Who says yoga has to be practiced on a mat? Make space for Grocery Yoga! A block or a strap may not be accessible, but your shopping cart can certainly provide support.
During my last visit to the grocery store, I got creative with my practice … and so can you. So choose your cart (and an intention), use a calming lavender-scented towelette to wipe down the handle, and get rolling!
Stand strong and tall, feel long from your feet to the top of your head. Set your gaze, posture, and intention for this shopping experience. For the time you are here, commit to healthy choices all around … choose thoughts and foods that nourish your mind and body. Take five smooth breaths before wheeling that cart into the organic produce section.
Side Body Stretch
Turn to face the fruit. Hold on to the cart handle with one hand. Lift and arch the other arm. Option: Maintain connection with the handle as you gently push it away. Lift your side ribs. Head over to the veggies and switch sides.
Standing Dog into Forward Fold
Hinge at your hips. Gently press your hands onto the handle bar while pushing the cart until you are in a standing “V.” Take a few breaths. Release the hands down, holding onto the cart base or wrapping your forearms around your calves. Relax your spine. Take five breaths. This is a great opportunity to visualize the grocery list you may have left on the counter!
Find yourself in front of the sweets ... Bend your knees, sit your toosh back, and extend your arms (or maybe actively press into the handle). Hold strong for five breaths. Here’s the nice trade-off: You’ve earned that fair-trade, organic dark chocolate bar!
Wide Standing Forward Fold
Just like our forward fold from above … just widen your stance! I found the cleaning supply aisle seems to have the least amount of traffic, making it perfect to explore poses that require more space. You may even find your new favorite chemical-free counter cleaner!
Crescent Lunge / Crescent Lunge Twist
Come to the side of your cart. Step the outside leg back and bend the knee closest to the cart. Add a twist to this by stretching your arms out to a T and twisting toward your cart. Get deeper into the twist by placing your front hand on the cart, bending your elbow, and send your ribs wrapping around your spine. Getting long, strong, and detoxed with that lunge twist ... maybe it’s time for a fresh juice made in house?
Make sure no one is right behind you before attempting this one. (Maybe head back to the cleaning aisle?) Transfer your weight into one foot. As you lift from the back of the other leg, use the knife-edge of your hands to roll your cart forward. Lower the lifted hip to square them off. After five breaths, switch sides.
Stand on one foot. Bend the other leg and turn it out. Press the bottom of that foot on your ankle, calf, or inner thigh (just not on your knee). Resist the pressure with the standing leg. Use the handle for support or lift your arms overhead. Heck, wave your arms around if you want ... this is your practice!
This is a great one to practice while waiting in line for prepared foods. Stand on one leg and cross the other leg over so that the outer edge of your ankle presses into the top of your thigh. Bend your standing knee and hinge at your hips. Sink your bum down. Either bend your elbows and relax them at your sides or find length in your arms by extending them and pushing the cart away. Draw your shoulders back. Take five breaths before switching sides.
You’ve loaded your groceries, returned your cart (after offering thanks for its support!), and you’re now seated in your car. Before turning on the engine, allow yourself a few breaths to just check back in. How was the experience? Hopefully you're more relaxed, yet alert, placing you in optimal driving conditions.
Next time you have to run up to the market, consider incorporating a mini-practice into your experience. Go on, give your breath, movement, and cart a little spin!