In my newsletter last week, I sent out a brief Discovery Journal Activity for the New Year (not only my email list yet? Sign up by clicking this link - I promise not to hog too much space in your inbox!). I talked about how the dawn of a new year provides us an opportunity to examine our lives and figure out what's working and what's not. We can then invest more energy into nourishing the things that are currently working.
But what about the things that aren't? What about areas of our lives that leave us dissatisfied?
In any given problematic or unfulfilling situation - whether it be location, job, relationship, finances, weight, whatever - you have three choices.
1. You can leave the situation. 2. You can change the situation.
(Admittedly, the first two can prove difficult in some cases. If your mortgage bill is the problem, you can't exactly say "peace out, house!" or decide to start sending your bank half the usual payment. You can certainly begin to plan your exit strategy, but the situation may remain the same for the time being. Which brings us to option 3:)
3. You can change your thoughts and attitude about the situation.
A recent conversation with a good friend got me thinking. Over the past year, I've had to reframe my thoughts and change my attitude about certain things in my life. Changing my perspective, however, isn't always easy. Like everyone else, I get trapped in my usual mind loops. It's like my typical thinking patterns have created grooves in my brain, and it's far easier to coast in those grooves (that sounds a lot hipper than it actually is) than to reform them.
To change our perspective, we have to think outside the box. We've got to shake things up, turn things around, flip it & reverse it. My favorite way to get out of my head is on the yoga mat.
So, here's a short sequence you can do anytime you need to turn things around and see an old problem in a new light.
New Perspective Sequence
Warm up with some cat and cows, and a few sun salutes.
Come to Downward Facing Dog, and hold for 5-10 long, deep, steady breaths. Downdog is an inversion, so hold and breathe as you literally change your perspective by being upside down.
Step your right foot forward into low lunge. Hug the belly in toward the spine to be sure you're moving from center, then Hop Switch - jump the left foot forward, right foot back into low lunge, opposite side. Do this several more times, moving at your own pace. End up with left foot forward in low lunge.
Walk hands over to the right, and turn all the way around so you end up in low lunge facing the back of your mat, right leg forward. Reach arms overhead for High Crescent Lunge.
Interlace hands at low back and broaden your chest, then bow forward, lifting hips slightly into Humble Lunge. Stay here for 5 breaths. Call to mind what you're ready to offer up. Surrender to a new perspective.
Lift back up into High Lunge, then open hips into Warrior 2. Keep your right knee deeply bent, flip your right palm and Reverse Warrior. Bring your right palm to the chest, and actively lift your heart up into your hand. Keep that lift, and extend the right arm back up to the sky.
Straighten the right leg and reach forward, then down into Triangle. Hold here 5 deep breaths.
Release into Downdog, then breathe through a vinyasa.
Bring your left leg forward into low lunge, then repeat this whole sequence, starting with Hop Switches.
Rest in Child's Pose if needed before hopping to the top of the mat to find Samasthiti, or Mountain Pose with hands together at heart center.
Open wide to the left, facing the long edge of your mat. Interlace hands at low back, engage the legs and forward fold in Padottanasana C.
Release hands to floor. Place right hand directly under face, reach left arm up to ceiling for a twist. Switch sides.
Come to all fours, drop forearms to floor, elbows directly under shoulders. Tuck toes and lift hips for Dolphin Pose. Walk feet towards face. Stay here for as long as you can hold good form and breathe slowly.
Find Child's Pose and close out with a final vinyasa if you choose.
Sit in a cross legged position, palms face up. Set the intention to be open to seeing a new perspective, a new attitude, a new way.
To a new way, Erin xoxo