My Enlightened Delights

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To enjoy good health,
to bring true happiness to one’s family,
to bring peace to all,
one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.
If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment,
and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
— Buddha

The Mindful Diet Day 2

 

Week 1: Build An Awareness Foundation

Day 2: Commit to a daily yoga practice


Even if you have time for only a few minutes of Savasana or
deep breathing each day, it can up the odds of making good habits stick. Researchers found that just 11 hours of meditation over the course of four weeks created structural changes in the anterior cingulate cortex, the brain region involved in monitoring focus and self-control.

 


 I have no formal yoga training, but I'm what you would call an info-junkie; when I'm interested in something I do research to learn everything I can!! I became super interested in Yoga a few years ago and have found so many great resources for learning Yoga at home, some of my favorite yoga poses and resources can be found at the end of this post.

Yoga isn’t about being perfect; it’s about connecting with yourself. Don’t feel like you need to try all these fancy poses that you see on magazine covers because those yogi’s have been practicing for years! What you want to focus on when practicing yoga is your breathing. You’ll find that most poses are held for a certain number of breathes or change on the inhale/exhale. You can use a count or a mantra like you would in meditation; you may even hear people exhaling in a loud, Darth Vader-like breath. Focusing on your breathing helps you focus on the task at hand instead of letting your mind wander.

At the end of the day, you can never underestimate the power of working with a professional Yoga instructor!! I enjoy attending some local classes and special workshops such as courtyard/rooftop yoga; Yoga on Tap (at brewery with a post-class beer), etc. As stated in "Day One", most of these classes begin with dedicating your intention; I believe that a daily yoga & meditation practice serve that exact purpose for each and every day.

The suggested 11 hours over a 4-week period equates to an average of 25min of yoga/meditation per day...but remember that we must allow ourselves to be beginners! So even if you only have a few minutes each day, take those few minutes for yourself! Build the habit and gradually add more time to dedicate to yourself. Once you’ve established a daily practice with basic poses you can gradually add more poses that benefit you. For example, you will find yoga sequences that focus on core strength or building up to inversions. Most recently, I have been working on working Yoga with Weights into my practice, specifically using my beloved 5lb Nubells.

With that said, I'm going to share a few of my go to daily poses:

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Morning Yoga Sequence

Childs Pose 10+ slow breaths- clear your mind, focus on your breathing, set your intentions, and meditate on something positive

Cat-Cow stretch 5+ breaths- breathing in on cow and exhaling on the cat

Down Dog 10+ breaths- this is a power pose, aim to meditate on a powerful mantra

(1-10+) Sun Salutations

Move into Down Dog, on your next inhale float your right leg up into Down Dog Split, on your exhale bring your right foot all the way forward and plant between your hands for a Runners Lunge. Plant right palm inside your right food, reach your left arm to the sky, and hold for 1-5 breaths. Plant left palm on the inside of your right foot, twist, reaching your right arm to the sky, and hold for 1-5 breathes. Twist back to face forward, and plant your hands on either side of your right foot.

Float both arms up into Warrior 1, hold for one breath. Rotate your left foot parallel to the back of the mat and spread the right arm forward, while the left arm reaches back into Warrior 2, hold for one breath. Move into Reverse Warrior by floating the right arm up above your head as your left arm floats down to rest on the left leg.

Savasana 1-30 minutes

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Some of my favorite Yoga resources:

The Yoga Journal magazine and their website: yogajournal.com/category/video/

I was lucky enough to meet Becca Pati at the Yoga Expo last year. I attended her “Fuck It” Yoga Class and have fallen in love with her! You can see her videos at: youtube.com/user/yogaandlifewithbecca

Another YouTube channel I found with a 30 day Yoga Camp

Several books I’ve read: Essential Yoga: An Illustrated Guide by Olivia H Miller; Yoga for Dummies & Yoga with Weights for Dummies; 20 Minutes to Master Yoga by Cheryl Isaacson

A new but growing practice of Yoga with Nubell weights: IG @nufityoga

And of course Pinterest, check out my Yogi Board

 

Namaste!