This is the first of a series of installations I’d like to call YogaLife Lessons. It’s always cozy and uplifting to liken oneself to those we admire; and so, in that vain, I’m about to liken myself to Oprah. (Yup – there you have it.) The mega-mogul-slash-billionaire-goddess-turned-new-agey-life-coach shares her greatest lessons and learnings on her new hit series”Lifeclass” (insert love button here). Whilst Ope’s got a few years wisdom tucked under her (very expensive) belt, here is a taste of what 12+ years on and off the mat has taught me.
1. Power of Intention: Do yourself a favour and let the first thing to pass your lips in the morning (even before that half liter of warm lemon water) be a prayer. Mystical magical churchy magic is good, but a simple intention is all it takes. You’ll be amazed at just how powerful the early morning is in setting the tone for the entire day. Before the thinking brain wakes up, while it’s still wiping the sleep out from the Ego’s Eyes – sneak in a quiet intention. Anything will do. “I am calm and my day unfolds easefully and happily.” “My life is full of abundance.” Try to keep it positive, short and sweet. Louise Hay is the high priestess of affirmations. Check her out and get inspired! (Hint: intention setting is particularly powerful when dealing with that naughty co-worker who’s been driving you nuts, or that pesky telemarketer that calls right at dinner time.) Listing words of gratitude is another great practice to rev up the power of intention flowing into your life.
2. Everything you put in your mouth matters: You get one body. One. Uno. Just like you get one crack at life. No do-overs. No magic erasies. ONE. Why would I pay to put super unleaded in the car when regular unleaded is expensive enough? Why would I buy organic vegetables when fresh produce is just as good? Organic – isn’t that just the new hippy word farmers are using to charge more anyhow? Hmmm. Pause. Think back to your childhood and the food you were brought up on. Think now to the abundance of nut allergies, wheat sensitivities and lactose intolerance running rampant in today’s classrooms. What are our bodies trying to tell us? When are we going to be ready to listen? (Yesterday, you said tomorrow.) The following three documentaries changed the way I look at nourishment. (Don’t worry – they’re not sensational or creepy.) Educate yourself. It does the body good. I’m on a foody-doco HIGH right now.
3. Breathe: So simple. So vital. I don’t think I realized how powerful my breath was until I did yoga. As a gal prone to anxiety, having the capacity to expand my fullness and my calm was life altering. To energize or to relax my body and my mind is all within my control by simply using my breathe as a tool. Focusing on your exhale is the best thing you can do to calm anxiety. Draw it out. Make it long and free. Anchor your melon on it. Just like we sigh when we need to blow of steam, the exhale is linked directly to our nervous system. It turns off the sympathetic (fight-or-flight), and engages the parasympathetic nervous system – telling our body to chill. Try it! Either when you’re stressed or just before going to bed, slowing down your breath and watching and feeling your exhalation will remove bad energy and anxiety from your bod.
Feel free to add these little ditties to your tool belt, or better yet – share your go-to Life Tips in the comments below!