On the Mat: Living Your Best Life

This week on the mat, I’ll be speaking about living your best life, and what that means for each and every one of us.

It’s different for everyone. What makes you light up? What’s your golden nugget? That thing you could do all day, every day, and talk about for hours before and after. Are you doing this/these thing(s)? If you aren’t, what’s stopping you?

This is your wild lil’ lifetime, so why not live your very best life!

For me, I’ve had moments on my mat, on trails in Utah and Colorado and Alaska and back home in sweet Maryland, where I think, “this is how I want to spend the rest of my life” or “I was born to live this way.” But then sometimes I fall off track. I won’t hike for months at a time, and I find myself missing the mountain air, or the feeling of dipping your toes in the water after a sweaty climb. My mat stays in the corner of my room for a couple weeks, and I feel my practice slipping from between my fingertips.

Why am I not living the way I want to? I could think of a million excuses. I’m too busy, it’s the holiday season, it’s summer and hot yoga doesn’t feel as good as it does in the chill of January in Colorado, I have an exam next week, and a paper due Wednesday, and my friends wanted to go out, I wasn’t feeling well, I would’ve been running late to something or the other if I had tried to squeeze it in, my stomach was upset, I had a headache, and on and on and on.

Are any of these valid? Well, yeah, occasionally. But why should I sink yoga, hiking, running, writing, reading, and all the things that make me feel most alive, lower on my to-do list when they are when I feel like my most authentic and happiest self?

So many questions, too many excuses, and yet there’s no denying: my best life is right in front of me. It’s in the car driving through the Rockies with my mom, watching my favorite shows with my favorite people, sitting in coffee shops in the city writing like I am now, on my mat in a sweaty yoga class, on the trail, with dirt on my feet and the wind whistling through my hair, the leaves jingling along to the tune the bird’s are singing from the tree-tops.

I’m done with the excuses, and you can be, too. When doubt or a ‘no’ rises to the surface of your mind as your contemplating how you hope to spend your day or your weekend, imagine an ocean wave crashing over it. The space between your brows softens, your jaws unclenches, and you’re going to do exactly what you want to do. The paper you’re writing can wait, and maybe a hike or whatever you’re craving will clear your head. Your exam won’t get any feelings hurt if you take a couple hours off from studying to do what makes you feel best.

As a firm believer in mental and physical and emotional well-being above all else, I’m always surprised by how easily I let my priorities slide to the bottom of my to-do list when the going gets tough.

Life’s all about balance, on the mat and off, in your mind and body and spirit, so this week, let’s work towards finding that balance. If you need a day off, take it. If you need to go to a nighttime yoga class so you can get your homework out of the way, sip some green tea as you work and then grab your mat, sling it over your shoulder, and get your yogi butt to class. (Kind of talking to myself here, it feels like?)

Essentially, find what makes you excited. What amps up your heart rate and where you would rather be when you’re sitting in lecture (while still living in the present moment, of course). Write these things down on the top of your to-do list, in sharpie, and don’t cross them out for anything.

When you want to go on a road trip, grab your friends and your keys and hit the road. Manifest how you want to spend your next summer, with a bomb internship, maybe? Or traveling the world? Or cozy at home with your pets and siblings? Cultivate your best life with your best humans around you, they’ll push you to be your best and motivate you beyond what you thought you were capable of. Plant yourself in the best city or town or wherever you need to be for the time-being to root down and grow, and never be afraid to dig up your roots and re-locate. Growth happens in the craziest, strangest, and sometimes the most subtle, ways. Embrace it all, this is all we’ve got.

For class tonight, we’ll be flowing and opening our hearts up to the future, and hanging out upside down for a bit. If you’d like to flow this week, find me here:

7 PM Monday Oct. 3rd — Mind Body Studio @ the CU Rec Center

6:15 PM Thursday Oct. 6th — Bear Creek Rec Center (@ William’s Village)

Tonight’s playlist can be found here:

 

Here’s to living the greatest lives we ever have —

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Until next time,

Caroline

Read my last post here!

Read my last thoughts post here!

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