A new year has commenced with the opportunity to think about the triumphs and pitfalls of the past year in order to plan for the future. Most of us set resolutions at this time. Fortunately, some of those resolutions become part of our daily life, but unfortunately others fall away shortly after we try to implement them.
Recovering from family drama. Post-holiday crowds at the stores. The financial pinch from buying all those holiday gifts. The cleanup after hosting your in-laws for two weeks. The temptation to eat all that leftover food in one sitting. The new year can start out stressful!
Stability and steadiness in your physical body and in your life can seem elusive. There’s either too much going on or not enough. That’s where yoga comes in.
“Yoga is meant to be a full practice, one that encompasses all aspects of one’s life,” says Mark Van Buren, a yoga and meditation instructor in River Edge, New Jersey and author of Be Your Sh*tty Self: An Honest Approach to a More Peaceful Life. “We can use the fullness of our practice to live a balanced, liberated life.”
Invigorate Your Senses
Aromatherapy is a powerful tool that can calm or energize your senses. There are so many ways you can incorporate the benefits of aromatherapy into your home: candles, essential oils in a bath or shower, flowers and fresh fruit, and even the aromas wafting from your kitchen. One of my favorite ways to fill my home with warmth and energy is to simmer a pot of water on my stove and fill it with orange peel and cinnamon sticks. The orange peel energizes while the cinnamon warms and soothes. Try this at home and watch your mood shift!
Winter has a way of gently reminding, and sometimes demanding, a different pace through life. Slow, all things slow. Which is counterintuitive for most in this fast-paced culture where more is better, and faster, and is far superior.
Giving Back the Gift of Yoga
The idea of giving back may have a different expression for each person, but the benefits are felt by all those involved in any act of giving. The Give Back Yoga Foundation believes in the power of giving back and in the transformational benefits of yoga and mindfulness — which is why the Boulder based national non-profit is leading the way in yoga service programs, trainings and resources to awaken, transform and give back. One of the underserved populations Give Back Yoga supports is veterans.
Traveling can be fun and exciting yet stressful all at the same time. You have the pleasure of seeing new destinations, seeking new adventure, or revisiting old stomping grounds. But between airport security, flying, business meetings or even family get-togethers you can often find yourself stressed out or anxious. Which means travel is not a time to abandon your yoga practice, but instead embrace it wherever and however you can.
Meditation is my therapy. I’ve had a consistent meditation practice for the past three years and explored various styles of meditation for years prior to that. Like most people I started meditating as a result of all of the wonderful things I’d heard about how transformative it is to daily life, how easy it is to fit into any schedule, and how essential it is to our overall well-being and peace of mind.
“There is a story we tell ourselves everyday about who we are and what we can and can’t do…remember you wrote that story and you can edit it anytime…” -Joshua Scott Onysko
In a recent study conducted by the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin demonstrated that a short program of brain training can produce positive effects in both adapting to stress and improving immune functions. Even months after a brain training regimen has been completed, there is a noticeable positive impact on how the brain handles negative stimulus and how the body produces antibodies.