Spring is a time for renewal and I’ve been thinking it’s a good time to change a few bad habits. However, sometimes the thought of change, especially when there are so many options presented, can be overwhelming. When I find myself feeling like there are lots of changes that need to happen in my life, I have to take baby steps and change just a couple things. If you find that works best for you too, here are some suggestions.

Yoga with deep breathing and meditation with affirmations, if they’re not already part of your daily life, are two important first steps in making change.  Both yoga and meditation help you get in touch with your  body, bring clarity to your mind and comfort your soul. They release stress and relax the nervous system which helps the mind and body function at peak efficiency.

Yoga doesn’t have to be complicated. Try doing a simple Sun Salutation sequence to start your day – see diagram. There is also a sequence of Moon Salutation poses for the evening – see diagram. Start with one or the other, whichever you feel drawn to do. Make it a goal to add the other one, or other poses, when you feel you’ve mastered the first and it has become part of your daily life. Having one consistent thing in your day that brings you peace is a good goal to achieve.

Another way to bring peace into your life is meditation/prayer, along with deep breathing and affirmations. There are several “ways” to meditate/pray – formal or informal; out loud or silently; the same every day or constantly changing; with chanting or singing: in the car, in the shower, in a temple or in the woods. Try several and choose the one most comforting; the one that soothes your soul. Be sure to include affirmations. One of my favorite is from the movie “The Help” – “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” Self-talk is what our minds hear best, so make it positive. Another way to do this is simply “count your blessings.”

Deep breathing can be included in your meditation or yoga practice. It can also be done at any time you need to de-escalate emotions like anger and fear or just think clearly. Start by paying attention to your breathing; focus on each breathe as you inhale and exhale. Then breathe deep through your nose to expand your lower chest and abdomen. You can put your hand on your stomach to feel it inflate. Hold your breath for a couple seconds, then exhale through your mouth, releasing all the air to deflate your lungs, pause and repeat. After 3-4 deep breaths you’ll feel relaxed, but revived with energy – like a spring morning.

Sun Salutation - theactivefamily.blogspot

diagram from theactivefamily.blogspot

Moon Salutaion

diagram from armywifetoddlermom.blogspot