Once upon a time, you’d take a run before the sun rose and you were so flexible that you bound yourself like a pretzel in every yoga class you attended. Maybe it wasn’t yoga or running, maybe it was painting, dancing or even just binge watching your favorite show? You were passionate about something.
Remember when you had time to do that thing you love, read a book, return text messages, and just do nothing on a Sunday afternoon. Somewhere along the road of career paths and motherhood, some of us lost the plot. If you recognize yourself in any of these words, it’s time for a swift, self inflicted, kick in the butt.
There’s no prize for selflessness and a lack of self-love, in actual fact, there’s a cost. Loosing who you are is a hefty price to pay, and the result is a family and circle of connections that are also getting less of you.
Girlfriends look out, change is coming. Time to fix this accidental mishap and restore balance!
Make Time for What You Love
Step one is setting aside time just for you. If you can only manage 15 minutes to start with, we’ll take it. When you start to feel the benefits, finding 30 minutes, and then an hour will be easy, and time well spent. Morning sessions set a good foundation for the day, but if evenings work better, great!
Experts will tell you that moving your body is the first step in the right direction, but we’re not talking moving robotically through your daily routine, we’re taking movement with purpose.
The idea is to break bad habits and replace them with positive ones that serve you better. Believe it or not, being a slave to your day is not optimum.
Create a Clutter Free Space
If you can make a yoga class in your area, excellent, but if your days are less predictable, and you have to get creative, then here are some ideas to make yoga work at home.
Granted, finding the right space is not always an easy task. A busy or messy house holds a myriad of distractions. Between the school run and work, roll out your mat in the bedroom or on the patio and begin. Check out Well Worth Living for some stunning ideas to help create a haven out of a patio or bedroom area.
But, enough “buts”. If the house needs more attention than you have time for, take it outside. The patio or garden is a great spot to get fresh air and restore balance in nature.
Learn to Breath
Let’s call on that calm, rational version of yourself that isn’t dashing through traffic to drop kids at school, replacing breakfast with a double espresso and falling asleep with her makeup still on. Take a pause.
Slow things down for a minute… now take a deep breath in… and then let it out.
If you just followed that last instruction, you are half way there.
Breathing is key, but why is it so important? Well, besides the fact that it keeps us alive, focusing on your breathing helps you stay in the present moment and keeps your mind from drifting off and drafting a to-do list.
By breathing consciously, you also activate the cerebral cortex in the brain. This breathing technique sends impulses to this part of the brain, which has a relaxing and balancing effect on your emotions. Plus, research shows that deliberate breathing helps you live longer.
How to be Your Own Yoga Teacher
You’ve made the time, created the space, and breathed new life into your cerebral cortex. Now what?
If you just sit still for a few minutes and reflected only on what brings you joy, you would have moved a proverbial mountain. However, if you are ready to move your body too, and stretch vigor into unused muscles, heres how.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a pro Yogi. Just switch on your phone and choose any one of the hundreds of “Yoga for Beginner” apps available, or follow a yoga tutorial on YouTube. Private Yoga instructor, check.
Tap into the Fountain of Youth
Yes, you read that correctly. In only a few minutes a day, every day, you can tap into the ancient practice of the 5 Tibetan Rites. These are 5 exercises that are ideal when done with a single set of 21 repetitions each. They are stretching exercises that strengthen and tone the main muscles of the body.
They are called the Fountain of Youth, as reports over the last 2 500 years of the practice has included incredible results. These include the balancing of chakras, and, it can apparently assists in reverse the aging process, including restoring the natural color to gray hair. It may seem a little unbelievable, but give it a go anyway. Additional benefits are increased coordination, improved memory, better sleep and detoxing the body.
In recent years, science has uncovered the benefits of grounding. What does that mean exactly? Grounding, or Earthing as it is also known, is about connecting with the earth without any barriers between the ground and the soles of your feet. This connection allows energy from the earth to infuse and heal your body.
That’s not all! Research has also reported improved sleep patterns, reduced stress levels, increased energy and the reduction in pain and inflammation. All this for simply kicking off your shoes. Who could say no?
Stretch Yourself Healthy
If a small pocket of time does not open up at first, even stretching at your desk will increase your awareness of having to make time for yourself. When driving, imagine the crown of your head reaching toward the sky and stretch energy back into your body.
Stretching reduces muscle tension, increases the range of movement in joints, increases circulation and boosts energy levels. The point is to just start somewhere and to keep in mind that there is no perfect place or time to begin.
Cleanse & Detoxify
By introducing any of the above tips into your routine, even twice or three times a week, you will feel marked improvements both mentally and physically.
The icing on the cake is to feed and hydrate your body well to complement the cleansing effects of your efforts. Drink water and eat lots of green, you know the drill.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. A little food prep and replacing vices with more balanced options, goes a long way. This could be a banana in your handbag to avoid you grabbing for candy at the gas station. Or getting in a good breakfast at home to avoid that B-grade sandwich from the snack guy at work.
This is a personal journey that is unique to each person. Enjoy creating the time that you need and deserve. Small changes can have powerful and lasting effects.
30 minutes a day is a small sacrifice to make to feel healthier, happier and more energized.