If the past few months have taught us anything, it's that we have the power and potential to shift our own mood to a more joyful state of being. It definitely took a steep learning curve, but after a few weeks of isolated living, we realized that the solution to negative vibrations can be simple: yoga.
We've turned to movement, community, and reflection to make those much-needed moment-to-moment shifts for a brighter day. Now, whenever we see red, feel frustrated, or need to purge negative feelings, we turn to our yoga practice to turn things around.
Along the way, we've discovered five things that make a daily practice even more uplifting, ensuring we get the most out of those precious minutes on the mat. First things first: your wardrobe.
1. Dress for movement.
You don't have to put on running shoes and a sports bra, but changing your outfit can change your mood, even if it's from one loungewear look to another that lets you transition into a quick stretch or vinyasa sequence. Your shapeless sweatsuit is comfy, but Solace Bra, Shanti Crop Rib Tank, and Elation Capri will allow you to be more aware of your body, tap into your practice, and shift from one activity to another seamlessly.
2. Flow with the pros.
When in doubt, turn to the experts. Even a short session can get you out of your head and in touch with your body; it can calm the nervous system and turn your afternoon around. Check out Athleta's Homebodies Collective or mbg classes for movement inspiration, even if you have only 10 minutes! Trust us, drop in and return to your day with a fresh outlook. You don't have to fly blind with so many great instructors just a click away.
3. Take it outside.
When you've hit a wall or just can't seem to complete the task at hand, let it be (if only for a couple of minutes!). Sometimes time away, ideally OUTSIDE with your yoga mat, does wonders for clearing your head and increasing productivity. If you don't have space (or time) for a full flow, simply stand tall and feel the breeze; it's called mountain pose for a reason. The outdoors, paired with an empowering stretch series, reminds us that there's a whole world beyond the computer screen and allows us to transition from one flow state to another when we're back at our desks. Grab the Mindset Sweatshirt to protect yourself from the wind chill, and get yourself some fresh air and perspective.
4. Recruit a friend.
There is strength and power in numbers, and moving with someone is simply more FUN, especially when the social calendar might be looking much different these days. Doing a virtual yoga class (like Athleta's Instagram Live #PowerHour) or mirroring one another on zoom is the perfect way to connect through shared experience...something we're all desperate for. It can be particularly satisfying to recruit someone who has been yoga-resistant! There's something about this unpredictable era that opens the mind to new modes of thinking and moving. We encourage you to give it a try!
5. Set a goal.
The key to a quarantine rut? A personal challenge! See the progress you can make toward poses you've felt might be out of reach. Side crow, head and handstand, dolphin—there's no better time to build strength little by little. Who knows, by the time you're back in the IRL studio, you may shock yourself with what you can do. The beauty about it is, it's a zero stakes game: There's no such thing as failure, only joy in experimentation and guaranteed post-fall laughter. In the spirit of challenging yourself, throw on the Salutation Stash Pocket II 7/8 Tight and pair with a Conscious Crop, even if you usually go full tank, you may discover you actually like letting your skin breathe a little and pushing your boundaries!
Movement is medicine: Embrace your body, your (virtual) community, and your personal strength. Your mood shift is just a flow away!