For Karen Maute of Danville Yoga and Meditation Center, the best New Year's resolutions are those that focus on one's state of mind.
It's not so much where you go and what you do, but how you get there, she
Simple exercises that anyone can do anywhere and anytime can affect that mindset and lead to a greater overall sense of well-being.
"People are under chronic stress in this day and age," Maute
recommends a simple breath-awareness exercise during which a person breathes in and out deeply through the nose, focusing only on the breath.
As stray thoughts occur, acknowledge them, but do not react, she
"Bring your present moment awareness back to the breath," she
The practice of yoga brings about relaxation and introspection, which in turn reduces the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, according to Maute
.Less cortisol enhances weight-loss efforts, and the stretching, tensing and relaxing of muscles through yoga results in improved circulation, more oxygenated muscles and often relief from physical and mental pain, she
Striving toward goals is OK, Maute
said, but making changes that lead to an inner sense of "fitness" is far more important.
"Yoga and meditation help you to formulate that plan to get there," she