There are few feelings as blissful as the one you get after a really good yoga class—it’s basically the endorphin high of a killer workout, the mental refresh of a power nap, and the warm fuzzies of a new moon ritual with your girl gang, all wrapped up in one palo santo-scented package. (And you can multiply that effect by 10 if bunnies are involved.)
The only problem? There are all kinds of buzzkills waiting for you the moment you leave the studio, from traffic jams to stressed-out texts from work. Reality checks like these are completely unavoidable, but there are ways to keep the good vibes going strong for hours—days, even—after you step off your flamingo-print mat.
Here, LA-based yoga instructor Andrea Marcum, author of Close to Om: Stretching Yoga From Your Mat To Your Life, shares a few of her favorite hacks for staying in that love-and-light place—no matter what less-than-ideal situations you may be faced with.
Can’t seem to maintain your yoga glow after you re-enter the real world? Keep reading for the three-step remedy.
1. Take full advantage of the end-of-class savasana
If you’ve ever mentally drafted an email during savasana—or skipped out of class before it even started—you’re definitely not alone. After all, doing nothing can be downright anxiety-provoking when you’ve got a crazy to-do list to tackle.
But Marcum insists that this power pause is actually the most important part of a yoga class and it should be treated as seriously as a handstand or crow. “Savasana seems like the end of the practice, but honestly it’s the beginning,” she says.
And if you don’t take the opportunity to clear your mind and let the effects of your class sink in? “Really what it comes down to is you’re staying in the chaos. It’s almost like those snow globes that you shake and you can’t see anything—when you let them sit, you get a clearer picture of what it really is. Without savasana, you’re still shaking your snow globe.”
So take full advantage of that final resting pose by setting the intention to actually, you know, rest. “Even that shift mentally makes it seem like something you want to sink your teeth into,” says Marcum.
2. Take mini-savasanas all day long
Once you’ve tapped into what a solid savasana feels like, Marcum recommends conjuring it up at regular intervals throughout your day.
“You don’t actually have to lie down unless you want to, but for 30 seconds, three times a day, take a pause and let [yourself feel] some palpable calm,” she says. “Taking those little ‘savasanas’ gives you an opportunity to pay close attention [to your inner state] and not be distracted by the outside.”
This is an especially great concept for people who don’t like seated meditation (*raises hand*). “You’re not expected to do 20 minutes or sit for an hour—this technique is very manageable,” says Marcum. “But the increments are really significant, because they teach you to go from reaction to response.” Set your alarm for morning/afternoon/night, or just take 30 when you’re feeling frazzled—either way works for a quick perspective shift.
3. Turn your focus to other people
Chances are, you end your yoga class with a “namaste,” which roughly translates to: “The light in me sees the light in you.” This is more than just a platitude that looks cute on t-shirts—it’s perhaps the most important key to maintaining your yoga buzz, Marcum says.
“The ultimate way to stay calm is to give someone our attention,” says the yogi. “That will give you the [post-yoga] feeling, big time.”
She recommends taking just five minutes a day to turn your focus away from your own dramas and put others first. “Make it part of your yoga practice to truly see someone—listen to their conversation or recognize something they’ve done,” she says. It can be as simple as reaching out to a friend who’s about to take a big exam or buying your roommate her favorite grapes at the farmers’ market.
“[Yoga] keeps us feeling great, and when we feel great we want other people to feel great,” Marcum explains. “Those little gestures really shift the planet.”
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