What we do today contributes to tomorrow success and happiness. How, therefore, should we fill our day?
What daily practices should we complete to lead a holistic and happy life? Are we living each day as if it were our last and would we be proud of our life at the end of that day? Are we an inspiration or warning to others?
Since we opened our doors at Inspire, I have been asking myself these questions at the beginning and end of each day. They are the catalysts to ensure the day ahead of me is one that I am proud of; a day of fruitful conversations, meaningful work and valued time with my family and friends.
What we do daily, even if imperfectly, will bring more success than what we do perfectly, occasionally.
Here my recommendations to maximize our day:
Find time to sit in silence – Practicing silence helps us bridge our outer life with our inner life and prepares the mind and heart for meditation. When we speak, our energy travels outward with our words. When we observe silence, we stop the drain of energy and explore the depths of our inner world.
With conscious silence, we stop giving into our urge to respond to everything around us and we begin to quiet the rumblings of our own minds. We can always silence our external world, but we can connect to a place inside of us that is silent and still.
Sitting in silence doesn’t necessarily mean cessation of thoughts; the mind isn’t going to stop thinking. The key is how we react to our thoughts, thoughts can come and go like clouds across a sky. We can look at them, realize they are just thoughts, and let them go without any emotional attachment to them.
Nurture your body
When we take care of our bodies, our body takes care of us. Nourishing our bodies with the right fuel ensures that we have the energy and the health to keep us on track with our daily needs. Eating food closest to its original form is the easiest way to choose what we eat.
Move, take the time to do what your body likes to do (yoga, running, swimming etc). It’s easy to have the excuse that you are too busy or that there’s not enough time to care for yourself. When you actively choose daily to do something that is fun and nurturing for your body, you will feel better and your body will thank you for it.
Sleep is as important as being active. Making sure we sleep at least 8 hours a day, ensures we are ready for the next day, refreshed and energised.
If we truly want to live well, we need to make a habit of reminding ourselves, every day, of all the reasons that we already have in our lives to be happy about: our health, family, career and talents. As with anything, thinking like this becomes second nature with practice. Once that happens, we can live well no matter what our circumstances.
Stay positive when speaking with others. Looking at the bright side of all situations and speaking more about our blessings than our troubles will eventually bring more good vibes in our lives.
ON THE MAT
Find time to sit in silence – Coming to practice early and quietly sitting with your eyes closed focusing on your breath in silence allows you to switch off the chatter and tune in to your practice.
Nurture your body- Making sure that you fuel our body with enough liquids and correct food for the class enables your body to feel light and go deeper into certain postures.
Say Thanks - Thank your body throughout your practice. It’s normally easier to pass judgment, be grateful instead. Anytime you encounter a posture that brings you close to your edge, remember your thankfulness. In lizard pose, which I happen to love, instead of backing away from the deep hip stretch, I tell myself, Thank you, hip. Thank you, lizard. Thank you for the good you are doing my body by opening and strengthening me This thought process allows me to go deeper into my practice. I embrace each asana more fully.
I think that a grateful practice spreads energy of happiness that can fill a room.
Incorporating mantras in your practice gets you on the right foot of speaking positively. Affirmations are specific statements that help you to overcome self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. They help you visualize and create positive changes in your life. Using affirmations during your yoga practice is a great way to encourage yourself to reach new levels, both physically and mentally
Here are a few examples of affirmations you may want to incorporate in your practice:
“I am feeling healthy and strong today.”
“I am patient and calm”
“love myself fully and have compassion for myself”
“I am enough”
The next time you approach the yoga mat, be sure to have one or two positive affirmations in mind. Use these affirmations throughout your session, not just when a pose starts to feel difficult. Constant encouragement will keep your mind focused and help to prevent feelings of negativity making it much more likely that you enjoy and benefit from your session!
So tomorrow when you wake up, what are you going to do? Will you plan a day that you are proud of, that is an inspiration to others? Or, will you go through the motions of living, just another day? The choice is yours.
See you on the mat.