This is Part 3 of my Balance Strategies series. We live in a world where we feel a need to fill every second with people, activities, and thoughts. I’m on a mission to help you do more of what lights you up physically/mentally/socially, and less of what doesn’t. Let’s navigate this busy, yet demanding life so you can enjoy it more and stress less.

Cultivate a positive mindset. I began yoga, like most, for the physical aspects. However, I'm passionate about the mental training that it provides. During my teacher training days, I heard about a book called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. It was the first time that I paid attention to what was looping inside my head. Recognizing that I get to choose where I place my focus and what plays on repeat was a game changer. One of Hay's gems is, "The point of power is always in the present moment." When I get in a downward spiral, I take note of whether I'm mentally in the future or the past. Coming back to her words of wisdom is the quick reference I need to snap out of it. Simple. Powerful. I love it.  

Mistakes are simply mis-takes. So I did this little video series with Brooke at Peace Love Babies. There's so much to consider and I learned a ton. How does one learn? Mistakes. 

You have the starring role in this great movie called Your Life (it's an adventure flick). Don't let the fear of imperfection hold you back. Some Razzie winners have also won Academy Awards. Recognize that your flubs are an opportunity to learn and grow. 

And now I'd like to thank all the yogis for dealing with my dropped poses and extra long holds on one side while I work on my craft. Here are some mis-takes from my video for your viewing pleasure.  

 

Simplicity. I love that word. It makes my shoulders drop as I exhale. I'm the kind of gal who has a hard time focusing in a messy area. My eyes wander and I get distracted. So when I heard The Minimalists speak earlier this year, I was thrilled. They explain, "Minimalism allows us to focus on what’s important in life—health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution—so we can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom." I went home and brought two trunk loads to The Salvation Army. It felt freaking amazing. 

Your turn. Think about what can you clear out or donate. Not sure where to start? The Minimalists can help.   

Practice letting go of expectations, competition, and judgement of yourself and others. I talk about this is class. New yogis think that others are judging them for not having perfect form or oodles of flexibility. Truth be told, the advanced yogi is only aware of what is going on in her practice. This, of course, is always a work in progress. Once you get the hang of it, whoa, freedom, baby! Take a moment to consider softening those rigid rules you made up. Maybe even let them go.

Calming Breath Technique. It's super simple. Inhale to four. Exhale to six. Repeat. This extending of your exhale calms your nervous system and triggers your rest-and-digest mode (versus fight-or-flight). Yes, please. I’ll take more of that. 

Use the Calming Breath to center yourself before an activity or adventure. You can also use it to shift into a new feeling. Overwhelmed, angry, or frustrated? Use it! Three to six rounds will help make some space between unwanted feelings and the feelings you desire most. Don’t take my word for it. Test it out. Report back. 

Slowly inhale, two, three, four. Exhale, two, three, four, five, six.
Inhale, two, three, four. Exhale, two, three, four, five, six.
Inhale, two, three, four. Exhale, two, three, four, five, six. 

Cheers to feeling good inside and out! 

Lovingly build your foundation. All of our yoga postures are built from the ground up. If your foundation is off, you won't be able to experience the full benefits of the pose. Life is the same way. Lovingly build your foundation a.k.a. routines and habits. How are you sleeping, nourishing your body, and spending your time? Does an area need tweaking? Start today. No need to stress over it. Baby steps are progress--just put one foot in front of the other.

W.I.N.:: What's important now? Distractions will pop up as you move through this day. Let your guiding light be W.I.N. Michael Phelps uses this to motivate himself while training. It's a powerful mindset. You must take action to reach your goals regardless of how you're feeling. You've got this handled. Go get ‘em!

I'd love to hear your take. Which of these ideas speaks to you? Do you have a technique that helps you find balance? Share away. I love adding tools to my toolbox.

In Happiness + Health,

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