I really don't want to roll out my yoga mat.
But my body aches, I'm exhausted, and I want to feel like I've practiced.
We've all been there ;)
As winter weather approaches, I find myself having nights where I just want to curl up on the couch and do anything besides change into yoga pants and roll out my mat.
So I figured, why not come up with a list of alternative ideas to do besides yoga? These are my go-to bodywork and stress relief activities that can sometimes make me feel like I've practiced a little bit, even though I haven't done any poses.
I'm sharing this list here on Alive in the Fire with the hope that they help give you ideas for how to relieve tension even on days when you're feeling unmotivated or tired.
A Few Things to Do to Help Your Body Feel Relief, Even if You Never Roll Out Your Yoga Mat
Foam Roll. I use my Rollga foam roller pretty much every day. This little blue guy looks strange but is super effective at restoring mobility and releasing muscle tension. I use it on my legs and glutes, under my back, on my sides (IT bands are killer!), and under my upper ribs. There are a ton of ways you can get creative with a foam roller, and while the process is sometimes uncomfortable, it leaves you feeling amazing afterward.
2. Reflexology. I'm in love with my new book, Press Here! Reflexology for Beginners by Stefanie Sabounchian. This book is amazing! She gives simple diagrams with all the basic info you need to learn reflexology. Each drawing shows where to find the reflex point on your foot, how it relates to your body, and how to apply the correct pressure for the strongest effect. I've been using it lately right before bed, as a way to help find calm and quiet before I go to bed. Highly recommend this book!
3. Other ideas for when you don't feel like doing yoga: sit quietly and listen to calming music. Take a hot bath with epsom salts. Go for a walk. Do nadi shodhana alternate nostril breathing. Drink a glass of wine mindfully, with the intention of finding calm.
4. Commit to your practice tomorrow.
5. I know this is technically yoga.... but try child's pose. Or whatever your favorite comfortable pose is. Do it with your regular clothes still on, no need to roll out your mat or change into workout wear. Just do the one pose. And breathe. And see what happens.
What helps you get through the times when you don't want to practice yoga, but need to release physical tension?
First three photos by Christina Scellato.