I've written a lot (a lot - I know) lately about how I've struggled to find a steady practice on my own. Whether it's just not wanting to give my brain a chance to quiet, becoming frustrated that it just won't, or dealing with finding the time to fit it in, I've bounced back and forth quite a bit.
One thing that's also been an issue is that I know I'll do better in a seated meditation if I've done something physical beforehand. That could be breathing techniques (pranayama) or, ideally, some more physical practice along with that.
I've finally identified the big issue with finding a full daily practice that suits me:
I don't need to be doing anymore yoga poses than I already am.
Some days, like yesterday, I'll teach as many as 7 kids classes. On Saturdays I teach 3 prenatal classes. Fridays are a wild card - one mom & baby class, one toddler class, Storytime yoga (basically to toddlers), and a teen yoga class. Not to mention all the extra subbing in between.
I wouldn't be serving my wrists or my shoulders to do yet another downdog, no matter how mindfully and properly I do it. My knees and my hips don't really need another baddha konasana.
What I'm seeking - and I'm asking your help, please, readers! - is some kind of physical practice to help ground me in the mornings and/or the evenings.
I've started brainstorming and have so far come up with three ideas - I'm on the hunt for more!
First and foremost - I must incorporate more foam rolling into my life! As a runner, it's non-negotiable. The miles are going to continue to creep up as the marathon edges closer, and I promised myself (and Marc) that I would stay super vigilant about taking care of myself and preventing injury. Foam rolling - which is a self massage/myofacial release - is an essential partner to stretching for any runner's self-care.
Second, I've recently learned about something called Brain Gym from my boss Shari, Karma Kids Yoga's Founder & Director. She's taking courses to learn more about Brain Gym (an educational kinesiology program) and how to share it with kids, and she shared with me their concept of "Pacing" in the mornings to help bring calm and focus. It's great, and one of the things about it that's so nice is that it's a very short series of exercises that I can squeeze on the busiest (or laziest!) of mornings.
Third, I've been thinking of some kind of program revolving around joint mobility/warming up. I'll be taking my dear friend Catherine's Zen Flow yoga class tomorrow night at my local yoga studio, The Giving Tree, and her Zenyasa class always incorporates a sequence of joint mobility. Perhaps I should take notes!
I'm still on the hunt for more ideas, or for a good way to incorporate all of this into a consistent daily practice. I'm open to suggestions and eager to hear what your morning routine is - even if it just consists of coffee, pastries, and the paper!