January 4 | The Lifestyle | The Practice |
In spite of what you’re reading and seeing, the New Year does not mean you have to radically change your lifestyle, today…Strong commitments to your health goals, juicer and yoga mat are awesome – but, will they last until December 31st, 2018?
We’ve learned that adding balance to resolutions is what enables goals and intentions to be realistic and sustainable! Just how yoga uses balancing postures to help you feel grounded and strong, finding balance in your day-to-day life will keep you moving forward in a more consistent, stable and universally supported manner.
Self-care, easier said than done, right? It’s a simple, sometimes indulgent and rarely easy practice that can help center your mind, body and spirit. From writing on Wednesday evenings, to soaking in a lavender-infused bath Fridays after work, it is essential to commit to yourself. The best way of making that happen is to add it to your calendar…using pen, not pencil. And, truly know that your 15-minute morning meditation will sustain your energy and mental clarity further into your day and year than that second cup of coffee!
A sharp juxtaposition to suggestion number one – instead of committing your time to happy hours or extra work, commit to be in service to others. Serving others in way that you show up completely, full-heartedly and without expecting anything in return. In Sanskrit the word for this is seva, or selfless service. Keep in mind, working seva into your daily routine does not mean you commit 20 hours a week, but maybe it’s volunteering at a nursing home a few times a month or calling a lonely friend to say hello.
When was the last time you learned something new? Not a fun-fact type of something, but a skill, hobby or pose? Your brain likes routines, digging deeper grooves into the folds each day we wake up, pour coffee, sit in our car, sit at our desk, eat a turkey sandwich, clock out, make dinner, watch netflix, go to bed, then do it all again.
Remember the excitement of landing crow pose after months of trying? Or how about the giddiness of a child when they first learn to spell their name? Create that sense of wonder by allowing yourself to be new again. Spice up your day to day to re-energize, rejuvenate and rewire your brain! Take a ceramics workshop, sign up at your local improv theater for lessons, or maybe this is the year you finally sign up for Yoga Teacher Training?
The last few years have been all about tracking steps. 10,000 a day was the goal- achievable only when you consciously tried to reach that number (unless of course you are on your feet and walking all day, which in that case you are exempt). An often overlooked aspect of that golden 10,000 number was how getting outside was part of that achievement. And that, my friends, is where the true inspiration comes. Fresh air, birds chirping, cars whizzing by, all the senses indicating freedom, mobility and fluidity. Being out in nature, even if it’s just down the street corner reminds us of our connection to everyone and everything. It signifies how we are one part of the whole and that humility paired with sweet fresh oxygen can lighten your steps, even at 10,000.
Don’t forget – walking to class or parking in the furthest spot from the studio will help!
The go-go-go attitude is shifting to more mindful movement. Yoga has become mainstream. Meditation is growing in popularity; some corporations even offer workshops and designated rooms. What’s next up in the world of the mindfulness and conscious practices? Sleep. The most basic of human behaviors is on the rise for studying, monitoring and practicing.
And give yourself full permission to embrace this rising trend! To improve your quality of sleep, create a nighttime routine, leave your phone out of the bedroom, relax with warm water or decaffeinated tea and be gently lulled into dreamland. Rinse, repeat and do it often. You will feel more alive and well by granting your body’s sleepy wishes than with any type of coffee or adrenaline-rich schedule.