I write a lot about “the Yoga of Manifestation” techniques to achieve your dreams with spiritual means. A key thing is how you use your energy. Often in NYC where I live everyone walks around staring at their smartphone, checking it obsessively. But all spiritual systems say our attention and energy is crucial to our material and spiritual well-being. So lets explore how we are using our energy during the day. This is something I work with private yoga clients with in terms of taking charge of thier lives. It’s been proven that even working on a small habit even if unrelated-creates a momentum to allow us to make bigger changes.
1. How do you start your day? With an expensive cup of coffee?
Action: Instead of coffee- try green tea or chai. Chai is actually according to Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India)- a healthy hot beverage, the herbs including ginger and cinnamon help the digestion. And the black tea is less strong than coffee and is said to act as a catalyst for the spices.
Benefit: “It’s all about the catechin content, (in green tea)” says Beth Reardon, RD, a Boston nutritionist. Catechins are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage.” (1) Clean energy that is less taxing on the adrenals. Anti-oxidants of green tea or help with digestion of chai.
2. What happens mid-day. Avoidance habit: texting, reading email every 10 min? Before doing this habitual action- stop and think about why you are doing it. Action: Stop take 5-10 mindful breaths. Usually there is an underlying feeling, anxiety, boredom? Examine what is really going on for you.
Are you a bit tired and really seeking a bit of an energy rush?
Are you avoiding something else that you really need to do?
The latter is a big one for me, getting thrown off by web browsing and email checking during the day. Usually I have something to that needs to get done that I just don’t want to do.
Benefit: sense of being in control of your own time. With less minutia stealing your time, you’re more productive. You focus on what is important to you. Successful people don’t let others agenda, distract them.
3. How do you end your day? Staying up till 12 am? Watching TV or on computer till right before bed, interferes with sleep. Poor sleep affects the body’s healing and hormone balance.
Action: Try gradually going to bed 15 min earlier and maintain that for a week. Then shift again so that you are now going to bed 1/2 hour earlier than usual. According to Ayurveda around 10 pm is an ideal time. This does vary by body type. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning—even on weekends is one key. This keeps the biological clock in sync. (2)
Benefits: more energy all day, better mental focus, your whole day is affected positively.
4. Dietary habit: Eating a sugary snacks or for breakfast? Usually breakfast can be easy to get control off, and can help ward of late morning snacking. I find that I need protein in the morning and I’m satisfied much longer than with grains- like oatmeal. I still eat oatmeal but I add some protein to it.
Action: Experiment there are different body types and you may be the reverse. Ayurveda gives simple guidelines once we know our “dosha,” or body type. For one week pay attention to how you feel after a specific type of breakfast. Literally stop at a set time and make note of how you feel-write it down.
Making a set time commitment to creating a new habit is optimal. 30 days is a minimum to get the brain retrained. But some spiritual traditions say 40 days is best. Try it-examine what one little habit may be creating an energy drain? It may not be anything mentioned here. But if you sit quietly in contemplation- it will come to you. Make an intention to a “sadhana”- which means a spiritual practice that we steadfastly . It can change your life.
Vivinne (Kala) Williams, 20 yrs experience private/corporate yoga & mindfulness teacher: I learned that self-love & self-care are the KEY. It’s the “put the oxygen mask on yourself first” theory.” We cannot fill anyone else up unless we lovingly care for ourselves. My training and practice in Kripalu, Ashtanga and Kundalini yoga’s and my ongoing intensive meditation practice have given me many tools to share.
Vivinne Williams – Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Teacher
2. Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan.