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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Moving From Intention To Action Small Steps Can Change Your Life

The physical and mental health benefits of yoga, meditation, T’ai Chi and Qigong are well known. With regular practice, we can be more focused, flexible and calmer, as well as more balanced, both physically and mentally. We can worry less and generally feel happier.

Unfortunately, our lives are inundated with responsibilities and sometimes adding just one more thing, like a regular yoga or meditation practice, feels too overwhelming. Instead, we’d rather watch Netflix or drink an extra glass of wine.

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine what your life would be like if you were 10 percent more relaxed. Would you be more patient with yourself and others? Would you have fewer aches and pains? Do you think you’d make wiser decisions? It doesn’t take a lot to make a lot of difference.

With no external deadlines and no immediate ramifications, most of us are prone to procrastination and the temporary indulgence of immediate gratification.  Moving towards adopting new and healthier habits is fraught with obstacles.  One of the biggest problems is that little voice that convinces you to “start next week” or that you’ll never have the discipline to do it. We all have those saboteurs—and they are just the ones in our heads!

If you are ready to feel better, get healthier and take control of your life, here are some simple steps to help you move forward.

Do your research. Find which practice appeals to you, where you can practice it and how much it costs. Look into affordable app options. Decide if you’d like to practice alone or with a friend.

Set a “fresh start” date.  September has the feel of a fresh start- and it happens to be National Yoga month!

Get support. Only inform those folks in your life who are supportive in a very positive way.

Start small and realistic. Doing yoga five days a week or meditation 20 minutes daily are great intentions but perhaps not sustainable for you.

Let go of perfection. Delight and be open to being a beginner.

Have a back up plan for when your enthusiasm wanes– think of yourself in six months and how you will feel if you sustain the new habit.

Retrain your brain.  Focus on the times that you have successfully completed goals. Vividly picture those images for a matter of 30 seconds several times a day.

Recognize that sneaky little voice that likes the status quo. If you find yourself dealing with negative self-talk, simply reply “Hey Buster, I’ve got your number and you are not going to sabotage me this time!”

We can choose to live ordinary lives tolerating stress, putting up with aches and pains, low energy and a unfulfilled dreams.  Or we can choose to push our self-imposed boundaries, feel calmer, happier and live large. It’s your call and you have what it takes!

Beth Youmans, PhD, E-RYT500 is the owner/founder of Yoga Central in Branchburg.  In addition to teaching yoga and meditation, Beth continues to consult for major corporations providing Life Coaching, counseling services and wellness presentations.

Location: Yoga Central, 953 Rt 202 North, Branchburg. For more information, call 908-707-0759 or visit

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