Move Breathe Thrive, Yoga

A Little Compassion and Improvisation Can Change the World

January 14, 2016

Well I’m just over a week into my belated New Year’s Resolution and I already screwed up. But you know what? That’s ok! I’m choosing to react with compassion and improvisation

Something I failed to mention in my New Year’s Resolution Post is that I had a back-up plan. I knew that there would come a day that I would be in far too much of a rush, or just plain forget to do my sun salutation. And that day has come. I woke up early Tuesday morning with the cutest puppy in the world cozied up across my legs. So I stayed in bed a while and posted my Tutorial Tuesday blog from my phone. After all, how does one disturb the cutest puppy in the world? Trick questions – you don’t. I finished my posting and my alarm went off, so I savored a few more minutes of snuggle time with the pups – by this time I was joined by the second cutest puppy in the world – and then snuck myself out from under the pups and started getting ready. I remembered amid getting dressed AND amid brushing my teeth that I needed to do my daily Sun Salutation. And so I went to feed the dogs so they wouldn’t be climbing all over me as I got my zen on, and then I made my lunch, I packed my bag, and I headed off to work.

It wasn’t until I was looking for a parking space that I realized I had forgotten. One week in and I had already blown it. I started up that self-criticism, and silly as it sounds, started to feel the panic rise up. You know that feeling like when you wake up and realize you slept through your alarm? Yeah, I didn’t even realize how seriously I took this until the panic started to hit!

imageBut thanks to my yoga practice, I’ve learned to watch my thoughts. I’ve learned that they do not dictate who I am, they simply float through the mind, and it’s the ones I choose to cling to that become who I am. So, as soon as I started to feel my heart race, I stopped. I took a breath. I decided to treat myself with some compassion. And I reminded myself that the intent could still be met with a little improvisation – this is exactly WHY I chose the resolution that I did. Because it was attainable. So I hopped out of the car and did a sun salutation in the parking lot.

Just kidding! It was 27 degrees out when I got to work this morning – I love outdoor yoga, but I’m not insane.

Instead, I parked my car, sat back and closed my eyes. I visualized myself moving through a sun salutation. Even trying to manifest the same feelings of stretch and strength throughout the body.

Inhale – Utthita Hastasana – Ah, nice deep breath to open the chest, feels good to the back ribs

Exhale – Uttanasana – Starting with the knees bent this morning, trying to let the upper body be heavy

Inhale Ardha Uttanasana – I draw my fingers up to my shins to start and my neck is long

Exhale – Chaturanga – The breath is steady as I mindfully plant each palm down and step back to lower down – Good Morning Triceps!

Inhale – Urdvha Mukha Svanasana – I can feel the air filling my chest, opening the heart, stretching the collar bones

Exhale – Adho Mukha Svanasana – Core, core, core! Ooh and a slight bend in the knees; still tight

Inhale – Lift onto the toes – Tail bone to the sky and length in the spine, pressing evenly through the palms

Exhale – Deep bend and hop forward – Focus on the exhale and really plug into the shoulders

Inhale – Ardha Uttanasana – Breathing space into the spine, and the hammies feel a little more open

Exhale – Uttanasana – Nice deep exhale; gotta remember to let go of the neck

Inhale Utthita Hastasana – press the thighs back, protect the low back – it’s still early

Exhale – Tadasana – I slowly draw the hands together and down, grazing the third eye, nose, lips, chin, and heart with the thumb, feeling a sense of peace and calm


When I opened my eyes that sense if impending doom was gone. I felt relaxed, confident, and peaceful. I felt like a whole new person without ever having to move a muscle. The lesson here – a little compassion paired with clever improvisation can change your world.

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  • Reply Cameron January 16, 2016 at 2:46 am

    I love this so very much!

    • Reply Brenna January 16, 2016 at 2:48 am

      Thanks Cameron! Miss your smiling face around here.

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