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5 Ways To Practice Gratitude and Boost Your Energy During COVID

As we approach Thanksgiving and the end of 2020, it’s easy to start reflecting on what a bizarre year this has been. It can be really easy to think about what we’ve missed out on, or what we are going to miss out on because of COVID-19. It’s okay to mourn these things, to grieve whatever losses we have experienced, but it is just as important to feel gratitude for everything that we have done, and everything that we do have. And when you start to get anxious or irritated, remember these 5 things:

Be kind to yourself

I recently made the decision to move to Tulum, Mexico. Sounds crazy, but I am thrilled that it’s fairly easy to socially distance and spend ample time outside. Even still, just like many others, I am spending more time at home. There are a few things that have surprised me about staying home more often and doing less socializing. I thought staying home was going to allow me so much time to get things done. I thought I would get my laundry done, and do so much cleaning, and also tackle work with great efficiency. But no! The days seem to blend into the next and I keep eyeing my laundry basket getting fuller and fuller.

My advice on this one is to first, breathe. Deep breaths. Allow yourself some space and gentleness. This isn’t a time to rush or go overboard. Instead of being overcome by frustration or pressure to get things done, try focusing on gratitude for what you do have and have already done.  Even if there are chores to be finished and things to clean, don’t forget that we are living in a time of greater stress and we completely deserve to be caring and gentle toward ourselves. Your laundry will get done…eventually.

Stick to a routine

When other pieces of life feel out of control, sometimes very simple things like a routine can make a world of difference. Getting into a bit of a rhythm with your day isn’t boring, it can actually help your nervous system regulate and decrease anxiety.  You can even start some soothing, rituals such as taking some time to brew tea, having a bite of your favorite chocolate after lunch, making that perfect cup of coffee, doing a face mask, lighting your favorite candle. Whatever it is that brings you peace and joy, make sure to include it in your day and practice mindfulness while you do it. Oh, and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep – if this means going to bed earlier, do that!

Eat your fuel

Don’t get me wrong, I love some indulgent food choices every now and then especially during COVID times! But, when you load up on inflammatory foods like sugar, potato chips, and pizza, you’re going to feel it. And the feeling isn’t great.  I’ve personally noticed food that weighs me down isn’t something I can sustainably eat every single day. Make sure that you are feeding your body the right food to keep it strong, healthy, and feeling good. This is one of the kindest and easiest things you can do for your whole body – your skin, your digestion, your liver, your kidneys will be grateful to you! Make sure you’re getting enough water too…dehydration can make anyone feel super sluggish. If you’re curious about adopting an “anti-inflammatory” diet, check out the new Yoga Prehab® Seasonal Meal Plans. Every meal plan is packed with easy to prepare, super-nutritious recipes you can start incorporating into your diet immediately!

Create some quiet time

Put your phone on do not disturb or airplane mode, turn off notifications, take a break from social media. Step away from the news, maybe put on your favorite calming music. Never-ending Zoom calls, noise, and notifications can leave us feeling exhausted. Quiet time can be both calming and rejuvenating.

Grateful for movement

Even if it’s just in and around your home…keep moving! Our bodies rely on movement for optimal lymphatic system and digestive system function. Our muscles that help us maintain our balance and mobility need to be strengthened through continuous movement. And movement of course helps with our moods, releasing endorphins and decreasing stress. For all ways that you can move, be very grateful! If you’ve been looking for movement programs that are safe on the joint, won’t hurt you, and are easy-to-follow, check out Yoga Prehab® – physical therapy-based yoga and fitness you can do right from the comfort of you home and at your own pace!

3 Easy Ways to Successfully Stimulate Your Lymphatic System

Let’s talk about the lymphatic system, my friends! Honestly, there is so much to cover, so I’ll be addressing important points about the lymphatic system periodically over the next few months. Be sure to stay tuned!

 But, first, let’s review briefly why the lymphatic system is even worth talking about at all! 

In short, your lymphatic system is a network of nodes and glands that help your body detoxify itself. This necessary detoxing helps your body heal, keeps your organs functioning normally, transports waste, and keeps your immune system in top shape. 

If your lymphatic system is out of whack, your body might be trying to let you know. If you are experiencing congestion, inflamed tonsils, fluid retention, swollen lymph nodes or glands, increased fatigue, brain fog, and/or constipation – you might be dealing with a stagnant lymphatic system. 

Of course, the symptoms I just listed could be signs for…well, a lot of other things too, so be sure that you visit your doctor to discuss your health promptly! That said, you can talk with your doctor about your lymphatic system, and what you can do to help your body detox in natural ways. 

In the meantime, you might notice positive results from simple things like drinking enough healthy fluids and fueling your body with whole foods. These will of course help, but another easy and surefire way to get things moving is to move your body!

Yes, you read that correctly, mobility can ignite your lymphatic system, spurring it into action to properly transport waste out of your body. You’ve probably seen lymphatic massages before? Well, massages and actual movement of your skin’s surface area can totally boost your lymphatic system! 

But, you don’t need to splurge on a massage (unless you want to, in which case, enjoy)! You can also kick your lymphatic movement up a notch in the following 3 easy ways: 

 

  • Anything with a twist: All of the twists, standing poses, and movements in even the simplest of yoga flows will help spark your lymphatic system. This is one of the reasons why the Ayurvedic tradition is so rooted in yoga – the movements are powerful ways to help your body detox naturally. A simple seated twist may even provide a sense of almost immediate release. Try this Gentle Warrior 2 flow with me to help boost that lymphatic function!

 

  •  Elevate: Even just doing waterfall pose (also known as “legs up the wall”) takes just a few minutes and can help boost your lymphatic systems into action. Elevating your legs is a different sensation and position for your body, normally you find the soles of your feet on or very near to the ground. Switching it up even just briefly can get some things flowing in the opposite direction, so to speak, and can generate healthy lymphatic movement.

 

  • Down dog: Downward facing dog is considered a restorative pose in a sense, even if it doesn’t always feel like it! While it isn’t a full-on inversion by any means, it is easy and safe for almost everyone to do, and it does get your head and shoulders in a different position than normal. Similarly to waterfall pose, this jumpstarts some of the movement in your lymphatic system, simply by switching things up for a few minutes, generating some movement, and creating some space in those harder to reach areas of your body.

To get access to new flows and body-saving courses every month, you’re invited to my amazing Yoga Prehab™ membership, where everything is focused on optimal movement and mobility to heal and strengthen your body. Get on your way to better health and wellbeing today!

No Alcohol? No Problem!

I know some of you might have partaken in a no-alcohol challenge to start the new year. If you did, are you feeling pretty good? 

The truth is that alcohol can be great! But, it can also be not so great – for various reasons – but let’s just review the basic health and wellness factors for now. 

Alcohol has sugar. Alcohol has calories. Alcohol has additives. It puts extra strain on your liver and kidneys to digest, process, and flush it all out. 

One common misconception is that clear alcohol is somehow better for you. Sure, a vodka soda may have fewer calories than a mojito, but it still has calories. It still has sugar. It will probably still make you feel bloated and swollen. Alcohol can also negatively affect sleep cycles, energy levels, digestion, and more. Not to mention, who likes having a hangover? Prolonged headache? Being dehydrated? No one! 

If you have goals around weight loss, increased energy, better sleep, and just overall improved wellness – you might want to consider taking a break or decreasing how much alcohol you consume. That’s for you to know and for you to decide, but from my experience, limited alcohol or taking a break from alcohol consumption really helps me cleanse and feel refreshed. 

But, what do I drink if I want to celebrate? Or relax? Good question

Limiting alcohol can be tricky because it is often so closely tied with certain rituals, traditions, habits, patterns, and social events. Having a go-to non-alcoholic drink, ordering a mocktail, or just getting a yummy blended smoothie can help to just get a glass in your hand and curb the desire to opt for something containing alcohol. 

I personally like opting for tea, which I find is a nice way to treat yourself  – especially at home. Instead of reaching for that after-work glass of wine, you can try substituting a drink made with tea. For example, prep some tasty iced tea in advance, pull out of the fridge when you get home, and mix with a little sparkling water for a refreshing beverage – free of alcohol. Instead of popping super sugary bubbly, you can opt for something like this to fill in while still feeling festive. 

Or even just steep a pot of fragrant tea, which is perfect for chillier winter months anyway!

Tea Sparrow has some amazing blends. One of my favorites for a festive or celebratory drink is their Strawberry Champagne, with a hint of pineapple this blend is super refreshing, zesty, and fun. So perfect for any Valentine’s Day celebration – especially with some sparkle to stand in for champagne. 

I also love Tea Sparrow’s  Organic Hawaii Cocktail, a blend of pineapple, mango, and papaya – a solid substitute for a tropical fruit flavored cocktail. 

Tea Sparrow will keep you loaded up with new teas, especially through their monthly delivery program. Having so many amazing tea options on hand and at the ready makes it easy for me to opt for a healthy choice either at home or on the go!

What’s your favorite, fun, festive non-alcoholic beverage? Share with me on Instagram – I would love to know!

Yoga is Magic! Why Yoga Is For Everyone, At Every Age

Let me reassure you, you don’t need to be super flexible, limber, young, or athletic to do yoga. A completely common misconception, but not true.

Yoga is the perfect way to strengthen, tone, and heal your body, creating a better, more comfortable life for you in both the short and long term.

The reason why my methodology combines yoga and rehabilitative mobility work is that both are very accessible for every level of skill. 

Yoga doesn’t take any special skills or knowledge, just a willingness to move your body and a commitment to working toward improved mobility.

If you’re young, but feel out of shape or unflexible – I can assure you, that doesn’t matter. I have helped over 125,000 clients and students overcome strength and mobility issues with progressive flows to relieve pain and stiffness.

As people age, there tends to be a very real risk of “use it or lose it” when it comes to muscle. Sarcopenia, or muscle loss due to aging, can affect overall mobility and strength.

With more muscle mass and more strength comes better mobility and greater comfort. Muscle loss can be hard on joints, creating more stiffness and resulting in less mobility over time.

This is why something accessible, gentle, and beginner-friendly is useful for those looking to gain increased mobility and strength even later in life!

Starting yoga later in life is honestly manageable at any age; there are so many modifications and progressions that I employ in all my courses and trainings to be sure that everyone, no matter their skill set, is able to learn and practice safely. 

Plus, just like all of my courses, yoga practice is easy to implement at home. You can avoid wasted time trekking back and forth to the gym — saving your energy and money while still achieving your best life!

No one needs to do yoga for multiple hours a day to see improvements. I structure my courses to fit neatly into your busy life – no one has time to spend hours per day doing yoga and working out!

If you want to improve your mobility and live a life free of pain, I invite you to get started with Yoga Prehab® today! 

For less than the price of a few coffees,  you’ll get immediate access to a library of amazing body-rejuvenating courses that target every area of your body, in addition to anti-inflammatory meal plans, Live On-Demand Full-Length Classes, tools for support and accountability, expert interviews, and pain relief tutorials. Absolutely everything you need to start thriving and living free of pain – from the comfort of your own home! 

Click here to learn more about Yoga Prehab®

Have questions about Yoga Prehab® or want to share how yoga practice has changed your life? Connect with me on Instagram and let’s chat!

 

What Are Chakras And How Are They Related To Your Wellbeing?

So, you have probably heard the word “chakra” before – am I right? It’s definitely a word that gets thrown around a lot, but what are they, and what are they connected to exactly?

The word chakra (pronounced cha-kra) in Sanskrit means a “disk” or “orb,” and refers to the seven energy centers that are found in the human body, along the spine and up through the top of the head. These energy centers not only correspond to emotional aspects of our lives, to organs and certain areas of the body, but are also closely intertwined with our nervous systems. Chakras are essentially points at which human bodies have large networks of nerve bundles. 

Even though the concept of chakras was derived from Vedic teachings dating back to 50 B.C. and from historical Ayurvedic practice, it actually blends perfectly with what modern, Western medicine knows today to be true. Vedic teachings illustrate the way in which chakras, when open, create a healthy flow of energy that creates balance, overall wellness, and vitality in a person. These areas of chakra placement are actually correlated to key points in your nervous system. Cool, I know!

Now that you know how they are related to an intrinsic part of your body – the nervous system – let’s cover where and what the seven chakras actually are…

Root Chakra

Also known as the Muladhara (moo-lah-dar-ah) or the first chakra, it can be thought of as “rooting” you to safety and security, and is found in the area around the lowest part of your spine, near your bladder, and colon. Like roots that hold a tree in the ground, the root chakra is all about standing tall and proud as we exist in the world. When this chakra is open, you may feel brave, safe, secure, and more ready for new things. 

Sacral Chakra

Found below your navel, but above your pubic bone the Svadhisthana (swa-dhi-shtah-na), or second chakra, is the center of your sexual and creative energies. When this chakra is open, you may feel extra passionate and possess a strong willingness or drive to express yourself in creative forms. 

Solar Plexus Chakra

The Manipura (ma-ni-poo-rah), third chakra is found in your core, between your navel and your breastbone. The word Manipura in Sanskrit translates to “luminous gem” and is believed to ignite your personal source of power. This makes sense, as when we think about core strength we think about the part of our body that gives us the most power, as well as the ability to stand strong and tall. When this chakra is open you may feel confident and strong in all you do!

Heart Chakra

Located in the center of your chest, nearly in the middle of your spine is the fourth chakra, anahata (ah-na-ha-tah). This fourth chakra connects the emotional, physical, mindful, and spiritual qualities of a person. It also acts as a source of connection between what are thought of as the three “lower” energies, chakras 1-3, and the “higher” energies, chakras 5-7. When your heart chakra is open you may feel very connected to others, open to love, and more drawn toward compassion. 

Throat Chakra

The Vishuddha (vi-shoo-dah) chakra is the fifth chakra, and encompasses the area around your throat. This chakra is associated with communication and vocal expression. This chakra also includes the thyroid, mouth, jaw, and tongue. When your throat chakra is open you may feel more empowered to share opinions, communicate openly, and speak your truth more freely.

Third Eye Chakra

The sixth chakra, Ajna (ah-jnah), is between the eyebrows, in the space between your eyes. Ajna is the energy center that guides your intuition, or your power to know and perceive things in and about the world. When this chakra is open you may be more inclined to listen to your intuition and allow your internal knowledge to guide you through the world. 

Crown Chakra 

The seventh chakra, Sahaswara (sa-ha-srA-ra), can be found at the crown, or very top of your head. This is the chakra of spiritual thought and connection with ourselves, the world around us, and divinity or higher spirituality. When this chakra is open – which can be difficult to maintain all the time – you may feel at your most creative capacity, capable of feeling your highest level of understanding and spirituality.

Speaking of chakras…there is only one more day to get this AMAZING BOGO SPECIAL I have going on!

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Suitable for every body type and skill level, these two courses will help you build physical strength and reset your nervous system! These are honestly my two favorite courses and I want to help YOU get your most badass self going on in 2020!

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