Make '1 Of Your 5 A Day' Your New Mantra
Today I found myself counting all the new flowers blossoming in our garden with our daughter Maya, who is always the first one to notice them. We both got somewhat excited about this year's harvest of our twenty alpine strawberries and probably dozen peas as I was about to start writing this post.
This again reminded me of how good we all are in taking such a good care of our gardens, houses, cars and pets or whatever your passion is while our body & mind often seem to end up at the bottom of our priority list. Yet, it's exactly our body & mind that deserve our utmost attention for us to actually enjoy our pastime.
I am a great believer in balance and that's why I like to stick to my revamped mantra of '1 Of Your 5 A Day' and use five basic yogic principles to make sure I get to benefit from at least one each day. Sounds easy, right?
As a busy working mother I am always short of time and I know you are too. It's not always possible to practice yoga, cook healthy organic meal or meditate on daily basis. It's just not realistic, at least in our household. What's important is the consistency control and bringing your awareness to these five principles whenever and wherever you can. Here's how…
Rise and shine with 3 rounds of Sun Salutation before you prepare everyone's breakfast. It will only take up to 5 minutes but makes a huge difference in a way you feel. Then start and end the day brushing your teeth holding Tree Pose or watch the evening news in Half-Spinal Twist. Doing Downward Dog with Maya also offers hours of entertainment as she insists on teaching me yoga all the time!
We breathe to live but why don't you start noticing your breath a bit more. Next time you are sitting in traffic or commuting to work, simply start regulating the rhythm of your breath, directing it in and out of your abdomen with control. Open and energise with each inhale and release the physical and mental tension through exhales.
For me meditation is about taking a step back from our thoughts and outside world and starting to observe and notice rather then being directly involved and respond. Whether it's watching the clouds, ocean waves, ants in the garden, your breath or thoughts, it's about changing your perception and nourish your ability to let go.
Following a busy day, the best way to unwind and relax for me is to lie down on bed and carry out a few minutes of active relaxation. Start by scanning your physical body from your toes moving to the crown of your head and try to mentally exhale through each and every body part, muscle, joint, face and internal organs to release any physical tension and discomfort. By breathing naturally, you'll notice your mind starts relaxing too.
If the vegetarian diet is not an option because of your health or cravings, why don't you stick to Meat Free Mondays? Balance your weekly shop in a supermarket with a visit to your local farmer's market at the weekend and treat yourself to something healthalicious? You also start to appreciate a good glass of wine more when you spoil yourself with one bottle of quality wine at the end of the week, rather then each day.
So start practicing! Maybe you can fit a bit of healthy diet on Monday, do some yoga stretches on Tuesday or do some serious 'seaside meditation' next time you go to Brighton. I can't wait to hear from you about your own tips and how you are getting on.
Love, peace + happiness to all!