Not sure why but 2011 feels particularly auspicious to me. I woke up feeling inspired to share some of the rewarding insights that years of yoga and work in the natural foods industry have revealed. If you’re looking to make some positive lifestyle changes, I can personally testify to the benefits of the following:
1. Make Sambazon Breakfast Bowls… My favorite recipe includes 2 packs of Pure or Pure Fuzion Sambazon Açaí Smoothie Packs (both are unsweetened), a couple scoops of organic rice/hemp protein powder (whole food powders/no isolates), a scoop of Amazing Grass brand Chocolate Superfood, Eden Blend organic rice/soy milk and any other organic berries you enjoy. Top with Ezekiel sprouted cereal and some honey.
2. Get Your Juice On… I highly recommend investing in a low RPM, twin gear juicer such as the Green Star juicer. Juicing organic fruits & veggies is a complete game changer. Pickup some Green Bags and use them instead of the standard plastic bags from the produce section; in this way, your veggies will last in your fridge for a good 5-7 days. Go easy on the apple and carrot and be sure to incorporate things like fresh turmeric and ginger root, cilantro, parsley, kale, broccoli, celery and a whole lemon (peel included).
3. Sprouting… Sprouting is downright awesome. Just get a seed sprouting jar or two so you can keep a good rotation going. Avoid making this complicated because it couldn’t be easier or more fun! Just rinse your sprouts before you leave for work and then again at some point in the evening. You’ll have more delicious sprouts than you can eat; and so, if you have a surplus, just juice ‘em!
4. Composting… I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to utilize the pulp left over from my daily juicing to produce gorgeous organic soil for my house plants and garden. Just get a small compost unit for your countertop and make a larger one out of an old storage bin for your back stock. You’ll also need composting worms commonly referred to as ‘red wigglers’. Learn more from The Ecology Center and How to Compost.
5. Learn how to breathe… properly : ) Pranayama can be referred to as the scientific art of mastering the breath. Of course, most of us are born knowing how to breathe properly. However, stress and traumatic events in our lives can cause us to sub-optimize the manner in which we breathe. All breathing patterns have a corresponding affect on the mind; and so, mastery of the breath brings about a profoundly calm and serene state in the mind. You can learn simple techniques from your local Yoga, Tai Chi or Qugong teacher or contact me directly if you’d like to learn a particularly elegant system of breathing techniques called Kriya Kundalini Pranayama.
6. Letting go… The foundation for all successful meditations, i.e., pro-actively letting go of all of that which robs you of your peace. Most of us don’t think twice about our daily hygiene rituals, e.g., brushing our teeth, bathing etc. One can think of meditation as good mental hygiene. Consistent, intense practice of meditation promises profound improvement in our own lives as well as those we interact with.
7. Sunlight: Be sure to get at least 20minutes of direct sunlight each day. In this stage in our evolution, we spend a lot of time indoors inundated with electromagnetic radiation. Sunlight not only yields Vitamin D but will also help you look and feel your best.
Helpful keys to the successful implementation of positive lifestyle changes:
1. The things that will work best for you are those you’ll do. It’s always best to start with something that fascinates you.
2. Be sure to give it an honest try before moving on to the next thing. In yoga, we work first towards 44 days of consistent intense practice for a new habit to begin to take hold and a 144 day milestone for it to become part of your character. Remember, if you don’t give up, you’re bound to succeed!
Lastly: When it comes to discouragement and frustration, remember, if it’s not one thing in life, it will always be another. So, when you encounter negative emotions relax, smile and cultivate the opposite quality of whatever negative emotion you’re encountering, e.g., cultivate courage and contentment when you experience fear or frustration.
* Skanda gives regular weekend seminars into classical yoga all over the globe. Please contact him directly if you’d like to learn more.