These days corporations and all the "hot experts" want you to think that you need a special product or program to get the body or the lifestyle you want. It’s true that a program can be a helpful tool to create healthy lifestyle habits, but it doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to be exceptionally “special.” Most of the time, simplicity will take you right to the heart of what you need to live up to your highest potential in life. When we are in tune with ourselves and with our surroundings, vibrant health is much easier to experience.
Through 17 years of personal training and 15 years of yoga, I’ve seen sooooooooooo many fads and trends come and go. As I’ve explored the wide array of books, concepts, and programs (and considered but not gotten involved with the products), I’ve found that what has worked best for my clients, my students, and myself is to just keep it simple. Here are a few ways to be sure that you – (your body, mind, heart, and soul) – are in tip top form:
There’s nothing hard about this one… just drink a little more pure, clean, warm water. (More on the warm water later.) Also… reduce or cut out the chemicals that deplete your body like caffeine and soda.
OK so maybe that one should come first but at least your body makes you do this one. Still, a little more purposeful breathing is generally welcomed by every one’s body and mind.
Your exercise routine doesn’t need to be complicated. Just go out (or stay in if you must) and move! Get your heart rate to move up AND down, stretch your body, and even better get a little sweat going.
Clear the Clutter
We need to process and move the old stuff out if we want or expect anything new to come in. Make sure your body is detoxing well – exhaling, sweating, and that things are flushing out well in the bathroom too. (Warm water, healthy eating, and physical movement can help things along in this department). Take time to clear the physical and mental clutter so that you feel like you have more room to be true to you.
Every part of us…. body, mind, heart… all need a break sometimes. Learning how to be ok with stillness is an incredibly beautiful gift that you can give to yourself. Learning to truly relax (not just couch surfing in front of the blaring lights, sounds, and images of the TV) will help you release the tension that can drain each of us on an unconscious level.
Have Fun & Connect with Friends
Isn’t this the stuff that makes life really worth living? Be sure you MAKE time to enjoy the life you are creating for yourself! It’s so easy to put the “need to’s” and “should” before the “want to’s” but really life is better when it has a dynamic balance of work and play. Studies show that the healthiest and happiest older adults are those who have strong bonds of friendship!
What if instead of saying, "I need to eat" we said, "I need to nourish?" I know for me and my guess that for you too, it would simplify and improve our food choices. So often we eat to fill our bellies, to satisfy our hunger -- sometimes physical and sometimes emotional. The purpose of food is really to nourish our bodies. It's a nice bonus that many foods taste good too but so often the secondary function of food over-rides and overwhelms the first. Making sure that your main priority of food is nourishment will leave you with room and energy to find pleasure in food and in so much more too.
Let Your Soul Shine!
Each of us is so much more than what the world sees on the surface. Take time to remember what is most important to you, what makes your heart happy, and what you love about your life. And then, go out there and do more of that! Each of us is special, unique, and full of purpose. Letting your light shine not only adds beauty and grace to the world –- it inspires others to do the same.
One of the many reasons that I love Yoga so much, is that it does incorporate so many healthy life habits all in one sweet and inspiring place. So yes, it might take a little time and effort to get to a great quality yoga class, it is always worth the effort. And even better to learn enough yoga to use it at home each day too!
Here’s to your health and happiness, Kate