Making the first small steps to a regular Wellness routine can be like climbing mountains for some people. But good habits build up good health – essential if you’ve been on the path to healing from negative emotions (especially other people’s!) and the damaging effects they can wreak in your life. Also extremely essential if you’re in remission from cancer or if you think you might be at risk from cancer, diabetes or any serious, stress related illness.
Deep care of the mind is the perfect powerful balancer and harmoniser for our systems and spirits.With a yogic, holistic approach it is healing with the mind that heals the body and emotions. Here are a few simple ways to relax, nourish and care for your mind.
Cultivate the habit of smiling.
Learn to do it, so that even when you don’t feel like smiling, you can. Smiling relaxes the facial muscles and the brain. Smiling also tricks the brain into thinking it is happy as your expression sends messages back to it. I teach this in Yoga class as “your deep, inner Yoga smile”.
The “mundane mind” (manomaya kosha) relaxes, giving you time out for a little rest and refreshment. You are then more able to be with the peaceful, wise part of your mind.
Enjoy the Tea habit.
The ancient way of tea drinking, taking time out for tea in the afternoon, is a method of destressing the mind and taking time for appreciation of the Yoga values of purity, tranquillity, harmony and gratitude.
Make yourself a cup of herbal tea: green tea is wonderful for the mind. It is amazingly beneficial for focus and concentration. Green tea also melts belly fat, so if you’re overweight or diabetic this is a must. Use the same, old cup for your tea drinking ritual in the Zen way. Sit in the same spot to drink it at a regular time and allow yourself to be at peace as you take a break from the world.
Learn How to Gaze.
This is one of the simplest ways to meditate with Yoga: it’s the ancient skill of trataka, and we practice this in it’s simplest form by candle gazing.
Meditation and relaxation directly positively affect our body’s natural killer cells, have a beneficial affect on diabetes and, most powerfully, on Melatonin production. Neuroscientist Ranjie Singh has produced astounding research into the cancer-arresting properties of Melatonin.
Sit, light your candle and gaze at the flame whilst breathing evenly and deeply, and do this regularly, say 10 minutes a day. Oh, and by the way, kids just love this – I’ve been teaching it in my kids’ yoga classes for years, we make a game by looking for the rainbow’s colours in the flame.
And by the way, if you would like to take your first steps on the healing path, there is a simple, free-to-download “gazing” meditation on the website here: Gaze.
Susan Ni Rahilly is founder of www.suzenyoga.com: Spirituality, Understanding, Zen, Energy and Nutrition through dedication to Yoga practice.