There were many great lessons I learned during my teacher training. In addition to weekends spent learning about all the different postures, flows, muscles and chakras, we took at least 5 yoga classes a week. Everyday we were required to do certain ‘practices.’ Each of them drew us closer to a centered, more peaceful day as a yogi. Here are four of my favorite daily practices.
- Meditation. I really thought meditation was lame before I started doing it everyday. I didn’t really believe it would have any benefits. I was pleasantly surprised. There are many studies that show the benefits of sitting down in a cross legged position for at least 20 minutes a day. Allowing yourself to close your eyes and calm your mind, it gives you a sense of clarity and peace for the rest of the day. If you can’t do anything else on this list, at least meditate once a day.
- Move. Seriously, get moving. I prefer to do yoga and stretching. It will give you energy and get your blood flowing for the day. Yoga creates a mind-body connection through the vagus nerve that runs from our brain and connects to our immune system, gut and heart. Doing it first thing in the morning will boost your metabolism for the rest of the day.
- Yoga Meal. This has been the hardest practice to maintain. A yoga meal requires sitting down at a table without any distractions. Pause and give thanks before eating. Eat one bite at a time. Only eat two fist full of food, then wait an hour to decide if you are hungry enough to eat one more fist full. This practice really makes me take time to slow down during a busy day and eat a delicious meal, while really allowing my body the time to digest.
- Give Gratitude. The best way to end any day is to find gratitude in your life. Take time at the end of the night to reflect of each day and write down your gratitude for the day. The most simple, yet most rewarding daily practice.
I truly believe if you can incorporate these into your life each and everyday, you will find peace and a path towards your inner yogi.