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How to create long-lasting change and be healthy

Life gets busy. We fill our time with so many activities – work, play, taking care of family, showering, eating, TV, reading… The list goes on and on. Now, what happens when the activities that we are filling our life with are throwing us out of balance in some way?

For example, you are working really long hours on a project at work and yet you are feeling very angry with your bosses, maybe even suffering from stress, rashes or digestive issues. Or, perhaps you haven’t been sleeping or keep injuring yourself. Maybe you’re spending too much time in front of the computer and then suddenly you notice that you’ve put on 10 pounds or that you’ve not had a meaningful conversation with your partner in a really long time.

It seems amazing to think that we would choose at any moment to behave in a way that isn’t healthy for us, and yet we do it all the time. Many times, we like to blame other people in our life. There are lots of people to blame – bosses, partners, parents, government, Al Qaida. Yet when we finally begin to see the part that we play in creating our own imbalances, that is the place where real healing begins. It’s easy to blame other people. It’s difficult to change our own behavior. It takes effort, and most of all: awareness and discipline.

So, how do we cultivate discipline and awareness so that we don’t fall asleep at the wheel? There are many ways, and the methods one person uses in his life aren’t necessarily the methods you should use in your life. We are completely unique. We all have different genes. We all have different life history. We life in different places with different careers, furniture, weather, people, routines. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that guarantees everyone success in developing a healthy life because the way is different for everyone.

My focus in yoga and Ayurveda is to help people look at themselves – how they operate, what they want, what hurts, what feels better – so that they can make their own choices at the end of the day. Yes, there are all sorts of yoga poses or herbs that can reduce stress, ease pain and bring joy (and that is awesome, we love them... and I love to share them), but in order to create long-lasting change, we need to change ourselves – and that seems to be the hardest part. If it was easy, we wouldn’t have so many people relying on prescription drugs, would we?

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