I've always been asked by many people what to do to stay healthy and fit. They ask me so many questions about health sometimes its hard to give them just one answer!
The truth is there are many different factors that lead to a healthy body and mind. Obviously I will promote yoga all day until my jaw hurts! But thats only one small part of it. While the asana aspect of yoga is very critical to health, its one small branch to the big 8 Limbed tree of Yoga. To break it down though, here are a few things that anyone can take away from the yogic lifestyle. So next time you're in a jam, ask yourself- What Would A Yogi Do?!
1) Eat Healthy and Mindfully.
Everyone knows to eat their peas and carrots, but have you thought mindfully about this? Meaning, when you bought those carrots did you think about where it came from, who grew it, and how? Doing this at the grocery will drastically change your habits. I promise! You can do your research before hitting the store to be better educated. Watching TED Talks on the subject, documentaries, and doing some google searches on organic food and sustainable practices will enlighten you. Food is so essential to our survival, but just because this side of the world is abundant in it doesn't mean its safe for you. If you eat meat this can be a life saver. Animals treated and raised properly can have a drastic difference in nutrition. Animals and plants also transfer energy, its the law of physics! Would you rather eat happy chickens or depressed and deprived chickens? Same goes for plants! I myself am a vegetarian, part time vegan, so I promote that lifestyle 100% but that doesn't mean if you eat meat I wont support you! It is still a good idea to only eat meat once or twice a week, not everyday. Protein is in abundance in many plants so don't be fooled by the ads! Eat peacefully and quietly, don't rush. Avoid eating before bed, even snacks, drink tea if you really want something in the tummy.
2) Meditate Meditation is hard. I wont lie to you! But what makes it harder is not doing it at all! Showing up every time, even if you dont want to, is the best way to tackle life and its challenges. Every day people are diagnosed with mental disorders. I cant help but wonder how many of those people could avoid those diagnoses if they started meditating. As a society we are constantly busy, physically, mentally and emotionally. Taking 15, 30, 60 minutes to be still and quiet can seem like wasted time! But I promise you wont regret it, you will see so much benefit. To get started, try lying down on your back and closing your eyes for 15 minutes a day. DONT FALL ASLEEP! Once you can lay there without moving or falling asleep, move on to sitting with crossed legs for 20 minutes. Find a meditation group or go on a meditation course or intensive. When I started I wanted to be immersed so I went to a 10 day silent immersion course! You dont have to do this unless you want a drastic change to your life! I did and it changed, and possibly saved, my life.
3) Throw away your TV!!!
Or at least watch less of it. A lot less! Like almost hardly ever! This will not only increase the time you spend doing much healthier things, but it will change your attitude too! I gave up TV 3 years ago and I will never go back! My attitude went from dramatic to stable within a few months. You will be surprised how you are soaking in all that bad energy from TV shows, ads, and movies. Part of being healthy is being mindful, and you cant be mindful if you are not aware how things effect you externally. If you want a change for the better, toss that TV out the window!!!! But if you want a slow change, only watch shows that are uplifting and educational. Im a big fan of Discovery channel, National geographic, and health shows. Comedy is good to watch in small doses, its very healthy to laugh! But dont laugh at someone else's expense. Racism, sexism, and violence is never funny and they degrade your mind. Truth.
4) Dont worry, be happy!
Stress is a huge sickness that starts in the mind and ends with decease! Many studies have proved that stress is linked to immune system failures and even cancer! Ever heard of panic attacks and mental break downs? Both caused by stress. Did you get sick but no one else around you is sick? It was most likely stress. A lot of the time we dont see how stress effects us until we are sick in bed or crying for no reason! When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Dont worry, everything will work itself out. If you feel overwhelmed by everything, call a friend. Find a community. Meditation helps so much, so does yoga and playing with your pet! Do something positive with your time. Read a book, start a journal or blog, go to the woods and rest! Life is beautiful, you just need a reminder of that every once in a while! Positive thinking is actually a tool many are using now and it does work. Think of it as looking on the bright side! The grass might look greener on the other side, but all yours needs is some water and light and BAM- your grass will be beautiful in no time!
You can follow me on instagram (@elianayogini) and facebook (Facebook/elianayogalife) for more yogi insights! Om Shanti!