“When we sip tea, we are on our way to serenity.” – Alexandra Stoddard
WelcOMe to February at Tranquil Space. As we transition into the second month of this new year (and new decade), take a mOMent to honor your efforts thus far and your ongoing tranquility journey. Did you try out our 21-day challenge? Did you cut out some meat or sugar from your diet and replace it with greens? Did you sign up to learn a new skill? How are your resolutions unfolding? My hope is that you’re feeling a sense of serenity and still basking in the newness of the new year. If not (or you’d like more) read on.
At Tranquil Space we share the notion of taking the practice of yoga off the mat and into everyday life. It’s wonderful to have a beautiful yoga pose, but what’s the point if the rest of life feels out of sorts, messy, and like a struggle? There are continuous ups and downs (plus occasional snow storms) so I encourage you to take time to nurture yourself with infusions of mindful self care and ongoing self study (svadyaya). Below are a few of my favorite tips:
1. Begin and end each day with reflection. Take time at the start of your day to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper. This mini brain dump can do wonders to relieve pent up cares and concerns. Conclude your day with a wrap up on what you’re proud of, what you’d like to do different next time, and anything that is weighing heavily.
2. Explore your dreams monthly. Are your daily actions moving in the direction of your dreams? If not, can you make some changes to do so? For example, is an ongoing goal to do a volunteer vacation in India? Begin by carving out time for online research, determining travel dates and tickets, and securing time off. Move daily in the direction of your dreams.
3. Practice mindfulness each day. Be fully present with the person in front of you (versus checking your iPhone for the latest tweet). Consciously walk to work – feel the ground beneath you. Notice your surroundings. Eat your meal slowly and deliberately (versus standing up or on-the-go). Join Todd and me for weekly Mindfulness Meditation classes.
4. Listen to your body. Notice how good it feels after a meal at Cafe Green (down the street from our Dupont Circle studio). Let it rest when you can tell it’s begging for down time. Indulge in a massage or visit to an acupuncturist as a way to passively nurture it.
5. Savor a soak in the tub. This self-care act is a nightly one for me during winter months when even my bones feel cold. This, too, can be a practice of mindfulness. Surround yourself with candles, water with a mint sprig, and slip into a sacred bath. If you live in a full house with many beings, this may be your very special room of your own (highly encouraged by Virginia Woolf).
6. Sip your tea with gratitude. As the above quote by author Alexandra Stoddard reminds us, tea can have a powerful effect on our day. Mine always starts with Tazo Zen tea with a splash (ok, big splash) of agave nectar. Many stop mid-day to savor tea time. Can you, too, start a ritual at home or the office? How about after your yoga practice at Tranquil Space? Savor each sip and count this toward a very special mindfulness practice.
Please join me in making February a month of heart opening through our asana of the month, attention to mindful self-care, joining our book club discussion of Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater (THIS Friday at 6:30pm in Dupont Circle’s tea lounge), and continuous reflection. May you experience many mOMents of tranquility this month on AND off the yoga mat. You deserve it. Namaste.