I have conversations quite regularly with people about not having enough balance in their lives. Many of us can struggle with balance in the different areas of life. There is the balance of career, taking care of the kids, the house, taking care of health and exercise, and other commitments. There is the balance of relationships with partners, kids, family member and friends. Maybe most importantly, there is the balance within ourself – mind, heart, body and soul. In a perfect world all of these things would ebb and flow sweetly and perfectly. We do not live in a perfect world! How do we balance all of our commitments, relationships, and our own spirit in the midst of so much busyness and sometimes even chaos?
Balance is a common need for so many people. In our rush, rush, rush, super-efficient, every moment posted on social media for the world to see daily lives our society is starting to see the need for calm. We are starting to see the need to be still. Yoga is a long practiced proven, healthy and positive way to gain the calm and stillness that we seek. Yoga will bring balance whether you have a consistent home practice, take a class at the local gym or a combination of the two. The benefits of yoga are endless for balancing both your mind and body, which in turn helps to balance all aspects of your life.
There is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that goes:
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
Our beliefs and our thoughts lead to our destiny! Balance starts in your own mind. This is why it is so vital that in order to gain balance in life that you begin with meditation. Learning to quiet your mind will help you to free yourself from limiting and negative thoughts. Connecting to your own thoughts in such an intimate way will bring your own intuition, dreams and desires forward. This will lead to a healthy balance of negative and positive emotions.
Your emotions then in turn help to balance your body. It is a well known fact in the practice of yoga that we carry our emotions in our bodies. By creating balance in your thoughts you also create balance in your emotions which affects your body.
The practice of yoga is also physically balancing to your body. Yoga aids your body in releasing negative energy such as anger, stress, frustration, insecurities, etc. When this happens it creates a shift between the positive and negative energies in your physical body, bringing balance to them. That balance allows more positive energy within your body such as dreaming, joy, patience, peace, love, kindness, gentleness, etc. That balance can also relieve physical pain in your body allowing you more freedom in life.
So, you see balance is not something that you work hard toward one time and then everything is perfect. It is like most of life… a constant ebb and flow, give and take, push and pull until every once in a while you get that beautiful balance. The process of gaining that balance is part of the reward of achieving balance within. So, learn to love the process! Take joy in the learning to bring your own beliefs, thoughts, words, actions, habits, and values into balance.
If you are interested in learning how to integrate yoga into your life and how it can improve emotional wellness, give me a call at 704.941.9419 or send me an email!
Do you ever find it hard to breathe?
Have you noticed your palms sweating, your thoughts racing, or your heart pounding?
Are you feeling fearful but you can't quite figure out why?
These are common experiences when we feel anxious. Anxiety can feel incredibly overwhelming and downright scary at times. Sometimes anxiety can be so intense that we fear physical damage to our bodies. Luckily, there are ways we can help ourselves move through these terrifying emotions.
Being in nature can be a great way to calm the mind and body and alleviate feelings of anxiety.
1) Nature brings you into the present moment.
The outdoors offers an amazing opportunity to practice being mindful of that which is around you; thereby diverting your attention from the discomfort you are feeling to the present moment. Pay attention to the colors of the flowers, the sounds of chirping birds, and the rush of the wind against your skin. Notice the sensation of the grass on the soles of your feet with every step you take. Getting out in nature regularly will serve to keep you grounded day-to-day and move through moments of distress in a healthy way.
2) The sounds of wind & water help to reset your breath.
When we feel anxious, we may notice ourselves taking short and labored breaths. We may have difficulty catching our breath and in extreme cases, may even hyperventilate. Rather than breathing deep, down in our bellies (which is the best way to breathe as it fills our lungs completely to oxygenate our blood), we may be breathing up in our shoulders. This is a very shallow way of breathing that does our bodies more harm than good. Listening to slow-moving sounds of the water or wind can help to re-focus our breath: focusing on these sounds can slow down our breathing and our thought processes. Calming the breath relaxes our bodies, reduces physical tension, slows our heartrate, and allows our body time to heal and re-charge.
3) Vitamin D improves our mood & revitalizes our bodies
Feelings of depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Sunlight can do wonders to help alleviate these feelings and improve our overall mental well-being. Notice what you experience the next time you step outside to soak up some rays. Improved mood and feelings of relaxation are only a few of the things you might notice! You may also experience improved energy levels and slowed breathing patterns. So get out there and enjoy the sun! Just don't forget your sunscreen :)
Licensed counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.