30 Day Yoga and Mindfulness Challenge

Holistic Habits to Transform Your Life


Modern Life, Major Stress

It's a well-known and acknowledged truth: modern life is incredibly stressful!

The Mental Health Institute, the Mental Health Foundation, the National Centre of Health Research, even Harvard University and many scientific studies are all confirming that life has become hectic and too fast. It is increasingly difficult to live peacefully and calmly with the speed and intensity of modern-day life.

There is undeniable pressure to always "be connected" and to be increasingly productive; to always be "doing". We are forced to juggle demanding jobs, families, a social and personal life. As a result, stress mounts and we often feel overwhelmed.

Stress and anxiety are major concerns of our society. Furthermore, this problem is only advancing and the level of continuous stress puts considerable strain on our general health, damaging our minds and bodies; lowering immune function, plus, increasing requirements for medicines and nutrients.

As we become increasingly depleted, stressed, depressed, ill and addicted (to try and make ourselves feel better), many of us are asking the all-important question ...

Do we need to live with so much stress and anxiety? Do we really need (and want) to seriously affect our health and mental well-being?

The answer is a resounding no.

There is another way to engage with this issue. We do have another choice. No matter how old we are, the job we do, the city where we live. It's never too late to change our life for the better.

And there's no need to make big revolutions! We do not need to move to another city or to resign to live healthier, happier lives.

The answer is simple...

A holistic approach for a better quality of life

Yoga, Mindfulness, and Meditation represent a holistic way to a better quality of life. It's all a matter of shifting our perspective. We need to make conscious choices when it comes to how we respond to stress and modern-day life.

We can easily feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of duties we have in life. However, perhaps this is because we usually try to fix the world "outside" of us. What if we started to look "inside" of ourselves and change this inner sanctum?

Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, captured this idea in his famous quote: People are not disturbed by things, but by the view, they take of them. This means that a great part of our happiness or stress depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.

Taking this new perspective as a point of reference, we can state that Yoga and Mindfulness are powerful tools that transform our inner worlds and therefore our external world. Yoga does not only strengthen the physical body but also encourages us to focus on the well-being of our minds and emotions, all through the medium of the breath.

It's essential to change our perspective and to start considering ourselves in a holistic manner, as a whole. An integration of body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Tending to ourselves in this holistic way, we become calmer, more grounded, less reactive and have greater clarity of mind. We handle stress differently. Consequently, stress diminishes.

This is the way that Yoga and Mindfulness work. They ask us to work on the health of the entire body and mind; on the health of our inner self. Both Yoga and Mindfulness, but also Meditation, Breathing, and Affirmations techniques, build the connection between body and mind. While they keep our body fit and strong, they also enhance the wellness of our mind and our emotions. They are powerful tools in transforming the physical and mental manifestation of a problem, allowing us to have a different approach to life and all the connected pressures.

To receive further invaluable and easy to apply tips and techniques, please follow these links:

https://suninme.org/just-do-it-videos/psychology/mindfulness or https://suninme.org/just-do-it-videos/yoga

Will these techniques remove stress and overwhelm out of our lives?

No. But they teach us to become more connected and therefore more in control of our breath and mind. As a direct consequence, our emotions become more balanced and we feel calmer. These techniques help us to harness inner peace. We feel more energized, more alive and when stresses do arise, we can quickly re-balance ourselves.

Put simply, they help us to switch off the voices in our heads, or at least they teach us how to get some rest from them.

Let's find out more about these practices!

In our 30 Day Holistic Challenge, we'll show you how to build new habits into your daily routine. You'll learn to optimize your mind and body by making small changes that will bring you big results. You will also learn to use simple but powerful tools that will prompt life-changing results.

Ready?

Let's start the 30 Day Holistic Challenge!

30 Day Yoga and Mindfulness Challenge Plan

 

1. Pranayama Breathing Technique - Dirga Pranayama - Three-Part Breath

Pranayama is the yogic practice of controlling the breath. It's a process of conscious breathing that emphasizes deep breaths. The regular practice of Pranayama trains the lungs and improves the capacity of the respiratory system, with a positive effect on the nervous system.

1) take a comfortable position: a cross leg position or lie on your back. 2) Rest one hand on the belly and one hand on the rib cage. 3) Close the eyes and breath deep and naturally. 4) Focus the awareness on the breath as it moves in and out of the body. 5) Feel the lift of your belly, the expansion of the ribs on your inhalations, the slight compression of the ribs and drop of your belly as you exhale. 6) Bring your bottom hand to your chest, just below the collarbone. breathe into this area and allow the chest to rise slightly, then exhale and let it go. 8) Release your arms and focus your mind on the breath, inhaling and exhaling fully. Repeat 3/5 times to get the full benefit of relaxing the body and mind, increasing your breathing capacity.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Three-Part Breath

2. Yoga - Balasana - Child's Pose

The perfect position to take a break.

Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees as wide as your hips. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up and release the fronts of your shoulders towards the floor. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes and relax.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Yoga Child's Pose

3. Yoga - Visualization Practice – Rainstorm

Visualization practice is about complete acceptance, relaxation, and stress-relieving.

Take a comfortable sitting position, your eyes are closed, your arms and the whole body is relaxed. Feel present in the moment you are living.

Start the visualization. A rainstorm is coming: imagine the wind blowing, the rain starting. The storm grows, erupts, and stops. Can you smell the rain and hear the raindrops?

Repeat daily until you feel more relaxed, reducing the practice to twice a week.

4. Affirmations for Stress Relief

When you need some stress relief, turn to affirmations. The words you speak to yourself daily become the beliefs you color your experiences with. A belief is just a thought you habitually think and a thought can be changed.

"I can move in a different direction"

Do it once a day and repeat it every time you need to release stress and anxiety.

5. Mindfulness - Stillness Exercise

This can be as simple as focusing on your breath, a mantra (if you have one you like), or an image. You can do this for five minutes, 20 minutes, or as long as you choose to be still.

This single-pointed concentration technique invites the mind to settle while taking note of our inner dialogue.

Every time the mind wanders off, notice the activity, and gently redirect the attention back toward the primary object.

You can repeat the exercise several times during the same day.

6. Yoga - Sukhasana - Neck Rotation

This yoga practice is extremely useful to release the tensions that accumulate on the neck and cervical area.

Sitting comfortably in an easy pose, do the neck rolls or the neck rotation. Go slow and deep, without letting go of the control of the movement. Do two rounds each way clockwise and anti-clockwise. Putting a cushion below the lower back could be a good solution to ease tensions in the lower part of the back. Repeat 10 times and then relax.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Yoga Sukhasana

7. Yoga - Visualization Practice – Ocean

Take a comfortable sitting position, your eyes are closed, your arms and the whole body is relaxed. Bring your awareness into the present moment.

Start the visualization. Imagine waves breaking on a rocky shoreline. You are looking at the whole scene, feeling the power of the ocean. Can you feel the spray on your face? Visualization practice is about complete acceptance, relaxation and is stress-relieving.

Do it once a day and later, repeating it every other day for a month.

8. Pranayama Breathing Technique - Adham Pranayama - Abdominal Breath

The Adham Pranayama is incredibly versatile and such a wonderful breath because it is so simple yet so powerful.

Take a comfortable position (lying on you back, sitting in a chair, cross-legged or standing; whatever you like). Place both hands on your belly, breathe deeply into the abdominal cavity, feeling your tummy expand on an inhale and contract on an exhale. Close your eyes to better focus on the breath and relax. Repeat 3/5 times to fully relax and increase your breathing capacity.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Adham Pranayama

9. Mindfulness Practise - Come Back Exercise

When you catch yourself getting caught up in worries about the future or guilt and regret about the past, notice what is happening and simply and kindly say to yourself, "come back." Then take a calming breath and focus on what you are doing right now.

You can repeat it any time you want to take a break from the hectic day you are living.

10. Pranayama Breathing Technique - Bhramari - Bumblebee Breath

This pranayama is very useful when you need to practice the withdrawal of the senses and when you need to take a break from external stimuli that may feel overwhelming.

Take a sit in a simple cross-legged position. Close your eyes and cover them with the fingertips while covering your ears with your thumbs. Breathe in through the nose and exhale through the mouth while making a humming sound - like that of a bumblebee. Really allow the vibration of this breath to pulse through your entire body. Repeat 5 to 8 times.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Bhramari Pranayama

11. Yoga - Tadasana - Mountain Pose

Yoga Mountain Pose is extremely helpful to improve posture and to release all the tensions you may have in your mind.

Stand still, with your chest open and your hands at your side. Feel your feet on the floor and the sensations in your legs and back.

You can stay in this position as long as you feel comfortable.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Yoga Mountain pose

12. Affirmations for Inner Peace

Affirmations can calm down the mind when you need inner peace. Repeat with attention and earnestly; believe in what you are saying. Have faith in the words you are repeating and they will work.

"Every breath I take fills me with peace."

Do it once a day and repeat it every time you need to relax and access peace of mind.

13. Yoga - Visualization Practice – Ocean

Take a comfortable sitting position, your eyes are closed, your arms and the whole body is relaxed. Feel present in the moment you are living.

Start the visualization. Imagine waves breaking on a rocky shoreline. You are looking at the whole scene, feeling the power of the ocean. Can you feel the spray on your face? Visualization practice is about complete acceptance, relaxation, and stress-relieving.

Do it one time a day and possibly repeat it every other day for a month.

14. Yoga - Meditation - listen to guided meditation with headphones

Listening to guided meditations is a powerful way to calm the nervous system, feel safe and supported. It is a fast and effective way to cultivate inner harmony and reduce stress. When we listen to guided meditations with headphones, the external world is immediately silenced, we are drawn into ourselves and we are invited to restore and revitalize our emotions using the power of our imagination. We can do this anytime, anywhere. Suninme.org has an excellent guided meditation that promotes tranquility, abundance and harmony. Follow the links below:

15. Pranayama Breathing Technique - Nadi Shodhana - Alternate Nostril Breath

Alternate Nostril Breath is the perfect pranayama to balance the nervous system, instill a sense of focus and ease the mind before sleeping.

Take a sit in a simple cross-legged position. Take your right hand and cover your left nostril with your ring finger, the right nostril with your thumb. To begin, press the ring finger over the left nostril and inhale through the right. After you've fully inhaled, cover your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through the left. Now, inhale through the left, cover the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale out the right. Repeat the sequence as many times as you wish, keeping the eyes closed.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Alternate Nostril Breath

16. Yoga - Cat-Cow Pose

Yoga Cat-Cow pose is extremely helpful to awaken the spine and ease back pain.

Get on your mat on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Inhale and round your back, arching it up as you lower your chin to your chest. As you exhale, lower your back down to a scoop shape as you lift your head and tilt it back.

Repeat 10/15 times, then relax lying on the mat.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Yoga Cat-Cow pose

17. Breathing Technique - The "Let Go" Breath

Practice the following breathing technique when you need to relax your mind.

Keeping your eyes closed, on an inhale say to yourself "let" and on an exhale say to yourself "go". You can do this sitting, standing, or walking but it seems to be most effective lying on your back as you truly "let go".

Repeat the sequence as many times as you wish, keeping the eyes closed.

18. Yoga - Vrksasana - Tree pose

This pose helps to stretch the body long, focus your mind and help you to improve your balance.

Start by standing straight for this pose. Bring your hands together in the prayer position. The balance on your right leg. Bend your left knee out to the left side and press your left foot to the inner thigh of your right leg. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Yoga Tree pose

19. Yoga - Visualization Practice - Swimming fish

Take a comfortable sitting position, your eyes are closed, your arms and the whole body is relaxed. Feel present in the moment you are living.

Start the visualization. Imagine you are a fish swimming in a school of fish, looking for food. Be part of the school, let the school decide where you will swim next. Visualization practice promotes relaxation whilst strengthening your ability to be more accepting.

Try this visualization twice a week and observe how it encourages feelings of calm connectedness.

20. Take our Wellness Test

The Free Wellness Test is a great opportunity to assess your capacity for wellness. The questions are founded on the Eight Dimensions of Wellness making you more conscious of your unhealthy habits and motivating you to adopt attitudes that promote happiness. This test is a quick way to help you develop and maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle. Use this link: https://suninme.org/wellness-test to take your free test today.

21. Affirmations for Self Love

Self-love is key to living a contented and calm life. Our emotional well-being, our perception of life and our ability to manage stress are all innately influenced by how we feel about ourselves. Affirmations are a brilliant way to stay centered and love who you are no matter what is happening in and around you.

Repeat these affirmations twice a day looking in the mirror and remember to smile!

"I love myself just the way I am."

"I am worth loving. There is love all around me."

Follow this link for further self-loving affirmations:

22. Yoga - Adho Muka Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog pose calms the nervous system, works on overall flexibility, decompresses the spine, tones the arms, sculpts the legs and opens the shoulders. The pose is often held for five breaths or longer for more strength-building benefits.

Start by placing both hands on the mat in front of you, palms down; your hands should be slightly in front of your shoulders. Place your knees on the ground directly under your hips. Exhale as you lift your knees off the ground and lift your buttocks and hips toward the ceiling. Push the top of your thighs back and stretch your heels down toward the floor. Keep your head down between your upper arms and in line with them, not hanging down.

Do it at least three times in a row relaxing in between by lying on your back.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Yoga Downward facing dog

23. Yoga - Visualization Practice – Bee

Take a comfortable sitting position, your eyes are closed, your arms and the whole body is relaxed. Feel yourself anchored in the present moment. Start the visualization. Imagine a bee flying from flower to flower. What is the bee's favorite type of flower and how long does he enjoy each one before flying on? Visualization practice is about complete acceptance, relaxation, and stress-relieving.

Do it once time a day and whenever you feel depleted or stressed.

24. Mindfulness - Mindful Wake Up - Start your day with a purpose

When you wake up, sit comfortably on a bed or a chair. Close your eyes and connect with the sensations of your seated body. Take three long, deep, nourishing breaths. Set your intention for the day. For example, "Today, I will be kind to myself; be patient with others; give generously; stay grounded; persevere; have fun; eat well," or anything else you feel is important. Throughout the day, check-in with yourself. Pause, take a breath and revisit your intention.

Notice, as you become more and more conscious of your intentions for each day, how the quality of your communications, relationships and mood shifts. Do it first thing in the morning before getting out of bed.

25. Affirmations for Stress Relief

By repeating positive affirmations, you can healthily manage stress. Feeling stuck and incapable is just a FEELING, not a fact.

Stand in front of the mirror and repeat these affirmations to yourself looking into your eyes.

"My tension is melting away."

"I am letting go of all my worries and fears."

"My mind is slowing down."

Go into the bathroom and speak these affirmations to your reflections whenever you need to soothe stress and anxiety.

26. Mindfulness - Senses Exercises

A helpful mindfulness trick is simply to notice what you are experiencing in the present moment through your three senses – sound, sight, touch. Take a few slow breaths and ask yourself:

What are the three things I can hear? (clock on the wall, a car going by, music in the next room, my breath)

What are the three things I can see? (this table, that sign, that person walking by)

What are the three things I can feel? (the chair under me, the floor under my feet, my phone in my pocket)

You can repeat the exercise several times during the same day.

27. Yoga - Savasana - Corpse Pose

Savasana quiets the physical body, the senses and emotions.

Lie down on your back. Separate your legs. Let go of holding your legs straight so that your feet can fall open to either side. Bring your arms alongside your body, turn your palms to face upwards but don't try to keep them open. Release any effort, relax your whole body, including your face. Let your body feel heavy.

Keep the position at least 5 to 30 minutes.

Videos showing the technique: Youtube Yoga Corpse pose

28. Mindfulness - 5 minutes Breathing Exercise

Find a comfortable position. Keep your back upright but don't force it. Take a deep breath and focus on the experience. Feel the natural rhythm of your breath. Notice the air temperature in and out. Let your breath flow naturally. Focus on your body – one breath at a time. You might get distracted at some point. That's okay. Don't judge yourself. You can say "thinking" and let your thoughts flow naturally. Reconnect with your breath. When the five minutes are up, focus on your breath one more time. You are all set.

Practice this exercise whenever your mind feels cluttered or overwhelmed with thoughts.

29. Meditation - Grounding and Connecting with Nature

When we feel stressed, our energy immediately rises to our heads. We lose the connection to our feet and as a result the Earth. This only exacerbates feelings of anxiety. Go outside into nature. It can be a garden, a park, the woods, the beach, any natural space. Take off your shoes and feel the Earth beneath your feet. Imagine the Earth kissing your soles. Close your eyes and breathe keeping your awareness on your feet. Feel your energy exchanging with the Earth and imagine any tension leaving your body into the ground who lovingly transmits it.

Stay as long as you need to. Remember to give thanks to the Earth when you finish.

30.Yoga – Guided exercise

At suninme.org., we have resourced 11 of the most effective yoga techniques that are easy to practice at home and instantly harmonize your mind, body and soul. They will take you on a journey of self-actualization and self-love which is the very core of long-lasting transformation into a life of compassion, kindness and contentment.

For the best results, spend at least 20 minutes a day practicing with these videos. Follow this link to expand your awareness and increase your flexibility in body and mind:


Final thoughts

It takes 30 days to make or break a habit. You need just a few minutes every day to build new healthy habits, to live better and to feel happier. Just a few minutes a day and you'll discover that you have a universe inside you, a million possibilities and strengths which will gift you an increasingly positive approach to life.

This 30-day challenge will also help you become familiar with various techniques for relaxing, calming down and for soothing the pace of everyday life. They are invaluable - you can use these treasures for the rest of your life.

Making big changes can feel daunting and difficult to implement in your daily routine. Micro habits, on the other hand, may seem simple but they are incredibly effective. Consistency is key!

One change – whether it be a new idea, decision, or habit – can be enough to completely change your life. That's because small changes, with time, can snowball into something much greater.

If you have been inspired by our 30 Day Yoga and Mindfulness Challenge: Holistic Habits to Transform Your Life, why not share it with a loved one? Together you can motivate one another towards a life of peace and contentment.

SunInMe.org has fantastic yet simple resources to nourish and support you on your path of transformation and health. With our 30 Day Challenges, health and happiness will become a habit you will never give up!