fitness

Happy Hump Day

I don’t particularly like that expression – I like to think that Wednesdays are no better or worse than any other day. However, I have decided that this week needs every bit of celebration I can find.

Last week I had bad allergies and spent a lot of time fussing about whether it was COVID. My walking challenge is starting to wear on me. The weather suddenly went from freezing to being hot enough to kill half my poor seedlings when I put them outside to start hardening off. My lanemate and I were both in the world of “I’m too old for this sh*t” after Sunday’s swim practice. We will not even discuss the state of the world, which has me filled with crone rage on many fronts.

So Happy Hump Day: a made-up internet hope that things can only get better.

My allergies are feeling better, so I have more energy. I updated my tetanus booster, donated blood, and will get my second COVID booster on Saturday, so I feel that I am doing all I can to be healthy.

At swim practice, I learned a fun new drill, something that rarely happens after nearly 20 years of swimming with a club. And at Saturday’s practice I got the comment that I have a very respectable butterfly and natural freestyle stroke for long-distance swimming (coach was commenting on technique, as I am not fast). Every little bit of positive reinforcement feels good, even at my age.

The geese along my walk to work are hatching, the trees are coming into leaf, and I may just combine one of my walks this week with a trip to the pond for an early morning or lunchtime swim.

Adult Canada geese swimming with many babies on blue water, a dead branch in the foreground.
The pond, a popular conservation area and swimming spot near my home. Clear water surrounded by trees just staring to turn green and blue sky with whispy clouds above. The trees and sky are reflected in the still water.

I haven’t yet figured out how to channel my crone rage effectively; that is a feminist rather than a fitness issue, but I’ll keep working on it.

Diane Harper lives and swims in Ottawa.

goals · habits · martial arts

Christine H is trying to (TKD) practice what she preaches

If all goes well, I’m hoping to test for my 4th degree black belt in ITF Taekwon-Do sometime later this year but I have a lot of work to do in order to be fully prepared.

All through the fall, my practice was restricted because I was having trouble with my leg and my foot but things are improving and I have been able to resume my regular home practice.

I’m fairly confident about the patterns I have learned for previous black belt tests.* And I feel good about one of the three I need to learn for this test but I haven’t yet fully grasped the second pattern that I need to learn.

So, I am taking my own advice from my Go Team! posts and creating a plan for a small, specific practice to really get this pattern, Yoo Sin, into my brain and into my muscle memory:

I’m going to practice Yoo Sin for at least 5 minutes a day, every day, from now until the end of February, or until I can perform it without hesitation, whichever comes first.

This is what Yoo Sin looks like:

A YouTube video of Patricia Pacero performing the ITF Takekwon-Do pattern Yoo Sin in a practice space with white walls and with blue mats on the floor. She is wearing a white TKD uniform (dobok) and her black belt.

I have been through the whole pattern step-by-step a couple of times with guided instruction but at this point I can only get about 1/3 of the way through the pattern without stopping to check the next move.

I’m not sure if 5 minutes of daily practice will get me where I want to go with the pattern in a month but it will definitely move me in the right direction.

And, as I know from my own Go Team! pep talks, I can reassess and do some course correction at any point in the process.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

For the record, this isn’t the only TKD practice I will do in February, it’s just how I plan to add this pattern to my repertoire.

*If you aren’t familiar with how things work in the martial arts, getting your black belt is not your end point, it’s the point at which you know enough of the basics to start deepening and strengthening your practice. I earned my first degree black belt in 2014. I learned 3 new patterns for my second degree belt in 2016, another 3 new patterns for my third degree belt in 2019, and I have to learn 3 new patterns for my 4th degree test. This is on top of the 9 patterns that I learned for the various belts leading to my first degree black belt.

fitness · habits · motivation · self care

Go Team! January 22: Encourage Yourself

I’ve written all kinds of things about not getting discouraged and about celebrating your wins and about noticing your progress and being kind to yourself as you build your habits but I don’t think I have said this loud and clear yet:

PLEASE CHEER YOURSELF ON!

You probably aren’t used to cheering yourself on.

We all have a lot more training in keeping a detailed mental record of the ways we fall short of our plans, the times that we don’t meet our goals, and the things that don’t turn out the way we thought they would.

This isn’t the same as celebrating your wins. That’s a tricky practice in itself but, for many people, it’s a little more straightforward than cheering themselves on – you track something and celebrate when you see a change.

Cheering yourself on is motivating yourself to make an effort, it’s about noticing that effort, and reminding yourself that your effort matters.

Hmmmm, where have I heard that before? (imagine my friendly, slightly smirking expression here)

I’m thrilled to be able to offer you a gold star every day and to remind you that your efforts matter but I would also like for you to be able to practice that regularly on your own.

(Yes, I am asking you to put a practice on top of the practice you are already working on. I am ruthless like that. )

When I’m doing a Yoga with Adriene video and she asks us to say, aloud, ‘I am strong.’ I feel silly but I do it anyway and then that silliness is (mostly) replaced by the thought ‘Huh, I AM strong.” Which is way better for cheering myself on than the other thought (How long to I have to hold this?) that would probably be running through my head otherwise.

If I turn on an exercise video and say ‘Ok, Christine, let’s go!’ I feel much more energized that if I start with ‘Ugh, I guess I should do this.’ (You saw that vile word should in that sentence, right? *shudder*)

If I remind myself that I overcome challenges all the time, if I roll my shoulders back and take a deep breath before I begin my practice, or if I give myself a solemn nod or a high five in the mirror as I start my day, I feel better about my practice and my momentum.

All of those actions make me notice and acknowledge the efforts that I am making on my own behalf.

Now, I am not suggesting that you need to become sort of ridiculously-positive, high-energy whirlwind. After all, I DID say it was ok to grumble. You only need to do the things that work well for you. And frankly, if angry self-care or pushing through is all you need then forge ahead!

But I always like to have a variety of tools at my disposal and cheering myself on through my day, through a practice, or through a few extra seconds of plank has proven to be an extremely useful tool.

Cheering myself on never fails to remind me that even though things might be challenging, my efforts count.

Today’s Invitation

So, today, I invite you to find a way to cheer yourself on as you build your habits.

Can you choose an encouraging phrase to repeat or an action to take that signals that you have shown up on your own behalf?

Can you set a reminder on your phone or your email that tells you that your efforts matter? You don’t have to make it an embarrassing string of words – you could choose a gold star (obviously!) or a turtle (slow and steady wins the race) or a crown or a medal or a cookie or anything else that helps you take a moment to notice your efforts and (hopefully) to agree that you are doing pretty damn good with this whole practice thing thankyouverymuch.

You can also do a screencap of the gold stars I have shared here and send them to yourself one at a time with scheduled emails.

(The details are up to you, of course. Just please find the thing that will serve you best – don’t do this just because it works for me!)

No matter what kind of self-encouragement you choose, I’m offering this gold star as encouragement from me.

As always, you matter. Your efforts matter. It is ok to take time to take good care of yourself and it is ok for you to choose the form that will take for today.

Go Team!

A small drawing of a gold star with a variety of black and white patterns in the background.
I went all in with meditative drawing for my ritual this morning. After drawing the gold star, I filled in the background with a variety of doodle patterns. Image description: a small drawing of a gold star with a variety of black and white patterns in the background. Some patterns are overlapping lines, others are spirals or circles. The card is sitting on a wooden tabletop.

For the second year in a row, I’ll be posting a Go Team! message every day in January to encourage us as we build new habits or maintain existing ones. It’s cumbersome to try to include every possibility in every sentence so please assume that I am offering you kindness, understanding, and encouragement for your efforts right now. You matter, your needs matter, and your efforts count, no matter where you are applying them. You are doing the best you can, with the resources you have, in all kinds of difficult situations and I wish you ease. ⭐💚 PS – Some of the posts for this year may be similar to posts from last year but I think we can roll with it.

fitness · habits · motivation · self care

Go Team! January 15: Go Easy On Yourself

Hey Team,

I had my booster shot yesterday and I’m feeling under the weather so today’s post will just be a short invitation to go easy on yourself.

Not every day needs to be epic.

Not every workout or every practice has to push you to your limits.

Resting, recovering, and taking good care of yourself is just as important as focused work on your new habits.

And a gentle, kind, encouraging inner monologue will serve you better than a harsh, judgemental one.

Here are some gold stars for for your efforts today, whether you are in work mode, in rest mode, or in figuring-it-all out mode.

Please be kind to yourself.

A string of lights shaped like gold stars.
Image description: A string of lit gold star-shaped lights sitting on my white shelf.

And if you need a booster shot of encouragement, perhaps you might like to check out this Go Team! post from last year: Give It Your Some

For the second year in a row, I’ll be posting a Go Team! message every day in January to encourage us as we build new habits or maintain existing ones. It’s cumbersome to try to include every possibility in every sentence so please assume that I am offering you kindness, understanding, and encouragement for your efforts right now. You matter, your needs matter, and your efforts count, no matter where you are applying them. You are doing the best you can, with the resources you have, in all kinds of difficult situations and I wish you ease. ⭐💚 PS – Some of the posts for this year may be similar to posts from last year but I think we can roll with it.

covid19 · Happy New Year! · motivation · new year's resolutions

4 “Old Year” Resolutions for the New Year

New year’s resolution web articles normally help readers to set and achieve their big goals. This year, some authors—including Christine, Catherine, and Natalie at FIFI—have shifted to encouraging smaller “micro-resolutions” or to changing our approach altogether. The author of this article from The Atlantic claims that resolutions aren’t “vibe” for 2022, and instead encourages folks to reflect on “small good things” that reveal why our goals matter in the first place.

Working from home last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve started a few random habits that motivate me to help me care for my health. After reviewing this article on the “small good things,” I realized that these are behaviours I’d like to carry over from the previous year because they connect with things I value.

So, here are four of my “old year resolutions” for 2022:

#1 Sun Salutations – D&D Style

D20 on a yoga mat
A die with 20 sides on a yoga mat.

Because I work at my desk all day, I need to stop and stretch. But I find stretching boring. So, for my stretch breaks I’ve started doing sun salutation sequences while regulating my breath. But how many cycles do I do?

I also like to play games. So, when I get up for a stretch, I’ll roll a D20. Whatever my roll, that’s how many repetitions of the asanas I do. I get a needed break from sitting and the die roll connects with how I value games and keeping exercise fun.

#2 Empty and Refill Station

Over the years I’ve tried so many ways to drink more water–setting a timer, drinking a glass of water at every 3rd hour, toting water bottles around with me everywhere, using flavour crystals, etc. Nothing seemed convenient for me (my value) to work.

This past year, I discovered that I will have multiple glasses of water in a day if I drink them…right after my pee break. So, I keep a water glass in every bathroom now, because while I’ve already got the faucet on and am washing my hands, I might as well fill’er up. I also wash the cup now and then with the soap!

#3 The “Hungry Enough” Apple

Because I enjoy snacking, I normally don’t wait until I am hungry to eat. Snacking has been made easier during WFH. But I have a sensitive tummy, I will snack mindlessly until I start to feel sick.

Then, I remembered the “hungry enough” apple (or any fruit equivalent) to avoid over-snacking, a tactic I learned from a past colleague. Now I keep a piece of fruit on my home desk, and if I am “hungry enough” to snack I tell myself to eat it first.

I am NOT suggesting that others should police their food consumption in any kind of way–everyone’s relationship with food is their own and I fully respect that. However, I’ve found that I feel better when I eat fruit before other snacks, even though fruit is not my first snack choice.

#4 Permission to Feel Comfortable

I have about 6 pairs of dress pants in my closet that I used to wear regularly for work, but they have not seen the light of day since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

At first, I reproduced my time-consuming rituals and put on uncomfortable clothing items in order to “dress for work.” But after many months of WFH, I have started giving myself permission to be more comfortable. I still make myself presentable for a professional work environment, but at my desk I use a heating pad, aromatherapy, and stim toys that help me to manage my fidgeting.

I am fortunate enough to have the space and the freedom to adjust my clothing and working environment, but comfort while working was a value I never knew I had until recently.

Making Evolutions, Not Resolutions

These are small behaviours I stumbled on over time that have become helpful habits for my health. They are evolutions, not resolutions, that I hope to keep this year and as long as I can because they reflect what I value.

What “Old Year” resolutions do you hope to keep or maintain in the new year?

fitness · habits · motivation · self care

Go Team! January 7: Focus On What You CAN Do Today

Every time I start to write one of these Go Team! posts, I get worried that I have already said the same thing in a different form or that I am getting repetitive already. But then I remember how often I have to engage with certain ideas before they really take hold, especially when it comes to ideas around self-kindness, and I figure it is safe to approach the same concept from different directions while we learn to embrace it. So, some threads will appear again and again in these posts and I hope they help different people each time and/or they help the same people in different ways.

Often when we have goals or plans, we get so caught up in what we want/mean/plan to do that we forget that we are fallible human beings, trying to do the best we can with the resources we have available. We focus on following the plan, at all costs, and we feel like doing anything else is a complete failure.

You will be shocked to discover that I refuse to let us get mired in that kind of thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I fall into that all-or-failure thinking trap, too, but I am learning to extract myself as quickly as possible by focusing on what I CAN do in a given moment instead of getting dragged down by what I can’t do.

And I invite you to consider the same approach.

When your plans for self-care, whether that is exercise, meditation, rest, or anything else, go awry, please don’t stay tangled in your ideas of how things should have gone, or how unfair it is.

It’s true. Things should have gone better for you. It is unfair. And if is definitely frustrating. You are doing your best to take good care of yourself and you just wanted to be able to check these few things off your list.

And if I had a magic wand, I would wave all of those things away and give you the space to follow your plans.

Since I haven’t figured out the whole magic thing yet, I’m hoping you can try this instead:

Choose to focus on what you CAN do today.

Obviously, please go ahead and give yourself time to acknowledge how frustrated you are first. I am not asking you to pretend that everything is fair. You don’t have to brightside yourself.

But, once you have acknowledged your frustration and your head has cleared a little, try to start looking for what feels possible right now. This isn’t about ignoring the problem or pretending that obstacles don’t exist, it’s about finding a focus that serves you best at the moment.

Focusing on what you CAN do puts you back in charge. It means you aren’t just being buffeted around by your annoyances. It helps you take action.

So, when you find yourself unable to follow through on your wellness plans on a given day, perhaps ask yourself these questions:

What is my energy level today? How much time do I have? What tools are available to me? How can I combine those factors to help myself expand toward my plans today?

Your plan for today doesn’t have to be huge. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. It can be a placeholder for the plan you had or it can be something totally different. I just want you to be free from the constrictions of what you can’t do right now and open to the possibilities of what you can do.

By the way, if the answer to those questions is: I have no energy, no time, and no tools, that’s ok, too. Some days are just like that. You aren’t procrastinating, you aren’t avoiding, you are recognizing your capacity today. Decide that today you are taking a break from expanding towards that goal and consider that (always challenging) decision to be your effort for the day. Building a new habit is a slow and steady process and will involve twists, turns, stops, and starts as you figure things out. That’s not you getting lost, that’s you creating the map.

As always, here is your gold star for the day.

You matter.

Your efforts count.

I’m proud of your hard work.

A free-standing 3D gold star ornament, lit by the sun, sits on a wooden surface.
I love this geometric star. Lots of spaces for good things to happen in between all of those points. Image description: a 3D, multi pointed, gold star ornament on a wooden surface, a beam of sunshine is making the star glow and is casting a shadow on a dark surface behind. The star itself is made from lines of metal so each point on the star is actually the outline of a triangle. Photo credit: my son, J.

For the second year in a row, I’ll be posting a Go Team! message every day in January to encourage us as we build new habits or maintain existing ones. It’s cumbersome to try to include every possibility in every sentence so please assume that I am offering you kindness, understanding, and encouragement for your efforts right now. You matter, your needs matter, and your efforts count, no matter where you are applying them. You are doing the best you can, with the resources you have, in all kinds of difficult situations and I wish you ease. ⭐💚 PS – Some of the posts for this year may be similar to posts from last year but I think we can roll with it.

fitness · goals · habits · mindfulness · motivation · self care

Go Team! January 3: Pick A Time

One of the trickiest things about adding something new to our lives (or about continuing a habit when other parts of our lives have changed) is actually fitting it into our schedule.

We can have a clear plan and all the good intentions in the world but we still need actual time to exercise, or meditate, or stretch, or whatever we have chosen to explore right now.

And if we don’t consciously choose a time for that new habit, it will probably get pushed down our to do list until we are scrambling to fit it in before we let ourselves go to bed or we end up putting it off until “tomorrow.”

I know this happens because I do it ALL THE TIME. My ADHD brain thinks time will expand to let me fit everything I want to do into a day. It NEVER works. I apparently do not have control over the flow of time after all.

So, if this happens to you, too, I invite you to take a few minutes today to consider WHEN you will work on your new habit.

Do you need to be in a specific location? Do you need particular equipment? Will you need to shower/sleep afterwards? Is it too noisy to do at night or early in the morning? Do you have caregiving responsibilities that you need to work around? When do you PREFER to do your practice and is it possible to do it then?

I know we would all like to assume that we will just automatically do the things we want/need to do in a day but the truth is that we need to make room for them.

And while you’re trying to figure out your timing, please ignore the nonsense advice that says “If you *really* wanted it, you’d make it happen.” because that’s garbage. Your desire to include this new habit in your life is only one factor in the equation and reality is much more complicated than that. Please do NOT let advice like that add to your pile of guilt-related shoulds. (In fact, burn that pile of shoulds at your first opportunity.)

If you discover that you don’t actually have time in your schedule for your planned habit right now, it’s ok to make a note in your calendar to reconsider it later. (I like to put things like that in my calendar so I don’t forget to return to them.)

And it’s also okay to scale down your habit so you can fit them in at the moment. For example, if you can’t figure out how to fit 10 minutes of meditation into your days right now, maybe you can start by taking three deep breaths while the kettle boils for your tea. Or you can do 5 squats while you text a friend.

Every little bit counts and your efforts will help you feel a bit better, even if you have to go slowly.

And, speaking of your efforts, here’s your gold star for today.

I’m proud of your hard work.

A star-shaped ornament covered in gold covered sequins hanging from a yellow pushpin on an orange wall.
One of my year-round gold stars that I keep hanging next to the wall calendar in my kitchen. Image description: A star-shaped ornament covered in gold covered sequins hanging from a yellow pushpin on an orange wall.

For the second year in a row, I’ll be posting a Go Team! message every day in January to encourage us as we build new habits or maintain existing ones. It’s cumbersome to try to include every possibility in every sentence so please assume that I am offering you kindness, understanding, and encouragement for your efforts right now. You matter, your needs matter, and your efforts count, no matter where you are applying them. You are doing the best you can, with the resources you have, in all kinds of difficult situations and I wish you ease. ⭐💚 PS – Some of the posts for this year may be similar to posts from last year but I think we can roll with it.

fitness · habits · Happy New Year! · mindfulness · motivation · self care

Go Team! January 1: New Year, Same You! Yay!

Hello Team!

Welcome to January and welcome to my 2022 series of encouragement posts.

Even though the changing of the year is a fairly arbitrary thing, January 1 is as good a day as any to take a step toward something you want. And I am going to be here all month to encourage you to be kind to yourself as you figure out the steps you want to take to build your fitness, wellness, or mindfulness habits.

If you are making changes in this area of your life, please feel free to join me and to collect your gold stars for your efforts all month. We are all in this together, whether we are just starting out or if we have long established practices and habits. Making changes can be challenging (and non-linear) and it’s good to remind yourself that you aren’t alone in facing those challenges.

Now that I’ve explained myself, onto today’s topic:

As you may have guessed by the title of this post, I am not a fan of the ‘New You!’ narrative that pops up all over the place this time of year.

I may be overthinking* it but the ‘new you’ thing gives me a bad feeling.

Obviously, if you find the phrase inspiring, forge ahead. But, to me, the idea that you need to become a new person in order to add enjoyable things to your life, or to subtracting things that no longer serve you, is a bit weird. It feels like there is something wrong with the current you.

SPOILER: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE CURRENT YOU.

And I don’t want you to start this new year with the feeling that you are some how less than, that you are a project, or that you need fixing. None of that is true.

You, just like all of us, are doing the best you can with the resources you have. If you want things to be different, if you need more time, space, fitness, energy, mindfulness, or whatever, I want you to be able to make changes that let you have those things but I don’t want you to think that you need to be a different person in order to have them.

With slow and steady effort, and a lot of self-compassion, you can change your routines, your systems, and the necessary parts of your schedule, and reshape your days so they serve you better.

Making those changes may alter your self-perception, add layers of confidence and skill, and may bring different aspects of your personality to the forefront, but I like to think of all of that as an expansion of your current self rather than becoming a new person.

And when you think of those changes in terms of expansion, it means every little thing about the process counts. Every time you try, it matters, even if those attempts don’t pan out. You can celebrate your efforts in every direction.

Whether you jumped into your January plans or if you are in your pajamas getting your mind wrapped around what you might do this month, I’m proud of you.

There are a lot of thoughts, small steps, and stages in making changes, no matter how committed we are to them, and when we learn to celebrate all of those thoughts, steps, and stages, we are encouraged to try, to try again, and to keep going.

Here is your gold star for your efforts today.

A person’s hand holding a slithery star ornament into a patch of sunlight on a green wall.
Our first Go Team! Gold star for 2022. Image description: My left hand holding a glittery gold star ornament into a patch of sunlight between two stripes of shadow with a light green wall in the background. The star is intended as a tree-topper for a small tree so it has a coiled stand as a base.

*Overthinking *is* one of my superpowers so I may as well lean into it, hey?

fitness · habits · holiday fitness · holidays · meditation · mindfulness · motivation

Making Space: Day 30

This is our second last day of Making Space before I switch over into Go Team posts but, just so you know, the encouragement level will stay the same. 💚

I hope that you can find space and ease today and that you have some peace in your heart and mind.

We don’t have to earn our rest.

We don’t have to finish everything first.

Rest is part of our daily cycle, no matter what the ‘push through it’ advocates would have you believe.

Sure, there are occasional times when pushing through is the answer but those times are the exception, not the rule.

It’s ok, in fact, it is advisable, to listen to the signals from your body and mind and take a break as soon as you can.

Maybe your current obligations mean that you can’t take a long break but even a few moments here and there will help.

Please don’t think that I am pressuring you to put more things on your to do list, that is definitely not my goal here. Ideally, we’ll learn to build breaks into all of our projects rather than making them a project in themselves.

And I am definitely not telling you that this is easy or that you *should* already be doing this. Our lives are full and we are often under a lot of pressure to be everything to everyone.

My hope with these posts was that they could help you recognize that your breathing room matters, that making space for yourself is valid, that small breaks are good for you, too.

It was never about chastising you (or me) for the challenges involved.

So, once again, I celebrate your efforts to make space for yourself in your life, even if dropping your shoulders away from your ears for a moment is all the extra space you can make today.

⭐️ <- for your efforts to make space today

And now, on to the totally optional videos:

Today’s movement video was really energizing and completely warmed me up on this chilly morning. There are some jumping movements in this one but you can easily modify them as needed (I did!)

A short energizing workout from the 117 Wellness YouTube Channel. Still image shows the instructor in outdoor clothes and hat standing with their knees slightly bent and their hands in ‘prayer’ position in front of their chest. They are at the edge of a body of water and a dock is visible on one side and there are mountains in the background. Text reading ‘Energize Your Body In 6 Minutes’ is superimposed on the right side of the image.

I first clicked this meditation because I liked the title , then I noticed that it was from Calgary Public Library (yay for libraries!) which was a bonus, but the icing on the cake was when the meditation leader introduce themselves as Christine. A video from a library that recommends a pause and a speaker that shares my name? I am in!

A short meditation video from the Calgary Public Library YouTube Channel. The still image shows a person with long hair and glasses in a black turtleneck sweater and jeans sitting cross-legged with their hands resting on a stack of books on their right knee. The right side of the image is a blue semi-circle with the title of the video ‘The Power of a Pause 6 Minute Meditation with Christine Francoeur’ in white text.

fitness · habits · health · holidays · meditation · mindfulness · motivation · self care · yoga

Making Space: Day 17

When I committed to writing this posts for December, I thought I understood the value of making space for yourself during a busy time. And I would have sworn that I knew the rewards of small exercise and meditation practices.

But obviously there are levels of understanding when it comes to this stuff because I am thrilled with how different I feel from doing (and writing about) these things daily.

I hope that you are getting at least some of the same effect.

It can be really easy to dismiss a short practice in anything, whether it is meditation, Taekwondo, piano, or deep breathing. The truth is that those short practices are not only surprisingly good in themselves but their cumulative effect is delightful.

For a little more delight today, here’s Joelle with some lower back reset yoga in a beautiful setting.

(It’s really cold here today so seeing this summery scene was extra lovely.)

A short yoga practice for the lower back from Yoga with Joelle. In the still image, Joelle is outdoors ona dock with lush greenery and water in the background. She lying on her back on a yoga mat with her knees curled up toward her chest and her arms wrapped around them.

And for some restful breathing today, here’s a short meditation to try:

A 5 minute guided meditation for mindfulness from the Declutter the Mind YouTube channel. Image description:?The still image is of a waterfall surround by rocks and trees. The name of the video ‘Short 5 Min Guided Meditation for Mindfulness’ is in the foreground in white text.

As always, I wish you ease and space in your day.

And here’s a star for your efforts: ⭐️