It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of daily life and spend much of your day battling the challenges laid before you. Are you suffering from the fast pace of everyday life? Have little joy? Struggling to focus? Lacking energy? Feeling sluggish? If so, it may be time for you to begin a yoga practice and adopt a yogic lifestyle.
Living a yogic lifestyle involves integrating your mind, body and spirit; it reminds you that life is a balance of holding on and letting go. Let these ten yoga practices for healthy living be your guide to embracing yoga’s spiritual journey and finding harmony on and off the mat.
#1 Honor your body
The Dalai Lama said it best, “A man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health…” Whatever physical ambitions you dream of achieving, yoga will guide you how to do it better. A regular yoga practice will inspire you to become more introspective and aware of the choices you make. You can start now by asking this simple question, “Is what I’m doing getting me closer to what I want or further away from it?”
#2 Mind your food
Your relationship with food often changes with your mood; making what you want as opposed to what you need hard to resist. A yogic lifestyle promotes living with purpose and intention leading you to mindful actions. It encourages you to pay attention to your body and cultivates an intuitive eating style by recognizing appetite and fullness cues. Begin feeling your absolute best and perform at your highest level by stepping away from processed food and feed your body only whole, healthy food.
#3 Live in the present moment, it’s the only place where life really exists
Yoga fosters living your life to the fullest and encourages being content with where you are, not where you think you should be. Stop waiting all week for Friday, all year for summer, all of your life for happiness. Be patient and let go of what you may have had planned; realize that all too often things occur in a different order than the one you had in mind. Sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.
#4 Let go of what’s killing you even if it kills you to let go
Sometimes the most terrifying decisions lead to the most fantastic ones of your life. Watch your strength grow by going to the edge of everything you’ve ever known and then taking one more step. Yoga nurtures you to have faith; when the wrong things begin to leave your life, the right things will start to happen. Don’t let the fear of the unknown paralyze you; be safe in the knowledge that amazing lives right outside of your comfort zone.
#5 Be grateful for what you have
Strive to be happy and content with what you have; the secret to having it all is recognizing that you already do. Yoga encourages you to acknowledge your self-worth; put a stop to endlessly comparing yourself to others. Realize that many of your problems are illusions of your mind; your happiness is an inside job. A good life will begin when you stop wanting a better one; live and love each day by counting your blessings.
#6 Set goals so you can achieve your wildest dreams
Yoga teaches that what you’re looking for is not out there, it’s inside of you. Set goals and aim high. Forget all the reasons something won’t work and believe the only reason it will. Step out of your comfort zone and stop being so damn cautious. The voice inside your head that says you can’t do something is a liar. You’re only given one life, be inspired to live every day to the fullest.
#7 Foster deep connections; say good words, think good thoughts, do good deeds
Yoga asks you to look at things from a different perspective; it cultivates your ability to communicate with others and trust your intuition. Take your time developing richer and more meaningful personal relationships; it’s important to keep the people in your circle tight. Your friends should motivate and support you; surround yourself with people who make you feel blessed, not stressed.
#8 Unlock your creativity
Yoga has a calming effect with regard to your brains endless mental chatter; as you begin to relax you become more receptive to your creative energy and self-expression. This heightened state of awareness allows your mind the tools to do what it does best—imagine, explore, and innovate. Through yoga you will always be a work in progress; expanding your consciousness, elevating your perspective and broadening your creative expression.
#9 Develop your personal style
You are on this earth to discover your own path and you will never be happy if you are living someone else’s idea of life. Yoga guides you to clear away the barriers that obscure who you really are. It encourages you to love yourself and be less concerned with the approval of others. And while some may not recognize this “new you” when you’ve put the pieces of your life back together differently, that’s ok. Fall in love with your life the way you’ve designed it and allow yourself to simply be.
#10 Establish a foundation for achieving inner peace and harmony
Yoga is more than just another form of exercise. The bigger picture is that it integrates your physical body with your spiritual mind. In your day to day world you must bring into being your authentic self—your personal sense of calm—in order to live a rich, full life. And while you can’t always control what is happening to you, you can control how you react to it.