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A Yoga Practice for a Dark Day

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Mental Health / Personal / Yoga for...

A Yoga Practice for a Dark Day

Are you feeling a bit blue and looking for a way out of it? Perhaps these tips of mine are going to be helpful to you!

! Trigger warning: I will discuss mental health issues and “dark days” in this text!

I’ve probably had dark days longer than I’ve been doing yoga. Having yoga as a tool for times or days when I feel down, sad, or any other overwhelming sensation, is so great, but also not easy. Let me take you on a little journey:

We all have bad days… but!

We all have different (hi)stories, backgrounds and we all carry our own little luggage when it comes to mental health. While some might be able to deal with their problems on their own and don’t “need” help from a therapist or talk to their friends, a lot of us – me included – do need support. A teeny-tiny issue with support is, however, that you are dependent on other people – people, that might not have time for you at this very moment, people that have their own problems to deal with, and so forth.* But who is always there for you? That’s right, YOU!

This might seem obvious to a lot of you, but to me, this was honestly a small revelation. Because I tend to – and still am – someone that first goes to other people for their advise. And while that is absolutely valid and amazing that I have friends for that, sometimes that might not work out the way I hoped it would or due to any other reason than I’ve stated above. So it’s back to me. What can I do to support myself – my Self?

What are my resources? 

I think it is a great tool to know and maybe even write down your resources, things that make you happy, that make you feel safe, loved, and supported. And that list is going to look very different to each and every one of us. For me, it is eating some super delicious food, buying flowers, either going for a walk or allowing myself to be a couch potato all day – or step onto the mat. 

Now, most of those times, my practice is very gentle, very slow, and accustomed to my needs at this very moment. But for others, when they feel sad, they might want a challenging, guided practice to move their mind elsewhere. But I am usually sore or tired when I am feeling down, so that doesn’t work for me most days. Rather, I start seated or lying down and move around while staying close to the mat, because I really don’t like to feel so exposed in these situations. There is also no need for me to challenge my strengths or balance because it might only frustrate me even more. So I practice poses that I love and that make me feel happy!!

If you would like to learn a little bit more about emotional stress, check out this blog post on it. 

What does yoga have to do with all of this?

Over the years, my mat has become my friend and is part of my support system. I know that not everyone has this kind of relationship with their practice, which is absolutely valid! If you are feeling sad, however, and you enjoy any kind of yoga practice or physical movement, I’d invite you to either move freely and practice the things you love to do, without any (or simply less) ambition or judgment, or look for a guided practice that fits your needs.

What I would like to stress at the end is, that it is OK to rest whenever you need to, maybe taking a child’s pose or Savasana might just be the practice that you need that day. And remember, your mat always has your back – and so do you!

If you are looking for a guided practice, perhaps you want to check out my free udemy course? It’s a 45min Hatha Flow and a 45min Yin Yoga practice and you can take them as one 90min class or you can take two classes indivually. It’s my little gift to you! Be safe, you are loved!

*I am talking about situations that aren’t life-threatening or very intense – in these situations, professional help should and will always be there for you! 

 

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