Too busy for yoga class: The cinch fight

Wouldn’t it be great if you could make it to class every day? Sadly, life gets in the way at times. I understand, all yoga teachers do, and can relate. I am starting a series of little ideas to help you move through whatever is blocking you from moving forward. Today I would like to focus on breaking the cycle of immobility.

Give yourself a cinch fight

Have you ever had a day when everything seemed to go wrong? Like the cards were straight up stacked against you? Maybe you procrastinated for so long things have piled up and you aren’t sure how to proceed effectively.  Or perhaps you just feel depressed…and the most reasonable thing to do would be to curl up in a ball and cry, or drink hot cocoa or something stronger (or some combination there of).I would like to offer you one of my favourite ways of getting myself motivated. I give myself a cinch win.

A cinch fight is a term from community organising. Let’s say you are trying to get a group of people to take action on a certain issue, but the obstacles in front of them just feel so huge to them that they have no forward momentum. Morale is at an all time low, everything feels futile. You have to find a way to un-freeze the folks you are helping to mobilise so you set up a cinch win. You give the group you are working with a task to do that you know they will be successful in carrying out.

A cinch fight is a manipulative technique- see the link provided above- but it can be effective. In this situation I invite you to use it in order to help motivate you to move forward. You can’t just fight the battles that are easy to win, but sometimes, if you are feeling down or overwhelmed it is good to feel successful just to get the ball rolling. So, what can you do to make yourself feel just a little successful?

  • 10 jumping jacks
  • walk around the block
  • do a mini yoga practice
  • brush your teeth (it couldn’t hurt)
  • make a to do list
  • drink a glass of water
  • do a handstand or head stand against the wall for a few seconds
  • (fill in the blank here with what ever makes you feel good…)

One more thing, if you are feeling like all you can do is nothing, it maybe that you just need to trust that instinct and do exactly that, nothing. Take a moment and integrate all of your experiences into the present moment. Breathe. You got this.


Just outside Casablanca

On Wednesday, I was invited to teach a class to some young women at George Washington Academy. It was really wonderful to share with them asana and to create a space where they could accept themselves amidst the clutter of high school. The way the students gave over to the practice was truly inspiring. What a beautiful day.