May is the month of movement
Workplaces, yoga studios, and fitness centres are right now promoting May as the month of “GET UP AND MOVE” and “track your daily food intake”. I think that this is a super good way to spread awareness of health and how much you can do for your own self, to stay physically and mentally up to date.
But is all exercise good for you? and how can you make simple changes to your diet that will have a positive lasting effect on your health?
Choose your approach…
Ayurveda teaches that to build a strong body you’ve got to move every day. Moving every day means that you need to be strategic. If you are going to exert 100% of your body’s capacity on Monday and are too sore and exhausted to move on Tuesday, then you have to change.
Exercise is a way to move your body that heals past wounds, charges you with energy to live well in the future and feel the present.
You want to choose a way of exercising that makes you feel powered and boosted rather than exhausted. This means working out every day but only to 50% of your body’s capacity. That way you are able to move daily.
This creates a strong body and a determined mind. You are able to reach your goals and make dreams come true.
Furthermore, you strengthen your will-power which is the first step to making changes in your diet.
Three tips on movements:
1) COUNTERACT STRESS: Are you in a situation where stress and pressure are dominating your daily life and workplace? Then choosing a way of moving that leaves you grounded and calm like: walking outside in the forest, come to the mat for slower practices where you hold postures for longer rather than flowing, try Yin yoga and Yoga Nidra. Sit in meditation before bed and first thing in the morning, just 10 minutes – Feel your heart beating and let gratitude for every beat circulate in your veins. You are so alive, remember that!
2) YES to mindful running: Are you reading above first tip and thinking, great, I don’t need to run today, then get those shoes on and off you pop for a fun run. Are you feeling heavy and stagnant then awaken the feeling of lightness in your toes in every step. Running can be tough on your lower back, knees, and ankles. Be mindful and remember to do 10 minutes + of yoga afterward to ground, even add 10 minutes yoga Nidra and savasana.
TIP: Get more out of your running: When we run we are more likely to activate the Sympathetic Nervous System, this is our fight and flight mode, which creates stress and tension in our body. You want to be in your Parasympathetic Nervous System to get the most benefits of your run:
-Keep the breath deep and slow.
-Can you breathe through the nose while running?
-Make sure you ground with yoga and meditation afterward (yoga nidra, resting poses, restorative poses and savasana).
Yoga practice: Yoga-wise you are looking for a practise that works on Prana Prana and Viyana Prana, expansive postures where you take up lots of space. Chest openers and tons of active breaths!
3) Are you feeling low energy or anxious, unconfident or not good enough? I do sometimes, then try this:
-Stand up, feet a little wider than hip width apart
-Reach the arms out to the side, shoulder height and make soft fists
-Inhale through nose and bring the fists to your chest
-Hold the breath for a short while
-and then let the breath out through mouth with loud laughter sounds.
Repeat a few times, soon you will be laughing spontaneously
REMIND YOURSELF that being strong means that you strategically choose where and how to spend your energy in such a way that gets you smiling every day – A smile that keeps you young on the inside and calm on the outside.