Living life as a Yogi in the modern world can certainly present many challenges. The majority of us need to earn an income to pay for housing and food at the most basic level, and most jobs these days also have a certain degree of stress and pressure that come along with them. We may have young children at home that we are nurturing, or older parents we are taking care of. And then of course all the other distractions of social media, Netflix, wine, procrastination, I can go on..
Here are 7 Habits that you can start right now to live as a Yogi:
- Self-practice: without question this is number 1 for a reason. A minimum of 20 minutes each day completely focused on you. Checking in with your body and taking the stretches that you need. Incorporating breath work and meditation is also a must.
- Sleep 10pm-6am: This is the ultimate sleep pattern. Having us asleep before the Pitta time cycle, which gives us that second wind (10pm-2am) and awake before Kapha sets in, making us sluggish (6am-10am) will keep our energy balanced all day.
- Stay present: As Eckhart Tolle says in Power of Now, visit the past or future briefly but spend time in the now. When we are present the whole world slows down. We are able to make better decisions and feel more in control of what is happening around us.
- Listen/chant to mantras: In your car, while you are at work or playing in the background at home. Mantras are both grounding and mood elevating and can shift energy quickly for the positive.
- Ahimsa: practice ahimsa/non-violence towards others by pausing before replying to an email or in conversation. Watching our own thoughts carefully, how are we treating ourselves? remember the saying “if we can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” use this on yourself and let the negative self-talk go.
- Balance your doshas: Know what your predominant doshas are, and ensure you are doing something each day to keep them in balance. If you are high vata, keeping the lights low in the evening and taking quiet time. High pitta, then exercise to help release steam and stress. Kapha, get outside no matter the time of year for some fresh air.
- Let it go: Ishvara Pranidhana or surrender, the last niyama or personal code of ethics. Stop fighting what can’t be changed, change what can. When we let the natural order of ebb and flow in, we let go of feeling stuck or stifled. The universe is built on flow: sunrise and sunset, seasons changing and people changing as well, including yourself.