Our world can be a beautiful, crazy place. There are moments of despair, and sometimes life feels like it’s moving in fast forward. Inner peace can seem like something reserved for a monk sitting crossed-legged on top of a mountain. The truth is that our authentic nature is quiet and serene. We all have the ability to access tranquility, we need only apply ourselves.
Here are 5 ways to help find inner peace:
1. Screen detox
Whether it’s for work or play, much of our lives are spent in front of a computer. Make it a point to take breaks and move away from your screen. Check your social media pages only once per day. If you are able, set a time when you shut down your system completely. Use this time without technology to spend with loved ones, to read, or take a walk.
This goes for your cell phone, too. Use it as necessary, and if you are able, shut it down at a certain time in the evening.
It isn’t just for yoga teachers, and you don’t need hours to practice. Find five minutes to sit without distractions in a chair or on a pillow or blanket on the floor. Lengthen gently from the crown of the head. Close your eyes and rest your hands on your thighs. Follow the flow of the breath from the nostrils to the throat, and back, on each inhale and exhale. When a thought comes to mind, welcome it by saying hello, and then say goodbye, as you return to tracing the path of your breath. Do this again and again, until the five minutes are up. You will be surprised how much peace this can bring to your life if practiced regularly.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they can’t do yoga because they aren’t flexible, I’d be very wealthy. You do not need to be able to turn yourself in a pretzel to join a yoga class. Yoga is a practice of moving and breathing with awareness. It’s about showing up exactly as you are. Yoga can heal on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Take your time, and witness your layers unfold into peace.
4. Mindful Eating
A balanced diet can help cultivate peacefulness. Savor each bite and observe the texture and flavor of what you are eating. Organic foods that come from the earth keep us grounded and can reduce anxiety. Enjoy fresh foods, rather than packaged meals that contain chemicals, which can lead to feelings of sluggishness or even hyperactivity. Green, leafy vegetables, as well as blueberries, help us to stay focused.
5. Go on a Yoga Retreat
A yoga retreat includes all of the above, and then some! Yoga retreats whisk you away from the chaos of life and into reflective state of being. You’ll connect with like-minded people. Experience the beauty of nature with limited or zero access to the internet. Spend time in the redwood forest. Practice yoga and meditation daily. Indulge in delicious and nutritious meals.
The world will continue to throw challenges our way. That is part of being human. When we cultivate an inner calmness, we navigate through life with purpose and clarity. This can create a ripple effect in which we inspire others to do the same. We can help change the world, one breath at a time.
Christie Pitko began practicing yoga in 2001, and since then, it has healed her spirit and ignited creativity. She teaches an alignment-based flow, and enjoys helping students stay curious about the inner landscape of their bodies and minds. Learn more about her services at www.shiftingandinspired.com.