Walking for Mindful Awareness

Autumn weather is usually pleasant and mild— making it a great time to practice yoga outdoors. After your asana, taking a walk is one way that you can welcome mindful awareness. It’s no secret that when our thoughts are racing, we can feel stressed. Walking outdoors can help you restore balance between your mind and body. The rhythm of walking can help you clear your mind, order your thoughts, and bring awareness to the present. It can even aid in unlocking creativity or helping you see how to overcome obstacles.

In addition to helping balance the connection between your mind, body, and spirit (in Sanskrit: the purusha and prakriti) here are 10 physical benefits of walking.

  1. It can help improve your mood, help you feel relaxed, or lower your blood pressure.
  2. You may experience better sleep.
  3. It could help your immunity.
  4. When you walk, the cadence between your right- and left-body can benefit your brain.
  5. You could feel less hungry, which may be beneficial if you are trying to lose weight.
  6. Walking has been proven to be good for your heart.
  7. It may help you maintain bone density.
  8. As you age, walking can help you keep a broader range of motion than if you are sedentary.
  9. It may help you avoid developing varicose veins.
  10. Walking and sharing thoughts with a friend (4-legged or 2-legged!) can also help us feel more connected to those we love!

Shake It Up

When it comes to shakes and smoothies, most people are fans. Even if you’ve had an experience with the grainy or artificially flavored ones, chances are you’re willing to try again with a different brand in hopes of having a better experience. But many brick-and-mortar smoothie shop shakes are almost completely composed of ice. This can leave you feeling hungry. Some are not made from the highest quality ingredients, and others are outrageously expensive. Fortunately, there are some great shake options out there that you can make in your own kitchen or at work (which might actually be one and the same these days!)

Performance shakes are developed for those who are looking to take their work-out routines to the next level. They usually come in two varieties: pre-workout fuel or post-workout recovery. In the world of yoga, these shakes might promise energy for your asana. For energy, consider looking for shakes with fruit-based carbs. For muscle building, consider your protein content.

Weight Loss shakes are formulated to help you lose unwanted fat. Liquid and softer foods are also easier to digest if part of your weight loss program includes healing your gut. Some contain fat burners, while others contain protein to help you feel satisfied longer and keep cravings at bay. Natural fat burners like cocoa, green tea, and cinnamon are Ayurvedic alternatives to synthetic fat burners.

Meal Replacement shakes are intended to be a regular part of a healthy diet, unlike some weight loss products which indicate that they are for short-term use. Meal replacement shakes are easy to prepare and a simple, accessible alternative to high-fat convenience foods. Meal replacements are not snacks; think of them as a meal-on-the-go.

Smoothies are a great way to incorporate raw fruits and vegetables into your diet, so don’t be afraid to go rogue and make your own. When blending fruits and veggies, the best flavor palettes are going to come from sticking to the same color palettes. For instance, oranges and yellows (banana, mango, pineapple) or reds and purples (like cherries and berries) almost always partner well. To stave off hunger, nut butters are a great vegan source of protein.

Be sure to read labels and speak with your doctors before beginning any programs or making changes in your healthcare practice.