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Please keep in mind that it's important to just get some movement into your routine, no matter what type it is. Don't worry if you are not doing the recommended level of activity yet--this can be a long-term goal to work towards slowly. A word here about the risks inherent in any definition that attempts to describe a working understanding of meditation practice: these risks include reification, misunderstanding, and oversimplification of what is essentially a dynamic process. Nevertheless, we discuss these as separate and sequential while understanding there is significant flow and overlap between them. Also, it's helpful to remember that it's fine to spread out shorter exercise sessions throughout the day. For example, if you want to do 30 minutes of movement in a day, you could do three sessions that are 10 minutes long, with rest breaks in between. Alignment and postural exercises These types of exercises keep the body core strong, aligned and flexible; combine these with breathing and relaxation techniques to get the most benefit. Tai chi, yoga, qi gong or Pilates are all examples of postural exercises. You can also work your core muscles by simply sitting up tall with a straight spine while holding your back away from the chair. First, "think tall" and draw your spine upright as if you were being pulled by a string attached to the top of your head. Next, put your hands on the notch where your collarbones come together. Trace the collarbones out as far to the sides as is comfortable. Place the hands palm-up on your lap, or facing palms-forward by your sides. Doing a quick posture adjustment several times throughout the day can help strengthen and support your back and neck. Bare attention, open-monitoring, and discernment are essential practices embedded in the Yoga program that experientially assist in the transmission of teaching. Bare attention is the ability to intentionally pay attention to one's internal and external experience, open-monitoring is the practice of being receptive to all sensations as they come and go, and discernment is the practice of skillfully choosing how to respond to experience, even as we hold it all with compassion and kindness. All three are practices the teacher embraces in her guidance, demeanor, and presence and encourages in participants via the process of inquiry. The evolution of a mindful, embodied presence is a practice and requires the teacher to be attentive to what is showing up in the group and in herself in an open and receptive manner, while being able to discern what is required from moment to moment. This can be an encouragement of a present-moment focus on process over content, gentle guidance toward a teaching point, or space and a container for a participant to endure an emotionally charged moment. The mind needs detoxing just like the body needs detoxing.

It is impossible to achieve the greatness of transforming your life through self-care if you do not have the discipline to detox your mind. Your mind is where it all begins, and you are the CEO and order-giver to every part of your body from the crown of your head to the bottom of your feet. When you have discipline over your thoughts, you allow your mind to flourish. Yes, you have the power to detox your mind. To achieve this, it is necessary to develop a made-up mind and ban all toxic, negative thoughts of fear, laziness, doubt, anger, hopelessness, envy, greed, self-pity, and any other undesirable form of stinking thinking. It's normal to be reluctant to get started on something. Be prepared to move through that feeling on your way to achieving what you want. Acting as if' is a way to create motivation to do something. <a href=''>If</a> even the smallest task seems too hard, tell yourself you're just going to do five minutes right now. <a href=''>Make</a> it easy for yourself to get started on the things you do actually want to achieve. <a href=''>Once</a> you get going, if you have a plan for the steps you need to take, it makes it easier to move on from one step to the next. <a href=''>Don't</a> wait for your feelings to change before you take the action. <a href=''>Just</a> take the action and see how your thoughts and feelings change. <a href=''>It's</a> a positive feedback loop - actingas if' positively influences further thoughts and actions. Small changes in how you use your body can add up to a big change in how you feel. If you can keep your mind on maintaining a couple of positive postures consistently, your thoughts, feelings and behaviour can match up. Think about it. Every day we are bombarded with the latest breaking news stories, which seem to guarantee to deliver bad news. Let's face it: Bad news sells. However, imagine if the latest toxic news story is your mental meal diet plan for life?

How toxic do you think your mind will become? Over time, when you are continually feeding yourself an overdose of daily bad news, mental toxins will eventually kill your spirit. Willpower is limited and it is easily used up. But by carrying out simple activities that require small amounts of self-control, you will soon develop the self-control and willpower to tackle the bigger issues. Plan for the times when you know your self-control and willpower are going to be low. Don't do too many things that you don't really want to in any one day. You'll only overload your brain! When you find yourself struggling with toxic and destructive thoughts, redirect those negative feelings. You have the power to change what you are thinking and create a new mindset to think about things that will inspire and soothe your soul. Incorporate activities of relaxation for your mind, body, and spirit. Go for a walk. Practice meditation. Go for a good workout. Take a therapeutic bubble bath. Just be in the moment of focusing on having a healthy detoxed mind and renewing of your soul. So I made the rule, "Check the hose." meaning that I take the hose out and put the cap on and check to see that I did it. Then I get in the car, and before I drive off, I look in the rear view mirror to check again, even though I may be absolutely sure I put it up correctly. Same reasoning, if I don't do it every time it won't become a habit and eventually I'll do it again. Again, bare attention is the ability to intentionally pay and direct attention to one's internal and external experience. For Yoga teachers, this includes the guiding of participants.

For example, in leading a breath-awareness practice, a teacher will continue to pay attention to her own experience while setting up a posture for herself and her participants that promotes a sense of wakefulness and comfort. The teacher then directs the participants to the sensations of breathing wherever they are most vividly being felt in the body. To hold this bare attention, participants are invited to bring a sense of curiosity to this direct experience of sensation. When attention is, inevitably, pulled away from the primary focus, they are reminded to notice this and gently escort the attention back to the breath. Part of maintaining this instructional focus of bare attention requires the teacher to pause so participants have time to experience these sensations and to become aware of how frequently the mind or attention is drawn into thinking, other sensations, emotional states, and so forth. As the practice ends, the teacher will use language that facilitates the transition into the next moments. This generally marks the intentional shifting of attention from formal practice to inquiry. Gentle, prolonged stretches These exercises keep joints flexible by helping your tissues grow longer. Hold a stretch that is within your comfort zone, but near its edge. You might imagine "knocking on the door of pain"--but don't go in! Some examples of stretching exercises include yoga and moving your joints through their available range of motion. When I was young we would pick my father up after work. We'd park in front of the store and wait for him. The lights would go out in the store and then he'd come out the door. He would lock the door, come out to the car, and then walk back and check the door again. This practice made an impression on me. Some degree of compulsiveness is not a bad thing if we have ADD. I don't always check to see that I've locked the door, but when I write a prescription for a patient, I always double check it before I hand it to them. Making a mistake on a prescription is one of the worst things I can do. So checking the prescription is a rule that has become a habit.

I don't have to remember to do it, and I don't have to decide whether to do it or not; I just do it. When I fill up the car with gas, I always check to make sure I've put the nozzle back and closed my gas cap. When I get in the car, I always check the gas gauge before I start out. While I'm writing this book I stop every few pages to save what I've written. These are instances of checking which have become habit now. They are a little compulsive; that's good. Strengthening These exercises keep the muscles strong by working them against resistance. For example, you can add resistance to movements with weights, resistance bands or household items. You can also use your own body weight against gravity, like doing squats and push-ups. Aerobic or endurance exercises These exercises make the body more efficient and strengthen the heart and lungs. These activities control weight, improve mood and give stamina. Low-impact exercises often work best for people with pain. Walking, wheeling, riding a stationary bike and aquatic exercises are all examples of aerobic exercises. The first thing to consider is finding a comfortable sitting position. Choosing to sit in a chair, on one of the cushions, or on a bench. Whatever your posture, adopting a position that can best convey the sense of being awake, alert, and relaxed. It's helpful, if you are using a chair, to have your feet flat on the ground and your knees hip-distance apart. Also, if it's possible, coming toward the front of the chair, away from the back, so you are supporting your spine. If that is not possible, then having a cushion or a rolled-up blanket in the small of your back to support the arch in the lower back can be helpful as you let the back of the chair support the rest of the spine. Whatever position you decide upon, the key is to be at ease as much as is possible.