At the end of classes that I teach, we usually spend a little bit longer laying on our right sides. That magic space between Savasana and the final seated position holds such power and transition. That moment is where we can acknowledge the work we have done on our mats, start to process how we want to use our insights off the mat, and mindfully come out of the practice. We have completed our asana practice and we have arrived at the next piece of our day.
Transitions are little pieces of my day that I have learned to utilize and hold dear. Finding space for transitions and creating meaningful physical routines helps me stay mindful on the task at hand. By ending one process before beginning another, I create mindful divisions in my day. I am able to be mindful and more focused when I close one door before opening another. When I step into a space or a situation, I can feel like I am arriving there. I’m not sliding in or rushing in. I am arriving.
If you look back through the photos on my phone, you’d see about a hundred pictures of my feet. In the grass. Beside my shoes.
I went through a very difficult job transition last year. After several weeks of bringing all of that stress home, I realized that I needed some sort of conclusion to my work day. I didn’t work in the same office every day, so I couldn’t use the elevator doors or a certain stop sign. I had to create something. Inspired by one of my favorite songs, one day I walked out of the garage, took off my shoes, and stood in the grass. Feeling the grass under my feet reminded me that I am cared for, that I have all I need, and that I have a solid foundation for whatever I decided to build. But it was also a bookend to my work day. Taking off my shoes in my grass at my house was a reminder to leave work there and not take it inside. I had arrived at home and I had left work.
I had arrived home. And I was making the choice to arrive with peace and calm.
There are a hundred different places we arrive each day. We take the first step out of bed into our day. We sit at our desk for the first time each morning. We begin to cook. We step on our mats to begin a practice. We step into the shower or in front of a mirror or into our closet.
We arrive into situations and places over and over and over. Automatically. On autopilot.
There are so many options to bring a mindful sense of arrival into different parts of your day. You could take a big whiff of your soap before you lather up in the shower. You could brew tea at work and take your first sip before you log on to your computer. You could use Calm.com for a brief visual meditation between tasks. You could do a brief standing yoga practice before dinner. You could end each day with a breath and gratitude practice. You could use a bath soak each Friday evening. You could simply place your mat beside your bed and allow the feeling of your bare feet on your mat to help you begin and end your day in a mindful way.
Where do you want to feel a sense of arrival? Where would you like to create a more tangible transition? How can you invite your physical experience into creating a feeling of arrival?