Set an intention to be happy.
Breath of Joy (do it 3 times).
Swinging arm twists.
Step back into Crescent pose (Arms open in gratitude for gifts to come. Also, get as much breath into the lungs as possible - related to happiness/sadness).
Reverse Warrior (Step back from confrontations, let things go).
Twisting Crescent pose (Allow energy to move through your spine).
Step forward and repeat on side 2 (Take 3 breaths in each of the above).
Kneel on the floor:
Camel pose (Backbends to energize and lift your mood).
Happy Cow pose (Hips related to receptivity, and being teachable).
Closing moment of gratitude. Put your hand on your heart (there is a second mind in the heart) and on your belly (willpower). Make a decision to be Happy!
Self-care is the key to self esteem and self love.
Developing consistency in a routine, and providing a stable foundation creates a platform for true happiness.
Cardio vascular exercise releases endorphins: natures drug! It helps us through stressful or stimulating situations. Increasing endorphins is what makes us feel so good.
Yoga reduces stress and old pent up emotions. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and planning time for play and fun is also key. It's very much about making the time. For instance, I am currently working on a book and I am treating it like a daily practice.
After being raised by 2 perfectionists, it was hard to be satisfied with what I already am and what I have, without having to accomplish something more. I had a volatile relationship with my father, (who brought yoga and wellness into my life) and I achieved a lot seeking his attention. By age 21, I had the body I wanted, the guy I liked, liked me. I had money and a home I bought myself. My career was going great, but I was miserable.
Essentially, I had to lose everything in order to realize that none of those externals were bringing me happiness. I decided to love my body, as is. I decided to love what I have and to want what I have, and to not want what I do not have. Acceptance is the key. And I became a much happier person when I let go of the external accomplishments bringing me happiness.
I literally start my day writing down 5-10 things I am grateful for. It's important to remind ourselves of the positive things in our lives. To train our brains to focus on what is wonderful. It can be something as basic and miraculous as: the ocean or the night sky, that my hands work, my child's laughter.
Mary Berg cooks a make-ahead vegetarian chili with butternut squash and apples.
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