I usually try to keep Real Yoga NYC posts very informative and not talk about myself too much. This post is an exception. It is all about me :). But it has lots of (hopefully) useful information. Olya Malysheva, the founder of Salat Shop asked me to list my daily Do’s and Don’ts. So below you have my daily rules or guidelines that turned into habits after serving me for years! Let me know what keeps you healthy and inspired in the comments section, I would like to learn from you!
- Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning – it flushes out the toxins and gently wakes up the digestive system. It is not as harsh as coffee and prepares the body for digesting breakfast.
- Set an intention – I noticed that if I have a clear intention of how I want to feel by the end of the day or how I want my yoga class to go, my brain somehow figures out the best way to get to the desired final destination. It is truly amazing!
- Check in with my breath a few times a day (you can call it being present, mindfulness or meditation). It helps me to create stillness inside even during the most hectic environments. It is also the key to tapping into the limitless wisdom of our bodies. The trick to learning how to listen to your body is to be quiet and then you start hearing its guidance. Listening to one’s breath is also the best tool to conquer overeating. When you are aware of your breath, you become more mindful, and if you are mindful you will never push through the comfort of you body.
- Get my heart pumping every day – it helps me think better, gets me more creative, and gives me more energy. You don’t need the entire gym to workout! If there is no elliptical I will do Sun Salutations, jumping jacks, squats, push ups or anything else that gets me sweating and my heart beating.
- Choose tea over coffee – no matter how sleepy I get, I always go for a tea instead of a coffee. Besides having a milder but longer lasting effect, there are a lot more flavors that you can experiment with. Plus you can always get very strategic about the effect that you want from your tea, which is impossible with coffee. Do you need to alleviate ingestion or want to sleep better? Various tea infusions are available at any health store. My favorite Spring blends are ginger, cardamom and lemon or dandelion.
- Set goals every day and check them off once they are achieved – It gives me a sense of fulfillment and helps me to stay on track.
- Smile even when I don’t feel like it – If the day is not going the way I would like it to, I will go to the mirror and smile as wide as I can. It fires the same neurons as happiness induced smile and I feel better right away. Faking a smile can be good for you!
- Complain – Inspired by the Complaint Free World, I decided to stop complaining and gossiping. Complaining is similar to eating bad food for the wrong reasons, it creates mental toxins. Finding advantages in every situation helps me to stay positive and open-minded. For more info http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/)
- Blame myself for eating smth just for the pleasure of it – I like food and I think it is wrong to forcefully withhold something from yourself. If i want something, i will eat it but i won;t stuff myself to the point of not being able to breath. Always, always try to breathe and you will never overeat!
- Oversleep – oversleeping is worse than not sleeping enough. The same way as overeating is worse than not eating enough. I set an intention to wake up at a certain hour every night and as soon as I open my eyes, I get out of bed. Snooze button is a certain way to feeling exhausted the entire day. An easy way to get out of bed is to think about all good and exciting things awaiting for you today!
- Overload on technology and noise – It is difficult to avoid in our technological society but it is crucial to staying calm and in touch with oneself. I take phone and email breaks throughout the day. For example, morning is my technology free time. After checking morning emails, i put my phone away and do yoga in a quiet environment. Same goes for the ipod: I use it only when I workout and never when i work or need time to think.
- Eat because the clock shows lunch time (when I m not hungry) – our society follows a set schedule. 1pm is an official lunch time and most people will eat even if they are not hungry. Lunch-time is an escape-the-office time for a lot of people. I try to always check in with myself throughout the day to see if I am hungry and what I would like to eat. If I am not hungry, I won’t push food on myself.
- Eat meat every day – there is a misconception that we need tons of protein to stay healthy and lose weight. In reality animal protein is harder to digest and doesn’t absorb as well as plant protein that comes from lentils, grans, and beans. On most days I will go for a lentil or a white bean soup. My other favorites are garbanzo bean falafels or quinoa.
- Put ice into my drinks – this is the weirdest thing that most Americans do every single day – put ice into everything. It is the same as walking out barefoot in the Winter. Ice-cold drinks slow down digestion and require lots of precious energy to warm them up because your body needs to warm it up to the normal body temperature. Do you have that extra energy that you are willing to spare for heating? I would rather spend this energy in a different way, for example dancing!
Looking forward to reading about your tips! Please share!