One of the things we talked about at the retreat was prioritizing self-care. Putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, so to speak. It’s so easy to skip this step. Or to do things to wind down that don’t really nurture us. Uhm, Pinterest anyone?

This is how I do this – and it’s not always well. But I made a commitment to myself to start my day by moving. It can be yoga or hula hooping, running around with the dog or dancing – it doesn’t matter. Do I skip some mornings? Yep. And it only serves to remind me that if I start my day by choosing to move around – not just shuffle to the shower, shuffle to the closet, shuffle to work – I’m more likely to KEEP moving, and have a better day.

Here are some easy, FREE ways to keep moving:

Take a Break: Download a quick 5 minute led practice.Kripalu Yoga Break offers postures, breath work and guided meditation in short bursts for when you need a little break, but don’t have the time or inclination for something hefty.

Walk it Off: Seriously. There’s no link here. It just means go for a walk. That’s it. Get up. Walk around. Outside is better than inside. Sometimes I even take my shoes off. Shhh. Don’t tell.

Download: I’ve plugged these guys before, but Yogadownload offers such an amazing service, I have to mention them again. Download a free 20 minute podcast every week, or pay for longer classes. They have audio, and video too if you like to watch your teachers.

Dance Party: A song is usually less than five minutes long. I bet you have five minutes to shake your groove thing.

We Have the Technology: I’m usually on my phone and computer ALL day long. Are you? Use it to your advantage. Change your email password to one of the yamas and niyamas. Change your phone ring to say “Breathe.” Block off a 15 minute meeting every afternoon to get up from your desk and go outside. I don’t always do this either, but I’m glad when I do.

Meeting Maker: This applies to EVERYTHING listed above, or whatever other nurturing activities you come up with: schedule it. There are some days when if it’s not on my calendar, it’s not happening. This is the exact same point I made above – it’s about priorities. It’s about putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, before you can help others. Refilling the well, as we say.

How do you fill the well?

Gurus and Right Alignment

I’m sore.

Sore. Tired and energized.

Yesterday I worked as an assistant with my former teacher training program. And in the afternoon, we did a little downdog workshop. I still haven’t quite figured out why, but I always go deeper when I’m in a room with our teacher. My breath is deeper, my focus deeper. My body just opens up.

After working with him for a couple of years, I’m finally convinced he has the thing. You know, that guru gaze thing. That POW energy. I didn’t really believe in it. But even though it was my body in the posture, it was beyond my energy. For whatever reason, his presence helps me key in to my own energy and whooosh.

I’m not saying the guy is magic. I’ve read about yogic powers – regulating internal organ function, levitation, transferring enlightenment through a touch or even a look – and I’m not buying it. Despite my West Coast hippy tendencies, I’m a cynical New Yorker at heart.

That said, there’s no denying I felt it. The channels opening up. The right-alignment rush. It was me, the posture, the energy. Whatever it was, boy, it was good.

And, now, I’m exhausted and uplifted at the same time. I have that fevered soreness and the wealth of benefits from practice. And I want more.