I spent 2 days in `dolce far niente`; sweetness of doing nothing.
And now I need to write about willpower. 😊
Love the irony of that.
This is a coping mechanism I developed long time ago to balance my multi-tasking doer persona. When the system gets overheated, I hibernate!
How to get back on track though? Or what to do if the overall tendency is to hibernate? How to come out of the rut?
It is practically a shift in your overall state of being, in your resonance that is called far. Some may have it naturally; but the good thing is willpower is a muscle to be developed for any of us.
Yogis came up with a wonderful concept of austerity; tapas literally meaning to burn. You need to cook a bowl so that it doesn't let the water leak. So how do we get the heat up?
I would like to share 3 simple tips for boosting willpower. (Yeah, I'm playing the `n`tips-for-blah-blah blogger game now thanks to Saint Google. Still, keeping it real!)
Work the core
The fire in our system both in physical and mental levels is managed by our Manipura Chakra located in the core; navel area. Any practice involving its activation will help. Check the yoga program for Willpower and a Strong Core on Yoga Therapy Pill platform for a more targeted and energetically charged practice.
Our choices may be dominated by the instant gratification urge; following the desires and cravings of the moment. Studies show that people who naturally had the ability to delay gratification have more success in their lives. Even if it is about resisting the voice inside telling you to make a sandwich while you are in the middle of reading a book or come up with all kinds of distractions instead of getting on with a mere 10 min yoga practice. Just committing to `after completing this chapter` or `I will do the practice now and not postpone it to next Monday` shifts something in our energy.
Take a tapas
Set a simple goal; time-bound, clearly-defined, relevant, doable with a gentle challenge. As simple as the 14-day yoga challenge I suggest on Yoga Therapy Pill. Start with committing only to 3 days if you like. Just set a goal and accomplish it no matter what. The great thing about this time-honoured practice is every time you reach a goal you set for yourself; no matter how small and simple it is, your willpower will grow.
I wish you a peaceful and productive time in health and love.
Wherever the mind goes the rest follows!
My new go-to-show is the Big Bang Theory now. I feel the need for this lightness and be inspired by brightness.
It is very easy to go to heavy places these days. If you happen to be there, it is totally fine; part of the life experience. I just want to remind you that sometimes it is just some habits that lead us there rather than the reality we are in. Some useful tips if you want to stay on the light side:
Ayurvedic knowledge suggests that sweet, salty and sour tastes increase the earthy, watery quality in us. As these elements are at the heavy end of the spectrum, we may want to add a bit more spice and leafy greens to our diet these days. Cut back on bread and pasta; go for rucula and apples (my personal favourites). Also, a good idea to avoid cold drinks; cold also makes us heavy.
Especially now we spend so much time at home it gets easy to postpone things. I remind myself our motto from mountaineering club at Middle East Technical University: a mountaineer never slouches. Nothing fancy; but well when you get lazy even about changing wet socks you may get frostbite. So, I try to apply the same principle; just not postponing things while giving myself still ample time to relax. Find your own motto from your life that gets you going.
The boss of the entire operation is the brain. The heaviness manifests in the mind in a dull, foggy and confused state. Therefore, I am suggesting a short yoga program for mental clarity. This brain yoga will help you to poke your grey cells and direct them to wherever they are needed. You can find it on my Yoga Therapy Pill platform along with an adapted version for friends with physical limitations.
Having said all this; it is OK to have a hard time with all that is going around. As a problem-solver by nature I like offering tips; but sometimes the best tip is to embrace what we are going through trusting that everything changes.
Now that we spend some much time at home our energy will get heavier and duller if we don't shake things up a little. This is how it simply works. You need to stir the water to keep it fresh and alive; otherwise it turns into a muddy lake. Same principle works in our body and mind.
Like attracts like; when we become sedentary all our desires and cravings will be towards making us even more heavy. You may notice your increasing appetite for sweets, pastries or fries more than before. Or feeling more like watching a movie and less like doing your daily chores. Especially for friends cooped up with their small kids between four walls those chores may feel really overwhelming. This beautiful occasion for developing intimacy with our loved ones may sometimes cause stress around our responsibilities. You may end up spending more energy to the negative feelings produced than the energy you actually need to reach the end of your to-do list.
Awesome if you have the good habit of doing yoga at home. Watch out for the tendency towards yin yoga and restorative practices dominating. I love those kinds of slow and gentle practices; they are amazing. However, we do need different interventions at different times. During this global lock-down period, it is important to develop a morning yoga for beginners or advanced practitioners that will shuffle your cells up a little to bring clarity, lightness and joy.
Even if it is a 15 min practice, I suggest to start the day with a gentle warm up for your joints, some vinyasa yoga, 1 or 2 standing yoga poses and a little bit of breath work to lift up your spirit. You will be surprised how the quality of the rest of your day changes both in terms of your productivity and the harmony in your relationships.
There are amazing chair yoga sequences one can practice if there are some physical limitations.
On my Yoga Therapy Pill platform I am sharing a 10 min yoga program to kick-start your day. You can also play with the yoga postures and breathing techniques introduced by hitting pause and practicing them longer. This way you will have turn it into a deeper daily practice and conclude with a 10 min final relaxation in Shavasana. There is also an additional free online class including chair yoga poses as a yoga for beginners, seniors or friends with physical limitations.
I am happy to support you for tailoring your home practice according to your needs; just book an online PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS.
I wish you a wonderful, productive and peaceful time at home.
In my actively dancing years, I absolutely loved physiotherapy support systems like Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais to listen to my body`s needs. Yoga was more secondary due to all the stories out there about yoga teachers getting injured and having knee surgeries. Not a good sales pitch for yoga really…
I could also feel some resistance in my joints when I was practicing yoga at home on my own without proper guidance. So, I kept my scepticism and what made me embrace yoga later on was more the states of mind I experienced rather than the physical aspects.
Then I started deepening the practice with a very gentle yoga; the classical hatha yoga holding the postures static for a longer time and allowing the mind to explore the body in finding the most relaxed, aligned and comfortable place. I also kept using the knowhow from my earlier body work practices.
We are already putting lots of pressure on our joints due to our daily patterns of movements which are far from ideal whether we are aware of them or not. Who really sits with both legs on the ground and spine straight at all times? Or who is aware of the unnecessary compensation of joints when reaching out to get a mug from a high shelf? Or do you really keep your neck extended and relaxed every time you get up from your chair? I don`t think so…
Therefore around 30% of people suffer from joint issues; mostly knee pain.
That is why I insist on giving loving attention to my joints at least before starting my personal practice; it doesn`t have to be a full-on restorative yoga sequence. Even a 5-10 min simple yoga program can make a big difference; also prepare you for a more athletic form of yoga for flexibility. My personal favourites are the joint freeing series of Mukunda Stiles and Bihar School of Yoga.
There is also an additional online class including chair yoga poses as a yoga for beginners, seniors or friends with physical limitations.
What is Juicy Joints good for?
- It will allow your joints to move in their full range; studies show that you need to move it not to lose it!
- It will improve the lymph circulation, your body`s drainage system and therefore support your self-healing mechanism.
- It improves the blood and oxygen flow into your joints.
- It supports the flow of synovial fluid nourishing the cartilage. This way your motions become more soft and graceful.
- By noticing if there is any tension in the protagonist or antagonist muscles connected to each joint, you become very mindful about the state of your physical structure. You can spot joints that are trying to compensate for contracted muscles or ligaments.
- It is a great way to practice mindfulness and concentration to train the mind for deeper meditation.
If you want to prevent knee injuries or any joint pain; would like to support your body`s healing mechanisms especially in cases of arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases or simply prepare yourself for a long and deep personal practice, go for it!
It has been 2 weeks since I hardly ever left the house. I am aware of the many doom scenarios and all. So, no big words of keeping cool. I am praying and practicing for the wellbeing of everyone; hoping that we will reach the light at the end of the tunnel sooner than later.
I also have to say that I have been enjoying myself big time so far.
It feels like a huge chunk of distractions are removed from my life for a while giving me space to calm down and deal with many pending issues requiring my patient and focused attention.
I think of my anti-hero Nicolai Hel from Shibumi; my all-time favourite character inspiring me to explore tantra and yogic disciplines. This terrorist-hunter with extraordinary skills and training was approached by some operatives for an impossible mission after being incarcerated for 3 years. In return of his services he would be granted his `freedom`. He responded `freedom I have, I guess you are offering me liberty`.
Freedom we have; even if we don`t have the liberty to be as out and about for a period. It is all a matter of what we do with this freedom. Spending it in fear, anxiety and dullness or making space and time for some `newness`?
Well, obviously I have the professional bias to first think about the path of yoga to `finetune` my life. Here I have a short and sweet yoga program that may open many new doors for you in different areas of life.
When I say yoga therapy people immediately think about their back pain or knee injuries but there is so much more that we can address using the tools in the right way.
I was always sceptical about online yoga tutorials. People can easily injure themselves. Therefore, when creating my online yoga program Yoga Therapy Pill, I decided to focus on short and safe practices also offering an alternative for anyone with physical limitations. Safety first!
Intermediary/advanced practitioners can join the version without props and add to their understanding of how to utilise different techniques for specific purposes.
You are all welcome to share your questions, suggestions and own nuggets of info/tips in the comments section. I am looking forward to learn from you and get new ideas on how to improve this platform.
In case you need some personalised attention, you can always book a private consultation. Enjoy your yoga program ♥
Yoga programs for improving the quality of your life in all areas; even during quarantine times. Every day a new sequence of around 15/20 minutes; for immune system, creativity, mental clarity, mindfulness and more. Suitable for all levels and including adaptations with props.