I believe we all, even Superheroes, have 4 different types of needs. mental, physical, spiritual and emotional needs. Here are 4 ways I apply them to my life.
1. Mental: The mind controls and shapes our reality. It is the most important muscle we have so we must exercise it or it becomes limp.
The practice of Yoga, not just physical poses, but studying texts along with daily meditation in the morning sets the tone for my day. If i’m teaching an early morning class and don’t make time to read or do asanas, I practice a moving meditation, where I listen to classical music on my walk to the train station. I try to focus on really breathing and connecting to my body. Sometimes I play around in the length of the inhales and exhales to match the tempo of the music. The purpose of meditation is to really pay attention to what I’m doing in that moment whatever it is, without allowing distraction to flow in and out. When I’m cooking its another form of meditation where I really try to notice each separate step of the process, because I know if I don’t ill probably cut my hand or burn something.
2. Physical: The body needs to be physically fit & in optimal condition because it is the vehicle through which we do everything. If its hard to change from the inside, start out.
Besides teaching 6-12 strength training classes a week, where I demonstrate the exercises before the beginning of each set, I try to listen to my body. Sometimes I lift 2-3x a week at a gym because I truly feel at home at ease. But some weeks I don’t go to the gym at all and rest because my body needs to recover from overtraining. It that delicate balance of training enough so I can move with freedom but not so much that I’m not letting my muscles heal, which is where most of the muscle building happens.
3. Spiritual: The soul is what makes us human. Doing things that make us happy and searching for wisdom from others
This is the greatest joys of life. To be able to do things that make our heart and soul smile. For me this comes in many forms, dance, painting, anything with glitter, eating, cooking for friends & family, spending endless hours at art museums alone. The things that make you feel like you’re floating on a puffy white cloud shooting rainbows and glitter. I feel like everyones soul thing needs to be fed. Its so hungry and when its fed, you start to radiate the glow out to others. Sparkling with amazing jovial energy that its contagious. It makes others want to do your soul thing!
4. Emotional: The heart needs love. When we surround ourselves with Dreamers & Optimists, we develop meaning connections that allow us to feel joy & warmth. But this starts by taking care and loving yourself first.
I believe the mind, body and soul need to be fed first in order to allow the heart to fill up. To truly share love and care to best extent I can, I need to take care of myself first so that I am on my A-est game and I can give my full attention them. The practice of self love is necessary first before loving others. I relate it to the instructions stewardess give on airlines in case of a crash landing. Its instinctual to give the oxygen mask to your child, but they tell you to put on yours first before helping others. It is very honorable and generous but If you die first, you help no one.
Like normal hunger, I need to constantly re nourish my mind, body and soul needs. I can’t feed it once and I’ll be never hungry again. I believe if we feed the mind body and soul, the heart needs will be fed after, love starts oozing out of you naturally. Imagine if Superman had no food, could be still be superman? No, he would be weak and can't help save the world.
I believe we are all Superheroes in our own epic saga and its an injustice when we don't start listening to our mind body and soul. The light & strength, that shines out when we are happy and not hungry, is infectious and inspires everyone around you to take care of themselves to be their own Superhero.