The light is dimming. The rain (and snow!) is falling. The fires are crackling. This time of year invites a change of pace. The energy and buzz of the summer has faded and the streets are vacating as people start hibernating. Every year during this transition, I pause to reacquaint myself with the idea of “home.” Yes, there are kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. But beyond the physical construct of our houses, what does “home” really represent? Safety? Freedom? Comfort? Belonging?
A couple of years ago, I sold my home and most of my belongings. I hit the road and spent more than a year traveling. During that time, my longing for “home” never died. But by the nature of my circumstances, I was forced to recalibrate my idea of what “home” meant… ”Home is where the heart is” took on a whole new meaning. It was this year of exciting and uprooted adventure that forced me to find home in a set of ideas rather than circumstances. That time ignited a new way of practicing yoga… I began using yoga as a tool to go inward and to find a sense of home in my own center — hOMe.
Ultimately, this is what the practice of yoga is about: an investment in ourselves to better understand our strengths and our weaknesses so that we can bring more balance to our physical and mental states. The more time we spend tuning "in," the easier it becomes to know what we need in order perform our best. It’s a game-changer to redefine home as a place within ourselves that holds the secrets for our own success. If we know how to unlock the door, it’s possible to experience balance on a whole new level. Despite the demands of our sports, our work, and our relationships, we can remain steadfast amidst ever-changing circumstances.
Now, with the holidays fast approaching, home can easily become a place of stress, anxiety, and tension. To step out of the madness, try re-imaging your home and do some yoga to support yourself. Make yourself at hOMe with a quick forward fold…
Try it: Standing Straddle Forward Fold at the Wall
- Stand a foot or two away from a wall and lean your butt into the wall.
- Step your feet wide apart, keeping your feet parallel.
- Bend your knees a lot and walk your hands down your legs.
- Keep your torso on or very close to your thighs — bend your knees more if you need to.
- Bend and stretch your legs a few times before coming to stillness.
- Drop your head to relax your neck and open your mouth to soften your jaw. Let your arms hang heavy.
- If it feels like you aren't leaning back into the wall, bring your feet a little further forward from the wall — feel the support of the floor and wall beneath you as you press down through your feet and lean back into the wall.
- Hold for 5–10 deep breaths.