Lesson From India - Create Routine to increase serenity

When I registered for the 500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training program at The Krishnamacharya Yoga School (KYM) in Chennai in 2017, I didn't realize just how much I'd learn. Since I had already completed 200 hours of training in the US and had been teaching for 9 years at that point, I thought I had a good understanding of yoga. Turns out I had a good understanding of āsana, but a very limited understanding of everything else yoga has to offer.

One thing I learned that has been key to cultivating Serenity in my busy life as a wife, mom, business owner, and yoga teacher, is the importance of developing a routine. I know that "routine" may sound impractical to many people, but I invite you to be open-minded and hear me out.

Yoga and Ayurveda (the Indian system of health and healing) teach about the importance of eating and sleeping at fixed times each day. Can you imagine my confusion when I was filling out the New Student paperwork at KYM and it asked if my meals, sleep, and bowel functions were "regular". What they meant was, are they on a regular schedule. Hmm, why would this be such a priority that they'd put it on their intake form?

Well, it turns out that our bodies function best with routine. If we can manage to develop a consistent sleep schedule, our quality of sleep improves, our health improves, and even our appearance improves. If we eat on a consistent schedule, our digestive system regulates and knows when to expect food and when to rest. We avoid getting hangry. We begin to understand our body better and we get a better feel for how much food it needs.

The same goes for all of our daily responsibilities. If we have a fixed time for all our regular tasks, we greatly reduce our stress and experience more Serenity.

I encourage you to sit down with your calendar and spend half an hour brainstorming and organizing your weekly schedule. You can start with baby steps - make a sleep routine and start putting it into practice. When you feel ready for the  next step, make a meals routine and start putting that into practice. Once you get the hang of those, you can start organizing more of your daily and weekly responsibilities into your routine.

As your daily habits become more routine, your body and mind are less stressed, and you'll begin to experience more Serenity.

I'd love to hear what you think about this idea, and how this exercise goes for you! If you have a minute, please shoot me a note and let me know how it goes.

All the best,

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P.S. This weekend is the start of my 4-week series, Yoga for Fibromyalgia. I'll be teaching gentle yoga postures and breathing techniques designed to calm the nervous system and reduce pain and the symptoms of Fibro. Please share this with a friend or loved one who may be interested.

Serenity 101: Open this to learn how to breathe

If 2019 is the year you're creating more Serenity in your life, the first important thing you need to know is how to breathe.

A 10-year-old boy in my Mindfulness for Kids class told me last week that he already knows how to breathe because he breathes all day. :) He's right, we do breathe all day, BUT... our natural, unconscious breathing is different from purposeful, conscious breathing. It's the latter that helps us manage stress and find our peace.

Here's what you need to know to get started with conscious breathing:

  1. It's a great idea to cultivate a daily breathing practice. Make a routine out of it by setting a specific, convenient time every day for your breathing.

  2. Sit comfortably, possibly on a chair. Keep your spine erect.

  3. Inhale and exhale through your nose. Focus on making each inhale and exhale smooth and steady.

  4. Set a manageable goal. If you're new to breathing, start with just a few breaths. Increase when you feel comfortable.

That's it! Go ahead and start your breathing practice today! I'd love to hear from you on this. Please email me your observations or questions, or just let me know how your breathing is going.

Hope to see you soon!

All my best,

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