We all have those days or even stretches of being burned out, feeling as if our life is on autopilot and we're trying to hang on in order to make it through the day. There are a few small steps to help us shift that feeling of being behind rather than proactive about living our life more fully and with intention and help us feel more deeply connected to others, our world and ourselves. Add these easy strategies to your day and raise your vibration, energy, focus, and happiness level.
Every morning, first thing, write down ten things for which you are grateful. Think of things that fill your heart with happiness such as your family, the rockstar parking spot you found, your comfy shoes, anything that truly makes you thankful to have, big or small.
Every evening before bed, write down five intentions or goals for the next day. These should be attainable and beneficial such as arriving to work 10 minutes earlier to feel ahead of the game and prepared once the work day starts, or drink 8 glasses of water. You get the idea. Have it in writing and refer to it often. Just meeting these goals each day is a huge factor in boosting confidence.
Get out in Nature:
Walk barefoot in the lawn, sit near a fountain, take a walk in the park. Notice the sounds of nature, the smells, the feeling of the breeze. Use as many senses as you can. This activity instantly connects the body and spirit and feeds the soul.
Meditate/Pray/Sit in Silence:
At least once daily spend time alone to do NOTHING except be with yourself and spirit in an intentional way. It's easy to carve even a few minutes of your day to watch the breath, listen to your higher power, be still. Its so refreshing and satisfying. This is a definite vibration lifter!
Try these small, easy steps a meaningful try for seven days and let me know how these change your week.
Prana: 1. air 2. aliveness Yama: to restrain Ayama: to lengthen
Pranayama: 1. to restrain or increase the flow of air, 2. to restrain or increase the flow of aliveness
(from "Pranayama: a Path to Healing and Freedom" by Allison Gemmel Laframboise with Yoganand Michael Carroll)
Many yogis believe that the most important part of a yoga practice is proper breathing. I have to agree. Intentional breathing practice - pranayama- is one of the most effective ways to move prana (life force energy) through the body. After years of trying to perfect a forearm balance or go deeper into a challenging backbend, the one thing that I always come back to as a source of well-being, inspiration and learning, is my breathing. It has become the most satisfying part of my practice...some days it's my only yoga practice!
To those of you who love their yoga workout with lots of hard poses and a puddle of sweat on your mat this may feel like "non-yoga" to take it easy and just breath. Maybe even a waste of time. But the importance of breath awareness in yoga class can't be overstated and practicing correctly with intention is a must for anyone who wants better health and well-being overall.
The following practice is called Dirgha Pranayama or the Full Yogic Breath. It can be practiced safely anytime and is relaxing, calms the mind and body and allow the mind and body to connect energetically. This is the basic yoga breathing technique that you will want to become comfortable with before moving on to other pranayama forms. Practice Dirgha Breathing daily and notice the difference!
Start your breathing practice sitting comfortably in a chair or lying down on the floor on your back. Breath deeply without forcing the breath, and feel the belly expand and contract with the inhale and exhale. Practice that several times and then continue breathing into the belly and into the side ribs, letting them expand fully. Practice that for several rounds before you move to Full Yoga Breathing.
For the Full Yogic Breath, (Dirgha Breath) continue to fill the belly, side ribs and also the chest as fully as you can without force, but a full, continuous, inhale. Smooth, complete exhale. Make sure you mindfully isolate all three parts; belly, ribs, chest, and allow each area to expand as you inhale in one continuous flow of breath. Hold the breath for a few seconds and then slowly release the breath. Try to exhale slowly and evenly. without rushing to expel the breath. Push every bit of breath out at the end of the exhale. Repeat about 10 times. Spend a few moments observing the body.
Yoga and meditation teacher since 2003, I love discovering and sharing information about natural health and the mind-body-spirit connection through yoga and mindfulness. Join me and be changed for good!