You roll out your yoga mat, take your seat, and begin your routine before class starts. A routine comprised of stretching, sitting or lying down to mentally prepare, or maybe enjoying some time to chat with your fellow yogis. All is as it should be, yet something seems off. You’re uninspired, going through the motions, not as aware of what you’re doing, feeling low in energy and even contemplating the need to take more breaks.
I am swinging back and forth on the ceiling of the rock wall—fear pulling me away from and hope pushing me toward my next hold. I am trying to ignore my arm’s thoughts that they are too tired and let myself believe I can grab the next hold. It’s so far—and I’ve failed so many times before.
A guest post by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
When people practice mindfulness they say things like, it makes me calm, it softens my body, it helps me be more aware of choice or I seem to be more clear about what matters. The question I love to follow with is, “what would the days, weeks and months ahead be like if there is more of this in your life?”
Diet and exercise. We’ve heard for years that those two habits are important when it comes to weight loss. Most studies say that your diet is more important, but exercise helps. But does it really help? And if so, how much?
When I became a yoga teacher 13 years ago, I was keenly interested in introducing yoga into hospitals and mental health centers. I began my own practice right after my father died, and experienced such grounding within my grief that I longed to share the benefits of yoga with people who’d experienced illness or trauma. I taught in hospitals, but it was five years later, in county drug court, that I found my true niche working with teens.
If not, you totally should. Even if you’re not gluten-free, it’s still okay to eat more vegetables. And this is one wicked awesome way to do that.
At times, we all need someone or something to lean on. Reaching out for and accepting support—in its many forms—is a great life skill to impart to children.
Kids’ yoga offers an opportunity to introduce this concept, particularly through the use of props.
The statistics are astounding—the average American generates 4 pounds of trash every day, which adds up to a whopping 1,460 pounds in a year. It takes a plastic water bottle 450 years to break down in a landfill. And in every single square mile of ocean, there are more than 40,000 pieces of floating plastic debris.
I gather clutter every year: paperclips, shoes that don’t fit, magazines, and leftovers in the fridge. I know a balanced life requires that I’m conscious of what I bring into my life—and that I let go of things in equal proportion. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Research shows that we overvalue things once we buy them, which is why we often live over-cluttered and complicated lives.