Manipura Chakra: Core Strength and Personal Power

Welcome to the 3rd installment of our Minimalist Chakra series! Our chakra this month is Manipura or Core Chakra.

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Guiding Question: Do you like yourself?

I know, no easy questions here today. If that question made you uncomfortable and squeamish, there is probably a chance that deep down, you are having some issues with your own personal power and self-esteem. If, on the other hand you shouted “Yes! I love myself! I’m awesome!”, then you probably have no issues with your core. If that’s the case- congrats!

Today’s sequence is designed to help you access your core in a gentle way, to get the blood flowing to your vital organs. When you can access your core, you might find your relationship to the external world becomes a little more clear. Especially given the world events of late, we though it might be a good idea to create a sequence to help access your inner fire.

To warm up, here is a YouTube video of Bhastrika Pranayama, aka, breath of fire, aka bellows breathe to create some inner heat and get your core fiery. If you have never done any sort of yoga breathing exercises before, take your time with this one. You might find you are a little light headed after some bhastrika- this is perfectly normal. When you are done with the belly breath, take a few very deep breaths to settle yourself.

This video has beginner, intermediate, and advanced version of Bhastrika Pranayama- choose the version that feels the most sustainable to you.

Short Version – 20 Minute (ish) Core Awakening Practice

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1) Revolved Marichiyasana 2) Reclined Twist 3) Happy Baby 4) Support Bridge

Detailed Cue Version – 20 Minute(ish) Core Awakening Sequence 

Revolved Marichyasana

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Step 1: From your seated position, extend your right leg out to straight and bend your left knee, planing your foot on the mat.

Step 2: Twisting from your upper chest, turn your collarbone towards your bent knee.

Step 3: Take a deep breath in and lengthen your spine from your sitting bones to the top of your head. Hook your right elbow onto the outside of your knee, or simply grasp the knee with your hand.

Step 4: Take five to 10 deep breaths here, finding a little more space to deepen the twist with every breath.

Step 5: Slowly untwist, extend your left leg and repeat steps 1-5 on the other side.

Reclined Twist

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Props: Bolster or Pillow

Step 1: Roll yourself down on your back. Hug your knees into your chest.

Step 2: Bring the right knee across your body, coming onto your side. Stack your left hip underneath the right.

Step 3: Place a bolster under your bent knee if the floor seems a little faraway today.

Step 4: Place your left hand on the knee and extend your right arm over your head to deepen the side stretch.

Step 5: Breathe into your right side ribs and stay in the twist for 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 6: When ready, slowly roll back onto your back and hug both your knees into your chest. Roll back and forth on your spine for a few breaths.

Step 7: Repeat Steps 2 to 6 on the other side.

Happy Baby

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Step 1: From your hugged knees position, extend your feet towards the ceiling, reaching in between your knees to grab the outer edges of your feet.

Step 2: Rock back and forth if you feel balanced. Or stay still and breath deeply into your hip creases.

Step 3: Stay in this position for as long as is comfortable (anywhere from a couple of breaths to a couple of minutes).

Supported Bridge

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Props: Block or wheel

Note: A nosy cat judging your form is totally optional.

Step 1: From Happy Baby, release your feet and extend your legs out in front of you on the ground. Shake them back and forth and roll them out, if that feels good.

Step 2: Plant both of your feet on the mat a comfortable distance from your hips.

Step 3: Press your feet into the mat and lift your hips off the ground. Place your block or wheel under your hips. You  should feel no pressure or pinching in your low back. If you do, adjust the height and placement of your block until you find a comfortable position.

Step 4: Extend your left leg and left arm to straight (optional) to deepen your front body stretch.

Step 5: Stay here for 2 minutes.

Step 6: When you are reach to switch sides, extend your right arm and leg out to straight to create a long line stretch. Stay here for 2 minutes.

Step 7: Press your feet into the mat, lift your hips off the block and remove the block. Lower yourself down onto your mat.

Step 8: Hug both your knees into your chest and roll your spine our for a few breaths before coming into your final resting position for 3 to 5 minutes.

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Do you feel more connected to your core? If you ever feel unsure of yourself or of a decision you are about to make, come back to this sequence and in particular the Bhastrika Pranayama. I firmly believe that our core always knows the truth and the right thing to do- we just have to be willing to listen.

 

 

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The Unresolution Resolution

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Happy New Year! I hope you are recovering from an evening of New Years Eve debauchery.

This time of year is full of optimistic and ambitious people resolving to change their lives. I am not one of those people. I don’t do resolutions. That’s not how I roll. I also have this problem where as soon as I’m super into something (like a new fitness regime), I pay for it and then immediately lose all interest. My wallet is very tired of this cycle.

I only recently started noticing this pattern. I’ve done it with Headspace, DoYouYoga and a number of courses with Sadie Nardini. All of these things are useful & great but as soon as I switched from a free trial to paid, I completely stopped using them. Every. Single. Time.

I didn’t understand why this was my pattern until last week when I was listening to a Balanced Bites podcast on resolutions. One of the hosts, Diane SanFilippo said “are you setting a goal you don’t want to achieve?”

Tweet: ‘Are you setting a goal you don’t want to achieve?’ – The Unresolution Resolution via @practicallyyoga

Major lightbulb moment people. All of my recent fitness related aspirations (CrossFit, HIIT, PiYo), at the core, were about me wanting to magically become a size 2 with bikini ready abs. And of course, all of these programs failed. And I think its because I don’t actually want to be a size 2. I just want to be me. I just want to do yoga and shut off all the other noise.

As Diane said in the podcast, “we cannot be forced to achieve something we don’t want.”

So, are you making a resolution you don’t actually want to achieve? There is nothing inherently wrong with making resolutions – you just have to realize that January 1 is not the only time you can change your life. Any day is a good day to succeed or fail at changing.

 Tweet: Any day is a good day to succeed or fail at changing. – The Unresolution Resolution via @practicallyyoga

If you do want to make a resolution, really take the time and think about if its something you really want. If your health and fitness is an important goal for you, would saying you are going to lose 50 lbs really make you happy? Or would it be more realistic to say you are going to start going on walks on your lunch break when the weather is nice?

Breaking down your goals into smaller chunks makes it more likely to succeed, and also makes it easier for you to visualize and track. But keep in mind, failing at your goal does not make YOU a failure. You are already perfect, whole and enough as you are -succeeding or failing at your resolution does not change that.

Am I making a resolution for 2017? No. I am choosing to make the healthiest decisions I can every day. And those decisions will be different every day.


Did you make a resolution for this year? Do you do something different altogether? Let us know in the comments!

Til next week,

Bee

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This post also appeared on Tiny Ambitions.

Bye, Felicia. (2016 is Felicia)

I don’t think anyone will object when I say that it really seems like 2016 was a crock of sh*t from start to finish. Was is the objectively the worst year in all of recorded human history? Maybe not. But a lot of people are feeling rightfully dragged through the mud right now. Fortunately I have a platitude on hand for this: Just like the lotus, we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.

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This is a visual representation of us being lotuses rising out of the mud.

Now it’s likely possible that 2017 will be awful, too. But on the precipice of the new year I think we can all take a second to hope for something better for ourselves and for our world. I won’t get too involved looking forward, since Bee will be taking care of that for you on Monday, kicking off the new year (and our new, partially formed and half-baked, upgraded posting schedule) with some truth bombs about resolutions.

Instead, since we just finished hosting a Mundane Gratitude challenge, I’ll take a moment to acknowledge all the things we have that are still alright. Like fairy lights caught in your hair in a darkened yoga studio, parts of 2016 were bearable; sparkling and beautiful, even. Especially if someone was there to laugh at you through them.

At the end of this year we are grateful for our partners, friends, families, and furbabies. We are grateful for sushi, burritos, and sushi burritos. We are grateful to live in a place where we experience all four seasons to their fullest, even when they trap us at home for days. We are grateful for tea. We are grateful for tigers. We are grateful for the internet, which thrills and enrages us in equal measure. We are grateful for yoga, which thrills and enrages us in equal measure. We are grateful for one whole year of Practically Yoga. We are grateful to live in a time where I can complain at length to Bee instantly about anything whenever I want.

We are grateful for anyone who took the time to read this post.

We are grateful for yoga pants and we are grateful for each other.

See you all next year,

Elle

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Mundane Gratitude Roundup: Dec. 19-25

Happy Boxing Day! I hope you are surviving the holidays so far! And that the Boxing Day grounds aren’t making you wish you stayed home to fill your face with delicious baked goods (no judgement people).

Have you been following along with our #MundaneGratitude challenge on Instagram? You definitely should – I promise lots of yoga sarcasm with sprinkles of occasional wisdom and soul searching. And there’s only one week left- so low commitment!

Since we know the world doesn’t revolve around Instagram (no matter how much we wish it did), I wanted to create these roundups every week so the blogosphere can share in our challenge! Here’s week 4! Want to know why Mundane Gratitude matters to us? Read on!

DEC. 19

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Do you have a person in your life who insists that every time your family gets together x-thing has to happen? Depending on who you are you might love these things or you might hate them with the intensity of 1000 suns.

Usually this need to see family traditions upheld is rooted in the desire to make memories and have fun. When I was younger this often took the form of being forced to sing or put on little plays with my cousins. I tried many things to get out of this, including an aggressive goth phase, but nothing ever seemed to work. At least there are no pictures? (as far as I know).

Today’s assignment: Let something go. Whether that’s doing something you really didn’t want to do to make someone happy, or not doing something you wanted to do to make someone happy. Share your own #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you just don’t get your way.

DEC. 20

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That’s weirdly specific, Elle, could this be something you’ve had experience with? Why, yes, dear friends it is. Despite me politely and then less politely asking, people are often unable to resist my dog’s “But where is my turkey?” stare. And honestly I don’t know what the silver lining was except maybe Luna got to eat a lot of ham and I learned to never take my eyes off her at family functions.

What do you do when people around you refuse to accept that you know what is best for you (or your dog). How do you handle people who don’t listen?

Today’s assignment: Make your point. Stand up for yourself (and your pets) and for your physical and mental health. Share your own #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you need calm and confidence.

DEC. 21

gratitude-21Considering the regular crowd that actually follows this instagram, today is an easy one. We are all aware of the turmoil surrounding the “correct” way to greet someone during the holiday season.

But let’s be real: no matter what way someone is wishing you happiness and peace, they’re doing it right and you would frankly have to be a huge tool to not be grateful for it.

Today’s assignment: Don’t be tool. Share your own #MundaneGratitude that you’re not a tool or Mundane Gratitude from a time when you had to deal with someone who was in fact a huge tool.

DEC. 22

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You are standing in the mall, there is one week before Christmas. Suddenly all the people you know and love are a complete mystery to you. Or you need a gift for your last minute office Secret Santa. You don’t know what they do for fun,or if you do know then they already have everything. You ask every deity you’ve ever heard of why you didn’t start shopping sooner and why you didn’t just buy everything on Amazon.

In the reverse situation of our post a few days ago, what do you do when you realize that you have no idea at all what someone might like or find useful?

Today’s assignment: Learn something about someone. Share your own #MundaneGratitude about a lesson learned about a loved one or a stranger; or share how you go about learning about the people around you. My favourite way is to grill them about what their favourite Harry Potter book is.

 

DEC. 23

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Don’t get me wrong I adore my family. But it is a large and far-flung family, and sometimes I don’t get to see my extended relatives for actual years. This can mean explaining to people that I’m now a yoga teacher when the last time I talked to them I was going to be a journalist or veterinarian or a cat.

How do you approach talking to people who feel entitled not only to your life story, but also to critique it? Are you ever that person to someone else?

Today’s assignment: Be proud of yourself. Share something about yourself that you’re proud or grateful for (it could be coming out to your family, it could be that you got your dream job, it could be that you made the bed this morning).

Do any of these situations resonate with you? Share your stories of Mundane Gratitude in the comments!

Till next week,

Elle

 

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One Year of Practically Yoga!

Happy Winter Solstice yoga people! I can’t believe Christmas is in four days… like seriously… I’m pretty sure yesterday was the beginning of September.

Anyway, when I logged into our WordPress account today- it gave us a lovely early Christmas present! Apparently one year ago today we registered Practically Yoga and started our wonderful blogging journey!

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So what did Year One of Practically Yoga look like?

  • 19 posts
  • 1904 views
  • 577 visitors
  • 22 subscribed followers

These might look like small, little numbers. But for us its already more than we could have hoped for. Given that we both work full time, what we’ve been able to accomplish in one year is a success in our books!

Whats up for Practically Yoga in 2017?

More posts!

We want to keep writing about what is going on in our yogi lives, so you can look forward to posts on yoga, sustainability, minimalism, food and everything in between!

This blog is a place for us to express ourselves- so thats exactly what we’re going to do!

Til next time,

Bee

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Mundane Gratitude Roundup: Dec. 12-18

Have you been following along with our #MundaneGratitude challenge on Instagram? You definitely should – I promise lots of yoga sarcasm with sprinkles of occasional wisdom and soul searching.

Since we know the world doesn’t revolve around Instagram (no matter how much we wish it did), I created these roundups every week so the blogosphere can share in our challenge! Here is week 3!

Want to know why Mundane Gratitude matters to us? Read on!

DEC. 12

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Elle and I live in Canada. Which means a lot of snow, for most of the year. It is basically built into our schedule that at some point our plans will be ruined by that beautiful white stuff kids make angels in on your lawn.

How do you react when things don’t go according to plan? Can you deal with your well laid plans being turned upside down?

Today’s assignment: Go with the flow. Share your own stories of winter #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you need to create some heat!

DEC. 13

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Shame, guilt, exhaustion, frustration. These are the hallmark emotions you will feel when you realize you are just so over the holidays. According to our tv’s, social feeds, and family, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year! But what if we just can’t bring ourselves to give a f***?

Today’s assignment: Don’t feel guilty if the holidays just aren’t your thing. You don’t need to internalize your feelings, own them proudly. There is nothing wrong with you if you just can’t stomach another Christmas party or Secret Santa.

Share your own stories of holiday exhaustion or poses/rituals you do when you need a break from the holiday cheer.

DEC. 14

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Are you the odd one out in your family? I know I feel like I am sometimes. You may have vastly different philosophies, perspectives or life values than your family. But can you view those differences as an opportunity to share, and be vulnerable and open? You might learn something new about your family that you never knew before.

Today’s assignment: View difference as an opportunity. Share your own stories of being the family ‘black sheep’ (or red strawberry in this case) or poses/rituals you do when want to cultivate awareness and empathy.

DEC. 15

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Holiday traffic is the worst. All you want to do is stuff your face and take a nap, and instead you are stuck on a highway with thousands of other people who want to do the same thing.

This is a situation where you are literally stuck. You can’t get out of it, you just have to sit there and deal with it. Can you deal with being uncomfortable? It’s not a natural human desire. We never want to be doing things that are not pleasurable. That’s not how our brains our wired. But sometimes there is nothing we can do about it.

Today’s assignment: Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Incorporate asana into your practice that make you want to squirm (pigeon pose anyone?). Share your own stories of uncomfortable #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you want to challenge yourself.

DEC. 16

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This happens to all of us, even (especially) those of us who teach yoga for a living. And we here at Practically Yoga believe that doing things last minute isn’t just a choice, it’s a way of life. So if you’re anything like us it’s possible the last few weeks have been a total sh*t show for you. It’s easy for your practice to get pushed to tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Maybe it’s not just your yoga practice that gets neglected. Lots of things we should be doing because they’re good for us fall by the wayside when we’re busy and stressed. What’s the first thing that gets cut from your self-care when life gets too demanding?

Today’s assignment: Do something for you. Take time out for a practice, meditate, make yourself a cup of tea and pick up a book, just sit down and breathe for a few minutes and then sincerely acknowledge that what you did was worthwhile and productive. Share your own stories of self-care and self-love #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you need to refocus on your own wellbeing.

DEC. 17

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This weekend is the last full shopping weekend before Christmas. Which you all know means lines, and crowds, and stores and radio stations playing non-stop holiday tunes. This can start to wear down even the most devoted holiday fanatics, and if you work in customer service this is one of the worst weekends of the year. I have always found my #MundaneGratitude for situations like this in the Starbucks Holiday Menu.

We all have our different way of dealing with these situations. How do you keep yourself motivated when everything seems an endless annoyance? How do you handle dealing with busy, angry or stressed out people? How do you interact with people when you’re busy, angry or stressed out?.

Today’s assignment: Be nice. Be nice to others, be nice to yourself. Recognize if you’re taking something out on your loved ones or an unsuspecting cashier because you’re stressed and not because they’re doing something wrong. Recognize when someone is taking something out on you because they’re stressed and try to forgive them. Share your own stories of stress and annoyance related #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you need to cool down and put things into perspective.

DEC. 18

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Now there are different levels of this; maybe it’s a Secret Santa from a coworker or maybe it’s a present from a friend or loved one that makes you question whether they’ve actually ever known you at all. And while perhaps it’s should be the thought that counts there are situations where it’s mind boggling that the thought even occurred at all. And for those of us who are already scrooges, we can often us moments like this to validate our Holiday Hate: are we all just buying sh*t for the sake of buying sh*t??

Today’s assignment: Share something about yourself with someone. It doesn’t have to be baring the darkest part of your soul; just anything that will help them know a more complete you. For example: Three years into our relationship, and after three years of receiving Lindt chocolate for every occasion, I finally broke down and told my partner that I actually f*cking hate Lindt chocolate. And you know what? Nothing bad happened, and now I get chocolate that I don’t hate.

Share your own #MundaneGratitude of a personal truth that no one knows or understands or a time you have been blindsided by people’s perceptions of you.

Do any of these situations resonate with you? Share your stories of Mundane Gratitude in the comments!

Till next week,

Bee & Elle

 

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Mundane Gratitude Roundup: Dec. 5-11

Have you been following along with our #MundaneGratitude challenge on Instagram? You definitely should – I promise lots of yoga sarcasm with sprinkles of occasional wisdom and soul searching.

Since we know the world doesn’t revolve around Instagram (no matter how much we wish it did), I wanted to create these roundups every week so the blogosphere can share in our challenge! Here’s week 2!

DEC. 5

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This is a tough one guys. Most of us could stand to be disappointed, but we couldn’t bear it if we disappointed someone else. Especially if that someone was our child (or fur child). Everyone says that the holidays isn’t about the gifts. But lets be honest, if you drop the ball on an important gift- you are going to hear about it.

We show our love through gifts, but do we have to? Maybe the holidays can be an opportunity to explore how to share affection and kindness with your loved ones that don’t involve shiny new ‘things’.

Today’s assignment: Show someone you love them through your actions and words, not through your wallet. Share poses/rituals you do to help cultivate love.

DEC. 6

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My brother and I were brutal to each other growing up, straight up awful sometimes. Does your sibling get on you nerves? We tend to be annoyed by people who are the most like us. They present us with a mirror of ourselves in some way, forcing us to see a negative quality about ourselves that we would rather avoid.

You can either choose to look in the mirror and shatter the crap out of it, or look away and pretend it isn’t there. I think you know which option is the more rewarding one.

Today’s assignment: Think about a quality of a sibling or close friends that rubs you the wrong way -maybe it isn’t really about them. Share your own stories of sibling #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you need to self-reflect.

DEC. 7

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We’ve all been there. You’ve had a long a** day and you just want someone to help you out. Rather than being passive aggressive (which is what I would do), can you stand up for yourself and ask for help? When people around you are being thoughtless, can you be the bigger person and bring up the collective ‘goodness’ level of the room?

Today’s assignment: Show yourself some radical self-care by creating healthy boundaries. You don’t have to do it all. And you shouldn’t be expected to. You’re not Iron Man for goodness sake. 
Share your own stories of selfish #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you need to take care of yourself first.

DEC. 8

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My cat is super adorable. But if she ever knocked over our Christmas tree, I would lose my mind. But what would that actually achieve? Nothing. Except make me feel like an a**hole for taking my frustration out on an adorable cross eyed cat that doesn’t know any better.

The moral of this story is that sometimes things are well and truly beyond our control. This is a scary concept for most people. Giving up control over any part of your life means admitting defeat. But knowing when to throw in the towel, shake your head and laugh it off is a healthier response than trying to exert control when you don’t have any.

Today’s assignment: Can you let your yoga practice lead you? Listen to your body’s cues and don’t force an asana that just isn’t happening today.

Share your own stories of letting go of control or poses/rituals you do when you need to accept something you cannot change.

DEC. 9

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When I first told my family I had started a yoga blog, they laughed in my face and were like WTF? Now, I have never put much stock in what my family thinks- mainly because I really don’t care. But when your family questions the thing that completely changed your life, it makes you start questioning yourself.

Can you remain steadfast in your beliefs when those closest to you don’t understand them? Use this as an opportunity to recommit to your practice and even share your positive experiences with your family.

Todays assignment: remember that your practice is just for you, no one else. Share your own experiences of people questioning your yoga and how you overcame it or poses you do when you need to sink a little deeper into your practice.

DEC. 10

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Growing up, if my mom burnt or otherwise ‘ruined’ a dish for a holiday meal, she chucked the whole thing in the garbage and declared dinner was ruined. On the other hand, the only way we knew dinner was done when my dad was cooking was if all the smoke alarms in the house went off. Oh the memories.

Food holds a tremendous amount of symbolism for most people, especially because most of our holidays in North America revolve around people coming together around a full table to break bread.

Today’s assignment: don’t let one small thing ruin the rest of your day, week, or holiday. Laugh at yourself if something goes awry. If you burn your turkey, order a pizza. If you spill wine on the white rug, tie dye the whole thing.

Share your own stories of kitchen disasters and how you got over them. Share poses/rituals you do when you need to not take yourself so seriously. I personally like to try balance poses that I know I will fall out of – it makes me laugh every time!

DEC. 11

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I actually consider it a personal achievement if I don’t make it to midnight on New Years. I am not one for resolutions so I don’t really understand the appeal. What I do understand is that people like the idea of getting a fresh start every year. December 31 is the day to pick yourself up and dust yourself off from whatever sh** went down that year and prepare yourself for the fresh start of January 1.

But I actually think we get that chance far more often. We get 365 chances at a new start every year. Every day is an opportunity for you to be a different person than you were yesterday.

Today’s assignment: Let go of yesterday, last week, last month. Give yourself the ability to change 365 times a year, not just once a year.

Share your own New Years Eve stories or poses/rituals you do when you want to shake things up.

 

Do any of these situations resonate with you? Share your stories of Mundane Gratitude in the comments!

 

Till next week,

Bee

 

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Mundane Gratitude Roundup: Dec. 1-4

Have you been following along with our #MundaneGratitude challenge on Instagram? You definitely should – I promise lots of yoga sarcasm with sprinkles of occasional wisdom and soul searching.

Since we know the world doesn’t revolve around Instagram (no matter how much we wish it did), I wanted to create these roundups every week so the blogosphere can share in our challenge!

Dec.1

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Picture this: you spend two hours putting up your Christmas decorations and you are feeling pretty proud of yourself. Then, you notice Mr.Smith across the street has basically created a winter wonderland in his front yard. Somehow your one string of lights and slightly deflated Santa just don’t seem good enough. . Silver lining? You won’t spend your entire paycheque on electricity or short fuse the neighbourhood.

Today’s assignment: share your own stories of neighbourly #MundaneGratitude. You can also share poses or rituals you do when you’re feeling surly and competitive. You do you #yogi!

Dec. 2

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I think it is a law of the universe that our relatives drive us crazy- it’s part of what makes them your family. It’s also part of the reason why the holidays can be so stressful. But it’s how you respond to your family pulling you in a million different directions that defines how your holiday season will turn out.

Today’s assignment: Recognize love in all familial situations. You can also share your own stories of family #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you need to decompress.

Dec. 3

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I am a notorious ‘thing’ forgetter. I’ve even lost a shirt while wearing it. I’m not proud of that one. But my gut reaction whenever I lose or forget anything is anger and embarrassment. Like, how could I be so stupid to forget X thing? How do you respond when you forget something important? Do you have a meltdown? Or do you go into ‘fix-it’ mode?

Today’s assignment: Notice when you start to feel angry or embarrassed. Don’t take it out on those around you. Share your own stories of travelling #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you’ve been stuck in a plane, train or automobile.

Dec. 4

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I’m not a good sharer, especially when it comes to food. I have a tendency to get possessive and think something is ‘mine’ when it really is not. Maybe I just like pie a little too much.

I think today’s question really demonstrates how our egos get in the way sometimes. How has your ego influenced your yoga practice? I am willing to bet your ego has given you at least a couple bruises (falling out of an advanced arm balance anyone?).

Today’s assignment: Let go of something you think is ‘yours’. Share your own stories of egotistical #MundaneGratitude or poses/rituals you do when you need to kick your ego to the curb and eat a big piece of humble pie.

 

Do any of these situations resonate with you? Share your stories of Mundane Gratitude in the comments!

Till next week,

Bee

 

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30 Days of Mundane Gratitude

Does anyone else get annoyed when they see #blessed or #grateful on someone’s social media? Be honest. It can’t just be me.

It’s not that I’m jaded or cynical. However, it does seem easy, straightforward and uncomplicated to feel blessed and grateful for the things these #’s are normally put on: like perfect sunsets, vacations, smiling family members, etc. I.E. when things are going great. But, gratitude isn’t always perfect. It doesn’t have to be rainbows, sparkles and unicorns. And there is no wrong way to be grateful.Tweet: There is no wrong way to be grateful.

Elle and I have been discussing the idea of being grateful for things that aren’t Instagram perfect. We’ve decided to call these things #mundanegratitude. We believe that if you can find gratitude in the everyday, and not just in the perfect moments, you can appreciate your life for what it is, rather than for what it is not. This is something I have written briefly about on our Tumblr.

To put a bit of a holiday spin on this topic, maybe the store is all sold out of the toy that your child desperately wants. Can you still be #grateful when that happens? What would the silver lining be? Maybe now you can have a real conversation with your child about how the holidays are not really about the presents they get underneath the tree. This is #mundanegratitude.

Every day in December we will be sharing a less than picture perfect situation on our Instagram and asking the question, can you still be grateful? At the end of every week, we will share a roundup of all of those posts here, and explore what we think the silver lining of those situations could be.

Practising #mundanegratitude is a way to recognize the good in your life, even when your day kicks your butt. Use #mundanegratitude to join our challenge on Instagram, we want to see what you are grateful for day to day!

Mundane Gratitude Roundup Dec 1-4

Mundane Gratitude Roundup Dec 5-11

Til next time Practical Yogis,

Bee

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How NOT to make decisions based in fear

This post might not be particularly yogic, but I felt like putting pen to paper.. er, fingers to keyboard.

Today is the one year anniversary of me moving to a small, rural town in the middle of nowhere Ontario. It was a decision made out of love and/or fear (when do they ever not go together) to live with my partner. And I’ve had a lot of mixed emotions about it.

I grew up in rural areas so its not rural areas that I dislike, its just this one in particular. Its the kind of place that has no physical redeeming qualities, no amenities and its just far enough away from everything that every car trip is a real journey.

We had a reason to stay before, my partner’s job. But we don’t have that anymore – we are free to move wherever you want.

However, we are choosing to stay in a place we both hate.

How did we come to this decision? We did a classic pro/cons list. It became clear that even though we didn’t particularly like anything about the town, we liked having our own space and independence (one of our alternate options was moving in with our parents).

This might be a ‘everything has a silver lining’ kind of anniversary, but I will spare you the cliche. Despite pretty much hating everything about the last year, I am strangely content with the decision we have made to stay.

Why?

Because it makes the most sense for us right now. Or maybe its because I actually had a say this go-round (my partner had already lived here for a couple months before I moved in). I still may not like where I live, but I made the decision to stay. No one is forcing me too, which puts the ball back into my metaphorical court.

Anytime you make a decision, you are taking control of your situation. Even if its not the most optimal decision for you right now, it is one step closer to getting you where you need to go. Because you are always in the driver’s seat.


Do you have any pending decisions in your life? Rather than feeling fear or anxiety, can you feel empowered by your ability to make a choice for your life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

 

Talk soon,

Bee

 

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