During a recent yoga lesson with one of my new students, she said she wanted to know what other changes she could make in her daily life to improve her health.
She realised that her yoga practice is just one aspect of living a healthy and happy lifestyle.
To live a holistic and balanced lifestyle, you need to include relaxation, wholesome foods, breathing and positive thinking into your daily routine.
Five Useful Habits To Adopt To Live a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Proper Exercise
Proper Exercise is one of the five basic points of yoga, as taught by Swami Vishnu-devananda, founder and Guru of the International Sivananda Yoga Centre.
Yoga exercises are designed to promote flexibility, strength and balance in the body. In yoga, the physical body is regarded as the vehicle in which the soul lives in on its journey in this lifetime. Yoga exercises are therefore designed to also enhance your spiritual and mental life.
Yoga physical exercises are called Asanas, which means steady pose. As you become more attuned to yoga, you are more able to ‘hold’ i.e. be in a pose for a longer period of time.
Through the practice of yoga your body becomes more flexible, stronger and supple. The postures bring balance to the body, especially to the muscular-skeletal which supports the body.
Internal organs are gently massaged; muscles gradually release tension to allow new energy to flow through your body.
Yoga exercises focus on developing a strong and supple spine. You may be aware of the saying “you are as young as your spine.” The spinal column houses the nervous system. As you stretch and exercise, circulation is increased, which helps to supply and nourish the nerves with a rich supply of nutrients and oxygen.
2. Proper Breathing
In yoga, proper breathing, known as pranayama, means breathing fully, deeply and rhythmically using the whole of your breathing apparatus. Most people use only a fraction of their lung capacity for breathing.
When you practice yoga you learn how to breathe properly. This is a precious gift you give to yourself. When you feel stressed, frustrated and tired a few round of deep yogic breathing helps to recharge your body and clear and calm your mind.
3. Proper Relaxation
We lead stressful, busy and full lives. Many of my yoga students come to yoga as a way to learn how to relax and release stress and tension from their body. During yogic relaxation, you are encouraged to relax in savasan, the corpse pose. This promotes deep physical, emotional and spiritual relaxation.
After a busy day at work, I encourage my students to rest and relax for 10 – 20 minutes when they get home. This helps the body to let go of the stress and tension of the journey home and frantic pace of work.
4. Proper Diet
Yoga encourages you to eat a nutritious diet which is based on eating wholesome, natural and simple foods, e.g. whole grains, fruits, pulses, seeds, sprouted seeds, nuts and vegetables. These foods are easier for the body to digest and have a calming effect on the mind.
5. Positive Thoughts and Meditation
A positive attitude plus the ability to calm and clear your mind is an essential habit to cultivate to help you lead a healthy, balanced life. Meditation is the key to help you achieve this state.
Regular practice of these five habits will help you to live a happy, healthy and relaxed life. It takes time to change, but with regular practice you will live the healthy lifestyle you desire. Let me know how you get on. I would love to hear from you and support you achieve your health goals.