Yoga styles are like snowflakes; there are no two exactly alike. While there may be major differences in every style, there are common rules for every yoga practice that are worth adhering to.
Put the following yoga rules at the top of your must-not-break list for all styles of yoga to ensure you’ll gain more enjoyment from your practice.
Rule #1 – honor your real limits
This is a tricky rule, because there are clearly two types of limits: Self-imposed limits and real limits. Self-imposed limits are those that we cling to when we are most likely afraid, unmotivated, or disinterested in improving. An example of a self-imposed limit is thinking you are completely unable to get better at yoga because you are too stiff. These types of limits can be broken, and yoga helps us do that. (more…)
Being under stress is not fun. Tension headaches, insomnia, and back pain are just a few symptoms of taking on too much. These symptoms are uncomfortable to say the least, but if not addressed, they can lead to more serious, health-threatening ailments.
According to the American Psychological Association, one half of Americans say that stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional lives, adding that stress is responsible for keeping them up at night. The American Institute of Stress claims that workplace stress costs more than $300 billion dollars each year in health care, and according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, stressed out workers incur an average of $600 more a year due to stress related needs compared with non-stressed out workers.
Whether you work, are retired, or are a stay-at-home mom, if you are under stress, please take note of the following five tips for releasing tension from your life. Not only will it help you, it may even relieve the stress from those around you.
Whether you observe Lent for religious purposes, or just use the time as an opportunity to reflect, realign and restate your New Year’s resolutions, the 40 days that follow Mardi Gras can help you adapt to healthier habits.
The following suggestions will help you brighten your perspective during this thoughtful time of restraints so you don’t experience success-stealing withdrawals from your favorite guilty pleasures. Turn your old bad habits into new healthy habits by incorporating mindfulness meditation and yoga, and by repeating positive affirmations.
The next time you find yourself craving left over Valentine’s Day candy for example, instead of rushing for the half eaten heart shaped box of chocolates, stop and take a moment to think before you act. Feeling powerless over food cravings can lower your self-esteem, leading to more cravings. Break the vicious cycle by pausing, connecting with the feelings and sensations associated with wanting to eat the candy, and then let go of the need to oblige your desire. Easier said than done? Not if you practice, again and again. The more you partake in mindfulness meditation, the more natural it becomes. Eventually you will be the ruler of your cravings, rather than a slave to them.
Negativity is a bummer. It can ruin your day whether it comes from you, a co-worker, family member or a spouse. It has the potential to increase exponentially, and spread rapidly from person to person like a contagious and deadly virus that kills hope and optimism.
Not only can a dose of negativity squelch your good mood, it can also be detrimental to your health. Negative thinking causes stress, and we all know that the ill effects of stress are many.
In order to stop negative thinking from raining on your parade, you must block it before you’re drenched to the bone with sodden pessimism. The following steps can help.
By Jill Lawson from Jill Lawson Yoga
Many of us believe the power of thought can greatly affect the course of a day, if not our feelings and attitudes that shape the opinions we have of ourselves. As quoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny,” thoughts can promote positive or negative experiences for us.
The following daily affirmations work to cement positive thoughts in our subconscious mind, allowing us to practice healthier habits and lead us to more fulfilling and much happier moments. They are helpful when we are having a bad day, but equally as effective when we are feeling good already. The more we can put a positive thought toward something, the closer we are to actually bringing that thought into our reality.
To kick off Stress Awareness month, I want to remind you that “stress” is a positive thing. Most of the time when we refer to stress it has a negative connotation. We talk about stress as all the different stressors we are currently experiencing and all the mental and emotional strain that we are feeling. “I’m just so stressed,” “She’s under a lot of stress right now,” “He doesn’t respond well to stress.” Each of those statements is an explanation of a negative reaction to stressors. Yet, instead our statements could be “I am learning so much through this,” “She is getting a lot accomplished,” “He performs well under pressure.”
Stress is a lot more than the things to which we give that label. Every change is a stressor. Going back to school is a stressor that includes several stressors of scheduling classes, writing papers, and absorbing new ideas, yet it is also an opportunity to learn many things.
Snack foods are a major diet downfall. You may get cravings late at night, after work or in the early afternoon, but no matter the time of day, the caloric consequences can be high. Here are three tips to talk yourself out of a craving.
Take Ten. Make yourself wait ten minutes after that craving hits. Think about how you’re feeling. Are you grumpy? Tired? Anxious? Sad? Try to find something that will alleviate these feelings without food. Instead of a snack break, try taking a short walk, meditating, or stretching. Or consider having a chat with someone who cheers you up.
Imagine that you are in the produce department of your local grocery store. In the citrus section, I want you to pick up and examine several lemons until you find the freshest, juiciest one to take home with you. At home, find a clean knife and cutting board and cut a large wedge into your lemon, while the juice runs down your fingers. Now imagine yourself biting into the juicy flesh of your lemon, catching the juice in your mouth and tasting its citric sourness. I can nearly guarantee that you are salivating more now then before you started reading this blog. (more…)
You can continue to add to your list of positive characteristics and skills by being in tune to the things other people say about you. How often has someone tried to pay you a compliment and rather than thanking them for their kind words and recognition, you tell them they are wrong? Not only are you not accepting the compliment, but you are not accepting them or their opinion, and you are likely making it less likely for them to say such things to you again in the future.
If you are struggling with self-esteem, let those around you tell you those things that make you special. Often those closest to you have a more accurate view of you than you do. If you have a healthy support team, you will hear positive things about yourself, not negative. Teach yourself to say “Thank you” to every compliment! (more…)
I’m forever being accused of being too “positive”. Some people have gone so far as to question whether or not my sunny outlook is “genuine”. I suppose in a negative world, someone who is always happy go-lucky can be a bit disarming. However, I am proof positive that positive self-talk is a learned habit; and one that can help you shed those unwanted pounds.
As a child in the 60s, divorce was rampant and my situation was no exception. My mom and I didn’t have much, but I never knew it, because my Mom always focused on the positive. She always told me we were going to make it, and be successful, and you know what? We did it. She just recently retired from a very successful 40 year career in the mortgage industry, and I am principal of my second company, each started with little or no capital investment.
I have a friend who calls herself a “fat little girl”. No doubt, she heard this from her caretakers, and has made it part of her vocabulary. She is now dealing with Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Arthritis in her knees, and while she is an extremely successful businesswoman in a cut-throat industry, she has always been overweight, and most likely, always will be.
Psychologists assert that positive self-talk can be taught through “cognitive restructuring”. For a free “mind tool” resource, click here, and join the positive self-talk club!
You can also learn more about emotional eating at the mental ties to weight with Shrink Yourself.