A typical day on the road for me looks a lot like my breakfast. Colorful, vibrant, full, and always a little bit random. But mostly, each day, I try to prioritize this: filling it up with as many ingredients as possible that I love – that are still good for me.
It has been a self reflective process over the last few years, truthfully, to ask myself questions like “how much sleep do I need?” or “when does my body like to experience a workout/movement?” or “when am I most productive?”
This process of discovery is less like the science behind baking a cake and much more like tasting my dinner recipe as I go. A little dash of this, next time a little less of that. Trial and learning. Staying aware of my energy inputs and outputs to better monitor and optimize. (While I sort of hate that word “optimize” because I don’t think we’re robots or machines, in terms of making small tweaks and adjustments to my routine to help me feel more balanced throughout the day, the word does seem fitting.)
I do well with a certain amount of routine but a lot of flexibility within that routine. To you, my little snapshot of breakfast may have looked really random, but to me, it was pretty purposeful. Designed to fit my taste buds and still fuel me.
As a movement coach, I like to encourage my clients to look at their own movement practices as a place to be curious, and to fill their workout hour (or half hour or 15 minutes or simply five deep breaths) with vibrancy. Find what feels good and interesting. Do more of that.
That doesn’t mean we can’t do hard things or set lofty goals. Challenge is great. It’s about the mindset behind it all.
Ultimately, that’s how my day is structured when we are changing locations every month. There’s a WHOLE lot that’s up in the air. When we reach a new spot, I won’t even know what kind of set-up I’ll be able to have to teach my virtual classes until I’m physically in the space (read: rearranging the entire space for the best lighting scenario).
But through a process of recipe testing, I’ve found my ingredients that anchor me. I’ve found the components of my daily routine that feel energizing and additive to me. Just enough to feel connected, a whole lot of freedom to not feel boxed in.
When it comes to movement, specifically, this is what has worked for me, specifically, with life on the road:
Self-led yoga: my home practice has become, more recently, a lot more restorative. If I’m only practicing by myself, my gut tells me to slow down. I find a few easy-going shapes, grab my mobility tools, and try to think a little less and breathe a little more deeply.
Self-led workouts: This is my time to do what I need to correct my movement patterns, look at my compensations and work to improve my posture, and build strength where I personally need it. This, for me, is the detail work I absolutely love.
I have one pair of 15-pound dumbbells, one 25-pound kettlebell, a set of mini bands, two super bands, and a set of double handle resistance bands. Those, I found, gave me enough to work with that I could pack easily and still feel like I was able to get some strength work in. In theory, would I love to bring a barbell and a few plates with me too? Sure, but I’m happy with what I’m able to do with what I have, and I’ve decided to prioritize the work I can do with what I’ve got, so I wouldn’t add a thing even if I could.
And if I’m going for a run, it’s for the adventure of it. It’s to see a new area of town, or to land at a coffee shop or lunch spot I’m interested in checking out.
Other yoga or group workouts: I like to take a fellow teacher’s class virtually or in a studio around the neighborhood wherever we are staying once per week. I prefer to support small independent businesses locally however possible when I can. Where self-led workouts are a place where I am very much in my head (on purpose), I like to use this time to celebrate movement and just enjoy it.
And this is just what works for me. It might be a recipe that feels good for you, but perhaps not. There have been times, like when I was training for something, that I needed more structure. That was part of one flow, and now I’m in a different flow.
I write this now because I get the question all the time, “what does your workout regimen look like?” The truth is that for me to enjoy it, right now, I need it to be something that brings me joy and doesn’t require me to hold myself to anything too strict.
In fact, I think that’s an important question to ask ourselves.
What else are we working on in our lives? Our workout hour is part of our lives, and how we show up while we’re in a workout or in our yoga practice no doubt has an effect on how we show up outside of it, too. It’s not inside of a compartment that doesn’t exist elsewhere. So for me, I’m working on finding more flow no matter where I am. I’m working on being kinder to myself. I’m working on treating myself with as much respect as I would treat my loved ones. So my goals in (my homemade) gym, I feel, need to reflect that.
If you take one thing away from reading this, remember: If you find yourself enjoying walks right now, do that. If you want to hit a new PR (or establish a PR for the first time) in the amount you deadlift or bench press, go for it. If you want to run a marathon, lace up your shoes (just warm up first!) Don’t justify it for anyone else.
Most of all, don’t get discouraged if some of the ingredients don’t go together perfectly right away. Recipe testing takes time, but the process can be quite fulfilling if we learn to see it as part of the journey.
(Need some help settling into a movement practice? Try a membership for free for one week right here using the code: movewithmaggie22 )