We all know that exercise can help keep our bodies strong and healthy, but can it affect brain function as well? A recent story on NPR highlights research that explores the benefits of physical exercise for mental wellness. Among the findings, scientists have discovered that exercise can contribute to everything from relieving depression to alleviating [...]
In this excerpt from her latest book, Aruni—a life coach and 20-year Kripalu faculty member—explores the idea of practice as a conscious experiment in compassionate self-observation. The concept of practice is both misunderstood and underutilized in our culture. Our Western minds set us upon a new endeavor as a task, like a dog with a [...]
We’ve all been there: tossing and turning in the middle of the night, watching the minutes on the clock creep ever so slowly forward as we ache for least four or five hours of shut-eye before we have to start the day. It’s agony but, for insomniacs, it’s all too commonplace. You might think the [...]
by Erin Casperson, Kripalu School of Ayurveda Intern According to Ayurveda, one of the keys to maintaining health is to practice ritucharya—seasonal routines. Adjusting our daily self-care rituals to seasonal changes helps us maintain balance and reminds us that we are a part of the natural world. Spring is ruled by the kapha dosha, whose [...]
Holidays are about friends and family, eating copious amounts of comfort food, and enjoying our downtime. This year, in particular, we are faced with challenges that can weaken our immune system, and generally leave us feeling run-down, or drained. In the midst of holiday preparations we can lose sight of our exercise routines, our healthy eating habits, and our beneficial day-to-day patterns. On top of this, entertaining, late-night parties, and generally getting off our usual schedule can wear us down. Here are some tips for getting back into the groove during holiday time.
Relax! You have time off from work, so make good use of it and enjoy quiet time by the fire, reading books you’ve been yearning to pick up, getting back onto your cushion, and luxuriating in a hot bath. Since we don’t often make the time for self-care, take advantage of this opportunity for relaxation and rejuventation.
Ashley Winseck, guest blogger
Most of life is a habit. We tend to fall into habitual ways of thinking and being and doing, and we’re living in a world where there are a lot of expectations and demands built up around us—bills, children, work, and more. Giving yourself moments of self-care—even if it’s just five minutes each day—can greatly improve quality of life.
The first step is admitting that you might have some habits are not working for you. Take a look at your daily routines and identify moments that cause you stress or could be improved upon. Then, determine what tools you can incorporate into your routine, what new habits you can establish. When you put some of these tools into practice, you can easily shift the state of your body, mind, and heart away from stress and back into your center.
Balance is an important component of being physically fit. Unfortunately, this complex skill deteriorates as we age, leading to falls and fractures. The good news is that balance can be maintained—and even improved—through training and practice. Here are some suggestions:
• Try functional exercises such as walking, climbing stairs, or sitting down and standing up without using your hands.
• Practice yoga, Pilates, and tai chi to strengthen your core muscle groups.
• Include stretching and resistance training in your workouts.