Creating YOUR Best Body . . . and Life.

What are the most important elements when you think of your health and your body?

Here are some that come to mind for me:

  • Wholesome food
  • Fresh air
  • Clean water
  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Rest and Relaxation
  • Happiness

You probably came up with some of the same ideas, so let’s explore how these contribute to creating your best body—and the highest quality of life possible!

What you put in…

Do you get enough fresh air?

You might be wondering why I’m starting with this, rather than with food and water. Well, we can survive without food for days, water for not so long, but without breath there is no life.

So, the quality of the air you breathe counts. The quality of your breath counts. We’ll talk about yoga in the next section, but one of the reasons it is so beneficial is because of all the breathing!

Fresh air is crucial. And, bonus, it gets you outside into nature. Do you notice how much time outside shifts the way you feel? “Yes, a walk sounds great, let’s go!”

Even in your house, air quality counts. An open window is a good idea unless it’s too cold. Air filters are good, but lots of plants are better. And when you start feeling tired or down, remember that a few deep breaths go a long way!

How many veggies have you eaten today?

Eating healthy is, of course, one of the most important things you can do for your body. You know this. But do you do it?

Take a moment to consider your food choices. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve been making choices that are less than ultimately nourishing. Just check in and bring awareness to this part of your life.

The more veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and wholesome goodness you include in your diet, the better.

Also, remember that the energy of your food counts big time. If you’re angry when you’re eating or cooking, it stresses your body. On the other hand, food “made with love” and eaten with mindfulness is such a blessing to your body.

Drink up!

It seems like every time I write anything about health I’m talking about water.

Well, it’s that vital!

So, rather than re-write what I’ve already done, here’s an article on Why Water is So Important. In case you forgot.

Beyond just drinking water, consider how nice a bath feels, or a dip in a lake. Simply watching water flow in a creek, waterfall, river, or watching waves in the ocean has such a calming effect.

Water is essential. And we’re lucky to live in a place where clean water is abundant, because not everyone has such unlimited access to water. It’s something I’m grateful for every day.

What you do…

Fitness can be fun. Really!

When you think about creating your best body, does exercise come to the top of the list? If so, it’s for a good reason.

Staying strong, having a healthy cardiovascular system, and staying fit do SO much for your body. Your bones stay supported, your body ages more gracefully, you have more energy, and you feel and look better… among a whole slew of other benefits.

It’s important that you actually enjoy working out, though, because you’re a whole lot more likely to actually do it!

What do you enjoy when it comes to being active? Do you like to run, bike, hike, swim, play soccer, dance, get your sweat on in the gym?

I love Yoga Boot Camp. I’m biased, of course. But the variety, the community, the balance of strength, cardio, core, oming, laughing, yogaing (that is totally not a real word)… I love it all. Sometimes I don’t love waking up so early, but then once I’m there I’m so glad I did!

Whatever gets your groove on, do it. Because you know how essential it is. Your body will thank you.

I love YOGA! And yoga loves you too.

Do you actually want me to list the benefits of yoga?

Okay, here is a very small taste of the endless benefits:

Increased circulation and flexibility, immune support, cardiovascular support, hormone balancing, reduced stress, increased strength and stability. I really could go on (and on and on), but it seems unnecessary.

Because the bottom line is, it feels good!

The attention to alignment I teach and practice is really key for me when it comes to yoga. It can make the difference between an okay yoga pose and one that feels so amazing your breath gets incredibly clear and your body does an internal sparkly happy dance.

Or at least that’s how I think of it sometimes.

Getting to know the nuances of alignment can not only benefit your yoga practice, but also your fitness exercises and the everyday things you do.

I’ll be teaching a workshop on October 14th called “Art of Alignment” that you might want to check out. Everyone from beginners to advanced students are welcome, and you’re sure to get valuable tips and insights.

Even a short yoga practice each day has enormous benefits. Think of all that breathing! And opening up the areas that are tight means you can play more, work more efficiently, and otherwise enjoy being alive with more freedom.

Can I get an “Amen!”?

Ahem. Excuse me. I get excited about this stuff.

Who you are…

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

– John Lennon

An ode to happiness.

Being happy is what makes life worth living. The things that make up happiness are what make each moment full of magic.

When you are happy, you are far more likely to be healthy. You have less stress, and your body responds in wonderful ways.

So, what makes you happy? What are you passionate about? What do you like to do for fun?

I encourage you to write down a list of things that make you happy and post it on your fridge, or somewhere you’ll see it every day. When you have this focus, you’re more likely to make choices that help you stay on the path of life that lights up your heart.

Make a point of doing at least one thing on that list every single day, and really being present while you’re doing so.

For example, if one of your “Happy Things to Do” is spending time with your loved ones, make sure you really show up for them. Put away your cell phone, drop all distractions, and completely enjoy each moment.

You might also keep a journal or calendar where you write down the things you did each day that made you happy. Recording these successes means you’ll remember them more, and you’ll give yourself credit for having done something positive. It’s a very good thing to bring more focus to the happiness in your life!

Smiling a lot helps too, of course.

(By the way, I got the phrase “Happy Things to Do” from a Donita K. Paul book. Thought I’d give her credit for such an awesome collection of words.)

Stillness. A deep sigh. Sleep. Baths, and other things.

Rest is so essential, and yet it’s something that suffers in a lot of peoples’ lives.

Your body needs rest. So does your mind. And your emotional body for that matter.

We just simply need a break from time to time. Every night at the very least!

Getting a good night’s rest goes a long way. As does a hot bath, a deep breath, and, my favorite: meditation.

Meditation has many scientifically proven benefits for your health, as well as a whole lot of not scientifically proven benefits that have nonetheless been revered for thousands of years.

When you sit still and breathe, visualize light, tune in to your intuition, or listen to a guided journey, your body thanks you. In fact, your entire being (body, mind, heart, spirit, etc.) aligns and pulsates in harmony when you meditate.

If you don’t already have a meditation practice, or would like a few ideas as a refresher, there are many beautiful practices in my book, Yoga for Dragon Riders.

You can also find some great ideas in this article on meditation.

Whew!

I know, that was a long blog post. But I hope you’ve gotten some insight and inspiration into creating YOUR best body and life.

I’m here to support you, as always. Because every day you show up to class, or give 100% in whatever you do in life, you inspire me. And so, we are really here to support each other.

Which is a very beautiful thing!

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