7 Ways to Wish Yourself a Happy Birthday

I love birthdays. I’m never ashamed to get older. I’m fiercely aware that the alternative to getting older is to die young. So every year, rather than be afraid, ashamed, wistful, or have a regret – I try to spend the day incorporating all the things I’d like to achieve or focus on for this one day. If you want to reframe your birthday celebrations and welcome in the wisdom of age – try these practices.

  1. Wake Up EARLY. Earlier than normal. This indeed is the year you can put your health first. The first thing you do upon waking is drink a glass of water and go work out. I prefer yoga, obviously, but this can be a run or whatever gets your body moving. Moving the joints keeps them youthful.

    Wake Up and Yoga!

    Wake Up and Yoga!

  2. Luxurious Shower or Bubble Bath. After your sweat session, you want to smell better. Use those products you “save for special occasions,” and then use them every day because you deserve to feel special every morning. It makes getting older much more pleasant.

    Happy Birthday Bubble Bath

    Happy Birthday Bubble Bath

  3. Play with your animals or kids or both! Sink into that feeling of play, let yourself enjoy playtime without a “to do” list or agenda. Just be free with them.

    Play with and like a kid.

    Play with and like a kid.

  4. Read a book. Maybe you have a goal of more spiritual study, or tackling a fiction novel or an autobiography. An engaged mind is a key to staying curious and attentive, which is a cornerstone of youthful living. Not everyone is a bookworm, maybe your brain training is Sudoku or a cross word puzzle – the key is brain train.

    Yoga Sutra Study

    Yoga Sutra Study

  5. Eat good food. Dessert is certainly acceptable on your birthday, but surround your cake and ice cream with very good nutrition. Eat an epic salad, load up on good protein, pick up some fresh herbs. You are what you eat and if you are intending on an active life well into older years, you probably don’t want to be fried chicken.

    Garden Salsa Sounds Good!

    Garden Salsa Sounds Good!

  6. Treat Yourself. Think spa or manicure and pedicure. Reward your body and skin for carrying you for all these years. Say thank you to your muscles and yourself. Stress relief is shown to keep you feeling younger longer.

    These are the actual products I use. I get them at Senara Health and Healing Center. www.experiencesenara.com

    These are the actual products I use. I get them at Senara Health and Healing Center. http://www.experiencesenara.com

  7. GRATITUDE. You absolutely must end your day thankful. Take a moment to reflect back upon your past year, make a haphazard list of every single thing you can think of to be grateful about. It doesn’t have to be a big thing – small things matter too, like fresh water and blue skies. Studies show that an attitude of gratitude reduces wrinkles.

    And I'm Thankful for YOU!

    And I’m Thankful for YOU!

Anjali Mudra – Reflect to Receive

“Each of us shares a unity with Spirit and all life,
and simultaneously each of us is an individual with free will.
There is a duality to us as separate and as part of the whole.”
~Jonathan Lockwood Huie~

Mudras as an overlooked aspect in modern yoga, especially in the West.  They are not frivolous hand gestures or esoteric spiritual wish sign language.  They are literal energetic connections between two points creating a circuit of energy.  You don’t have to “believe,” in them – they are scientific, in the same way that you don’t “believe” in plugging in a light bulb, you know the plug goes into the socket and links the energy to create a circuit.

One aspect of my personal yoga practice as well as my teaching, is utilizing mudras.  Just as I began with Sutra 1.1, I begin with the most basic of the mudras – Anjali Mudra.  You have probably even done this mudra, but given it little thought.  A simple joining of the hands together in what looks like a prayer – see below.

There are probably thousands of blogs and articles out there on this mudra, so I will share what was given to me as a personal teaching.  Consider that the hands, held in this manner, look similar to a candle flame.  In yoga philosophy and in many religions we are taught that there is a spark, a light, a oneness with Spirit/God/Creation inside us, we are a reflection of God’s image.  To me, this is the light.  When I hold my hands at my heart center, it is a prayer or an affirmation that I recognize a unifying spirit in all things.

In general, we open/close a class with Namaste.  This Sanskrit word has many meanings, my personal favorite is:

The light in me sees and reflects the light in you.

There it is again – CANDLE FLAME!

And if you aren’t into God or Spirituality – think of it as a very basic anatomical reminder – lift your sternum.  Stand taller, chest up, shoulders back.

Until next time, Namaste – lead with love, follow your passion, let your heart come before your head.

The light in me, reflects the light in you.

Aside

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Mondays: 7:00 pm @Senara on Willow Knolls

Fridays: Noon & 4 pm @Senara

My Personal Practice

Alignment Authenticity Anatomy Junkie Spiritual Flow Mantras Mudras Continuous Education Practice What You Teach Progress Not Perfection Guiding Teachers: BKS Iyengar Pattabi Jois Shiva Rea Daren Friesen (Moksha Chicago) Marinda Stopforth (Prairie Yoga - Lisle, IL)

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