Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Free

4 Ancient Ways to Take Care of Yourself Today

Teetering on the edge of burnout? Consider adding the Four Exhilarations to your daily routine to feel better instantly.

131
Author Image
Meditation Advisor
SHARE:

I remember my first job out of college. I was the executive director of a Buddhist non-profit and, while one might suspect that someone running a Buddhist organization just sits there in equanimity, I was, in fact, a mad man organizing every event we hosted and burning myself out. I knew that something would have to change.

I turned to my mentors for advice and that is when I was introduced to a set of teachings known as the Four Exhilarations. It was promised that if I did all four of these action items in one day, I would feel uplifted and have a renewed sense of energy. I was hooked already, and dying to know about these secret teachings. Without further ado, I now offer them to you. They are: 1) eat well, 2) sleep well, 3) meditate, and 4) exercise.

Super obvious, right? Of course, I knew that I should do those activities before they were laid out in this set of teachings, and maybe you are in the same boat. These are incredibly simple things that you already might occasionally engage in. Yet, how often do you do all four of them in one day?

Let’s examine our relationship to each and how to better incorporate them into our daily lives.

1. Eat well

We all have our own relationship to food. Some of us have specific things we know we should not eat because it affects our body in a negative way. Other people may impose very strict diets on themselves because swimsuit season is coming. Some of us eat relatively healthy during the week and then consume donuts all weekend (raising my hand here).

Eating well means trusting our body to tell us what it needs, and deeply listening to it. It means not overeating, which is something a lot of us do when we are feeling upset. It means not eating trash, like a full box of cookies (I’ve been guilty of this one, too). It means eating good, nourishing food. Listen to your body, folks, and you will find your way forward on this one.

2. Sleep well

Often, when I’m teaching meditation someone will ask the question, “What should I do if I’m falling asleep during meditation?” I usually joke that I have an ancient Buddhist remedy for anyone who finds themselves consistently passing out on the meditation seat. Want to know what it is? Okay, pay close attention: You need to get more sleep.

There are other helpful things to do in this regard (i.e., drink water and stretch before sitting), but more often than not, we run around thinking we can “do it all” and neglect the need to rest the body in a nourishing way. The the moment we sit down and let the body relax, it’s like, “Thank goodness. I can pass out. Thank you.” The body is telling us it needs more rest.

Sleeping well means getting more sleep than you think you need. If you normally sleep for seven hours, you may need eight. If you can’t get a good night’s sleep, it might be worth trying to nap during the day, even if that’s right when you get home from work. I recommend keeping a good Buddhist (or other spiritual) book on your nightstand so that if you do wake up in the night, you can read a page or two, relax your mind, and enter sleep once more.


Related: A Meditation to Help You Prepare for Restful Sleep



3. Meditate

If you haven’t noticed, after 30 years of practicing it and half a lifetime of teaching it, I’m a big fan of meditation. This is because I know meditation can help us. It can help us be with all of our brilliance, heartbreak, creativity and neurosis. It can help heal our body and mind. It can help us experience the totality of who we are as a human being. And it can help us love ourselves more than we ever suspected possible.

My favorite word for meditation in the Tibetan language is gom. Gom can translate as “meditation,” but it can also be translated as “become familiar with” or “familiarization.” It is the idea that meditation allows us the space and time to become familiar with all of what is going on with us in a given day, providing much needed information in how we could better care for ourselves. By adding a consistent meditation practice to our self-care regimen, we are giving ourselves the tool to discern how best to move forward in all the other areas of our life.

4. Exercise

 

We have these incredible physical bodies, and simply using them in an energetic way feels uplifting to us. Exercise might look different for you than it does for me. I run, go for long walks, or box. For you it might be yoga, cycling, or Crossfit. I don’t think I’ll ever do Crossfit. Too intense for me. But good for you! Whatever exercise means to you, please incorporate it into your day. I don’t think I have ever exerted myself beyond my comfort level in exercise and felt less uplifted as a result. I always end up feeling much more spirited and level-headed afterward. Even if it’s 15 minutes of cardio or sit ups, see if you can incorporate some exercise into your daily routine.


Related: Work out in 8 minutes a day with Elev8dFitness.com, a new workout program by the experts of Sonima. Access your 14-day free trial now!


 

Balancing All Four

Now, here’s the rub: it’s easy to do one or two of these in a day. You might sleep in, exercise, and then realize you’re running late for work and have to skip meals and meditation. You might eat well all day, meditate, and, thus, decide you don’t need to exercise. This is a way to bring some energy into your day, sure. But what if you did all four of these things?

When you do all four in one day, you will feel more like yourself and you will be able to engage your life in a more meaningful way. Give it a try, and you will see what I mean.

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

An Expert Guide to Crow Pose

Download Sonima’s comprehensive guide to this exciting “reach” posture and enjoy the benefits of expert instruction at home!

Get the Guide

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • All of the photos taken during the Stanford and Miami tour stops are now up on our Facebook Page. The NY photos will be coming soon! .
Keep your eyes 👀 peeled! 
Find our page by following the link in our bio. .

Remember to follow and like our FB Page and sign up to be the first to see our posts! .

You will find many beautiful photos captured by @ifilmyoga like this one of Paramaguru Sharath Jois @sharathjoisr and the ever-lovely Kino MacGregor @kinoyoga ♥️
.
.
.
.
@joisyogaencinitas @miamilifecenter @eddiestern @stanfordashtangayoga .
.
#sharathjoisusa2019
#sharathjois #guruji #ParamaguruSharathJois
#sharathtour2019 #ashtangayoga #ashtangapractice #joisyoga #joisyogaencinitas #brooklynyogaclub #ashtangayoganewyork #ashtanganyc #ashtangayogastanford #sonima #livesonima #miamilifecenter #miamiashtanga
#ashtangafamily #PrimarySeries #IntermediateSeries #practiceisprayer  #sharathjoisageless 
#ashtangafamily #alliscoming
  • Looking for 3 Ways to Hack Loneliness?

Read our latest article by Yael Shy @yaelshy1 and transform your relationship to loneliness and use these feelings to explore a deeper and richer connection to life.
💕
.
“Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut more deep. Let it ferment and season you…” – Hafiz

Follow the link in our bio to find out more. .
.
.
.
#killingloneliness #loneliness #lonelinessthoughts✨ #lonelinessquotes #onehundreddaysofloneliness #lonelinesskills #yogilifestyle #yogafamily #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection #mindfullife #meditationchallenge
  • The portraits from NY are ready for you! 💓

Follow the link in our bio to connect to the Dropbox folder and find your own personal photo with Paramaguru Sharath Jois! .

A huge thank you to @ifilmyoga for the long hours of editing and uploading all the photos for us to share with you! 🙏🏽
.
.
.
.
@eddiestern @sharathjoisr 📸 @ifilmyoga .
.
#sharathjoisusa2019
#sharathjois #guruji #ParamaguruSharathJois
#sharathtour2019 #ashtangayoga #ashtangapractice #joisyoga #joisyogaencinitas #brooklynyogaclub #ashtangayoganewyork #ashtanganyc #ashtangayogastanford #sonima #livesonima #miamilifecenter #miamiashtanga
#ashtangafamily #PrimarySeries #IntermediateSeries #practiceisprayer  #sharathjoisageless 
#ashtangafamily #alliscoming
  • It’s the twinkle in his eye and the warmth radiating from his smile that keeps us coming back to practice day after day. 
His energy can carry us through even the most difficult practice.  We will miss these moments the most! .

We’ve had an incredible three weeks of sharing with you in the learning from Paramaguru Sharath Jois during this U.S. Tour. We are so grateful you joined us in this journey! .

The portraits from NY with be ready soon and you can find the link posted here in our bio. .
.
.
.
@joisyogaencinitas @miamilifecenter @eddiestern @sharathjoisr @stanfordashtangayoga Photo 📷 by @ifilmyoga 🙏 .
.
.
#sharathjoisusa2019
#sharathjois #guruji #ParamaguruSharathJois
#sharathtour2019 #ashtangayoga #ashtangapractice #joisyoga #joisyogaencinitas #brooklynyogaclub #ashtangayoganewyork #ashtanganyc #ashtangayogastanford #sonima #livesonima #miamilifecenter #miamiashtanga
#ashtangafamily #PrimarySeries #IntermediateSeries #practiceisprayer  #sharathjoisageless 
#ashtangafamily #alliscoming
  • “Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” - Barbara Kingsolver. .
Wishing all of the mother’s reading this a very happy Mother’s Day!
.
We are so grateful for all the work you do and the beautiful humans you help to shape! Thank you so much. 💓🙏🏽
.
.
.
.
#mothersday #gratefulheart #gratefulmindset Photo by Daria Shevtsova 📷 #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #gratitudechallenge #gratitudequotes #mothers_day #supergrateful #welovemom
  • Conference with Paramaguru Sharath Jois will be live-streamed on MONDAY May 13 following the Primary Series Class. .

Tomorrow’s Schedule: 
Primary 6am
Intermediate Series 8am (students are welcome to stay and observe) .
.

MONDAY May 13
Primary Series 6:30am 
Conference 8am-9am 
Photos to follow .

There is still room to register for the classes please message for details or see the link in our bio 💗
.
.
.
.
.
@joisyogaencinitas @miamilifecenter @eddiestern @sharathjoisr @stanfordashtangayoga Photo 📷 by @ifilmyoga 🙏 .
.
.
#sharathjoisusa2019
#sharathjois #guruji #ParamaguruSharathJois
#sharathtour2019 #ashtangayoga #ashtangapractice #joisyoga #joisyogaencinitas #brooklynyogaclub #ashtangayoganewyork #ashtanganyc #ashtangayogastanford #sonima #livesonima #miamilifecenter #miamiashtanga
#ashtangafamily #PrimarySeries #IntermediateSeries #practiceisprayer  #sharathjoisageless 
#ashtangafamily #alliscoming
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!