Some people fear the fire.Read More
The holidays are here!
Anyone else feeling a little spread thin?
This is a great time of year to prioritize self-care. Even if it’s just a 30 minute walk in the sunshine, a long soak in a hot bath, or a few minutes of yoga before bedtime, allow yourself some time to rest and rejuvenate. Another great practice you can incorporate into your day is a simple 5-minute self-massage in the morning, or in the evening. Remind yourself of how precious and wonderful your body is!
Here are five simple ways to incorporate rest, rejuvenation and peacefulness into your day:
- In the morning after your shower, do a five-minute self-massage using coconut oil or sesame oil.
- Take a 30 minute walk in the sunshine.
- Roll out your mat and practice yoga for 15 minutes. Do three rounds of sun salutations, a few hip openers, and legs up the wall pose.
- Take a long soak in a hot bath. (See below for the best mineral salt blend to use, too!)
- Write for ten minutes in your journal. Reflect on the best part of your day, and the most challenging part. Is there anything you can intentionally release and let go of?
box contained some lovely products for taking time to be at peace. My three favorites:
This little kit is incredible! It comes with a rough cut citrine crystal, a palo santo stick, and an essential oil roller blend with lemon and lavender. Hands down my favorite item in the box. I can't wait to wear my crystal as an anklet starting when I'm in Hawaii on vacation in January, and to continue burning the palo santo to clear stagnant energy and make space for new growth in 2017! I even saved the box and plan to use it as a spot to store intentions I’ve written down.
This jar of bath salts is so fun – it actually turns the water purple when you use it ;) I loved the blend of soothing mineral salts and I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the scent of the frankincense, amber and myrrh. If you want a luxurious, relaxing bath, go for this awesome product.
Love this deck. I’ve been drawing a card each morning and using it to frame my day. I was also able recently to put up some wall décor to display a few of my crystals, so I’ll set the intention card there, too. Awesome!
What practices are helping you stay grounded and peaceful this holiday season?
I realized something the other night after teaching a yoga class...
One of the best ways you can support your students is to remind them of the power of their breath.
Simply being asked to breathe more, and to focus on our breath, has an incredibly healing effect. Our bodies calm, our thoughts slow down a bit, and we become more aware of the present moment.
When you breathe fully in a pose, you are able to receive the benefits of the pose. The pose 'sinks' in. On a physical level, this can translate to muscles relaxing, which can mean you achieve a deeper stretch in a posture.
My friend thanked me the other night after class, and he said, "Thank you for reminding me to breathe. I really needed that."
So, say you want to be a yoga teacher, but you haven't done a training yet?
Practice showing up for someone in your life, and remind them to breathe a little more deeply. Give them a small way to remember to be in their body -- to feel their feet on the ground. To stretch and release some stress.
Share your yoga practice this way, through your breath, which is your greatest teacher.
Photos in this post by friends and (last photo) CKCImage.com.
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,
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
, which means,
the essence of me is truth; I am true.
As you inhale, vibrate within, or think to yourself,
. As you exhale, vibrate within, or think to yourself,
You are safe to let go.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
Banyan Botanicals Daily Massage Oil
Hi loves! How is autumn going so far for you?
If you're looking for some simple ways to get grounded for this new season, here are a few ideas. Cheers to cozy sweaters, warm foods, and relaxing routines to help you feel rejuvenated!
5 Ways to Get Grounded for the Fall Season
1. Walk in nature. Notice the colors, smells, and sights around you.
2. Massage your feet with warming essential oils, or use a diffuser in your home. Here’s a great post from Hello Glow with ideas about essential oil blends for fall. Some oils to try:
3. Eat seasonally. Make a dish with pumpkin, apple, or squash. Create a hearty, delicious soup. Energize your food with positivity and love as you sit down to eat.
I highly recommend this Ayurvedic cookbook for ideas on how to eat seasonally: The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook: A Seasonal Guide to Eating and Living Well. This weekend I made the pumpkin dal recipe and it is delicious! ;)
4. Try a sauna or spa.
5. Meditate and write in your journal. Create space to process the transition to this new season, and allow yourself to express your inner thoughts and feelings. Fall is a great time of year to slow down, reflect, and incorporate more rest into your daily routine.
Photos of me by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.
For those going through big changes: I found this quote the other day and wanted to share it with you.
"A seed, to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction."
Hi, friends! Some exciting news today on Alive in the Fire...
I'm now offering an e-book!
Are you feeling a little lost? Lacking direction or motivation? Or maybe you could just use a few moments of deep rest, of looking inward?
This one's for you!
Inherent to the practice of yoga is the element of Svadhyaya, or self-inquiry. We explore layers of awareness through physical sensation, breath, emotion, and thought.
In this 20-page workbook, I will lead you through a unique experience of yoga that includes asana (poses), meditation, chanting/sound vibration, and creative writing.
You’ll explore questions such as, what am I here for? What’s holding me back? Do I trust my inner wisdom? How can I release fear?
Asking these questions isn't easy work to do. We can start by creating a quiet space, breathing, and connecting with the physical body.
What we find can be beautiful and enlightening... it may also be painful or make us feel vulnerable, raw, or overwhelmed. It becomes our task, then, to trust the outcome and trust our inner wisdom. Sometimes we must walk through the fire in order to gain clarity.
My goal in offering this e-book is to extend a little piece of my yoga teaching into this community I've created here at Alive in the Fire, and help however many yogis I can experience a little more peace in their day-to-day lives.
It's $3 to purchase the e-book, and my hope is that it is a practical, useful tool that can enhance your yoga practice and help you discover something new about yourself along the way.
As always, I'm open to your feedback and would love to hear from you if you try out the e-book and want to share your experience (my email is aliveinthefire at gmail dot com).
Please check out the link below to support the project.
Sending each of you a heartfelt Namaste.