This week is full of reminders of Valentine’s Day, which can have mixed feelings for many of us. Regardless of your relationship status, it’s always a good idea to spend some time building your self-love. We can’t pour from an empty cup, so fill your cup with kindness and love. Feeling great? Spread the love to friends and loved ones. 🥰 Drop a comment below and let us know... what’s one thing you love about yourself?
If you’re in the US, chances are you had a lot of snow over the weekend! I like to surround myself with cozy things when it snows, so today’s Mindful Monday plays into that. Brew a cup of tea and make it a game to see how many different things you can sense. The sound of the water bubbling, the colors of the tea leaves, the steam caressing your face, how the mug feels in your hand, etc. Prefer coffee or a smoothie for your morning? That works too! Just be present and soak up all the nourishing feelings!
Be curious about the voice of another person today. Is their voice gentle or harsh? Unsure or confident? Fast or slow? Melodic or monotone? What feelings does their voice create in you?
When world events get chaotic, it can be easy to detach from our bodies. Grounding to your physical body can help you feel calmer. So take a few moments today to actively connect with your body with this exercise.
Happy Mindful Monday, Phoenixes! This exercise will help stretch out your torso, and specifically your ribs, so you can take even more expansive breaths. If you've been doing a lot of sitting for Zoom meetings, or over-indulging in holiday treats, you will find this stretch particularly helpful!
If you have a yoga mat and pillow available, I recommend using them for this exercise. As with all movement exercises, only do what is comfortable for your body, and follow any recommendations by your physician.
- Lie down, and get comfortable.
- Take a long breath in through the nose, expanding the belly and then the ribs. Hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale completely, releasing as much air as possible. Repeat a few more times.
- As much as your body allows, bring your knees up to your chest and wrap your arms around them, rocking side to side a few times.
- Stretch your arms out to the sides, palms up, and gently drop your knees to the right, keeping both shoulder blades touching the floor.
- Relax into this stretch, breathing naturally. Gently massage your ribs on the left side, to help your body open and relax.
- When you feel ready, bring your left arm straight up by your ear, deepening the stretch.
- After a few breaths in this position, gently return your body to neutral on your back. Notice if your breathing feels different on one side of the body than the other. Repeat the stretch on the other side.
The holidays can leave us feeling frazzled, stressed-out, and feeling guilty. 2020 has been a stressful year already, so make sure you're taking time for self-care this season... even if you literally need to schedule it!
Don't let the "Should" Monster guilt-trip you into comparing or over-extending yourself. (Even if that means ignoring this list because it doesn't resonate with you!) No matter what holiday you celebrate, winter is a season of rest, of peace, and of grace. Allow yourself to soak up all of that healing. 🥰
The new moon is a fresh start... a great time for setting intentions for the upcoming month. 🌚 Intentions are goals you intend to work toward.
We recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym when setting goals: Specific (don’t be vague), Measurable (have an objective way to measure whether you’ve achieved the goal), Accessible (is it reasonably possible?), Relevant (is it something that makes sense for you, and lines up with your overall purpose?), and Time-based (when would you like to accomplish this goal by?).
You can write new intentions each month with the new moon, and celebrate progress on them with the full moon! But any timing that makes sense for you is fine. If you keep them in a journal, you can look back on your how your life is changing over time. Set aside at least 10 minutes for this activity. You’re welcome to play music in the background if it helps set the mood!
Interested in more information on how you can use the phases of the moon as a guideline to plan and flow through your life more intuitively? Stay tuned for information on our Lunae class, coming soon!
We live in a society that puts value on striving, achieving, and working ourselves to exhaustion. But maintaining that pace can lead to burnout and worsen health issues like chronic pain and anxiety.
Rest is an important part of a healthy lifestyle... and no, we're not just talking about the physical rest you get when sleep at night (when you CAN sleep... we see you, night owls!). Also give yourself a break from audio and visual stressors like clutter and notifications.
Make time in your day to consciously rest. Even if you can only take a few minutes here and there, you'll find yourself feeling calmer and more positive when you do! What are your favorite ways to rest?
Happy Mindful Monday, Phoenixes! This is a great week to celebrate! All too often, we're so focused on the next goal or project that we don't take time to celebrate what we've accomplished so far. The Full Moon is all about taking time to be grateful for the wonderful things in our lives. 🌝 Did you conquer a new nemesis move? See improvement in your flexibility? Feel more in-touch with your body as you danced? Take your first class with us? Drop a comment below and we'll celebrate with you! 🥳
I highly recommend keeping a gratitude journal. Whether you write in it daily, weekly, or monthly, it's nice to look back at all the things you have to be grateful for. If you don't have one, grab a piece of paper and pen for this week's exercise.
Full Moon Gratitude exercise:
- Write down everything you can think of to celebrate or be grateful for!
- These can be large things like your home or a promotion, or small things like the way the sunlight warmed your face today.
Interested in learning more about how you can use the cycles of the moon to feel more balanced and find your flow in life? Stay tuned for info our our new Lunae classes, coming this January!
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Happy Mindful Monday, Phoenixes! This week we'll be focusing on breath-work. When you're stressed out, you tend to take quick, shallow breaths. This affects your nervous system, your emotions, and how well your brain functions. Do this breath-work activity to help slow things down so you can feel calmer and more focused.
Listen to your body... if you feel light-headed, take a break! If you are a person who meditates or prays, I recommend spending a few moments in stillness after this activity... enjoy the peaceful environment you've created within!
Breath-work exercise: Straw Breathing
Jenni O'Connor is the main blog author, and is the owner of Studio Phoenix, and one of its Senior Instructors. Learn more about her here. We will also feature blog posts by various guest authors!