late. Even if I’m tired! I know it’s because I spend my days running around like a crazy person driving my kids around, working and keeping everyone clean, fed and happy. My kids are still young (3 & 6) and they definitely keep me busy. Being a mom is freakin’ awesome, although I still sometimes reminisce on the days I could sleep until noon and then stay in my PJs all day watching Netflix. I miss sleeping in so much!
I don’t normally get a second to myself until the kids are in bed sleeping and you better believe I’m going to enjoy that time to myself. Problem is, that time always seems to be on 10x speed and before I know it, the clock is nearing midnight and I’m still up. This is also when I’ll enjoy some wine and sometimes I’ll overdo it and have have more than I would like. Although at the time it seems like a great idea. Then, I wake up grumpy and tired.
Then there are the screens. I feel lucky enough to work from home and I spend much of my time during the day using my computer and phone to work. I work for Happy Jack Yoga, have my own business and do some contract work on the side building online courses. I keep my work schedule pretty full even though my personal life keeps me busy enough! I love what I do and I’m very motivated to do it. Sometimes this is exactly how I’ll spend my evenings. I’ll work on projects up until bedtime (usually later) and don’t give myself a break from the screens all day.
The key is that I’m AWARE that I do all of these things that I would prefer I didn’t do as much! I give myself permission to do these things anyway because of the awareness. My awareness allows me to assess my current situation so I can help restore the balance. If I’m up late, then you better believe I’ll make sure I head to bed early the next night.
Having awareness about where I’m at isn’t so that I can “feel bad” about my choices or praise my good work when everything actually does go to plan. The awareness is there so I can learn about myself.
How to bring in more awareness:
Stop what you’re doing and take 3 deep breaths
Check in with your emotions
Notice your reactions throughout the day
Gauge your stress levels
Write down your goals/wins
Here’s what I learn when I bring awareness into my life:
What’s working well for me
What isn’t working
How I feel when I plan ahead
How I feel when I don’t
What I actually need in any given moment
When it’s time for a break
What a BADASS I actually am
Remember, you can beat yourself up all day long about everything you should have done, or you can bring in some awareness and recognize that you are killing’ it! Give yourself some grace. No one’s perfect, and we’re all just doing our best.
Yoga is a great way to learn how to tune in and cultivate awareness within yourself. The physical practice of yoga teaches you to meet yourself where you are, breathe through the discomfort, and accept yourself as you are in that moment. The practice of awareness can then be brought off or your mat and into your daily life.
Do some BADASS YOGA with me this week and work your core in a really fun standing flow!
This week's class sequence is listed at the end of this blog post!
EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE is one of my favourite poses for opening up the entire side of the body.
Get yourself familiarized with EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE and then practice with me to the BADASS YOGA: STANDING CORE SEQUENCE either Live this Thursday or on demand in the FREE VIDEO LIBRARY after the class airs live.
BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom for 15 minutes!
ASANA LAB: EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE
- Increases energy and stamina while building internal heat.
- High blood pressure
- Neck injury or pain - Instead of turning your head to look forward over your front
hand, look straight ahead
- Knee injury
Getting Into the Pose:
1. From Warrior II, press your heels into the mat to activate the chains of muscles in
2. Remember to keep your core active, neutral pelvis.
3. Bend the elbow of the arm that's forward and place your elbow on your thigh. Stack
4. Reach your upper arm forward with your palm facing the floor. Find length from your
back heel all the way to the tips of your fingers opening up the entire side body.
Alternatives & Options:
- Bring your legs closer together and bend into your front thigh less.
- Don't look at your fingertips if your neck is fragile. Look down instead.
- Place a block on the floor inside your front foot for your hand to rest on it.
- Deepen the pose by bringing your lower hand all the way to the floor or to a block.
- Take a bind: upper hand comes behind you, lower hand comes under the thigh to
clasp fingers together.
- Bird of paradise
Coming Out of the Pose:
- On an inhale, press into your feet, engage your core and rise back up into Warrior II.
- Or, on an exhale, bring your hands to the mat.
- Strengthens upper back, legs, and arms
- Stretches groins, hips, inner thighs and chest muscles, while lengthening spinal and
Recommended Hold Times:
- 1-5 breaths
Other Names for this Pose:
- Utthita Parsvakonasana
- Side Angle
- Bent Knee Triangle
- Virabhadra Konasana / Warrior Angle
BADASS YOGA: STANDING CORE FLOW
Practice this sequence with me LIVE on Thursday February 17th at 8pm ET
Knees to Chest
Reclined Bird Dog
1/2 Sun A x3
Sun Salutation B
Warrior II - Side Crunch - FLOW
Peaceful Warrior - Extended Side Angle - FLOW
High Boat - Low Boat
Knees to chest
Check out my FREE VIDEO LIBRARY for more BADASS YOGA classes!
BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom and uploaded to my website video library afterward!