How's it hanging?
Over the weekend, I got a little bit unintentionally dramatic.
Many of the Nin Yoga teachers and I went out for dinner for Indian food (Masala Kitchen at Neapean River because we are fancy and sometimes we like gin).
It was Saturday night, and if you had found some of us over a decade ago, we would probably have located some sort of a dance floor. Instead, we hunted down some hot chai at 8 p.m. (harder than you think) and found a solid spot to sit next to at the river.
For nine of us, that's the floor #standardyogateacherthings
After removing a massive splinter from the knee and spilling chai on my favorite skirt, we did what any gathering of yoga teachers would do.
A sharing circle.
Just speaking for myself, small talk can be tricky...
Talking about feelings, however? Bring it on.
It was simple. Share something you are grateful for from 2023 and your intention for 2024.
I loved deeply listening to these because I always learn something new about someone I care about.
When It was my turn, I spoke about how I learned a lot in 2023, but now I feel pressured to implement it all at once.
I spoke about how I finally learned to focus, but that focus also made me anxious.
After a solid amount of time word vomiting about the things, I felt a vulnerability hangover coming on and immediately wished I hadn't started on the subject. Lucky for me, however, I trusted everyone in front of me.
So, considering there are 11 more days till the Australia Yoga and Wellness Festival (can I get any more product placementy?), below are 11 ways to overcome that feeling of 'when your stomach is going to come out of your chest':
I've been listening to kids' bedtime stories every night as requested by my daughter, and for the past four nights, she has requested this same one called "Hectors Exploding Head". It talks about how breathing deeply helps us to focus on the action of our inhalation and exhalation, which in turn slows down our brain and then our heart, which ensures our heads don't burst.
2. Grounded Yoga Poses
You could take a full 60-minute yoga class, but how accessible is that really when you are in the middle of your day?
My favorite is to find a comfy bed or rug and do a child's pose for a realllllly long time. Sometimes, it is a downward-facing dog or a standing forward fold instead, but most of the time, it is a child pose. Keep it simple and accessible for what works with you and helps soothe that nervous system and take what you can get when you need it.
3. Go Outside
It's another wonderful world out there.
4. Mindful Walking
Since I lost my doggos, this has been a little harder for me to do regularly. I instead use the excuse of "Oh, I got to go to the post box" to take a walk.
If you have oils, awesome. If you have ever been to the studios, you know it's incense all the way for us (and nope, we don't burn it during class). Maybe instead it's a candle? Or maybe it's the smell of freshly cooked rice (an actual fav for me personally, makes me think of being a kid!).
6. Digital Detox
Two weeks ago I lost my phone for a day. That ended up being a lovely day.
7. Gratitude Journaling
I used to think this was soooooooo lame, but I love it now too! Be specific: "Today I am grateful for this coffee that my dear friend bought into the office for me and the keep cup she put it in. It's handmade by someone I don't know personally, but it's the perfect size, and I like the glaze".
Coffee is the one-night stand. Tea is who you marry (I hope that is not too inappropriate). My partner likes to call tea "warm salad water". I love that I offer my family a cup of tea every time I make one, including the five-year-old, and they 9/10 times reject me because I drink an above-average amount, but I LOVE TEA. It's also something I like to do when I need a moment away from what I am doing. My favorite teas are all from T2, but they're a bit pricey there, so I've been exploring teas from the organic shop at Nepean Square for half the price. Thank you rising interest rates.
My movement of choice is dance. I remember asking my mum if I could do dancing when I was in primary school and she said no because she was an immigrant from Thailand and dancing for her always related back to something sinister. She did the best with what she knew at the time, but I'm glad I can break the cycle and make up for lost time to Yogabbagabba in my living room.
It's sometimes a cop-out to say "oh, feeling anxious? You should meditate".
Whats does that even mean?
Find out what your version of meditation today means to you. Maybe it is sitting in lotus pose for 20 minutes, bringing awareness to each of your chakras, or maybe instead, it's painting, running, surfing, or playing drums. Find something that is a single-pointed focus. We are in the modern world and get exposed to more information in a day than someone 100 years ago was exposed to their whole life! Find a single pointed focus that works and roll with it.
11. Connect with Others
Other than spending a night with a bunch of beautiful teachers on the weekend, I also taught class on Sunday, and an old friend booked in. One I hadn't seen in years. We are both still ridiculous with each other, and I went home that afternoon in a wonderful mood. It was so nice to see her (and I know she reads this too; thank you for traveling all the way down to St Marys my love!).
With (I assume) most of us heading back into regular life by now, hopefully, some of these are helpful reminders.
Life is a lot. There is a lot going on, and somehow we are meant to fit in 8 hours of sleep and moisturise.
Thank you for continuing to let me share here. I've learnt a lot about myself and about each of you in the process.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who left us a Google Review. We are 3 reviews away from hitting the 50 for our St Marys studio! This will push our studio to the top of the search engine algorithm.
P.P.S Use the code "SELFCARE" for the first months free of our new and improved Online Only membership. Perfect for those who can't get to the studio but want to join us for Zoom classes. That's a saving of $60. Cancel anytime too! Only till the end of Jan.
P.P.P.S If you prefer festival vibes to start your wellness journey and try out classes for a few different studios in the area all in one day, we are also casually organizing a big one on the 3rd of February. Use the code SAVE10 for $10 off the ticket price. I am no pro at dealing with anxiety, but there are a bunch of speakers there on the day that actually are