New Year Same Me
As the new year begins and we look forward to a return to the life we have hitherto called “normal”, you are about to be bombarded by self-help elves and fitness aficionados. If I may chime in for a moment, should you wish to feel better without having to leverage overused diet plans and workout programs, try the following.
First, prioritise sleep. If you have scrolled Instagram and have now convinced yourself that you have not prioritised your self-care, simply prioritise your sleep/rest. This is literally where hours of work poured into understanding self-care will take you. With all the inner work and study I have done, I can safely say self-care happens when we make time to rest and prioritise a good night’s sleep. So, put the cart before the horse, get some rest, get a good night sleep, and feel self-care, rather than think about it. If you’ve young kids, I have absolutely nothing helpful to suggest because I am 30 years old and single.
Second, before eating breakfast cereal and/or drinking tea/coffee in the morning, drink some water (at least 500 ml up to 1l) and have a piece of fruit (non-citrus, e.g. banana). Drinking water will flush your system and help your bowels get moving. A piece of fruit will gently awaken your digestive system. Of course, drinking a good amount of water will make you want to urinate, so make sure shortly after gulping back all that water you are not going to be stuck in a meeting you can’t exit easily!
Third, get moving. Whether you want to touch your toes, learn Sirsasana, or dance the waltz, you need to move. Walking is fantastic. A brisk walk in the fresh air is absolutely fantastic. When the weather and conditions allow, taking off your shoes and socks and letting your feet feel the glorious earth tickle their soles is a favoured activity of the author. Just make sure no dogs have been walked with bagless owners.
Finally (for now), learn to breath through your nose. Start by sitting down and focusing on your breath for 3 to 5 minutes. Beyond that, it’s up to you where you want to take your lung capacity.
I am fairly confident that if you can follow the above simple suggestions, you will notice a significant difference in how you feel and you experience the day ahead of you. You could literally concoct an entire routine for the year from the above steps without ever having to succumb to the wellness industries jibes and taunts.
It would look a little something like this:
- After your good night sleep, get out of bed slowly, smile and try and touch your toes. Hold for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Sit down afterwards, focus on the tip of your nose or close your eyes, and follow your breath for a further 3 to 5 minutes.
- Drink 500ml to 1l of fresh water.
- Eat your favourite non-citrus fruit, e.g. banana.
- Go about your day as normal.
The above is essentially what a Hatha Yogis morning might look like. They might touch their toes more elaborately and for longer, they might practice some slightly more high-brow breathing techniques, and you can be sure they drink plenty of water and eat plenty of bananas. However, the difference is simply a matter of degree. The quality of practice can be exactly the same if you have the right mindset.
What separates the Hatha Yogi from the person trying to touch their toes is that the Hatha Yogi asks theirselves how the stretch makes them feel and wonders what the body is capable of experiencing. For the body is the vehicle of the soul and it is through the body that the soul experiences life.
So, if all the above was a nice read but nothing more, at least remember you can always Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge.
Om shanti shanti shantih.