Sustainability and Yoga: Creating a Balance in Life
When asked to guest write about sustainability, I said yes right away.
However, when I went to put pen to paper, I began to think, how does this topic relates to my career of teaching yoga.
Then thinking of all the hats I wear, (wife, mom, homemaker, elf, yoga and meditation teacher, networker, CEO of my own company of one) wow, that’s exhausting and stressful.
Sustaining a positive mental and physical attitude throughout the holidays presents its challenges; especially down here in SWFL, with our winter season and all of the extra visitors. It dawned on me yoga and meditation in of itself is a sustained practice one must do in order to teach. Some days the poses are rock’n and well balanced, with a conscious meditation. Some days the body and mind do not cooperate. The idea is to continue, the practice without having any intention of an outcome. Remember, yoga and meditation is a practice, not a perfect; thus, sustaining us and creating a more stress free lifestyle.
Putting too much demand on our self on the yoga mat creates imbalance, and it is about calming the mind, not creating more stress. This is even more important to continue throughout the holiday season. The style of yoga can be gentle, vigorous or restorative. The amount of time to dedicate simply depends on whatever time you have, because while on your yoga mat, you are in a “no judgement zone”.
The same goes for your meditation practice. Aim for about 3 days a week to begin, ideally, first thing in the morning to set the tone for your day. A simple Sun Salutation or just some gentle stretching will make your blood flow and get the mind calm to sit in meditation for a few minutes. Start cultivating these practices and it will become second nature, like brushing your teeth in the morning, thus sustaining you throughout the day and will help you have a more positive outlook on situations that may arise. If yoga is not your thing, walk, run, bike, whatever you choose to do to keep endorphins (a chemical that is released in your body that makes you feel good when you exercise) flowing through the body.
Never forget, it is of utmost importance to sustain, a happy, stress free lifestyle (as much as possible). We all know this is easier said than done. Eating the right foods, such as farm to table; which also supports our local farmers markets. Staying away from negativity and keeping positive affirmations around you, keeps you headed in the right direction. Allowing yourself the occasional indulgence, and know the world will not stop around you, if you “unplug” every now and then. Go outside and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. Above all, remembering that most of life is out of our control. So sit back, take a breath and let the little stuff go.
Sally G. Ingalls is an experienced, registered yoga teacher in the SWFL area. She teaches private clients in her home studio, their home and corporate offices. For more information, visit Universallyoga.com.