After reading Jennifer’s fall resolutions, I started thinking about healthy habits I’d like to work on building this fall. Mainly, I want to be better at letting go of the illusion of control when it comes to, well, the things I can’t really control. This requires being more comfortable with uncertainty—or at least find ways to accept moments of discomfort sparked by uncertainty. It’s certainly not the easiest task, but it feels like the right time to devote conscious effort towards this goal.
Whether you’re working on developing a mental habit (like me) or something more tactile (like starting your day with a healthy breakfast), it doesn’t hurt to support your efforts with another healthy habit—one that integrates physical wellness with spiritual awareness. For me, this healthy habit is yoga (surprise!). In particular, doing yoga in the morning helps set me up for a happy, healthy day, making it easier to stick to new resolutions. Here’s why.
Why Morning Yoga is the Secret to Keeping Your Resolutions
1. Confidence boost. Achieving something in the morning, even if that’s a simple, 15-minute yoga session, can help you feel accomplished. This will serve as a reminder that you can achieve what you set your mind to. (For extra confidence, incorporate a few inner-power building poses like Mountain Pose and Warrior II.)
2. Productivity boost. The benefits of morning yoga don’t stop with confidence. Exercise can actually make you more productive. This comes in handy if your desired habit involves mini “projects,” like staying on top of clutter or creating more meals from scratch.
3. Check-In. An excellent tool for turning your focus inward, even a short yoga session can help you check in with your mental state as well as with how you’re feeling in your body. These things vary from day to day, and being aware of them will help you know when to go a bit easier on yourself and when you feel ready to push a little harder. You can also check in with your resolutions–how are they going? Are you where you’d like to be right now? Do you need to go back to the drawing board?
4. Pick-me-up. Yoga is a known mood booster. In addition to releasing endorphins (like all exercise), regular yoga practice may increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA. This is especially good news if you have a mood disorder (which may be accompanied by low levels of GABA). Even those without a mood disorder can benefit from the creative, non-linear movements of yoga.
5. Mental clarity. In addition to helping you feel better and more confident, yoga can help clear the clutter from our minds, so we remember what we really want to focus on throughout the rest of the day. This is especially the case if your yoga style involves conscious breath work and meditative moments.
6. Intentions & affirmations. A morning yoga routine is a perfect opportunity to set intentions and state affirmations that will assist you in maintaining your healthy habits. Here’s more on how to set an intention for your practice.
7. Strong digestion. Yoga is associated with a healthy, efficient digestion. (Really, just staying active should help with this!) Digestion may seem arbitrary until it becomes apparent that a sluggish digestive tract draws precious energy. Plus, in a spiritual sense, healthy elimination may serve as a powerful metaphor for the ability to let go of what’s no longer serving us.
Do you have any fall resolutions or healthy habits you want to adopt in the coming months?
More in Peaceful Practice: How to Stick to Your Yoga Routine
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Photo: Dimtry Kotov via Unsplash