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7 Vedic Practices of Highly Successful People

7 Vedic Practices of Highly Successful People

Vedic practices are mindfulness techniques based on ancient writings, the Vedas, which delve into the depths of spirit and self. But Vedic practices offer very practical ways for modern people to move closer to our inner selves. Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Russell Simmons all use Vedic practices to help them stay grounded and in tune with themselves.

Did you watch the interview Eckhart Tolle did at the Google office? He sent out a warning to all of us who are getting so lost in the world of data and devices that we lose touch with our inner selves. This is a critical time–we need to make sure we take plenty of pauses to get back in touch with who we truly are. Vedic practices can help us, just as they’ve helped many highly successful people.

In this article I share 7 Vedic practices that are used by some highly successful people, and tips on how you can incorporate them into your own lives.

1. Yoga for Healthy Body

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    Madonna, Adam Levine, and Sting have all found the healthy benefits of yoga as a means to stay outwardly active, but also to be aware of their inner body. Yoga is an ancient Vedic path that provides several techniques to help bring back our outward awareness and consciousness while still going inward within ourselves. The overarching term “yoga” is much bigger than just maintaining a healthy body, but starting with yoga asanas (postures) is a great beginning to going onto the deeper secrets of the union of human consciousness with that of the universe.

    Tips for Yoga Beginners:

    • Before you join up any yoga class, think about why you want to do yoga in the first place—is it simply to tone your physique, do you want a more thoughtful, deep approach, or do you just want to see what it’s all about?
    • Don’t give up before you start just because it’s too popular. Try to look past the popular cliches, and think about why it has become popular. Keep an open mind and be aware of what’s going on within yourself as you practice.
    • There are many variations of yoga—some are simple, some are intense, some are mindful. If your first one or two classes don’t work out, don’t give up. Try to find a class that fits your needs—they’re not all alike.

    2. Ayurveda for Healthy Lifestyle

    jennifer-aniston-yoga-300x220

      Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, and Gwyneth Paltrow all seem to ooze a vibrant, fresh, happy-in-my-skin look. This is because they’re in tune with their body and their body type, and stay in alignment with it. Ayurveda is an ancient holistic integrative science that takes into account the air we breathe, the food we eat, the energy we’re composed of, and the circumstances we live in. How we process the world around us depends on how aligned we are with our bodies and minds.

      Tips for Ayurveda Beginners:

      • Start slow and simple. Begin with taking an honest look around yourself, the food you eat, the lifestyle you live. Just becoming aware is your first step.
      • Here’s a previous article I wrote on Lifehack that gives some simple Ayurvedic tips on waking up fresher every morning.
      • It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Get an assessment of your Dosha (energy type) which will give you a good start to incorporating Ayurvedic recommendations that are right for you.

      3. Dhyana for Healthy Mind

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      hugh jackman

        Hugh Jackman practices Transcendental Meditation, Liv Tyler uses Vipassana, and Donna Karan started meditation, yoga, and reiki at UCLA Hospital. These are all highly successful people who are taking time to meditate because they know the benefits of meditation. Physically, it helps lower blood pressure, relieves tension-related aches and pains, improves the immune system. It also helps decrease anxiety, increase emotional stability, and strengthen clarity of mind. But the most important benefit of all is that it helps you get a little closer to having some peace of mind.

        Tips for Dhyana Beginners:

        • Start with 10 minutes—it’s important to have a time and place set aside, so you have it built into your day. This helps make it a habit.
        • Don’t look for results. It’s difficult to gauge results when you’ve only started meditating for a few days. Meditation has a slow and subtle way of achieving long term results, so stay with your routine.
        • There are several variations of meditation, and all of them work. You have to find a variation that works for you.

        4. Pranayama for Healthy Breathing

        Russell-Simmons1

          Russell Simmons, Deepak Chopra and Tara Stiles are big believers of Pranayama, and for good reason. Prana is the energy of life itself. It is all the energy in the entire universe, sometimes subtle, sometimes solid. It makes flowers open, babies smile, people breathe, and the world to go round. Pranayama is the art of aligning ourselves with this energy, through our breath. When we start paying attention to our breath, we will notice that it is a powerful way to focus energy.

          Tips for Pranayama Beginners:

          • Look for a Yoga class that offers Pranayama as well. For a beginner, it is not advisable to practice Pranayama without guidance.
          • Start small and slow. There is no rush to achieve anything.
          • Pay full attention to what is going on within you as you practice Pranayama. Otherwise, the effects are wasted.

          5. Satsang for Healthy Community

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          oprah satsang

            Oprah Winfrey is a great example of someone who created a platform for healthy conversations. She went from a newsreader to a talk show host to a cable network owner, all while talking about the conversations that are important to the community she created. Satsang in Sanskrit means being in the company of the highest truth. It is a gathering of like-minded people to converse about the topics that are meaningful to them.

            Tips for Satsang Beginners:

            • Words and thoughts have power. Join the company of those whose words and thoughts are meaningful to you. Try to let go of friends or acquaintances who don’t project a positive energy for you.
            • If you don’t have a community you belong to, create one. Start having the conversations you want to have. It could be a book club, an online forum, or a weekly meditation session.

            6. Guru for Spiritual Mentoring

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              Although Martin Luther King never met Mahatma Gandhi, he was directly influenced by Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. Mitch Albom had Morrie Schwartz. And Henry David Thoreau had a mentor in Ralph Waldo Emerson. Great people have always had good things to say about their mentors. The word Guru has lost its original meaning, but in Sanskrit, it literally means “one who dispels darkness (ignorance)”. We can each benefit from having a mentor who provides guidance in times of spiritual crisis.

              Tips for finding a mentor:

              • Think about who you look up to, who you think walks the talk, or who you’d want to be like when you grow up (whenever that may be)./
              • There’s a proverb: “When the student is ready, the teacher arrives.” Be open and receptive to the people who show up in your life.

              7. Ashram for Healthy Retreat

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              stevejobs

                Steve Jobs went on a spiritual retreat to India in 1974, came back a Buddhist with a shaved head. Not that we all have to go to India or shave our heads, but spiritual retreats are an important Vedic tradition: retreat to the forest. cave, or ashram to spend time in solitude and silence. This helps immensely to recharge, reset our course, and reconnect with our inner selves.

                Tips for Retreat Beginners:

                • As retreats have been popular in modern times, it’s increasingly easier to find one that suits your temperament and needs. Start with one that offers guidance along with plenty of alone time.
                • Prepare ahead of time to unplug completely from your phones and devices.
                As we’re all hurtling through our lives, it is sometimes good to slow down, pause and recognize what we can do better. The 7 Vedic practices I offer here can become lifelong practices with long-term benefits, and can help build meaning into our lives. Consider them, and adopt the ones that resonate with you.

                Featured photo credit: Oprah Winfrey visits Fairfield, Iowa via healingdaily.com

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                Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

                More on Building Habits

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                Reference

                [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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