The content of this blog first appeared on our app YogaMap available on the App Store.
The Secret to Break Bad Habits
Every January 1st we start the New Year with the best intentions and resolutions to leave behind the bad habits we got used to. Breaking habits doesn’t have to be confined to only once a year, though. Here, I will share the secret to break bad habits and it is shockingly easy!
You can do this breathing exercise anywhere, anytime. It is ideal to awaken and energize when you have an afternoon dip at work. It works wonders to clarify the mind and to make you more alert and aware. Ultimately this will help you to break bad habits once and for all.
Get many more exercises and like is “the secret to break bad habits” on our YogaMap App. Download today for a 7 minutes yoga workout, meditations and tracking to see your progress. No set up required, just play and do yoga. Breathing and warm up included, variations offered and benefits given to motivate! On the AppStore NOW.
Come in a comfortable position, for example easy pose. Close your eyes and behind closed eyelids, look up towards the place in between your eyebrows.
Gently breathe through the nose 4 equally sized sniffs in. Take a short break and breathe out in 4 equal parts. You basically break up a long inhalation and exhalation into 4 sniffs.
Although segmented into 4 equal parts, your breath is meant to be smooth, gentle and flowing. This is not about jerking or squeezing.
Do this exercise everyday, 31 minutes for 40 days. According to the Kundalini yoga philosophy that is how long it takes for change to show and bad habits to break.
With segmented breathing, you breathe in and out in equal sniffs. Dividing the breath up in 4 parts in and 4 parts out, will help to clarify your mind and bring alertness. Alertness and awareness can help to overcome addictions and is the secret to break bad habits.
Use a mantra like ‘Sa Ta Na Ma’ to help make the breaths evenly long. You can chose any mantra of your choice. A few suggestions could be “I am stronger”, “I can do this”, “I am worthy”, “I love myself”.
Stay with either 4 parts in and out or (as suggested in the variation) 8 parts in and out. It is not advised to just sniff away on your own merit. Making your own breathing patterns will not be useful.
You can try breaking up the breath into 8 sniffs in and 8 sniffs out (2 times SA TA NA MA) for a calming effect and to feel centered.
Segmented breathing is one of many exercises that are beneficial for strengthening willpower and not the only secret to break bad habits. We are currently working on a new version of YogaMap that will enable you to choose a yoga set or kriya that focusses on those things you want to improve or work on. So stay tuned on social media to be the first to know when our new YogaMap app will release. We are on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter
YogaMap helps you mapping out a Yogic Lifestyle in your professional and personal life. We give tips and share our personal story on how to live the way you want to live. We believe you can balance a yoga life with demanding work, busy family life and travel. Stay tuned, get inspired and start mapping YOUR yoga route to a balanced everyday life.
Note; This blog article contains affiliate links. These links will bring you directly to Amazon and the product page. You pay the normal Amazon prize for this product and I get a small commission from Amazon. This way you support our blog and make it possible to keep blogging and adding recipes to our website and apps. Thank you.
Being social without drinking alcohol, may seem a paradox. Going out with friends to bars and restaurants, drinking beer on the beach. Holiday parties with open bars. And at work, many deals and promotions are discussed over drinks. Bonding with clients happens with bottles of wine on the table. It is needless to say, you are the odd one out.
Following the yogic diet, may make you stand out even more. Drinking water and eating salads while the others are having wine and steak. Your fellow socialites may look at you funny, question – or even challenge – your choice to be social without drinking alcohol and sometimes this can lead to uncomfortable situations.
But not to worry! In this smart guide, we will share with you 5 funny, smart and creative ways to be social without drinking alcohol PLUS recipes for alcohol free drinks and store-bought alternatives. These tips will help you stand by your choice and still have a social life, without being looked upon as an outsider by your friends or difficult to bond with by your colleagues.
Bye Bye alcohol
Congratulations, you decided to say goodby to wine, beer and alcohol in general. Maybe you even decided to start the yoga diet. Any which way, you made a wonderful choice. Many people make this decision for many different reasons every day. Sometimes going without alcohol is only for a short period of time, sometimes it is the result of a complete change of lifestyle.
The first reason to spotlight is to lose weight. A clever choice, because alcohol needs to be broken down first before your body can start breaking down the food you ate, causing it to be stored in your body longer.
Oftentimes it is also health awareness. We probably all know how it affects and damages the brain and the liver. Another motivation is medication, some treatments do not allow alcohol together with the prescribed medicine. Pregnancy is of course a very good and healthy reason not to drink. Or maybe you simply really get really sick from alcohol.
Driving is probably the most commonly used excuse by people at a social event without drinking alcohol. It is, thank goodness, a commonly accepted reason not to drink and no one would question your decision. A very smart and safe move.
It is totally possible that you simple do not like the taste of alcohol, no matter what shape or form it comes in. People will probably try to make you taste all kinds of spirits, since that is what people commonly do when you say you don’t like something they love.
These are all well accepted reasons and excuses to say Bye Bye to a spirited toast in our society and professional life. However if your reason is your yogic lifestyle or yoga diet, it may still raise some eyebrows. What to do? Read on for more.
You yoga, I yoga, we yoga
Yoga is more mainstream than ever. It is everywhere you look and is accepted and adapted in many ways, shapes and forms. It is generally accepted as a great workout practice. Instagram is full of photos of people performing marvelous postures. Yoga classes are full and yoga clothes is big business. Hey, even at YogaMap yoga is our main focus with our 7 minute yoga apps!
Just like yoga practice, meditation is a commonly accepted way to gain focus and balance. If you ever read the morning routine of the most successful business people, they will share that they meditate in the morning. As a matter of fact many high profile professionals advice to meditate daily to improve focus and reduces stress.
Eating organic vegetables and shopping at farmers markets is considered hip and totally cool. A lot has changed since the time when eating organic vegetables was equal to tree hugging and sand in your salad. Organic foods is widely available in grocery stores and many restaurants are sourcing organically grown produce. For deliciously healthy recipes, have a look at our YogicFoods apps.
So in your personal and professional life, it is easy to do yoga, meditate and eat organic food without standing out – thank goodness. Unfortunately, cutting down or completely cutting out alcohol can make people uncomfortable to drink around you. So play your cards well to feel included while being social, without drinking alcohol. Read on for some tips.
Be a part of it
Whatever the reason you decided to stop drinking alcohol, your friends, family, colleagues, clients and boss probably haven’t made the same decision. It always feels better to be around people that do the same as you. Being the only one that doesn’t drink, you will risk being considered boring or a spoilsport in the eyes of your social circle.
You may be aware of how mirroring body language can make you more likable. In short, it works this way. When you have a great connection with someone, both of you unconsciously copy each other’s gestures, postures and expressions. This gives a feeling of comfort and safety, which further enhances your great connection. You can turn this around to make it work for you as well. In this case you can (subtly!) mirror the body language of your client, interviewer, date, etc. to make yourself be liked more.
The same goes for drinking. If everyone is having a drink, it gives a feeling of camaraderie. You toast together, drink together, share stories together. If you are the one not drinking alcohol, you will be the odd one out and the others can start to feel uneasy when you are sober as a judge. Since, you want to be included and part of it all – without the drinks – you will need a strategy.
Go for it
With this knowledge it is easy to understand that the best chance of being included an accepted is not by staying at home. If you want to be social, without drinking you have to say “YES” to going out with your friends and co-workers. This does not mean you should suggest an eco-friendly, vegan, organic bar with great fruit cleanses to ‘change things up’ a bit. Just go with the flow, be a part of it, but do it your way.
Options that won’t work
Always fun to read; things that will not work if you want to be social without drinking alcohol – in my opinion.
Not going is always an option. If you feel awkward or an outsider. If you want to avoid questions, looks and remarks. Maybe you want to do Sadhana at 3:30am. That’s not easy with late nights and alcohol still in your system. Nevertheless, you pay a high price for not showing up. For starters, you’re not being social, and that’s what this is all about, right?! Second, a lot of deals are made, plans perfected, promotions promised and friendships forged over drinks. Besides that, think of all the juicy details that you will miss. Next morning everyone will still be smirking over what happened and you will be the odd one out. Uh-uh, the goal is to be part of it all, remember?
I can tell you right now that telling a lie won’t work either. You cannot come up with a lie every time you go out. In some professional settings, drinks are common every week or even multiple times a week. You have to be VERY creative. Besides that, how can you build friendships or partnerships if you are lying all the time. On top of that, pretending to have a medical condition or to take medication that doesn’t allow you to drink, is not recommended either. Although it does provide a long term reason, you will be pretending you’re sick. Think of the energetic and karmic load you’ll be accumulating. A big NO there.
Going full on, activist style
If you are aiming to top the ‘people-to-avoid’-list, you will certainly succeed this way! I get it, you are super charged, enthusiastic and have discovered the answer to eternal youth. You want to share, no, you want everyone to follow. Having drinks, chilling and being social with friends, colleagues and clients, though, might not be the right place or time to go all out on your no alcohol philosophies. In fact, you will make them feel uneasy and that will surely lead to being left out.
So, How CAN you be social without drinking alcohol?
1. Practice your lines
Your reason not to drink is very personal. Maybe it is the yogic lifestyle that brought you here today, maybe it is another reason all together. Whatever the reason, if you want to be social without drinking alcohol, having an answer ready when asked or confronted, is a smart thing. Practice one-liners, quick responses, witty replies and always be a step ahead. If you know what to say and how to respond, you can be honest and straightforward about your reasons. Remember that your motivations are your own and you do not need to defend them to anyone.
You should always surround yourself with people that accept you the way you are. Friends that have the same mindset or are open to your lifestyle will help you and support you. Sometimes, however, we cannot choose. Think of professional situations like dinners with clients, holiday parties from work, lunches with colleagues, but also family gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas or the quintessential New Years Eve champagne toast. For those cases, here are some alternatives.
2. Wear a funny t-shirt
I love this one. Wear a graphic t-shirt with a funny yoga quote that could be about alcohol. This is a great option for casual drinks. If jean and tee is not an option, for example in a professional setting, consider wearing it tucked in and under a jacket. A quirky tee can really make light of the situation and still get a message across. You can make a joke about it, have some laughs and be done with the topic. Also, people will remember you, for the right reason. Not the sober odd one out, but the funny one with the t-shirt.
We have some great t-shirt designs that can help. Visit our YogicFoods shop on Teespring or Redbubble to get some great original designs and t-shirts with funny yoga quotes. We have tees that simply say NO and t-shirts that refer to a yoga diet with fun texts like “I’m not drinking my yogic age is still under 18” or “tea for me, my yogic age is still under 18”. There are many more, and we add to them often. In fact, so many that we started a separate blog to keep you informed of our newest and greatest designs. Visit our YogicFoods Shop blog here soon we will open our shop blog on YogaMap.com as well. Stay Tuned!
3. Be (a) faster
Everyone seems to be on an alcohol fast some time or other. Many of your colleagues and friends will actually be on a fast, go on a fast or have just ended one. Especially January is a fantastic alcohol fast month. After mayor holidays and summer an alcohol fast is a smart and natural thing to do. It is a socially accepted break from drinking and may be a great conversation starter. When you are practicing being social without drinking alcohol, you could be on an alcohol fast as well (just a long one…). Maybe you have a bet with a friend to see who can keep up the longest. Everyone loves a good match and you’re going to be the winner!
4. Be wise, disguise
You don’t really have to say anything at all if you stick to your own secret virgin concoction disguised as a drink on the rocks or a cocktail. Maybe you are drinking juice with club soda in a fancy glass or a mocktail and no one will notice. You can order your drinks separately or be the one ordering for everyone. If someone else is ordering for you, get up to the bartender afterwards to make sure your drink is made alcohol free.
5. Jam the traffic
You know drinking and driving is a big no-no. Did you know that even biking under influence is dangerous and fined heavily? However you get home, you are going to be in traffic. So, if all else fails you can always fall back on traffic safety. Offer to be the one driving, carpool your colleagues or friends home or just say you still have to drive (even it’s your bike). A good, honorable and very well accepted reason not to drink alcohol.
Alcohol-free drinks and recipes to try
Going social without drinking alcohol is easier with these drink and cocktail alternatives and recipes to make yourself.
Social without drinking beer
Kombucha is a great refreshing drink alternative to have when beer is served. Especially enjoyable in the summer, chilled and naturally fizzy. Make your own with this brewing kit.
To make a delicious bubbly apple drink yourself combine 1 part apple juice with 1 part sparkling water.
If you rather have a more grown-up drink, however, try this. Mix equal parts cranberry juice and club soda or sparkling water. Add a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with some fresh cranberries and a slice of lemon. Very festive, sparkly and delicious. Not too sweet.
Alcohol free bellinis are made by mixing 1 part peach puree with 2 parts sparkling water.
Alcohol free mimosas you get by mixing 1 part orange juice with 2 parts sparkling water.
If you want to make a tasty drink yourself, try this. Add some ice to a whiskey glass. Fill a third with club soda, then add a teaspoon of ginger paste and a generous squeeze of lemon. Stir until combined. You could add a twist of lemon or even orange peel and sprig of mint, but that isn’t necessary. A great drink, healthy and looks good too.
We believe you can balance a yogic lifestyle with demanding work, busy family life and travel. Stay tuned, get inspired and start mapping YOUR yoga route to a balanced everyday life – 7 minutes at the time.
Note: This blog article may contain affiliate links. These links will bring you directly to Amazon and the product page. You pay the normal Amazon prize for this product and I get a small commission from Amazon. This way you support our blog and make it possible to keep blogging and adding recipes to our website and apps. Thank you.
We started the Yogamap to promote the yogic lifestyle with a couple of points :-
Promote the yogic lifestyle for busy people who have limited time to spend hours in morning sadhna (like I used to for many years). Btw, morning sadhna practice in kundalini yoga is an important practice for a yogic lifestyle and balance usually begins early in the morning at 4 am with a cold shower. There are many health and yogic benefits from a cold shower like strengthening of the nervous system. This is usually followed by some light yoga for a couple of minutes. I want to incorporate the 5 Tibetan rites for this part in my practice. Then follows Sudarshan Chakra kriya for 15-62 minutes depending on your level and preference. After that is the chanting for about 90 minutes.
Advocate yogic foods for all the yogic benefits. Check out our beautiful yogicfoods apps and the yogicfoods.com for some fantastic articles about yogic foods, yogic diet and a yoga inspired lifestyle.
Use cool apps such as the Yogamap app for quick yoga for busy people. Yogamap features quick 7 or 14 minute workouts so you carry your class in an app. Great for when you are travelling or you cant make it to your regular yoga class. Since it is developed by a technologist and a KRI certified yoga (me), the idea keep improving the algorithm as we try to bridge the gap between technology and yoga. Furthermore, it is beautifully illustrated by my wife, Caroline.
Review and feature cool technology that bring us closer to the yogic way of living and dealing with a busy worklife.