Smashing Negative Thinking

 

I used to beat myself up if my asana practice wasn’t what I planned.

I should have taken a few more classes last week …

OR

I have to get to more hot classes (even though I’m exploring some other disciplines) 

Fortunately, I’m understanding a bit more that negative self-talk isn’t helpful. Some leaders out there are insistent that breaking down by beating down is the way to go, but I’m not so sure.

Make no mistake- I’m not saying let’s hold hands and sing campfire songs- challenges help us grow. But calling yourself an idiot while it’s happening may not help you get the best possible outcome.

Persistent repetitive thoughts can be useful when you are trying to lose weight, quit smoking or change your diet. But what happens when the thoughts hold you back from the things you want to do? When self-doubt creeps in it seems that negative thought is like a song programmed repeat in our heads.

We all have the ability to put an end to that pattern. Here are 3 ways to halt those thoughts and get back on track to success.

1. Acknowledge the thought

Noticing that you are having a negative thought is a necessary first step. After recognizing that you have started to play that self-destructive song take a moment to figure out why you started to play it in the first place. Did you face a stressful situation? Were you faced with making a decision and unhappy with what you chose? Have you slipped in your workout routine or made a few unhealthy food choices? Beating yourself up isn’t the answer.

2. Confront the thought

When a particularly powerful or insistent negative thought strikes you, examine it. If it’s an objectively true thought, agree with yourself and then restate your commitment. Maybe you just heard yourself say, “I can’t workout for an hour by myself.” Squash that thought by getting in its face. Reply instantly “Don’t ever say that you can’t do anything”. This kind of confrontation gives you power and control over damaging thought patterns.

3. Change the thought

As you notice yourself saying something negative in your mind, you can stop your thought mid-stream my saying to yourself “Stop”. Saying this aloud will be more powerful, and having to say it aloud will make you more aware of how many times you are stopping negative thoughts, and where. Replace a limiting thought like ‘I only ran for 30 minutes’ to ’30 minutes is the most I’ve run yet!’. Good feelings create more good feelings and before you know it those patterns are broken.

Thoughts are things so choose to make the them good ones!

 

Namaste y’all!!!

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PMS Yoga

standing_yoga_mudra

PMS can throw a monkey wrench in your life and yoga. I used to suffer from crippling cramps but since I’ve maintained a solid practice, they’ve diminished substantially, almost completely. Yoga gives the circulation a turbo boost which can help get rid of some bloating. Certain poses also aid in relieving some depression and the crankiness.

You may ask and wonder, well really how bad are said cramps, Oneika? Or are you saying that yoga is good for baby PMS, cramps that are inconvenient but bearable with a few Tylenol.

For the record, I had cramps that were roll around on the bathroom floor so the cold tiles can touch your face kind of bad. Heating pads, pain killers, legs up on pillows kind of bad. Counting the waves of pain in seconds so I could calculate when a break would come kind of bad.

For true.

Having endometriosis is just gravy on my crampy cake. And yoga has nearly eliminated all of that discomfort.

Serious as a heart attack.

I’ve listed a few poses that can assist in alleviating some of the PMS and period blahs….

Seated Twist

yogavibes-yoga-online-twist

This pose can help relieve that bloated feeling. Make sure to gently exhale. Seated twists also stimulate reproductive organs, this in turn can provide lubrication for the uterus which eases cramps. Sweet relief.

Cat/Cow Pose

image credit standardmoves.tumblr.com

I love cat/cow for so many reasons. It’s a wonderful way to warm up the spine and lower back. In addition, it’s a great way to connect your breath and body. Letting the tip of the inhale trigger the body to go in to cow pose and the almost inperceptible start of the exhale allows the tail to drop as the back rounds like a cat is an awesome way to warm up for ujjayi breathing. Breath control is great for PMS and cramps as it allows you to breathe into discomfort in order to relax muscles.

Bridge

Yoga (Bridge Pose) 

Bridge is another great choice (as are shoulder stands) because this pose provides nice stimulation for the thyroid boosting metabolism as well as provide the endocrine system with a little extra somethin’somethin as the kids used to say.

Child’s Pose

balasana 

Child’s pose gets the brain center activated and works the neurotransmitters to provide balance and a sense of calm.

Savasana

I know this seems like a no brainer but this is one of the best things you can do both before and during your period. Rest. Truly embrace savasana. Let the body go and have the earth support you. I have found that this helps me unclench my jaw and release all of my muscles so that I can sink deeper into my mat. This is great for cramps. And a bad mood. And a long day. And an overall icky day. You get it- savasana

This is yoga. It’s with you every day of the month.

Namaste y’all.