Endorphins, also known as nature’s antidepressant (by me, this isn’t an official term that I know of!), are a critical part of my self-care routine. What I mean is that I have established – somewhat – the types of activities that are relaxing, rejuvenating and refreshing – and have prioritized incorporating them in to my daily, weekly and/or monthly schedule (and I encourage my clients to do the same). Why? To stay sane, of course. As my beloved friends will attest, even though I am a pretty darn good therapist, I am a total nightmare when I’m stressed.
Around a certain time of year, maintaining self-care can feel like a major drag. Sure, they’re supposed to be enjoyable activities geared around well-being – but I get lazy! Ugh – is it really time for my monthly facial?! Please – not another pedicure!! Sure, my dogs love the beach, but napping is important, too… That is an example of what tends to happen when my “lazy, defiant” dialogue kicks in – even with activities I love and enjoy, the urge to whine kicks in to sabotage!
Most recently, when my gym underwent renovations for a period of about 6 weeks, I realized that I’d need to figure something else out to get my ever-so necessary endorphin-fix. Honestly, it wasn’t a tragedy in the least – I had been meaning to start-up my yoga practice again. My boyfriend encouraged the idea, letting me know that he thinks I’m calmer and sweeter when I’m doing yoga.
Granted, I’ve been a total yoga fanatic for the past 7 years– alternating between phases of being a Bikram-addict and a Vinyasa-enthusiast, even going through a phase of practicing the esoteric Kundalini Yoga. These days, my yoga-class-of-choice would basically be any form of hot yoga – I like a nice Vinyasa Flow, but my Bikram roots die-hard, so I won’t say no to some Hatha postures.
For those of you who are also yoga junkies, you know how important it is to find the right studio. Right after leaving New York, I lived in Orange County, CA, temporarily, while I got my bearings and figured out what my next step would be. Although I was not a fan of the OC, I had the most incredible yoga studio there. Ra Yoga Studio was my sanity. They offered some amazing classes, man, from strength-building to more meditative Vinyasa Flow classes – different levels depending on what you were in the mood for.
Now? I’m living in downtown San Diego, and I hadn’t quite gotten attached to a particular yoga studio yet – plus my gym was sooooo convenient. When I finally did find one that I liked, my ever-so-persistentt laziness had kicked in sufficiently that it’s been a drag getting myself to go! People, this place is walking distance – but I’m tired, I work hard, so whatever.
THANKFULLY I discovered a little app called YogaGlo when I was exploring my AppleTV one day. YogaGlo turned out to be the perfect alternative to a costly Yoga Studio membership – which are basically just as expensive as joining a gym, running over $100/month. YogaGlo, on the other hand, offers a one-month free trial, and after that, it’s something like $17.95 to stay subscribed – and you can pay right through your iTunes account.
There are tons of courses to choose from, and there’s a teacher on-screen: pacing you, directing you, and going through the postures for you to observe. Sure, she can’t come over and adjust you, but you can fast-forward, pause, rewind, etc. – all from the convenience of your own living room! I also have a Schnauzer puppy who has joined me for a class or two, and I was thrilled when I finally got my boyfriend to try a class with me. It was his very first yoga class – and he was impressed the next day with the work out it provided! Getting him to go to a class has literally been a three-year process, but when I played it on our TV? He joined right in!
It dawned on me that YogaGlo might just be a lifesaver for all of you hard-working, crunched-for-time and/or traveling career ladies out there who could really use a little stress relief, without the added stress of having the find and join a yoga studio – not to mention getting there – during our busy weeks. Especially students of all ages, but particularly grad school, I can imagine benefitting from the flexibility of being able to incorporate a yoga class into your schedule whenever you see fit. This is a portable yoga studio that meets you where you’re at!
Seriously – I highly recommend ch-ch-checking it out! I don’t necessarily think I would encourage this app instead of going to a yoga class ever – there is something important about being in the studio’s space in person and a part of the group energy – but I will be using it to supplement my self-care routine on an as-needed basis (i.e. rainy, cold, or otherwise lazy days when I don’t want to leave my apartment!). If I go on a trip somewhere I can totally see the appeal of being able to play it on my computer, too.
Oh yeah – in YogaGlo, you can even choose your favorite teachers and make a “playlist” of your favorite classes, as well as choose from a whole array of subcategories to pick out your class for the day – in the mood for some core work? Check. How about some arm-strengthening classes? Check. Relaxation, meditation, even self-compassion and immune-boosting – they’ve got a yoga “playlist” ready for you to check out.
If your inner yogi has been calling out to you for some attention, no reason to delay any longer! Check out the YogaGlo app, get all the info you need, and sign up here!
Jessica currently lives in San Diego, CA, with her boyfriend, Tom, and their two miniature schnauzers – Jackson and Delilah. She has degrees from the University of San Diego and Columbia University, and is a Therapist, currently working in the field of adolescent mental health.