Inside out: Practices to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul
Spring is a great time to open the windows and clear out the dust and disorder that might have crept in your home during the cold winter months. But with longer days and increased sunshine, spring also can signal the time for some internal spring cleaning.
With work, school, kids and maintaining the home, it’s not uncommon for women to lack the time needed to refocus and rejuvenate. By reserving just a few minutes out of the day for yourself, you can find ways to decompress, increase your energy and lead a happier, healthier life.
Kim Colegrove, owner of Make Time for Nothing Stress Reduction Center in Olathe, is a lifelong meditator who now devotes her time to teaching others how to meditate, relax and, in the process, change their lives.
“All you need to do is sit comfortably, close the eyes, breathe, relax the body and quiet the mind,” Colegrove says. “Techniques vary from focusing on the breath to using a mantra, a word or sound you mentally repeat over and over.”
According to Colegrove, meditation comes with a number of physiological benefits, such as slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and increasing beneficial hormones. In terms of spirit, meditation is a way to open up to guidance, intuition and inspiration.
“In our society, with everyone being so ‘wired up’ and ‘plugged in,’ I don’t know that people consciously take the time anymore to sit in silence for the purposes of getting connected to the guidance they’re seeking,” Colegrove says.
A daily meditation of 15 to 20 minutes is sufficient for people to reap these benefits and enjoy a more relaxed state of being with greater mental focus and clarity, Colegrove says.
Ayurveda is a daily practice that helps you look at your health, mind, body and spirit so as to make small but significant changes in day-to-day living. The word means “knowledge of life,” and according to Stephanie Mohr, a graduate of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, the practice is individualized to address specific imbalances.
“Ayurveda involves choices of what we eat, how we eat and how we digest, along with how we live our lives, work, exercise and handle relationships,” Mohr says.
A consultation with an ayurveda practitioner can help you discover the tools this ancient science has to offer.
“This knowledge of life is already within you,” Mohr says. “It is when we go against that nature that problems arise, which happens all the time because of our busy lives. We need to find balance again and shift our perspective towards health.”
Mohr also teaches yoga classes at Boulevard Yoga in the Crossroads. Yoga is a physical practice involving breathing, movement and meditation.
“Yoga is great for slowing down our pace, connecting to breath and moving with awareness,” Mohr says. “It’s a great way to clear your mind and ‘the crazy’ that comes with our busy lifestyles.”
There are several types of yoga and all include breathing, mindful movement, stretching and strength of varying degrees. It’s an exercise for the body but also the mind and spirit, because its calming nature “gives you a chance to listen to what your true needs are,” Mohr says.
Benefits of yoga include stress reduction, better sleep, weight loss, increased energy, release of lifestyle toxins and more.
According to the International Center for Reiki Training, reiki is “a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by ‘laying on hands’ and is based on the idea that an unseen ‘life force energy’ flows through us. If one’s ‘life force energy’ is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress.”
Reiki benefits include promoting healing, stress reduction, increased relaxation and energy, pain relief, and manifestation of goals. For Kansas City resident Tiffany Coffey, reiki has resulted in renewed energy, focus and strength.
“A group of friends and I decided to try reiki a few years ago,” Coffey says. “We were all kind of at a funk in our lives. It was interesting because we all had really different experiences. I was sweating profusely during my session and no one else had that reaction. We were all really excited afterwards about how we felt, and we continue to have reiki done once or twice a year. If there’s a pain in the body or a specific life issue, (the practitioner) can concentrate or focus on that particular area. It’s nice to feel like you’ve gotten the dust shaken off of you.”
You can find a reiki practitioner in your area at www.reikimembership.com.