This is one of my go-to strategies when I need to smile
I love keeping a gratitude journal. I have been keeping one for decades and credit it for helping me have a deep appreciation in my life regardless of the outer circumstances.
When I first learned about gratitude journals it was suggested to do them in the evening. However, I find first thing in the morning works better for me.
I would challenge anyone to try keeping one for 60 days and see what you discover.
Whether you come to my classes or not, I invite you to join in this 52 week challenge for body, mind and soul.
You can take the challenge for yourself, or you can like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LivingSkyYoga and each day you finish the challenge pop an emoji in the comments. Each time a person does the challenge their name is entered into a draw at the end of the month.
This week we start with a movement challenge. Some people dread exercise, but I firmly believe movement should be FUN
See if you can find some fun ways to move your body and start the year right.
How do you feel about your body?
In my university studies I came across some staggering statistics. Looking through several reports I learned the majority of women are unhappy with their bodies. Though percentages varied in different reports, the lowest one I found was 80% of women are unhappy with their bodies. Some studies reported the amount of dissatisfaction up as high as the mid 90s.
Though this occurs more frequently in women, men are not immune. The studies I have seen for men range from between 25-40% of men are unhappy with their bodies.
So, if you are unhappy with your body know that you are not alone.
I have also struggled with body image issues. Some days I still do.
As a new 7 week session of classes begins at my studioI know that some people will struggle to come to class because of how they feel about their body. Some might worry about what to wear. Some might feel they are too out of shape to come. Some might stress about keeping up or doing things ‘right’ (or how they look in certain poses) Some might think if they can lose a bit of weight first, then they’ll show up.
How do I know this? Because I have been there. I have wanted to try a new class or go to a new gym and had all of these this thoughts.
That is part of the reason why when I first decided to teach classes one priority was to offer classes for everyone—all ages, all abilities, all shapes, all sizes—You are welcome.
So, I invite you to come out to in-person classes, or try the virtual options. I want you to know that you are good enough just as you are. You are worthy of your own movement practice. I believe, movement practices should be joyful and fun.
Because I know that despite whatever words I say it can still be hard to show up, this year I will also start offering private sessions for those who might prefer to work one-on-one. These will be offered both virtually and in-person.
The past 6 months I have been working with Mark Walsh as a mentor. He has often said that sometimes it is too much for folks to love their body right now.
He says—If you can’t love your body, can you like your body? If you can’t like your body, can you be polite or civil to your body?
Maybe that is where to start today—just being polite to your body.
Maybe this week you will also join me for a class or two and a bit of joyful movement.
Maybe today you don’t quite believe in yourself, but know that I do.
Do you know what I believe to be the best meditation practice? The one that works for you.
As I go deeper into my personal meditation practices I have been reflecting on my own meditation journey. I know with certainty that I had to start small and start easy. That’s what worked for me.
Perhaps, another method will work for you. That’s awesome. Embrace whatever works.
If however, you are like me and think small and easy is the answer I invite you to try meditating for just one minute a day. Give this a try for a day, or a week, or a month. Then reassess and see. Are you content staying at one minute? Or would you like to try a little longer?
I started my meditation journey with just one minute a day. It wasn’t long before I tried 2 minutes, then 5….
Over the years I have experimented with various types of meditation from guided to breath work, body scans, mantras, and recently have even been exploring death meditations.
In the beginning guided meditation is what worked for me.
I am a huge fan of the free app Insight Timer. You can easily use filters to find meditations based on length of time. You can also narrow searches to specific themes.
One of my favourite teachers is Robin Rice. She currently has 14 one-minute meditations to get you started.
Another early option I tried was short mantra meditations. It can be a challenge for me to get out of my head. Focusing on the words of a mantra has been a great tool for me.
This is one of my favourites and just six minutes long
If you prefer silence, simply setting a timer and focusing on your inhales and exhales is a fabulous option.
Next week I will share some of the benefits of meditation, but this week if you are willing, I invite you to just be curious and explore some meditation. Embark on a little experiment and see what feels right for you.