Pathway Partner

Hatha Yoga at the Fraser Activity Center

There’s a new beginner to intermediate Hatha Yoga series starting up at the Fraser Activity Center. The series starts on Monday, June 18th and will run through September 17th (no classes on Monday, July 2nd or Monday, September 3rd). Enjoy 10-session of yoga during this 12-week period for $100.00. Not ready to commit to an entire series… that’s OK, walk-in’s are welcome for $11.00 per session. For additional information, check out the Yoga Page!

Just Breathe

A lot has been talked about lately regarding breathing. Actually, it’s been talked about for thousands of years, but just now people are paying attention. Breath work (or as it’s referred to in the practice of yoga – pranayama) has been something that many societies have been practicing consciously for centuries. What doctors and scientists are just now learning is that you can do a lot with your breath.

Without getting into too much detail, your breath can control your nervous system – calming it or revving it up, depending on the breath work you’re practicing. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, almost always your guide (or teacher) will start you off in the class by connecting with your breath this helps to center you and and calms you down. In a high energy yoga class such as Kundilini, your teacher will lead you with “Breath of Fire” which is a high energy breath and can generate heat within you – thus allowing you to be ready for a higher energy practice.

Using breath work in your everyday life is a recommendation that many in the medical field are finally making to their patients. Often times a more integrative doctor will ask someone to learn how to meditate or focus on their breath before they recommend any medications for some of their patients who have mild anxiety, whereas just a few years ago, a script would have been the answer.

Breathing seems so easy and natural, and it is. When we first come into this world, we breathe just fine – inhales inflating the belly and exhales compressing it. But as we age and let little things pile up on us, we become more anxious, more stressed and we are too busy to breathe. We actually hold our breath! We end up breathing these short, shallow breaths which can impair our body’s functionality. We don’t get the proper amount of oxygen into our bodies and thus we are not properly oxygenating our brains or vital organs. Many feel this is why we end up with disease or memory loss.

Take a moment right now to notice your breath – place one hand on the lower belly – feel if it’s expanding as you inhale and compressing as you exhale. Place the other hand on your heart. Do you feel the rise and fall of your chest. Work on this breathing technique every day until you can notice the belly rise on the inhale and compress on the exhale. Take a few minutes a day to center yourself and to help calm down your nervous system. Take a few minutes to just breathe.

Finding Balance in Your Life

We are all overworked… over committed and overwhelmed. How did we let this happen? Maybe it’s time to take a step back and try to create a little balance in your life.

For starters… you may want to consider a daily yoga & meditation practice. You don’t have to spend an hour a day, but if you could schedule just 15 minutes a day of each, you’ll find you are much more able to cope with a lot of the other day-to-day events in your life.

Learn how to say “NO”. We are so afraid to disappoint people in our lives, yet we do not hesitate to dishonor ourselves. If you continue to over commit yourself, you may end up getting resentful to others or worse yet, you could end up making yourself ill from not taking enough time to just “be”. It takes so much pressure off of you when you can be honest with yourself and others and just say no when you need to.
In that same vein, we often get involved in activities or commitments that we end up losing interest in. Sometimes these activities become a daily part of our life and we don’t even consider dropping them from our lives. Consider how much time you are wasting by continuing these activities and what you could be doing with that time if you just stopped doing the things you are no longer enjoying!
Try making a daily list of things that need to get done. At the end of the day, notice which items may not have been crossed off your list. You may discover that you overwhelm yourself by placing so much importance on items that really aren’t that important. Also, if you stray from the list of “must do” and add in some fun things, you’ll feel like you are living your life instead of going through the grind.
Keeping your body & mind active is also very important. Fitting in a daily exercise routine will keep your body fit and increase your energy level. To keep your mind more active and fit, consider keeping a daily journal and read every day. You may even consider taking a class on a subject that is of interest to you. Research shows that our brains never stop developing and that there is so much brain mass that is untapped. And although the brain is not a muscle, it still needs to be exercised in order for it to stay healthy.
One more important thing to do to help bring more balance to your life is to spend quality time with family and friends. So much research shows that not only will this improve the quality of your life, but also help to lengthen your life. Being with those special people not only helps to keep us happy, relationships also help us to not feel lonely. Research has shown that loneliness will lead to a cognitive decline. So the next time you’re invited out – take the time to do that for yourself.
Keeping your life in balance takes a little effort, but once you get into the groove… it will help you to be happier and healthier.

Happy New Year! Now resolve to not set resolutions!

Another New Year is upon us! As you reflect on the year past, how do you feel? Do you feel good about the resolutions you made or do you feel like you made all sorts of resolutions that you didn’t keep? Do you feel like the year past was the best year ever or do you feel like you should of or could have done better? We put so much pressure on ourselves each year when we make those heat of the moment resolutions. Instead we should shift our thought pattern and set intentions of what changes we want in our lives and start taking the steps to attract these changes.

So for instance… If you want a partner who nurtures you, set an intention to nurture yourself. If you want to be more successful at your business, set an intention to help others grow their business. If you want to be more healthy, set an intention to make healthier lifestyle changes and to eat better meals and then provide these same changes to your friends and family. If you want to be more organized, set the intention that as you reduce the clutter in your life, you are making room for what you want in your life.

If you want more positive things in your life, you need to let go of the negative. Sit back and think about the changes or additions you would like to make in your life and then set the intention to bring about these changes or additions. It really is an easy process and it is such a big step in your own personal and spiritual growth.

Affirmation for today…

Mind your mind… remember that thoughts become words, words become actions and your actions become your character… so mind your mind, where it all begins.

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