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During the holidays, my carefully laid out yoga practice took on a new shape. I found myself standing on my mat with all good intentions of a full yoga practice. Then the baby woke up, the doorbell rang, and company needed help in the kitchen. The holidays thwarted my usual yoga time. Rather than fight the ever-present holiday rhythm, I began a new practice of going with the holiday flow.

 The ability to return to our established healthy routines is what allows us to ride life’s ups and downs with grace and ease.

It was time to practice flexibility. I began looking for times to practice yoga that fit into the hustle and bustle happening around me. I tried not to get frustrated with the new routine. Most importantly, I held onto the practices; just let them take a slightly different shape than my usual routine. This kind of flexibility can be helpful when our circumstances change, and until we can find our way back.

We all have disruptions to our schedule and it takes a little creative endurance to manage our own needs in the midst of those changes. What I find most exhilarating is how I can accommodate what is arising in the moment around me with my own needs. After all, isn’t that part of what we are all training for in our yoga practice anyway? To be able to “go with the flow” without losing ourselves in the process. In other words, adapting to what is needed in the moment.

Being mindful and present in this moment helps us bridge our deeper practices with what is arising in the here and now. This practice of being mindful in each moment is also strengthened by a daily yoga practice.

We create a reservoir when we practice yoga daily. It’s like putting money in the bank and when we need it, it’s there for us. In the same way, we can do this with our yoga practices so they continue to protect our health and well-being. We build our strength and nourish ourselves each day we come to our mat. Over time we build the strength we need to weather any storms that may come our way. During the times when we can’t be as diligent with our practices, we have our reservoir

This doesn’t mean we throw away our practices when our lives are disruptive, but it means we search for ways to adapt and include practice even if it doesn’t look exactly the way we want it to.

What’s most important is how quickly we come back once the storm has passed. The ability to return to our established healthy routines is what allows us to ride life’s ups and downs with a sense of grace and ease.

  • Here are some tips for coming back to the mat:
  • Be compassionate with yourself. A bumpy ride is part of life’s ups and downs.
  • Try not to throw your practices away in times of stress. Rather let it take on a new shape that might be more supportive.
  • When the disruption passes, go back to your regular time and place and let your practices fill you with vitality and energy.
  • Remember that practice isn’t always a straight line that leads us to an end, but rather a curvy adventure that can deliver us back to ourselves.

How do you re-established your yoga routine when you find yourself off track?

Contributed by

Susi Amendola
Stress Management Specialist

What have you done to remind yourself of the things that have meaning for you?

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