Self-Care

Revisiting Gratitude & Rag-doll Pose

It is officially spring! At least, according to my calendar. I am not sure that the midWest has quite gotten the memo yet, but we’re working on it. I am super excited to start some seedlings and get some new flowers in our yard. They really beautify the outdoors and give me all the happy feelings.

After finally taking a vacation– something I haven’t done in years– I have been trying to prioritize my self-care routine again, as well as spend more time with the people around me. I sound like a broken record, I know. But here is the truth. We try our best. Every day, right?? However, as deadlines approach and the workload seems to get bigger and bigger, we often let these two things fall by the wayside. And truly, they are probably THE MOST IMPORTANT to keep on board.

In the two weeks before we left for vacation I was insane. I was doing schoolwork from the moment I woke up until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. My brain hurt and I was tired all the time. I was cranky, unhappy and no fun to be around. I felt disconnected from my husband, my family and my friends. I cried, I lost patience quickly and I found myself annoyed by the most silly things. I felt more and more pressure to “do it all”.  I simply, did not feel like myself. I didn’t feel good or happy.

On vacation this all changed. I got new perspective. And I hope I can hold on to that perspective. Spending time with my husband and our dogs is incredibly important to me, and it is important for our relationship. I remember the days before I went back to school when we spent each night making dinner together and taking the dogs for a walk. We’d read before bed every night too. Priorities and what we focus on do change over time, but I am missing simple things such as these. So, I am trying to find my best balance of them.

I didn’t do great with the gratitude challenge I started in February, so I am trying again. Starting today. As well as meditation. If at first you don’t succeed, try again, right?

YOGA POSE OF THE WEEK: RAG-DOLL or UTTANASANA

I really enjoy this pose, especially early in the morning. It quietly wakes up my leg muscles and gets the blood flowing. And, it does so in a way that I didn’t even know I needed before I started.

This pose will:

  • Release tension and stretch the back of the neck and low back
  • Stretch the hamstrings
  • Reset your mind and mood

It is a light inversion that gets blood flowing back to your brain, giving you a moment to pause and reset.

 

  • Simply stand with feet a little wider than hip with, deeply bend the knees and fold forward at the hips.
  • Depending on your flexibility level, you may be able to straighten the legs to get a deeper stretch in the hamstrings, but take it slow.
  • Hold opposite elbows with your hands and just let your upper body release into the pose. This includes your neck. Release all tension by shaking your head yes and no.
  • The deeper the bend, the more of a release you will feel in the low back.
  • Take at least 5-10 deep breaths in this pose, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • Stand up slowly when you are finished.

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