I’ve been contemplating integrity, as part of the broader theme of living my life in accordance with what I stand for.  To me, one aspect of integrity is what I do when no one’s looking, how I behave.  I support myself in this endeavor by creating healthy habits that align with what I stand for.  I lean on these support habits when things go wonky and it’s hard to stay in balance.  Two of these habits are daily meditation and a gratitude journal.

I attempt to meditate for a measly 8-10 minutes a day, which I miss when I skip it.  Also, I keep a gratitude journal and write a word or phrase in it every day, whether it’s my loving kitty’s name, that I was able to help a yoga student somehow, or for my wonderful life partner.  These support habits don’t happen all the time, but they happen a lot, and there’s a tangible impact to my life and happiness when I do them regularly.  They create a nice shift in my mindset that makes me feel happier, more satisfied, and more optimistic about the future.

My invitation to you:  Ponder what will help you maintain your integrity, your alignment with what you stand for, even when no one’s looking; and to take action to support yourself in this pursuit.

Asana recommendation:  Find integrity in your standing poses, which can be very grounding and stabilizing.  Start by standing in Tadasana, then move your thighs back an inch or two (toward the space behind you).  Next, tuck your tailbone down just slightly, as if tucking your hands into your back pockets.  Your spine will be in its neutral curve, your pelvis and hips level, and your lower belly will have a slight tone.  As you move through standing poses, take these actions – thighs back, tailbone scoop, and see how your back and hip flexors feel at the end of your practice.  In asymmetrical poses, focus on moving the forward leg thigh back more, and scoop the tailbone more on the rear leg.

As my teacher Noah Maze says, “If you want a fun, happy life in alignment with your spiritual aims then you must cultivate, not just the energy necessary to manifest and live that vision but you must also have the requisite focus, determination and discipline to direct your energy consciously toward what you really want.”

Build tools that support your determination and reinforce your discipline to live life as you want it to be.