We have been working on our inner selves a lot lately, learning to calm our minds and be mindful of our bodies and surroundings. The first step we took toward this goal is to start a 30 day yoga challenge.
Everyone has heard of yoga, and most have some preconceived notion of what it is, mine was pretty darn wrong! I always thought of yoga as a gentle exercise method that people took classes in as a social activity. Social anxiety has kept me from going to try yoga in a public class even though I have wanted to try it several times, this time I found a series online made by an awesome instructor who is funny, down to earth, and doesn’t assume you are already super flexible!
What I found was that, although there is a physical component, the practice of yoga is mostly one of awareness and mindfulness. Focus on breathing and how your body feels keep your mind clear and easily calmed. This emphasis on body awareness results in proper alignment of our bones, which then leads to improved circulation and lymphatic processes. Yoga is so much more than any other exercise program! We are not just strengthening muscles, we are re-aligning our bodies and minds for better health.
The second component that we have added is a daily time of mindfulness, or meditation. We all sit together for 15 minutes, focus on our breathing with relaxed bodies and minds, and work to release any negativity and stress that has accumulated throughout the day. This has become a wonderful time for all of us to care for ourselves while spending time together in a positive way.
For the small amount of time spent on these activities each day, 30 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of mindfulness, the change in our interactions with each other and our abilities to control our emotions have benefitted exponentially! I encourage you all to take a few minutes of your day to care for yourself through yoga or meditation and try to be mindful of your thoughts and actions throughout your day. The results may surprise you!