Balance” has become a kind of holy grail for our increasingly crazy-busy times. We know instinctively when our lives are out of balance…we may have difficulty sleeping, find ourselves stress-eating, feel resentful for not having time for the things we enjoy, or simply feel afraid that life is just passing too darn fast. But the good news is that finding balance is a conscious choice, and that means we can take control and reintroduce it into our daily lives. Here are just a few ways to do that.
• Use your usual TV time to relax in a different way. Set your DVR for your favorite shows, and go for a walk, read, play a board game with your family, etc.
• Take an hour on Sundays to plan/make your lunches and dinners for the next week to help save you time and keep you eating healthier.
• Look to exercise as a restorative. It helps your body, clears your brain, and improves your mood and spirits in the most stressful of times. While finding time to exercise can be difficult at first, once you make it part of your routine, it actually becomes something to look forward to!
• Find time throughout the day to take three deep, cleansing breaths to slow the body down and help promote a sense of calm. You might establish a trigger activity that reminds you to stop and breathe, like every time you put down your phone, or after you check your email.
• Make a list of friends or family you’d like to connect with, then think about how you’d like to do that. It might be having coffee, lunch or dinner together (at a restaurant or at home), seeing a movie…or simply sending a card just to say hi and let them know you’re thinking of them. This will keep you feeling connected to the people you care about and will help you find more balance in your relationships.
At the end of the day, take some time to reflect. Think of at least 3 good parts of your day and focus on them. What are some of the things you’re reflecting on today?
Yoga?! Where do I start?
We’ve all heard of the countless benefits that come from doing yoga, and everyone’s been telling you how great it is…and the truth is, you’ve been thinking about it. But where do you begin? Whether you’re a Brand New Beginner or coming back to the mat for the first time in years, starting a yoga practice can be intimidating! But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips for getting onto that mat (and staying there)!
• Come as you are! Many people think they are not “strong enough” or “flexible enough” to do yoga. The thing is, Yoga doesn’t require that of you. Instead it will help to cultivate those qualities in both your body and mind. And trained teachers will always know how to modify things to make the practice accessible.
• Find the right fit. There is LOTS of yoga out there—and it’s not all the same! Try different studios, different classes, different teachers, even different styles, and see what resonates with you. And remember that just because you have a bad experience in one place doesn’t mean you will at the next!
• Tell them you’re there. Be sure to let the teacher know that you are new to Yoga at the start of the class. This alerts them to provide you with a bit of extra attention to be sure that you are safe and well taken care of. Also, if you’re new to a studio, you’ll want to arrive just a few minutes early to fill out paperwork and get the lay of the land.
• Take advantage of being the “new kid.” Many studios and gyms have classes (or even series) designed specifically for beginners. These can be a great entry point! And lots of studios offer a “new student rate,” giving you several classes at a discounted price. Take advantage of these promotions, and visit several classes with several teachers to really get a feel for the vibe of that particular yoga center.
• Give it the ‘ole college try (and then some). Once you find something that feels right, commit to a month of regular practice. Give yourself the opportunity to fall into a bit of a rhythm. The point of yoga is not about the “one off,” it’s about developing a relationship with the practice over time. So allow yourself the time to really feel the changes in your body and attitude, and then decide how to move forward. You might just surprise yourself!
Contributor: Blue Banyan Yoga is a Vinyasa yoga studio and school in the heart of Mt. Airy, Philadelphia.
Yoga that meets you where you are…at home, at work, in all stages of life and for all levels…Because we believe that everyone can benefit from the practice of Yoga – no exceptions.
Learn more at http://bluebanyanyoga.com/
Seek Peace for Your MindWith all the roles you play in life. With the million and one items on your to do list. With your smart phone and tablet and computer all calling for your attention. How can you possibly complete a sentence or finish a project? Where is there space for you and just you? Begin by seeking peace for your mind with these 5 simple tips.
5 Ways to Free/Clear Your Mind
Just breathe. Pause now and take 3 easy, deep breaths. Just breathe, so you can release tension.
Just be. Sit somewhere with a picture or view of a plant or a tree or nature. Notice the colors and textures. Observe any subtle movements. Feel the air current or breeze against your skin. Just be, so you can feel grounded.
Just write. Before bedtime, empty your mind onto the pages of your favorite journal. Write freely without judgment for what you write. No worries about spelling or punctuation. Just write, so you can let go of the worries and distractions of the day and sleep more peacefully.
Just the facts. Let go of any speculation or story-telling in your mind. Let the past be the past. Only allow space for you are 100% certain of. Just the facts, so you can reclaim your mental and emotional energy.
Just you. Give yourself permission to say no to what doesn’t give you joy. Say no to requests for your time that feel burdensome. Focus on what you love and who you love. Focus on you, just you, for more joy in your life and peace of mind.
Contributing Writer: Erin Owen
Take a moment to fully unplug from the digital world. Even if it’s for 10 minutes, keep your phone, tablet and computer at arm’s length. What are some other ways you can “unplug?”