It’s beautiful weather here in N.C. this Christmas. Global warming concerns aside, for the moment, many of us are enjoying these balmy winter temps. The recent memory of bone chillingly cold weather has made me especially grateful to feel the sun’s heat on my bare feet.
It is not uncommon for us humans to appreciate something more after having experienced it’s less desirable opposite.
Take illness and wellness, for example. How often have you, right after being sick, felt especially grateful for just getting around? Challenging times can be a great motivator to live differently. I see this often in committed Yoga students who I know have suffered major medical issues. Their being able to get up and down on the floor and move their bodies in different ways feels extraordinarily good and is their driving impulse to show up, having a recent memory of disability etched upon their psyches.
But what happens when an injury/illness is no longer on the forefront of the pre-frontal cortex, and/or motivation otherwise wanes?
Periodically I begin Yoga class asking students to come up with an intention for class. A reminder for why they are here. As a matter of living more consciously (and healthily), reminding ourselves of why we’re taking good care of ourselves is helpful – why we’ve come to the studio, why we’re eating healthier, why we’ve started walking, meditating, or why we’ve adopted any healthy habit.
This is especially important when we’re not feelin’ it.
On days when I’m feeling run down and still have two Yoga classes to go, I often start by asking myself why I teach and my intention for the next class. Frequently what comes to me is to be of service, to help alleviate suffering, and to listen and respond to students’ needs. Reminding myself of why I teach Yoga and setting an intention gives me the inspiration needed to be fully present and listen when I’m worn out.
Someone asked me recently for advice about how to live a healthy life. After thinking about it awhile, I came back to the importance of once again first asking and reminding ourselves of why we want to live healthier. Maybe it’s to feel better, to have more energy, to better care for others, to make better decisions, and/or to be happier.
Once we remind ourselves of why we’ve chosen to live healthier, then we can cultivate a sense of curiosity and begin our journey from there. Intention and curiosity is the fuel to keep ourselves on track. Without it, adopting a healthy lifestyle can become, for some, a chore.
And so I ask you as you’re reading this blog … why have you chosen to live a healthier life?
Make this question a regular mantra and with a sense of curiosity it will serve you, and those with whom you share your life, well.
To your health,