Monday, December 5, 2016

A Yoga Pose for the Holidays: Savasana


What is your favorite yoga pose these days?

With the busy holiday season here, it's so helpful to make time for yoga. Today on Alive in the Fire, sponsored yogini Yani shares about one of her favorite postures, Savasana (deep rest). 


A favorite pose of mine is corpse pose, also known as Savasana. Not only is it a nice way to cool down from a flow, but it is a good way to ground yourself and let go. 

To get into Savasana, find a quiet and comfortable space, a place where you can go undisturbed for some time. Lie down on your back. 


Place your feet at hip-width apart, arms resting beside your body, palms facing up towards the skies. Feel your body on the mat, grounding yourself to the Earth below you, allowing your ankles to relax down toward the mat. 

Mentally scan the entirety of your body, from the tip of your toes to the top of your head. Bring awareness to the natural rhythm of your breath. Inhale, and exhale. With each exhale, allow a little more of your weight to fall onto the mat. Allow your jaw to relax. Give yourself permission to sink deeper into your mat, deeper into rest. 

If thoughts arise, allow them to float away—like a cloud passing through the sky—and draw your focus back into your breath. 

If your thoughts continue to run wild, focus on syncing a mantra with your breath. For example, use the mantra Sat Nam, which means, the essence of me is truth; I am true. As you inhale, vibrate within, or think to yourself, Sat. As you exhale, vibrate within, or think to yourself, Nam.

You are safe to let go. 

Namaste.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Keep Showing Up


A thought for your Friday...

Yoga is not for the flexible; it is for the willing.

Share this with someone you know who has a fear of trying yoga. Invite them to practice with you. Reassure them that it is not a requirement to be able to touch your toes before you start practicing yoga.

And then, as an example, keep showing up for your own practice.

Namaste.

Image by @the_lost_coast and graphic design made using Canva.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tips for Improving Your Posture


Hi, yogis! I hope your pre-Thanksgiving week is going well and that you're staying as stress-free as possible as the holiday season heats up. :)

So, I have a question for you...

I'm curious: how do you feel about your posture?

If you practice yoga regularly, chances are you're pretty aware of your spinal alignment and stance during standing poses, and things like whether you're lifting your chest, rounding your back, or lacking muscular engagement in a pose.

But how is your posture while you're off your yoga mat? Do you notice your posture when you're working, watching TV, driving in the car, or otherwise moving about your day? Do you spend a lot of time on your feet, or seated at a desk? 

And do you have friends, family, or colleagues who suffer from discomfort or pain which might be related to poor posture?

This post is for you! I believe this post is for every one, actually... we all have moments where we forget to notice our posture, and it can lead to feeling stiff or uncomfortable, straining our bodies unnecessarily, or aggravating old injuries. Here are some simple ways to improve your posture, starting today.



5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Posture

1. Notice your body. Check in with the following areas: your head, neck and shoulders; your arms and legs; your torso; your hips; your upper, middle and lower back; your feet. Where do you notice pain or discomfort? Where do you feel most stable, or unstable? Which areas feel tight or like they've been neglected? Start paying close attention to these areas, and noticing your body alignment.


2. Increase your daily movement routine. Posture is linked to your overall health, and so is the amount of movement you're getting each day. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, whether it's walking, running, biking, yoga, swimming, or whatever other activities you enjoy.  By improving your mobility and flexibility, your body will become more comfortable in standing and sitting positions, and you'll have a stronger sense of body awareness.




3. Try LumoLift. I've been using this amazing posture coach tool and I love how effective and simple it is. I simply clip the little magnetic device to my shirt or collar and wear it around throughout my day; if I start to slouch for 15 seconds or longer, the LumoLift vibrates for a moment, reminding me to sit up straight. I find this is especially helpful during my workday, so I remember to have great posture while I'm in front of the computer. What's awesome is that I can also track my daily steps using the LumoLift app on my phone! I'll definitely be suggesting the LumoLift to my yoga students and highly recommend checking it out. It would make a wonderful stocking stuffer this year, too (and it comes in a ton of different colors)!


4. Talk to your yoga teacher, fitness coach, chiropractor, doctor, or other health professional about your posture. Ask for information and insight from those you trust.


5. Track your progress. Keep a checklist or small calendar with you, and mark down some notes each day about how your posture is improving. Set specific goals for yourself, and ask others to help you stay accountable. You could also consider having a friend take a daily or weekly photo of you, so you can see how your posture is looking.


Do you have any tips for improving your posture? I'd love to hear!

Photos by Ken Johnson of CKCImage.com (1, 5), Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography (2, 3, 6), and Lucid Reflections (4).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

5 Quick and Easy Breakfast Recipes for the Busy Yogi


Hi, yogis! Today I'm excited to share a guest post by Toni from Chosen Wellness on quick breakfast ideas that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Which of these would you like to try?



5 Quick and Easy Breakfast Recipes for the Busy Yogi

Ask just about any adult and they can rattle off a list of the stresses consuming their mind. I’m no exception. Between work, my kids, my husband, and running ChosenWellness in my “spare” time, the to-do list seems to be unending. One of the first things to go for many people is self-care, especially when it comes to health. It’s so easy to ditch healthy foods for their more convenient counterparts, something we all know all too well.

I know I’m guilty of falling prey to unhealthy foods because of their availability, so I looked into ways that I could fuel my body with the right foods without sacrificing convenience. It was comforting to hear from many others in the same situation, and I was excited to find solutions to this all-too-common problem. I have discovered some easy but healthy breakfast recipes that have revolutionized my mornings.



Overnight oats have been a major craze lately, and now I understand why! This recipe is super simple, but it is a fantastic option for a quick but fulfilling breakfast.

This recipe includes quinoa, an amazing superfood. Not only does it contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, but it is a great source of protein and fiber. It’s also gluten-free, allowing those with a gluten intolerance to enjoy this nutrient-rich dish.

This recipe is also very flexible. It was written including raspberries, blueberries, peaches, and cinnamon (some great superfoods in there!), but you can change it to suit your mood.

I love this recipe because I can make it at night and literally forget about it until morning. It’s also incredibly versatile, allowing me to change up the fruits and eat it either hot or cold. I can pack it with superfoods and know that I’m eating a wholesome breakfast that is still quick and easy.



Blueberry muffins are a classic, but the original variety leaves you with few health benefits for all of the carbs and calories. This version is high-protein and more nutritious than normal muffins.

This recipe uses Stevia and sugar-free applesauce to sweeten the muffins, saving you from all of that sugar and the crash that comes soon after. It also uses protein powder and walnuts to add protein, so your blood sugar will remain steady for even longer. These muffins are packed with superfoods, like blueberries and cinnamon, which will provide a good amount of daily nutrients.

The convenience of this recipe has changed my mornings. I can throw these together the night before, and the kids and I can enjoy them together in the morning. It’s also a plus not having to give up delicious blueberry muffins just to stay healthy.



You might be thinking, “Cookies aren’t a breakfast food!” Well, think again; they definitely are, and they aren’t hard to make.

These cookies don’t use any flour, and the only refined white sugar in it comes from the semisweet chocolate chips. It’s a wonderful mix of banana, rolled oats, peanut butter, semisweet chocolate, honey, and cinnamon - nothing strange hiding in that ingredient list.

The oats will keep you full without overeating, and the peanut butter gives the recipe some protein. This combo will keep you satisfied until lunch. It also is slightly sweet with the chocolate and banana, satisfying any morning sweet-tooth cravings without packing in tons of sugar and empty calories.

I love the combo of flavors in this cookie, and it does a great job of holding me over until lunch. Plus, the kids were thrilled to hear that we were eating cookies for breakfast, so everyone wins.



One of my personal favorite breakfasts in the past was a good bowl of oatmeal, complete with brown sugar and cinnamon (and maybe even a little chocolate). It was quick and easy, but the calories added up quickly and I didn’t know what extra ingredients were lurking in those little brown packets. This recipe lets me enjoy oatmeal without those problems.

This recipe calls for chia seeds, which are a great addition to oatmeal. They are very low-calorie but still pack a punch of nutrients. They’re a good source of fiber and actually add some protein to your meal, as well.

You also have a lot of freedom with this recipe. First of all, you can choose how you sweeten it and how much you sweeten it. Secondly, you can make different combinations of add-ins, so there’s no fear of getting stuck in an oatmeal rut. Apple cinnamon and blueberry banana are a couple of my favorite combos so far.

I love how easy this recipe is while still offering variety. The kids love being able to choose what to put in their oatmeal, and I love that I can juggle them and breakfast without too much stress.



Smoothies are great for mornings when you’re running out the door and just don’t have time to sit down for breakfast. You can drink them in the car on the way to the office or the gym, and they can still provide a good meal without too much hassle.

To make this option even easier, I pre-cut the bananas and throw them in baggies with the berries or other fruit I want. When I want one, all I have to do is grab a baggie from the freezer, throw it in the blender with some yogurt and coconut milk, and I’m ready to go.

This smoothie uses unsweetened coconut milk and honey, sweetening naturally and skipping the sugar. It also allows me to enjoy different fruits all the time, and I don’t have to worry about them going bad on the counter since they’re frozen.

The kids are also into this breakfast, especially when I use strawberries and blueberries. It’s a quick option that works well for all of us on even the busiest of days.

These five recipes alone have completely changed the way my mornings go. Instead of pouring a bowl of sugary cereal or grabbing a high-fat breakfast sandwich from a fast food restaurant, I can take care of my body and feed it the foods that fuel it best. And when I take care of it, it takes care of me. I’m able to be the wife, mother, and employee that I want to be because I have the energy to do so.

Convenient food doesn’t have to be unhealthy; there’s an abundance of options for a quick but healthy breakfast, even just in the five recipes listed here. These things have helped me and my family to live out our goals, and I challenge you to do the same. Will you change your own life and take the healthy breakfast challenge with me?

First photo by Ken Johnson of CKCImage.com, all post photos and content courtesy of Toni Placides of Chosen Wellness.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Gratitude


If you are looking to cultivate gratitude, you must first make space to look inward.

To acknowledge the amazing heart space that you have, all the things that you do on a constant basis, and, most importantly, who you are.



When you can be grateful for your very being, for what is inside, this shifts your whole experience of outward gratitude.

You see your own gifts and strengths reflected back to you through others.

You forgive yourself for your mistakes.



Take time to be grateful for you

Be as grateful for what's inside as you are for the blessings surrounding you.

You deserve it.

Photos by Ken Johnson of CKCImage.com and Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

PS Some of my favorite ways to practice gratitude.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hugs


Hi, loves.

I could use a hug.

It's been radio silence over here, and I appreciate your patience. Hoping to create more space for blogging soon.

In the meantime, thanks for any and all positive vibes and hugs you can send my way.

XO

PS Isn't it powerful when we are going through struggles and we put it out to the Universe and our support system to ask for help and a little extra love? I think so.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Yogi Surprise October: Celebrating Abundance


This is a wonderful time of year to cultivate gratitude for the abundance in our lives.

The air is colder and the nights are longer, giving us a stronger desire to turn inward and spend time in our cozy homes, share sweet moments with loved ones, and take more rest.

The theme for Yogi Surprise October is harvest celebration. These were my favorite items from the Yogi Surprise October box, all of which give me reasons to celebrate fall, to find gratitude for abundance, and to take time to reflect and rest.

I've been lighting this candle in the evenings when I write in my journal. I love the invigorating scent of balsam, lavender and sandalwood; the candle helps me feel calm and present.

Banyan Botanicals Daily Massage Oil

This oil is lovely! Do you practice abhyanga, or a daily morning ritual of self-massage with warm oil? Truly a life-changing practice that can help set the tone for your day and help to calm your entire nervous system. If you've never tried it, read this article from Banyan Botanicals on Ayurvedic self-massage.


These are amaaaaazing. Best chocolates I've had in a long time, not only flavor wise but you can tell the handmade truffles have high-quality raw cacao. I went to order more but they're already sold out on their website! (No surprise.) Highly recommend!!


First and last photos in this post by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...