Prioritizing Practice During Busy Times

Mary Beth Markus

One of my students, working in the legal field, is attending her third Intro to Yoga course and is determined that, “this time it’s going to stick”. She said, “I really let my health take a back seat to my career, but lately, my body is telling me I had better do something before I get sick”.

She described her symptoms as exhaustion, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, shoulder and neck tension, and the inability to concentrate. (…does any of this sound familiar to you)? She also admitted that when she used to have a regular yoga practice, she felt So…Much…Better!

Making time for yoga had given her:

  • More Energy
  • Better Sleep
  • Feeling of Being Rested
  • Positive Attitude
  • Enthusiasm for Life

We all get to places in our busy lives where we lose sight of our practice and allow life stresses and responsibilities to creep in and take over.

As we cruise into a busy year-end and holiday season, why not create a wellness, self-care schedule for yourself. Every year, we say that “next year is going to be different.” Let’s own that and get a jump on this goal by creating a healthy game plan.

Routine and ritual keep us healthy and balanced during stressful times.

Twelve ideas for “holiday stress relief” to feel great and stay present:

  1. Schedule time for your practices – get them on your calendar like any other appointment. Let Desert Song be your stress-relief valve. You will thank yourself later for planning ahead.
  1. Commit to at least one yoga, tai chi, meditation, or Pilates class per week. If it’s in your schedule, you will do it. 2 classes per week will offer twice the benefits. Your practice becomes a personal touchstone to sanity and peace of mind.
  1. Book a Massage. It will give you something to look forward to, and, when family is in town, a massage will provide some welcomed “Guest Relief”. Or, send your family members in for a massage and a little “Travel Relief”.
  1. Attend a Yoga Nidra class. It will help you relax, soothe your sleep patterns and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.
  1. Invite a friend to class before or after shopping.
  1. Plan a calming, relaxing, private class with you and a few of your good friends instead of meeting for coffee, dinner or shopping in crowded spaces.
  1. Move it. Walk every morning or evening for just 30 minutes
  1. Eat and drink with awareness. Take time to reflect on your food and drink traditions. Remember, you can have seasonal foods and drinks any other day of the year-really. Be mindful. Be thoughtful. Savor the treats you choose.
  1. Consider trying a private Ayurvedic session before the holidays set in. Make some healthy lifestyle changes before things get too hectic.
  2. Meditate just 15 minutes a day. If you can’t do 15, light a candle and set an intention to meditate for 5 minutes. It’s a wonderful way to start and end your day.
  1. Be Flexible. Remember, if your normal schedule is in disarray – try a different class. If you know you have an evening engagement, plan to attend an early morning class. Avoid making excuses for missing your practice. You will feel physically refreshed, emotionally available and spiritually restored for having tended to your own needs.
  1. Finally – Be Kind. Be Grateful. Be Patient. Be Forgiving.

We are here for you! Let’s do it together. It will cultivate a peaceful journey through a hectic time.

Blessings of peace and health,

Mary Beth