Ritual’s vs. Restriction

    Happy New Year Yoga’licious Community!

    Over the past few weeks I have been hibernating and hanging out more at home.  This time with myself, my boyfriend, my family, and friends has really allowed me to get even clearer on the offerings and goodies that I am excited to share and bring to you all over the next year ahead including a revamped Yoga’licious Girl’s Night Out format, more blog posts and recipes for your yummy cravings, updated and tasty Private Yoga Programs, and the first ever Yoga’licious Small Group Program starting in March…check out more info below on these exciting new changes, but for now I want to shed some light on a topic that has been on my mind since the ball dropped at midnight on January 1, 2013…Rituals vs. Restriction.

    Your first thought after reading rituals vs. restriction might be what the heck does that mean?!?!  And if that thought came up for you I can totally relate.  I have an allergy to anything or anyone that starts to use big concepts that doesn’t seem to be applicable to anything in the human world…so an explanation is on its way, but first a back story to why this topic has been so intriguing to me this month.

    My boyfriend Robert and I over the holidays:)

    Robert, my boyfriend and I, had a really awesome New Year’s eve and New Year’s day! We watched a movie, I made a super yummy Broccoli Soup (recipe coming next week), Yoga of course was included at my favorite studio, and there was even some cleaning in there.  Sounds really great, right?!?!

    The thing is that it was two of the most amazing days I have had in a while, and then the commentary in my head came. All New Year’s Day an old friend of mine (I am going to call her shit talking Mel-pardon my language :)) came to town. The voice went a little something like this…

    “Your butt is looking a little bigger since Christmas, what are you going to do about it?”

    “You have taken too much time out to play, you are not doing enough!”

    “You need to kick your butt into high gear and start cleansing NOW girl…”

    All day I kept reminding myself this voice is not you, come back to reality, but I was having a really hard time shaking it.  I got so caught up in the voice that as Robert and I were lying in bed watching a movie that night I actually asked him “Does my butt look bigger to you?”  His response was “WHAT?!?!?!” In a hilarious Scooby Doo type voice.  It was in his response that I finally snapped back into reality.

    The reality is that even if my butt did grow a bit in size I got caught up in the New Year’s idea, for a hot second, that I “should” watch my calories, exercise more, change up my Yoga Practice, and basically be different than I am right now to be accepted, validated, and loved.

    In my opinion believing that you need to look or be any different than you are to be loved, or even to love yourself, is to be quite frank delusional thinking.  If these thoughts ever come up for you, trust me I get it…I lived it for a very long time and as you can see they still pop up from time to time! I truly believe that a “restriction” type of mentality goes against listening to your body, and is not sustainable.

    The restriction logic and approach to our health and wellness goals comes more from a place perfectionism, should, and the “when I get there then I will be mentality”…which goes against actually slowing down to listen to what your bodies really wants, and can leave us still searching for the Holy Grail of feeling good.

    Brene Brown sums it up so brilliantly in her book The Gifts of Imperfection when she says “Perfectionism/Restriction didn’t lead to results.  It led to peanut butter.” Oh do I know that peanut butter jar well :).

    Now I am all for doing a cleanse, changing up a yoga/exercise routine, losing weight (if that is what you want), or starting a mindful eating practice, but I believe it is SO important to get really clear about WHY you are doing this…and whether it is coming from a place of creating ritual to be the best version of yourself or creating restriction because you believe you must be different than you are currently. Hence my inspiration for this month’s newsletter topic and Yoga’licious Girl’s Night Out…Ritual vs. Restriction.

    When I finally snapped back into reality after that evening with Robert I came back to remembering what I have been practicing and teaching for a while now and that is CREATE RITUALS not restrictions. Rituals can still be intentions like cutting out sugar or setting a commitment to practice yoga 5 days per week but it comes from a very different mindset and gives you the opportunity to commit to your body and your health in a more compassionate way.   You might ask how do I switch my mindset?  We will be diving more into this at Yoga’licious Night Out this month, but for now here are a few tips from my own experience that work on supporting you into creating just that…rituals not restrictions.

    1. To create a healthy body rituals list sit down with a piece of paper and first close your eyes.  Ask yourself what do I really want to step into for myself that I know will have a positive impact on how experience my body in my day to day living, my energy levels, how I feel mentally, and how I relate/see myself and others. In this question you are creating a ritual or routine less from a place of I must cut something out to feel better about myself, and more from a place of I know that when I do x, y, z I show up more fully for myself/ in my life, I feel better, and everyone around me benefits.  (for example you know that when you do yoga 5 days per week you feel so much happier, your body feels so much stronger, you have more energy, and everyone around you benefits from your inner sense of joy.  Now with this intention you might lose weight, your thighs might look super toned, and you might have 6 pack abs but instead of being run by these outer appearance shifts you are connected to how practicing Yoga more regularly will most likely have a positive impact on your whole being.)

    2. Once you get clear on what rituals you want to implement, that you know is going to most likely have a positive impact on your life, write them down and make a list.  Because these rituals will be something you will be doing weekly/daily be sure to make them a stretch vs. a snap goal.  One of my favorite mentors Brian Johnson talks about this idea that you want to stretch yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone, but you don’t want to snap yourself and set yourself up for giving up.

    3. After you have your list of rituals, get clear on what excuses or belief systems might take you out from keeping these sacred commitments to yourself. For example if you know you somewhere deep down inside you have a belief that you are not good enough or deserving enough, you might make lots of excuses or take actions that are not in alignment with your commitments.  I have found this to be one of the most important steps in the process.  My suggestion is to loving see these beliefs or excuses for what they are rather than judge them, make light of them, even laugh and see how silly some of them might be.

    4. Last thing, now that you are clear on what you want to experience more often in your life (joy, energy, strength), the rituals that you know will support you on a consistent basis, and the beliefs/excuses that could take you out of what you want…it’s time to start putting your rituals into action. You may want to post your rituals list up somewhere so you are reminded daily of your new rituals.  I also highly suggest you call on a friend, coach, mentor, or partner to support you and help keep you accountable as you are stepping into new territory.  (If you are looking for more private individualized support I would love to speak to with you :)).

    Well I think that about sums up this edition of Yoga’licious News. As always sending you off with lots of LOVE and wishing you a new year with an even kinder conversation to your body,

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    1. Oh, I so appreciate you bringing up these ‘shoulds’ that can come with the New Year, Melanie. This really helps me to take stock on what I REALLY want for myself this year and what I can Let Go Of. Thank you!

      1. You are So welcome Darcy! I am SO glad this article helped you get clear on what you really want for yourself this year and can’t wait to hear what is transpiring for you :)!