Two Things. One, my blog is currently under construction, so this is just a temporary format! I’m not the best with this kind of blogging technology, shocking seeing as I minored in Information Systems and I work at a tech company… Secondly, I haven’t posted in a while due to work and personal conflicts, however I’m backkk and ready to take on the holiday season! One thing I find very important come the holiday season is finding that time to just relax and de-stress yourself. I know that personally, little things like driving today to work and getting stuck in an hour and a half of traffic is not something I enjoy, at all. To be honest, I’d rather be doing anything then being stuck in traffic. Why? Because my stress levels tend to shoot through the roof and my road rage gets the best of me. Indeed I have no patience when it comes to traffic and actually most things for that matter. Plus, if today’s traffic was bad, I can ONLY imagine how much worse it will get as the snow storms increase into the wintery months of January and February. Anyway, where am I going with this you may be wondering…well, recently, I’ve been really into doing quick 10-15 minute yoga sessions in my room at night before I go to bed.
In my bedroom, I find just enough space to set up my very pink, PB teen yoga mat. Yes, I made this purchase like 5 years ago because I was “into” yoga for like a day and I thought the mat color was cute. Once you got the yoga mat down, the additional “accessories” are a must have in my opinion in order to create that special place of “Zen” for you. What does this entail…?
Well, personally I find it incredibly relaxing to have a few candles lit in my room. Something about the smell and the atmosphere established by the candles instantly calm me. If you need suggestions for candles, you can never go wrong with the season Yankee candle scents. However, I LOVE the Anthropologie candles. I have the Capri Blue Mercury Glass Jar Candle and the Good Nature Holiday Candle Cranberry Spice Scent; both give off AMAZING aromas and will always put you in fabulous mood!
The third tip to creating your special space of Zen is by finding the perfect 8tracks playlist. If you don’t know what 8tracks is, look into it! It’s like Pandora except without any commercials! Recently, I’ve been really into doing yoga to upbeat, modern Christmas music or I’ve been listening to some good indie folk music as well. Sounds strange to do yoga to, but it’s actually just what I need to end my day.
The fourth tip I have for you is to make sure it’s nice, warm, and cozy in your room! I always make sure to have the heat set around 70 degrees. This is my ideal temp for doing some yoga and I’m just nearly breaking a sweat by the end of quick nighttime session.
The fifth tip I have for you is to find time to decorate your room with some Christmas lights. The lighting is another critical factor to finding your “happy, peaceful place”. For me, the candles and the string of xmas lights draped over my bed is just enough to create the perfect lighting for my room. You definitely don’t want bright lights for your nighttime yoga! Or my other suggestion would be to invest a super cool lava lamp…BUT that’s just my personal opinion! Since when did those go out of style anyway??
Tip number six I have is to make sure your room is clutter-free! Having a clean space to do yoga in makes all the difference! If you decide to do your yoga session in a messy space, then that just defeats the purpose of attempting to de-stress yourself! Messy spaces, at least for me, lead to stress, anxiety, and even discomfort. So take the extra 15 minutes to make your bed, hang your clothes, and organize your bureau, it WILL be worth it!
Tip number seven is a pretty obvious one, BUT make sure you’re wearing comfortable attire! What you wear can also lead to either creating a stress-free zone, or it can lead to the complete opposite effect! I’ll usually wear some lose shorts and a sports bra or tank top given my typically warm room. I feel like I can breathe in this clothing and plus, my doors closed, so I can wear whatever the heck I want and not feel uncomfortable being dressed half naked!
My eighth and last tip for you is to wait about an hour or so after you eat dinner, then brew yourself a cup of caffeine-FREE tea. My suggestion would be to invest in some chamomile (they have a variety of yummy flavors like vanilla and caramel!) or try some of the seasonal flavors that are out! Tea helps to relax the mind and body before going to bed. I typically eat dinner around 6/6:30, dessert around 7/7:30 (can’t forget this meal!!), then have my tea around 8/8:30, then I’ll be yoga session no later than 9, then I’ll get ready to go to bed! This routine tends to work out perfectly for me, but everyone has their own ways of doing things, so find out what works best for you! It may even work better to do your yoga in the AM given your schedule, so again, try out what works best for you, then make it a habit!
Lastly, my yoga routines at night typically tend to be a lot of stretching that I try to incorporate through a number of sun salutations that I try and switch up every now and then. I also have been trying to perfect my backward bridges, and I’ve finally succeeding in holding myself up in a headstand…so I’ve made those a standard part of my routine as well! Additionally, I like to do a variety of warrior poses, tree poses, triangle poses, cat and dog stretches, child’s pose, Camel pose, Boat pose, and Bow pose (the last few are great for digestion, especially before going to bed)! I’m not a certified yoga instructor by any means, I’ve only been to my fair share of yoga classes, but keeping it simple and following some youtube videos online, I’ve found what works best for me and I’m happy with what I’m able to do! I already feel my flexibility improving and my stress levels have gone down (by a slight bit….BUT, hey! I’m getting there).