Self-care and compassion are the foundation of yoga. The better we treat ourselves, the healthier we become physically. Our mindset becomes more clear, and our intention in life can be more focused.
The ripple effect of this is that people close to us see our vibrance and begin to consider living by similar routines and rituals, thereby improving their own health, wellness, and clarity. It stands to reason, then, that creating wellness habits and recovery routines for yourself is good for you and your loved ones.
However, this can be very challenging to practice if we have had a rough day! Luckily yoga addresses that in the practice of recognizing our own abundance. And this is a wonderful place to begin those blissful recovery routines.
Yogiraj Achala said, “What are you not seeing because you are seeing what you are seeing?” Simply put, if we continue to focus on the “hard day” behind us, without improving away from it, or releasing it, then we will miss all the things that are around us to be grateful for… we will miss our own abundance.
Try these routines to add a little bliss and abundance to your end-of-day recovery process.
Put Your Day Down
- Make a list: Write down everything that is on your mind, then put it somewhere that you cannot see it. If you will need to see it tomorrow then put it somewhere you will definitely go in the morning, like your underwear drawer or wallet.
- Take a walk outside: Even if you don’t have a dog, “walk the dog.” Being outside is a powerful tool – how many of us feel an immense stress relief when we go into nature?! This walking meditation quickly clears the mind.
If it’s raining, even better! Let the weather wash your day away, or splash around in rain boots. Live on a busy street? Great, becoming aware that there is a whole world out there can help us to regain perspective and leave our own troubles behind.
- Shower: Literally clean the day off yourself. Perhaps create a self-care ritual within the shower itself. Use your favorite sponge, shower gel, facial cleanser or body lotion. Make it a luxurious detoxification process.
- Eat a balanced meal: And be seated at a table. Even if you’re alone. Eating at a table has a different kind of self-care vibe about it. If you don’t have a table simply decorate your desk or coffee table as if it is a kitchen table: napkins, vase, placemat, water glass...
- Sit and relax: Grab a book and a cup of herbal tea. If you are usually a TV watcher, definitely try this. It engages your brain more than TV does so it liberates your mind from the rough day rather than numbing it.
- Set an intention: Light a candle and write an intention for tomorrow. Write how you want the new day to feel and look. Avoid writing about work – stick to how you want to personally move through your life tomorrow. Then write down three things that felt good about today, and three things you are grateful for in life or today.
A Yoga Practice For Release and Bliss
Image credit: Sanàa Jaman
- Yin Yoga: This type of practice is a great way to release the day. If you don’t have time to catch an evening class or you generally practice in the morning, then add in 4–5 floor postures before bed. Use long holds so you can truly reap the benefits of the yin yoga practice (3 minutes is average in a yin yoga practice).
Try this 20-minute practice and use as many pillows and blocks (or books) as you can get your hands on :
- Lizard Pose, to release any frustrations or emotions lingering in the deep pockets of your hips
- Pigeon Pose, to stretch out your lower back
- Seated Fold, to dig into your lower back even more and stretch out those hamstrings
- Reclined Twist, because twisting is often associated with detoxification in Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine.
- Legs Up The Wall, to calm the parasympathetic nervous system and remove that fight-or-flight stress response from your day.
- And of course, Savasana.
Doing one or all of these recovery routines will help reclaim the evening as yours after a long day, and will help you feel more contentment and less exhaustion. You are simply readying your body and mind for a restful night and a happy life.
Image credit: Sanàa Jaman