Eddie Stern is a celebrity Yoga Teacher.
Does that mean he is a celebrity or that he teaches celebrities?
He has taught Yoga to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Willem Dafoe, Deepak Chopra and Russell Brand. And he is deeply involved in a program to bring Yoga to thousands of children in different school districts.
Now that 2016 is underway and your New Year resolutions are starting to crumble, he suggests that you re-calibrate and start again. His four tips are easy to implement and the results affect ALL of you.
1) Breathing: Your physiological and your emotional health are affected by how you breathe. Think of it this way--your nervous system has an accelerator and a brake. Modern life is fast-paced and we step on the gas a lot.
"Your parasympathetic system needs to reset itself," says Stern. This is the part of the involuntary nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles.
The process is simple. For 7 to 10 minutes inhale for four to six seconds and exhale for two seconds longer. Just exhale for a tiny bit more time than you inhale.
Do this several times a day. You can even do it when you go to bed and are lying down.
"Your baseline resilience improves, you listen better and you perform better," Says Stern
2) Exercise: Lots of folks decide on January 1 that this year is going to be different and they will hit the gym regularly. This is about the time that the resolutions start weakening and giving way. An extra few minutes under the blanket seems so inviting.
Stern does not exhort you to cultivate will power. Instead, he asks you to view exercise in a different manner.
"It is a sacred act," he asserts. "Your body is an instrument for the expression of your potential. How can you be the best you are capable of if it is not finely tuned?"
So don't view exercise as a disagreeable chore to be done with. Instead, pause. View it as a form of worship. Be mindful.
"When you cultivate this attitude to exercise," says Stern "You are far less likely to skip a day."
3) Food: We all know that we should eat healthy. We fill our plates with salads and skip the pizza. This lasts a few days and then we binge on the stuff that is bad for us. And we are back where we started.
Stern has a way around this. Don't try to do too much. Each day, add one healthy thing to your diet. "You could add leafy greens," says Stern, "Or drink green tea."
After you have been doing this for a while, take one not-so-healthy item out. Skip the fries, for example.
Sometimes the craving is too strong. This is fine, he say. But you don't have to compound your mistake by consuming everything. "If you get a coke, don't finish it," advises Stern. It's OK to throw that kind of 'food' away. Better that the garbage be in the trash than inside you.
4) Sleep: Sleep is the great restorer. Stern asks you to imagine that the brain has its own lymphatic system. "During the day we develop debris in the brain. When we sleep, the lymphatic system drains the toxins," he says.
The draining only happens when you sleep. If you don't sleep enough--7 to 8 hours is recommended--you have residual detritus that remains and leaves you functioning below peak.
Many of us don't sleep particularly well or long enough. To rectify this we try stuff like different mattresses and pillows--ever notice how many mattress ads there are in the throwaway ad sections of your newspaper?
Stern would have you do away with all this. What matters is what you do before you go to bed. "Don't watch TV or use the phone for at least an hour before you turn in," he admonishes. "Read something that calms you--not trashy thrillers. Listen to soothing music."
And this will ensure that your sleep is more peaceful and you will wake up gently when you have had enough. Soon you will not need your alarm clock.
So there you have it. Simple and easy so you should have no problem incorporating these into your life. Now go and knock 'em dead!