Ten things to do that can improve your life

Here are ten great reminders for the day that have been shown to have a positive effect on your life. This is inspired by an article by Eric Barker but I have adapted it to be more inclusive of Yoga practitioners.

1. Get out in nature – bare feet on the earth if best and in the water if you can
2. Exercise – do some yoga – move your spine
3. Spend time with friends and family
4. Express gratitude
5. Meditate – be happy with yourself
6. Get enough sleep – and relax more in the day
7. Challenge yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally
8. Laugh – kids laugh 300 times per day – adults often not more than twice!
9. Touch someone – hugs are even better!
10. Be optimistic – its free!

 

One of the first Yoga Synergy Workshops by Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss at the Poland Rainbow Festival in 1991

One of the first Yoga Synergy Workshops by Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss at the Poland Rainbow Festival in 1991

 

Read our detailed information about what to do get the most of these ten reminders by clicking on the rest of the article below.

 

1. Get out in nature:
Exercise outside if you can.
Do your yoga practice outside if possible.
Get some sun on your body. Take off more clothes when you are outside! Almost everyone needs more Vitamin D (but still try avoid the hottest times of the day to not get burnt)
If possible have bare feet on the earth to get grounded and this will help you get more oxygen into your cells by separating your blood cells (http://www.groundology.com/au/scientific-research )
if possible get in the water if you can as this really rids of unwanted and/or negative energy.
Swim if you can, underwater if possible (see our blog on underwater yoga at http://blog.yogasynergy.com/2014/02/what-i-learnt-from-doing-yoga-underwater/ )

Simon Borg-Olivier in'Scorpion Posture' (Vrschikasana)

Simon Borg-Olivier in ‘Scorpion Posture’ (Vrschikasana)

 

2. Exercise:
Walk more every day, but move your hips and shoulders more as well and you will improve your reproductive system. Scientific studies suggest that if you walk ‘sexy’ you will be a lot healthier and happier.
Use steps rather than elevators or escalators
Do some yoga/ chi gung/ tai chi.
Move your spine. Try the Yoga Synergy Spinal Movements sequence. You can get details and a free version in our previous blog (http://blog.yogasynergy.com/2014/08/accessible-spinal-movements-for-internal-health-external-energy-and-a-pain-free-back/ )

Figure 1: The list of main postures in the spinal movements sequence is as follows: 1. ‘Complete spinal lengthening posture’ (Urdhva hasta merudanda 
tadâsana) 2. ‘Back spinal lengthening posture’ (Pascima merudanda tadâsana) 3. ‘Front spinal lengthening posture’ (Purva merudanda tadâsana) 4. ‘Side spinal lengthening posture’ (Parsva merudanda tadâsana) (left and right side) 5. ‘Twisted spinal lengthening posture (Parivrtta merudanda tadâsana) (left and right side)

Figure 1: The list of main postures in the spinal movements sequence is as follows:
1. ‘Complete spinal lengthening posture’ (Urdhva hasta merudanda 
tadâsana)
2. ‘Back spinal lengthening posture’ (Pascima merudanda tadâsana)
3. ‘Front spinal lengthening posture’ (Purva merudanda tadâsana)
4. ‘Side spinal lengthening posture’ (Parsva merudanda tadâsana) (left and right side)
5. ‘Twisted spinal lengthening posture (Parivrtta merudanda tadâsana) (left and right side)

3. Spend time with friends and family:
Be around people you can speak to and have fun with.
Be around people who you can show love to and who can show love to you.
Be around people who make you laugh.
There is good research suggesting that living in social groups with people you care about helps you to reduce doctors visits, lessen depression and substance abuse, lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety, control pain, manage stress, get less colds and flu, heal faster, lengthen your life and have a happier life (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=97679 )

 

Simon Borg-Olivier Kids yoga

Simon Borg-Olivier Kids yoga

4. Express gratitude:
Be thankful for all you are and have.

Always try your best (tapas) but without aggression of violence in body or mind (ahimsa) but be happy with the outcome (Santosha)
Choose to be happy with how you are.
Choose to be happy with who you are
Choose to be happy with what you have and what you don’t have
Choose to be happy with what you know and what you don’t know
Happiness is not something you wait for it is always your choice.
This is the yogic principle of Santosha

5. Meditate – be happy with yourself:
Calm your mind with static or dynamic meditation
You can simply sit and focus of being lengthened in your spine and limbs and staying very relaxed and this can help you to reach the meditative state.
You can also simply move or dance smoothly and continuously, ideally moving first from the base of your spine or your navel

6. Get enough sleep:
Buy a simple device (such as a ‘FitBit’) to measure your sleep times and the quality of your sleep. Most people don’t sleep enough.
Take the time to relax more during the day.
Focus on being relaxed physically and mentally during your working day.
Reduce stress by not drawing your navel to the spine with your muscles of forced abdominal exhalation (http://blog.yogasynergy.com/2013/06/is-it-correct-to-pull-the-navel-towards-the-spine-answer-yes-and-no/ )

7. Challenge yourself:
You can challenge yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.
Do you passionate best at everything you try
Always have the burning desire to make your best attempt in everything you attempt. This is an important element of what is termed Tapas in yoga.
Use a step measuring device (such as your smart phone or a ‘FitBit’) to count your steps each day.

IMG_0617-2

Simon Borg-Olivier, Clovelly Cliffs, Eka hasta mayurasana, Photo courtesy Stuart Fell

8. Laugh:
Studies show the average child laughs 300-500 times per day while the average adult laughs only about 5-15 times a day.
Research suggests that laughter has the short-term benefits of stimulating your internal organs, activates and relieves your stress response leaving you relaxed and calm, and soothes tension.
Long-term effects of laughter include improving your immune system, relieving pain and increasing personal satisfaction (http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/pub/feap/work-life/newsletters/Humor%20and%20Stress.pdf )

Play and laugh with children if you can

Play and laugh with children if you can

9. Touch someone:
Give hugs, don’t just shake hands or give kisses on the cheek.
Give lots of massage to people.
Make love if you can.

Do partner yoga

Scientific studies of touch show that touch can help activate feelings of reward and compassion, builds cooperative relationships, signal safety and trust, calms cardiovascular stress, activates the relaxation response, can trigger the release of oxyocin (the ‘love hormone’) and improve growth in children (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/hands_on_research).

Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Partner Yoga Demonstration 1992

Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Partner Yoga Demonstration 1992

10. Be optimistic:
It doesn’t hurt to look on the bright side
Its free!
Scientific studies suggest that being optimistic helps to increase longevity, improve gratitude, increase spiritual development, improve tolerance, promotes positive relationships, be relaxed in stressful situations, and decreases anxiety (http://splash.suntimes.com/2013/07/11/optimism-and-happiness )

I have based this article on a really cool and well researched article by Eric Barker that you can find at http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2012/05/what-10-things-should-you-do-every-day-to-imp/ . The author cites good scientific evidence to support the idea that all ten of these reminders can actually improve the quality of your life if you implement them regularly.

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