Gratitude is a key way to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. Changing thought patterns through practicing gratitude can impact the physical, psychological and social aspects of a person’s well-being.
There are challenges to gratitude like narcissism, materialism and over-scheduling. Therefore, it is important to mindfully and consistently practice gratitude, much like meditation. You can practice gratitude by finding ways to verbalize, write it down, or share through social media; gratitude works best when it is shared.
Here are three ways to quickly practice the art of being grateful:
- Keep a Gratitude Journal: At the end of your day, write down at least three things that you are grateful for. This can be as simple as feeling grateful for being able to easily obtain clean water through a faucet, or for the people who take your garbage away each week (Imagine if no one came to get it!).
- Write a Gratitude Letter: Write a letter of thanks to someone who has positively impacted your life. Explain how they impacted your life-be sure to be specific and descriptive when you write. You can choose whether or not to mail the letter. Either way, you will receive the benefits of gratitude.
- Receive Gratefully: Be mindful and accepting when other people pay you compliments, or when you do something to be proud of. Recognize and accept the good feelings that result.
Practicing gratitude is essential for happiness. If you set your intentions for gratitude each day, eventually gratitude will be your attitude!
Chakras are swirling wheels of energy that are concentrated in the midline of the body, in the spinal column. These energy wheels are considered meeting points between the mind and body and are therefore an important aspect of being in balance. There are seven chakras, each representing a basic human need. When these energy centers are open, energy can move freely. This allows for basic human needs to be met with a minimum amount of effort. If the chakra centers are blocked energy cannot flow, so it becomes stationary or sluggish and intentions surrounding basic human needs cannot materialize.
Sound vibrations can be used to heal and transform. Crystal bowls are an effective way to balance and clear energy; to make energy flow. They are typically manufactured to the vibrations of specific chakras. These are the vibrational sounds of each chakra:
|1st Chakra, base of the spine
|2nd Chakra, sacral area
|3rd Chakra, navel area
|4th Chakra, heart area
|5th Chakra, throat area
|6th Chakra, between eyebrows
|7th Chakra, crown (top) of head
To learn more about what basic human needs the seven chakras represent, and to experience how the vibration of sound keeps the energy channels open, aligned and fluid, join Maribeth MacKenzie at Inlet Yoga for a Crystal Singing Bowl and Yin Yoga Workshop on Saturday, October 21, 2017. Click here to register.
As we transition from summer to fall we experience new, yet familiar, environmental sensations. The air smells different, the winds feel crisper and the days get shorter. It is a time to prepare for change and often evokes thoughts of sitting around a fire and enjoying warm, soul nourishing meals. Fall also brings a prominence of Vata. According to Ayurveda, Vata-the air element-has rough, windy, erratic, cool and light qualities.
Since fall brings feelings of change it is helpful to find stability and balance by being grounded and warm, with awareness of Vata. This is achieved by incorporating the right foods and positive lifestyle choices; by balancing your own internal environment with the environment of Mother Nature.
Vata’s airy influence can stimulate the following:
You might also experience the following mental symptoms:
-desire to be more carefree and light
If you are aware of any of these symptoms, or even if you are not, make an effort to nourish the body and mind in order to maintain balance during the fall season. This can be done by incorporating warm, substantive and nourishing cooked foods (casseroles, soups, slow cooker meals, stews, steamed or roasted vegetables). It is best to eat fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and harvested in season. Check out this Seasonal Food Guide to learn what foods are in season in your area (U.S. only).
Fall is an exciting time because it represents transition and change, which is good. Diet is something that you can control and that will help you ease into this change with a balanced mind, a strong body, and a warm heart.
To learn more about how to find awareness and balance through Ayurveda, contact Maribeth MacKenzie, Certified Chopra Center Ayurveda Perfect Health Practitioner
Not only can a consistent yoga practice lead to lasting results, it can help to prevent future problems. A regular yoga practice can help address mental and physical ailments and prevent future complications because it keeps your body and mind flexible and healthy.
Here are some of the benefits of a consistent yoga practice:
-breath awareness, which helps maintain energy, strength, and relieves stress
-spine flexibility and healthy connective tissue
-helps you remain calm, present and mindful, which is helpful while coping with times of stress or illness
-relief from physical discomforts due to improved posture and circulation
-improvement in how your brain processes neurotransmitters; enhances endorphins and dopamine (literally makes you “feel good”)
-boost self-confidence, makes you feel accomplished and empowered so you are less likely to engage in unhealthy habits that prevent you from living a happy, healthy life
-clears your head so you can find balance
These are just some of the benefits of a consistent yoga practice. Keep in mind that the key word here is consistent. Consistency is the key to receiving the full benefits of yoga, to being the best version of you that you can be.
Join your friends at Inlet Yoga as we celebrate National Yoga Month by joining our 30-day Yoga Challenge! Use the opportunity to celebrate the gift of yoga as you kick-start your own consistent practice. Click Here to sign up.
High blood pressure is a common medical condition in the Western world and if left untreated can cause severe damage to the body in the form of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and even dementia. There is controversy over whether sustained stress leads to hypertension because in some cases people who are stressed have blood pressure (BP) that is fine, while there are others who seem laid-back who have dangerously elevated BP. However, there is no controversy about the idea that stress can lead to lifestyle choices that can contribute to a rise in blood pressure. People who are more stressed are more likely to do the following, all of which are a contributing factor to increasing BP:
-indulge in unhealthy foods
The benefits of yoga’s stress-lowering attributes can actually help reverse the tendencies above and promote lifestyle choices that are healthier. Yoga tends to encourage people to want to take better care of themselves by promoting the following:
-natural ease of the body
-peace of mind
-awareness of breath, body, mind, and environment
Through yoga you can learn to be aware of stress triggers and learn techniques that will help you respond to the triggers in a way that can help you relax, feel good, and come back to the stressful situation with a new perspective. With awareness and understanding of the inner self and environment, people tend to treat themselves kinder; it feels good to feel good!
Engaging in outdoor sensory experiences is an important part of Ayurveda because it is believed to help heal the body and mind. Spending time and being mindful in nature can balance your dosha and promote well-being. Here are some examples of outdoor sensory experiences that can help you balance your dosha, or mind-body type:
If you find that your mind is racing and you can’t settle it, you may be feeling ungrounded. When this happens, embrace earth’s stability. Go for a walk on the earth, grass, or sand (preferably barefoot) while being mindful of your feet. Allow them to absorb the nourishment and stability that the earth offers you. Lay on the ground, and as the rays of the warm sun blanket you, remember that it is the source of life on earth.
If you are feeling overheated and irritable, spend time near natural bodies of water. Take a slow walk while being mindful of the sound and cooling effects of water; allow the water to calm and soothe you. If you do not live near natural bodies of water, take a walk in nature or lie in the grass in your yard or a park. Think of all that nature provides for you and feel gratitude for the plants, sky, and earth that surround and support you.
If you are feeling dull and lethargic, focus on the space and air of the breath. Take a brisk walk or run in nature. Be mindful of the infinite sky and space that is unbounded. Inhale the life force that surrounds you and consciously recognize that it is the breath that gives you life. Picture the breath coming into your lungs and heart and flowing to the rest of your body. Consider all that your breath does for you every second of the day, without your conscious attention.
Joining your friends at Inlet Yoga for Sunrise Beach Yoga is a great way to balance all dosha types. Click here to view the times and locations.
Understanding your dosha type, and using your natural environment to balance it, can help you experience well-being. Learn more about the benefits of Ayurveda and your specific mind-body type to delve even deeper into wellness.
Discover how to balance your mind-body type even further by participating in a personalized 7-day Ayurveda program at Inlet Yoga. Click here for more information.