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It’s easy to wax poetic on change when you’re coming from a stable place—change is good! You’ll always land on your feet! Don’t worry, you’ll look back at this and it will all make sense! On the flip side, if you’re desperately clutching onto the reins of the unpredictable bull of change, it’s a different story. You cling for dear life hoping the next buck won’t send you sailing into oblivion. So we seek out a happy medium: the ability to live confidently in a land without answers, knowing if we stick to our core values and regularly check in with our mind and heart, that we will make it to the next chapter on both feet, and yes—better, slightly battered, and stronger for it.
These postures are my favorites to practice when I’m weaving through a maze of confusion. It’s the perfect balance of stability in your legs and vulnerability in your front body and heart. You have to trust your gut and lean into a place where there’s nowhere to hide. These pockets of physical practice prepare us for trusting that inner voice that invites us to transform on and off the mat. Finally, Ash Cebulka (my life coach) and I share tips for navigating big change with courage and grace.
Kathryn Budig has co-created over 250 classes with YogaGlo that are designed to help you transform on and off the mat. Try YogaGlo free for 30 days with promo code YOGAJOURNAL (expires 12/1/2018).
4 Poses to Open Your Heart with Kathryn Budig
Start on your shins with your knees and feet hip-width apart. Neutralize your pelvis by zipping the lower belly up towards the navel without pitching your lower back. Wrap your hands around your upper ribs, gently pressing your thumbs into the back ribs to curl the chest upward. Lift your heart like you’re trying to fist bump your chin. Grab your waist, roll your shoulder heads back, and hug your elbows in tight. Stay here or drop your arms neutrally to grab your heels. If this feels like a long ride, curl your toes under to shorten the journey. Revisit the energy in your body—lower belly active, ribs curling open, heart flooding upward, and if possible, release your head back and open your throat. Invite everything in—change, vulnerability, lack of answers—all of it. Take 5-8 breaths and then roll back up starting at the base of the spine and ending with your chin and head. Sit on your heels and rest. Repeat three more times.
Keep the same leg base as your Camel Pose. Give the lower belly a good smack to wake up the core and keep that energy rising up the torso. Start a slight engagement in your glutes —not enough to crack a nut, but enough to keep a grape safe. This engagement will elongate your psoas allowing you more space in your front body. Move up your body to your side ribs. Imagine you have two hamsters on wheels living in each side of your ribcage and let those guys rip! This circular action curls your heart space up and open. Interlace all your fingers except your index fingers and bring your thumbs to your third eye. Hug your elbows in to shoulder width apart and let your head fall back. Counter the weight of your head with the powerfullift of your heart. If possible, close your elbows and your eyes. Breathe for 5-8 breaths and then roll back up the spine alphabetically starting with your lower back. Rest on your heels.
Check out ‘Backbending Sun Salutes’ class for additional heart opening phrases. YogaGlo is free for 30 days with promo code YOGAJOURNAL (expires 12/1/2018).
Half Camel Pose
Begin on your knees and step your left foot forward. You want your left knee to stack over your left heel and right hip to stack over your right knee. The front foot and back knee should be hip-width apart to maintain a balanced foundation. Summon your lower belly energy to neutralize the pelvis. Interlace your fingers behind your back and gently work your arms towards straight, stretching your knuckles towards the ground. Free your head back and keep the sternum pressing powerfully up towards the ceiling. Stay here or trace your thumbs along your hamstrings until you find the back of your knee. Continue to trace a line along your calf muscle until you find your heel. Renew the lift of your lower belly and heart space. Take 5-8 breaths then release the heel and roll up. Rest on both shins and then switch sides.
Come into a comfortable seat propped up on a pillow, block or bolster. You can cross the center of the shins or simply find the best position for your body. Close your eyes and relax your mouth. Press your hips down into the ground to summon the rebound action of energy pulling up your spine. Relax your shoulders and rotate one palm up, one palm down. This represents balance—yin + yang, good + bad, flux + stability. As you continue even and calm breaths, allow yourself space to live in a place with no answers. Distraction may regularly pop up, but don’t let this frustrate you. Note the distraction like a cloud in the sky, and then let it float on by and out of the frame. Keep your internal gaze on your third eye. After 1-2 minutes, begin your mantra. Inhale—this is a moment of transition. Exhale—everyone changes. Repeat this mantra to yourself for as long as you wish or until the words translate into your physical body. Place your palms on top of your heart and commit to staying true to yourself and your values as you traverse the waters of change. All will work out.
Access more meditation with Kathryn with YogaGlo’s ‘Moment of Transition’ class. This will explore a soothing mantra meditation to remind you of the transitory nature of suffering. Use promo code YOGAJOURNAL at yogaglo.com/promo for your first 30 days free.
Navigating Change with Kathryn Budig
Maybe you’re itching to shake things up by simply changing your eating habits or traveling more. Or maybe your need for reinvention runs deeper, and you’re considering quitting your day job to become a full-time yoga teacher or launch a new business. Whatever changes you’re looking to make in your life, there’s a way to go about it so that it unfolds as smoothly as possible, says Budig. “Transformation can be tough,” she says. “But with intention, you can let the process serve you as much as the end result.”
Here, Budig and her best friend, life coach Ash Cebulka, share their 7 tips for navigating big change with courage and grace.
Listen to what really excites you.
No matter what part of the transformation process you’re in—whether you’re in the beginning stages of dreaming big or doing the hard work of actually making big changes—keep coming back to this question: What lights me up? What fires me up to get out of bed in the morning? “If you just focus on being successful, it’s not going to bring happiness,” says Budig.
Understand that backlash may be part of the process.
While you may be super-psyched for the changes happening in your life, not everyone in your world may be as stoked. “We live in a society that loves vanilla,” she says. “When you switch it up, some people are going to love it—and some people are going to be pissed off because they want their vanilla ice cream cone.” And that’s OK, Budig adds. “People come and go. I’ve learned that it’s the attachment to people loving you that’s going to hold you down.”
Amp up your self-care practices.
No matter how crazy life feels as a result of all of the changes you’re making, a consistent self-care routine is key, says Cebulka. “Taking time to slow down helps you listen to your intuition and prompts you to ask yourself what you need and want,” she says. “If you’re able to do this, you’ll be better able to trust yourself—which will come in handy during a time that can be filled with self-doubt.”
Join Kathryn on YogaGlo’s ‘Better Than Takeout’ series featuring six delicious vegetarian recipes. Use promo code YOGAJOURNAL at yogaglo.com/promo for your first 30 days free.
Embrace self-doubt and fear that may crop up.
All too often, those of us going through a big transformation only want to talk about the amazing parts—and skirt past the darker sides, says Cebulka. “In the spiritual wellness sector, it’s all about being fearless,” she says. “We’re often told to move past our doubts and not to pay attention to our fear.” Yet leaning into these emotions is part of the process. “Fear is just trying to keep us in our comfort zone,” says Cebulka. “Underneath it is an unmet need that should be tended to. Ask yourself what the need is, and within five seconds, do something actionable to move yourself past fear and closer to your desire.”
Know that some of your friends won’t get it.
Even though you may be excited about the big shifts happening in your life, others might get a little uncomfortable when they see you making changes—and that’s OK, says Cebulka. “Try to see that others’ discomfort actually has nothing to do with you,” she says. “You can’t shrink back to match someone else’s fear when you’re standing proudly in your power.” So, try to inspire others to rise to your vibration, rather than getting mired in the way they process your evolution.
Surround yourself with your most supportive friends.
For Budig, that meant people who didn’t care how much money she was making or what kind of yoga pose she could get into for a photo opp. “When you’re going through a transition, it’s crucial to reach out to the people who support you no matter what,” she says. Maybe it’s the yogis in your community who lift you up; or perhaps you reach out to an old friend or two. The bottom line, says Budig: “Connect with the people who help you feel supported, because at the end of the day, all any of us really want—especially when we’re going through a big change—is to feel understood.”
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
When you’re taking what feel like big risks, it can be tempting to get really solemn about everything and lose your sense of humor when things don’t go your way. “A sense of playfulness will make everything—both your successes and failures—feel more expansive,” says Cebulka. “It’ll make it so that you won’t be so attached to the results.” Not only will this make everything feel lighter and more fun, but there’s a good chance you’ll be more open to any number of outcomes and opportunities, rather than getting stuck
on the one you were after at the start.
Kathryn Budig and YogaGlo have been collaborating on exclusive yoga content since April of 2010.
YogaGlo’s intention is to empower people from all around the world to practice and expand the meaning of yoga. They are committed to practices that invite our deepest self-exploration and investment in our shared humanity. YogaGlo offers thousands of professionally-filmed online yoga, meditation, and lecture classes taught by experienced, certified yoga teachers and professors, in an effort to touch lives in a meaningful way. Whether you’re looking to energize your morning or unwind and prepare for a night’s sleep, YogaGlo has classes to meet your needs.