Online Wellness Challenge: Day 5

Settle into Simplicity

Welcome to DAY 5 where our goal is simplification.

1. Take a look at the non-essential, non-beneficial activities that occupy your life and begin to pare them down.  Limit television viewing to 2 hours or less each day from here forward.   Spend less time on Facebook.  Stop doing for others what they would be better off doing for themselves when it is appropriate.  Explore other ways you can simplify your day-to-day life to leave more time and energy for your Self?

2. While you’re at it, simplify your diet too.  Yes, it’s time to cut out another depleting food/beverage group from your diet.  What’s still lingering for you?  Caffeine, sugar, processed snack foods, fried foods, health-food store junk food,  antibiotic and pesticide-laden non-organic animal foods?  You will feel so much better if you take the leap, remember why you are doing this wellness challenge in the first place, and go ahead and further simplify your diet.

3. Eat with intention.  Sit down, focus only on eating, chew thoroughly, and wait until you feel hunger in your belly (a hollow, empty, slightly burning sensation). Allow your Agni, your digestive fire to rekindle itself before you consume food of any kind.  I know this will challenge you if you are used to grazing.  But according to Ayurveda, eating without this true sense of hunger, leads to accumulation of metabolic toxins (called Ama) that cause joint pain, a foggy head, and general malaise (aka feeling blah).  I know we try to avoid feeling hunger at all costs in modern culture, but try it.  Your body will thank you, your mind will be clear, and you will connect more easily to yourself as spirit.

4. Try these simple breathing exercises to bring balance to your entire being.  They are best practiced on an empty stomach at least 2 hours after eating anything at all.  Lie on your back,  sit in a chair,  or sit on the floor with your spine upright.  Place your hands on your lower belly and feel your palms rise as your stomach expands on your inhale.  As you exhale, notice your hands moving down and inward with your belly which naturally descends as your lungs empty.  Keep going slowly, deeply, fully breathing. Observing the rise and fall of your belly along with your breath.  Count the length of your inhale (1-om, 2-om, 3-om, etc).  Now bring your right hand up toward your face.  Bend your pointer and middle fingers in and down toward your palm, keeping your ring finger and thumb extended.  Your pinky finger can bend or stay straight whichever is easier for you.  Nadi Shodhana, alternate nostril breathing is a great way to balance your energy with your breath.  Close your right nostril gently with your right ring finger and inhale through your left nostril.  Close your left nostril with your right thumb, open your right nostril, and exhale out your right.  Keeping your left nostril closed, inhale through your right nostril, close your right nostril with your ring finger, open your left nostril and exhale out the left side.  This cycle is one round.  Do five to ten more rounds as slowly as possible, allowing your inhale to be half as long as your exhale.  So remember the counting you did in the previous exercise and count your inhale, and count your exhale, which will be twice as long as the in breath.  This rhythm is very relaxing and calming for the nervous system. Keep going with no tension in your arm or shoulder, your face centered, your eyes closed, and your spine lengthened the entire time.  When you are finished with your rounds, keep your eyes close and just focus on observing how you feel.  Come out when you feel ready.

5. As always, check in with me regarding how the challenge is going for your and what you learned about yourself today.

Keep it simple!

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