Begin Your Day with Me Time

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How do you envision your perfect day?  Mine starts with ME time – Meditation and Exercise!

We all know that exercise increases the ‘happy’ hormone, endorphin, and can also increase seratonin levels, both of which have been proven to boost mood.

Exercise also strengthens and builds our muscles, including the most important one of all – our hearts!  So starting your days with some form of exercise – a brisk walk, a cardio or exercise CD at home, a workout in the gym or an early morning yoga class will help you head into the day on a positive note.

I do my best to get in some sort of physical workout just about every morning and follow that with a short meditation program – 15 or 20 minutes is really all you need.  So you have the benefit of the strength and cardio training as well as calming and focusing your mind for the day through meditation.  And since I have a full time corporate job that means I need to get up pretty early to get this in, but it is always well worth the effort!

Some days my workouts actually become a form of meditation in motion for me.  If you’ve ever heard the term ‘runner’s high’ well that same type of phenomenon can occur when strength training and certainly during a yoga class too when you find yourself centered and focused with your breathing and practice.

An early morning yoga practice at home or in a group class is a beautiful way to combine both exercise and meditation at once.  I guess you could call it a form of 'meditation in motion'. That is exactly how I feel about my strength training. When I am in the gym and in my 'zone' it is like meditation in motion for me! What a beautiful commonality in the two practices! And there are so many more complementary lessons that can be shared between the practices of yoga and strength training!

The practice of yoga is extremely beneficial when building strength and endurance. Yoga helps develop better coordination between different body organs along with your mind and soul.

Yoga makes you feel strong yet light – and with regular practice can help improve your endurance, strength, and flexibility especially for those of us who tend not to stretch as much as we should after our gym workouts.

Another benefit of yoga is learning about the importance of breathwork. Yoga teaches various breathing techniques that help all of our body’s cells get the oxygen they need. This can even enhance burning of fat cells and improvements to your immune system. Breathwork is key in both yoga and strength training.

Finally and perhaps most important of all, yoga also improves your emotional stability and can help reduce stress.

So fit in some quality ‘ME’ time in whatever way feels right for you first thing in the morning and you will give yourself the gifts of starting your day with an open mind, strong body, and beautiful peaceful soul!

Erika DeJesus