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Kristen Dollard (far left) and the Yoga Journal team at Bryant Park.
Bryant Park Yoga is back in New York City for its 12th season, featuring instructors curated by Yoga Journal. This week’s featured instructor is Kristen Dollard, Yoga Journal’s own Brand Director and the author of The Yoga Body Diet. Her class was rained out, but that didn’t stop Dollard from getting into a yogic state of mind.
Sometimes taking your yoga class outdoors turns into a sad, rain-slicker kind of day—and your chance to teach in midtown Manhattan’s most beautiful spot turns into an epic #fail. Here’s my own personal cheat sheet for the rainy day blues.
1. Find Your Balance
Alan Finger, my first yoga teacher, taught me alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana), which is the best way to clear your head on a chaotic day. Learn the calming technique, which balances right and left brain.
2. Pose in Patterned Palazzos
Full disclosure here: Athleta is the sponsor of the Bryant Park Yoga series and they outfit the teachers, so I wore their high-tech running pants and a silver yoga tank with a built-in bra made for a D-cup (can’t say enough about the stability in the latter). Class was rained out, but who says I had to change? Wearing bold patterns on a bummer of a day isn’t just for the Instagram fashion-lebrities. I also splurged on Athleta’s crowd-pleasing jungle pant (see below).
3. Dolphin Pose + Pushup = a Workout
Dolphin Pose tones the belly and tightens the legs while opening the heart and building your arms. Add a pushup and try it 10 times, and you’ll feel like you’ve been in yoga class for 80 minutes.
4. Pick a Mantra of the Day
Later that day, a close pal called me in tears about something. She’d had it on many fronts and was being her usual perfectionistic self, so I turned to the mecca of the profound (AKA Pinterest) and forwarded her this mantra from Buddha from my new board, Bohemian Just Because: “When you see how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” Sometimes, the right quote is better than a dozen roses.
Also seeWhat Is Mantra?
5. Give Thanks for Your Rainy Day Problems
Rather than feeling blah about my cancellation, I decided to give thanks for a new outfit, for my First World problems, for being able to go home to a happy and healthy family and eat a warm meal with them. Recent research has found that gratitude is good for you, but yogis already know that it’s the first part of every practice and of living yoga off the mat every day.