How do you start your day?
I use to start mine in a mad dash getting to work or trying to juggle everyone else’s needs. Working from a home office means when my feet hit the floor the to do list starts to tick away. I don’t think juggling the day’s opportunities are different if you work in an office or as a stay at home parent. Oh, unless you’ve got it down pat. (No one likes a know it all so it’s okay to admit we’re not perfect.) I’m a fun little mess in progress and am totally okay with that.
Did you catch my previous post for Berks County Living, “Show 2014 Who’s Boss?” In my Q&A my with Stacy Brown she shares tips on how to start your day. There is a similar theme that carried through with Pam Guido, owner of Shri Yoga and Wellness Center, when we spoke about the new year and goal setting. Intention. It’s pretty powerful. So powerful, I have intended to get fit this year in preparation for all the hiking I plan to do on vacation A welcomed side effect, weight loss. Let’s hope.
This week I chatted with Pam Guido, owner of Shro Yoga and Wellness Center in Wyomissing. We walked about getting up and getting moving … and morning nibbles… duh.
What activities do you chose to start your day with and why?
Pam: Mornings start in quiet appreciation of welcoming a new day. Whether sitting in meditation, enjoying a cup of hot tea or mindfully going about my morning routine it is the attentiveness I bring to what I am doing which results in greater clarity and sets the tone for my day.
How have you found food habits or morning activities can positively affect your lifestyle?
Pam: So often we find ourselves thinking about our ‘to do’ list the moment we wake up and begin our morning routine. How we begin our day could possibly be the most important choice we make all day, mirroring the way in which we show up for the rest of our day.
Here is something to try. Set aside 10-15 min. Sit and simply start by taking in the newness of the day. Then close your eyes, deepen your breath and simply feel and enjoy the movement of it. Notice the quality of your breath and relax your body to allow the breath to expand in all directions. Consciously infuse every breath with a feeling of gratitude and notice how that feels.
Continue to simply notice whatever it is you notice without judgment and without attachment. After several more minutes bring to the forefront an intention for how you want to show up to your life today. This is not a goal, simply an intention of how you would like to ‘be’ in the moments of your day. For example you may desire to be less judgmental, more mindful, more open, more tolerant, more courageous, etc.
Sit and notice what that feels like in your body. After a few minutes, gradually open your eyes and take in the surroundings once again and observe any changes you feel. Acknowledge your intention, and continue on with your day.
Do you entertain the notion of New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?
Pam: I don’t set New Year’s resolutions because they are rarely effective and focus on negative reinforcement. In yoga, we set intentions which encourage positive behaviors.
Intentions differ in that they give us an inner direction aligning with a higher vision of what we see for ourselves. You first have to believe that the change you seek is possible and envision that for yourself. Intentions then serve to give us a direction; a step that moves us along a path toward a new way of being.
What we are really seeking are lifestyle changes, not simply trying to reach a goal of say losing 15 pounds. But rather, as in this example, bringing more consciousness to the food choices we make, acquiring a new relationship to food, and bringing more awareness to where we may be lacking nourishment in other areas of our life. The path of yoga helps us to recognize these interconnections to further guide us on our path to greater health and well-being
Here are some recipes to start your day
“Attuning to the body’s innate wisdom regarding what foods best nourish our body helps us to make better food choices. Proper nutrition is the art of attuning to the flavors and textures of natural, whole foods to align with the ones that taste and feel satisfying and nourishing to us. My breakfast might look like a green smoothie, a warm cup of oatmeal, or a cup of coconut yogurt, granola and dried fruit. Regardless of what I am drawn to on any given day, I can say that eating a healthy nutritious breakfast is one of the single most important things I can give to myself to start my day off feeling energized and alive!” – Pam Guido