Yoga Can Change Your Mood
Feeling too tired to exercise? Or like you just can’t find the time to fit in your practice or training? Maybe you need a little shift. Sometimes our minds and our bodies need a change or a break from our current routine and it tells us in the form of feeling too tired when it’s time to train. That’s your first clue. Have you not been able to make it to the final stretch of your fitness goals? Feeling stuck at a certain level? That’s your second clue. Now that you’ve figured out what is going on, it’s time to make a shift in the way you think about your activities and your self.
1. Gratitude. Be thankful that your body, your mode of transportation and perception of this life, is healthy enough to be able to exercise. Period. If you are lucky enough to be healthy enough and have all of your limbs working well enough to exercise, then you need to seize the day and hop to it. Get to class, the gym, or the great outdoors…but please DO SOMETHING.
Research has shown that people that cultivate the “attitude of gratitude” have better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life, and kinder behavior toward others. The Beastie Boys were right, Check Your Head – What’s gonna set you free? look inside and you’ll see….pop “Gratitude” in at the top of your playlist, put your earbuds in…and get your butt out the door.
2. Change. As in, your exercise program. Maybe you’re bored with your current schedule and workouts…maybe that’s why your body is suddenly tired when it’s time to train. Ever notice when you are bored with a subject that you feel tired and might even yawn? And then when something mentally stimulating occurs, you suddenly perk up? We get bored with things, and switching up your game is good. Bodies, minds, and spirits need variety to keep them engaged and excited to exercise. Ever notice that no two yoga classes of mine are the same? They all have a similar format, but every class is different – this keeps you on your toes. It gives your body the variety it needs, keeps your mind engaged in the practice, and allows you to have different areas of focus in the classes. Changing our routine once in a while (not too much…you need to do things for a few months to feel results) also helps us adapt to change in life. Life is a moving target and being well practiced at the art of change will help you manage the stress that comes with changes in life, wanted or unwanted.
The only thing in life that doesn’t change…is the fact that it always changes.
Here’s another question for you: Have you taken a whole week or two off from all exercise yet this year? If the answer is yes, skip to #3. If not, take an official exercise vacation. Time away from a regime is just as important as sticking to a program. We all need vacations…maybe your body just needs a vacation. But, as soon as your vacation is up…it’s time to hop to it again. Don’t make it a permanent vacation.
3. Eat to Live. We need energy to sustain life. Our bodies run on energy, plain and simple. A major source of that energy is from the foods we eat. Do you eat to live or live to eat? Once you get the concept of eating to live…your daily choices become much easier.
If I had to boil it down to three general rules I follow:
1) eat fresh foods
2) whole foods & whole grains (not boxed, canned, or frozen meals)
3) read all labels – if there’s anything I can’t pronounce, anything synthetic (chemicals), or if it has more than 8 ingredients…I don’t even buy it. If I pick up something that is supposed to be “food” and the ingredient list takes up more than 3/4 of an inch on the side panel…I don’t even bother reading it and I put it back on the shelf. It’s that simple. I don’t have time for that garbage, it’s just going to slow me down. And besides, it’s a waste of money. If you are eating to live, you are buying fuel for your body. Would you put Splenda, sodium nitrite, or cellulose (read: wood pulp) in your gas tank? No, you put gasoline in your gas tank. So, if it’s not food…why are you paying someone your hard-earned money for something that is not food and is harming your body? Get it? Eat to live.
(p.s. Sodium nitrite is added to meats to produce an appealing pink/red color to the consumer. Sodium nitrite can produce cancer causing chemicals such as nitrosamines, and numerous studies have shown a link between nitrite and cancer in humans that consume processed and cured meats…Do you see a problem here? It’s a scam to fool you into thinking the food is fresh, but it’s really a cancer causing chemical shit storm.)
4. Training for life. People sometimes ask me what I’m training for. I’m training for life. The the more you exercise, the stronger you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally. Energy flows through us…the less you expend, the more stagnant you will feel. Know what I mean?
Now…should I come pick you up for class?
1. be grateful for what you have or what you’ve accomplished already
2. incorporate variety
3. eat to live
4. train for life: this is it – be strong, healthy, and positive!