Erica Bornstein is a yoga teacher, dancer, and lover of all movement. Erica believes that yoga can be an embodied art form, a stimulated workout, a lifestyle, a tool for therapeutic relaxation, or a form of spirituality. Overall, yoga is an accommodating practice, accessible to all people, that requires only loving care for the mind and body and the willingness to cherish your own breath. Erica also believes that you only live once and you shouldn't torture yourself with workouts you don't enjoy!

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The Dancing Yogini

by Erica Bornstein, Yoga, Dance, and Fitness Instructor

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It's September. I think for the majority of us our lives start to pick up, schedules get more hectic, roads get more cluttered with traffic, your to-do list gets longer. The shift in the season can certainly be stressful for all of us.

The key is not letting the stress get to us. How can we mentally prepare ourselves for all of these challenges in our lives without feeling powerless or reliant on someone or something else?

How to Stay Happy1. Do Yoga. Obviously. In yoga, the goal is to strip down everything excess in our minds, and focus on what is true inside. We access our inner strength through yoga practice, and we learn that strength translates off the mat and into our daily lives. Through daily yoga practice this realization of self worth becomes more and more apparent. Everything you need is already inside. Happiness is a state of mind- and it is important that you understand that your happiness lies within.

2. Accept yourselfâ€" One of the key reasons why people are unhappy is that they do not really like or love themselves enough. It is essential that you accept yourself as what you are without any caveats and conditions to attain happiness. Don't get too critical about yourselfâ€" your looks, your brains, your capabilities or your financial condition. Just learn how to love yourself as you are. You will realize that once you are comfortable with what you are, others will accept you more willingly.

3. Take care of your healthâ€" An unhealthy body cannot be the home of a happy mind. It is important that you understand the strong link between physical health and mental happiness. If you are fit and healthy, you are likely to exude positive energy. Make sure your diet consists of mostly real (whole) foods, and make sure to be exercising regularly. If you don't have the opportunity to get to yoga class or the gym, at least make sure to take a walk a couple times a week.

4. Stay in the company of happy people- People you surround yourself with have an impact on your attitude. Surround yourself with like-minded people who share your interests and goals. People with a positive outlook who won't complain about all the negative things in their lives.

5. Be gratefulâ€" Saying a small "thank you" for what you have can make a lot of difference. When you make it a habit to be grateful, you seek out the things that you do have. This helps you divert your mind from negative thoughts of what you do not have. This does not mean that you give up trying. On the contrary, it encourages you to think of future goals and achievements in a positive manner.

What do you have to be grateful for?

@ 3:49pm ET on September 13, 2011
Lovely suggestions - thanks for sharing!

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