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With the New Year come all kinds of new intentions or resolutions. Often we strive towards being better at the things we already do or changing some old habits that we know are not serving us. This year, in particular, is very significant, as it has been named “The Year of Action”.
Some of you may have already noticed a change in your habits. Maybe some intense clearing, a physical purge or cleanse is well on its way? I, for one, have experienced the need to sift through all my closets and cupboards and rearrange the furniture. I believe this is a direct result of the 'New Years’ Great Shift'. However, many of my clients have spoken of a physical purge where their organs of elimination and sleep patterns have been strongly affected. Have you noticed that your dreams have intensified over the last few weeks? Maybe you are very lethargic or you are experiencing mood swings? This is the new energy flow and it will pass and we can all get on with making our resolutions new habits!
Some of the best prescriptions for riding the wave of an energy shift is to get grounded, stay hydrated, practice restoration, and take action! The sooner we can take action towards our intentions, the sooner they will materialize and we will all reap the benefits. A year like this comes around only once every decade…so here is a yoga prescription for channeling your efforts and making the most of your New Year of Action.
GET GROUNDED – What the heck does this mean? It is almost starting to sound cliché! Literally, put your feet on the ground, or as close to it as you can get. Take you socks and shoes off and feel your feet on the floor. Spread your toes open to allow the blood flow to penetrate into the muscles in your feet! (Did you know one-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet, adding up to over 100!) Observe your foot and see if you are leaning on one half more than the other. Distribute you weight evenly underneath the big toe mound and little toe mound as well as your inner heel and outer heel…this is a good foundational start to getting grounded!
STAY HYDRATED – Do I mean drink water? According to the Mayo clinic, they say the “8 by 8” rule is best. Which translates into 8 glasses of 8-ounces of fluids daily. Why 8 by 8? Well for one, it is easy to remember! Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function at its best, you must replenish its fluid content. And of course, the number 8 is very relevant to the 8 limbs of yoga, or the sutras, THE yoga guide that teaches us how to live a meaningful and purposeful life.
PRACTICE RESTORATION – Resting, like sleeping, is a learned skilled in our highly active lives. But like any balanced routine we need to find more than just unconscious rest (sleep) in our daily routines. Dare I suggest meditation? The idea of clearing your mind to emptiness and sitting in silence for an extended period of time is daunting and horribly unsatisfying to many. So instead let me remind you about the power of your breath. The breath allows us to expand our lungs, ribs, diaphragm, and even contract our abdominals! Now you’re listening right? When we use ONLY our nose to inhale and exhale continuously, let’s say over the course of an 8-count sequence, we have greater capacity to lengthen and strengthen the breath. By doing so with our nose, we filter out more bacteria than with mouth breathing, reducing the risk of colds and flu. Using this breathing technique will help manage your stress levels, and other related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders. Nostril breathing also contributes to decreasing levels of cortisol in your bloodstream, which assists in suppressing your immune system! So BREATHE…
TAKE ACTION – What should I do first? The common challenge we all face when we reboot or set our intentions is what to tackle first. Think of your YogaRX "yoga prescription", like a cocktail. We need all the ingredients and if we leave out a few, the taste, texture or benefit may not quite be there. So get grounded in your shower, hydrate with water, herbal teas, juice and smoothie your foods to take on the go, and breath when static!
Taking action doesn’t have to require us to carve out more time for more tasks. Once you have settled down from your purge, you will know it is time to take action with this YogaRx for the new year ahead.