Making Space to Just Be—And To Get Moving!

In this edition of Ask the Expert, Coby Kozlowski, a life coach, expressive-arts therapist, and faculty member at Kripalu, talks about how to create space in your life—and how to get up and get moving!

As a busy mom, wife, full-time employee, and budding yogi, I’m having a hard time finding space for myself lately. Any recommendations?

An important thing to remember is that the practice happens all the time, in everything you do. How can you show up in a mindful way as a mom, as a wife, as an employee? Try integrating little rituals into your day: Take 10 slow, deep breaths before each meal, for example. Transformation doesn’t have to be huge, like selling your house and moving your family to an ashram. When you make just one degree of change, it shifts your direction for a lifetime.

Another thing to look at is how much time you’re spending plugged in to Facebook, TV, etc. It’s like making a budget: You wonder where all your money’s going, and then, when you look at it more closely, you realize you’re spending six dollars at Starbucks every day. Take an inventory of your time. Maybe you can even spend an entire day or evening, or even just an hour, without technology. Maybe you can get up 15 minutes earlier each day and take a little time for yourself, to sit on your meditation cushion or just stay in bed and reflect on things that you are grateful for in your life.

I struggle with self-discipline and haven’t been moving my body enough lately. Any tips for getting motivated?

Often that first step is the hardest part. Commit to just sitting down on your yoga mat, or just putting your sneakers on, and see what happens next. I leave my mat at the end of my bed, so I am reminded to do my practice—otherwise I would have to step over it to go on with my day. You don’t have to set a goal of working out for an hour every day—it could be just sitting in a chair and doing the six movements of the spine. Setting a goal can help: Sign up for a race or walk that will get you motivated to prepare—and get your friends and family involved to provide accountability and companionship along the way.

Looking honestly at your motivation can also help crystallize things. Try finishing a sentence that begins with “I want to move my body for the sake of …” Why do you want to do this? Who are you doing it for?