HOLIDAY HEAVYWEIGHT

It happens every year.  A momentary lapse in judgment called, Thanksgiving.  As soon as this wonderful familial food-fest, otherwise known as "STUFF YO FACE" rolls around, all bets are off.  I find myself diving head first into a bucket of carbs, starches, and sugars with a mug of booze on the side.  It's like I've been held captive for months while being subject to small rations of rice and snake meat.    

My smoothie addiction and yoga practice keep me in check as I try to live a healthy lifestyle throughout the year.  Overeating is very easy for me to do as I come from a long lineage of big eaters.  Family style portions for one person were common in my household growing up.   It took years of trying every diet in the book, until finally crashing and burning, to find something that worked for me.  But once I’m back together with family on Thanksgiving, my little angel called “Willpower” has taken a vaca and the “Holiday Heavyweight” is back in tow.  (I’d like to emphasize that I don’t think skinny and starving is cool.  I do think healthy eating and moderate splurges of desire, combined with a workout routine that you enjoy, IS cool.) With that said, the internal struggle of that damn proverbial wagon I’m trying to stay on during the holidays, is a challenge for me.    

Why is temptation so easy to fall for?  It can be sex, drugs, alcohol, or food, but any amount of temptation can throw you off balance in one decision. We all know this, but our desire outweighs our willpower causing us to jump ship into a sea of Thanksgiving stuffing.  Maybe it’s temptation or maybe it just a bunch of family members getting together to enjoy delicious food and drink with one another, or maybe we just really don't care.  Whatever it is, it got me thinking and that’s why I write this blog. 

I’m not kicking myself too hard for my turkey day feast, but I would like to have one holiday where I don’t change into sweat pants halfway through the day.  I know I can’t be alone here with this issue, but I would like to meet the Kelly Ripa wanna-be who stays in check during the holidays. Who are you???  Next up is Christmas and New Year’s (YAY!!!), so I have that to look forward to…Or do I??

        

Create Space

In the age of technology we are bombarded daily with advertisements and excessive email blasts. Iphones are glued to our hands as we Tweet, read Facebook status's and look at Instagram photos of people we hardly know.  We are constantly told what new fashion trends are happening for the season, the fad diet that will get us into our best bikini body, and what coupons will get us discounts on the trendy restaurant in town.  With technology and material items cluttering up our lives we have little room to breath and clear our minds.  If we let go of what no longer serves us and open up the possibility for more space, we will be able to introduce new things into our lives. YES!!!! 

I can get easily overwhelmed and feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders when my life is full of clutter.  When this happens, I immediately want to shed away all of the negative and bring in positive.  I try to let go of material items, clean my living space, and make an effort to have a daily yoga practice.

I spend a lot of time trying to find new ways to create space in my yoga practice whether its in my mind or in my body.  When I'm in a particular posture, I use my body as a guide to explore new ways to breath deeper.  Expansion and breath awareness brings me to a place where I can feel less cluttered and open to receive new things. Ideas, emotions, and new human interactions are much more available to me with an open mind and open heart.

Align yourself

In yoga class, teachers talk about "alignment."  What is the purpose of alignment and why is it crucial for our bodies and minds?   

When we bring awareness to our bodies in space, our knowledge of alignment changes.  We feel it in our bodies from the ground up.  The breath circulates through our lungs, one movement to the next, creating energy and light as we flow with ease.  If we don't take the time to properly adjust ourselves in class, we can put pressure on our joints, and irritate muscles, ligaments, and tendons.  This can cause injury. The effects could be worse if these same movements are done improperly over a long period of time.  Taking the time to align ourselves and make intelligent decisions when practicing yoga, can only create results that make us feel great afterwards. 

What are the parallels between alignment physically and alignment mentally?   Allowing people into our lives that bring us down in any capacity can cause stress and pain, disrupting the flow of our daily lives.  If we focus on alignment by surrounding ourselves with positive, supportive, and open minded people, then we start to feel better about ourselves and our goals.  Positive people lift us up and make us happy, which in turn, allows for great things to come into our lives. The alignment of people, places, and things that bring out the best in us and allow us to shine, gives us the same outcome as a completely aligned yoga practice. 

When there is misalignment in yoga, we are hurting our bodies, but when we are misaligned in life we are slowing down our journey to happiness.  What is that famous Albert Einstein quote? "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

 So, align yourself.  Align your body, mind, soul, and life.  Everything else is secondary.