Who’s ready for some sunrise yoga?
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like yoga. I respect yoga and strongly believe that it should be incorporated into every active person’s weekly workout schedule because I recognize its value. But there is no way I am getting up at the crack of dawn for some downward-facing dog.
One of my favorite things about yoga is the saying, “start where you are.” That phrase alone gives me the courage to step on that mat.
It reminds me to be kind to myself. To be a little less judgemental when it feels like I’m not getting a pose right.
I can say that phrase in my mind and regain focus in my practice and be more fully present. What I mean by “be more fully present” is to not get trapped or distracted by my thoughts and instead to focus on enjoying the yoga poses with a sense of openness and acceptance.
Definitely easier said than done.
Start where you aregreat yoga gurus everywhere
A great way to wind down after a stressful day is to do some relaxation yoga. Even if you only have five minutes before you head to bed or before dinner, it’s worth it.
Instead of giving you particular relaxation yoga poses to perform, what I want to share with you are some important ways you can control the environment in which you practice yoga at home to increase your sense of calm, ease stress and feel more relaxed.
Sound good? Let’s get started.
I will also show you how I transformed my garage gym into a mini yoga studio to create a more relaxing and calming space. But you don’t need a garage gym to practice relaxation yoga. Any place you feel comfortable rolling out your yoga mat will do.
Here are some tips on how to create a relaxing atmosphere
- wear comfortable clothes
- light scented candles
- set the temperature to whatever comfortable means to you
- dim the lights
- listen to soothing music
- start with a sip of warm chamomile tea
Engage the five senses
Choose to wear something that allows you to move freely. Pick a fabric that feels soft or a heavy sweatshirt that keeps you warm.
Wear something different than what you were wearing previously during the day. Even if that means keeping on all your work clothes, but removing your shoes and wearing sticky socks.
If this becomes a regular practice you may find that you start to associate those socks with calmness and yoga.
Adjust the temperature in the room. You can do this by opening a window, adjusting your thermastat, starting a fire in your fireplace or simply put on some long underwear. Get creative!
Some people run hot, others run cold – the more you repeat this practice the faster you’ll find what the most relaxation-inducing temperature is for you.
Dim the lighting in the room. You may be tempted to shut off all the lights, but make sure there is enough light so you can navigate your surroundings!
To add a bit of light you can use candles, or a strategically placed night light, or a light with a dimmer switch.
Consider using a scented candle during your relaxation yoga practice. Candles are great for controlling the brightness in a space, but you’ll also receive the added benefit of aromatherapy by choosing a scent that helps you relax.
Lavender and vanilla are two of many options that can help aid in stress relief and bring us a sense of calm.
Truth be told I’ve never been part of a yoga class that included music. But that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate it into your home yoga practice. You do you.
Take some time to find or create a playlist of classical music, sounds of nature, or any particular artist that soothes you.
You may discover that what you thought would be calming and relaxing when you were searching for the music does not in fact bring you a sense of calm during your yoga practice. Don’t be discouraged. Next time try something different.
Set the volume low and you’re good to go.
To really engage all the senses, you can plan to have a warm sip of chamomile tea before your practice (or after, or both!) to aid in reaching the perfect state of relaxation for you.
Take a look at how I transformed my garage gym into a yoga studio for one
Here are all the supplies I used:
- space heater
- vanilla scented candles
- yoga mat
- small speaker & phone (you can also use a radio)
- two empty storage containers
Hopefully something I mentioned here resonated with you and made you want to experience what it would be like to try practicing yoga in a more relaxing atmosphere.