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Why So Tense? The TOP 2 EASIEST Ways to Combat Painful Body Stiffness

Want to guess what one of the best ways to prevent body stiffness is? It is actually by moving. Seems a bit counterintuitive, but I swear to you, it makes perfect sense. 

Think about it like this – if you aren’t moving (or grooving) and your muscles and joints are just hanging out with nothing to do, they will very likely get stiff. And with stiffness, sometimes follows soreness. And then discomfort. So, the key is to keep some movement and mobility – even just a little – into each and every day. 

An easy way to break it down is to remember that motion is lotion – no joke! If you are stiff and sedentary at work or during your commute, it is extra important to get more mobility into your daily routine. The more movement and mobility you are able to do, the better lubricated your joints will be. This means easier movement, less stiffness, and less pain. If you are not moving, your joints will not be as supple, and you’ll likely experience tightness, soreness, and discomfort. 

The good news is you do not need to have an intensive exercise routine that you adhere to daily. The solution to these issues and the prevention of pesky muscle and joint pain is not hours of laborious work and training. The effort you put in each day – even just 10-15 minutes – can dramatically improve your health, comfort, and wellbeing. Over time and with consistency, you’ll experience more comfort and less pain. 

This is the whole concept behind Yoga Prehab™, which I developed to help your muscles and joints stay healthy. Before falling victim to rehab due to injuries and chronic pain, I help people take preventative action to actually strengthen their muscles and joints in order to prevent injury. Makes sense, right?

So, over time and with a dedication to movement and mobility — stiffness and discomfort will decrease. In situations where you need some immediate relief for sore and stiff spots, try this Super Soothing Shoulder Cure! It’s quick and requires only 2 minutes, 2 ingredients, and 2 simple steps!

Super Soothing Shoulder Cure

  • A couple of drops of Peppermint essential oil 
  • 1 or 2 tbsp Coconut oil (or other mild body oil of your choice such as almond or jojoba)
  1. Mix your ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture onto your shoulders and experience cooling, soothing relief for tight, sore muscles!

See? Easy, right? Peppermint has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, making it a great solution for aches, pains, and muscle spasms you might be feeling in your shoulders. (and you won’t smell like grandma’s Bengay cream)

Did you give the Super Soothing Shoulder Cure a try? Let me know how you liked it!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

 

3 simple ways to stay committed to living your best life in 2020

It’s a new decade (wow, excuse me, whaaat??), a new year, and OMG a brand new you, too?! 

The new year is such an empowering time. People are into their health and wellness goals, feeling hopeful, have had a lovely festive time and then…what happens again…?

Oh, yeah. Life happens. So how can you stay committed to living your best life, even in spite of, ya know, normal life things happening all around you? Here are some tips that I have long advised patients, clients, and students on to guide them to successful habit shifting and killer, killer results on their journey. 

Sustainability = Success 

Regardless of your best intentions, it’s really hard to go from 0 to 100 real, real quick. If yoga, working out, and mobility training are new to you, that’s okay! But, be sure you are setting a reasonable goal for yourself. 

Life is already a lot to handle. So many random struggles and annoying things — Can I get an AMEN? You really do not need to make your life harder. This is why I have structured my courses and free videos with a realistic progression to help you build new habits that you can easily stick with. Not diving in with an hour per day, every day. That’s too much (and honestly, who has the time?!) 

You want to think in terms of what is sustainable for you, your life, and your schedule, not make a plan around what sounds good in theory, but will actually make your life difficult. 

Rest Up

Truthfully, your body really does need rest. If you tucker yourself out and exhaust yourself doing 3 hour workouts every day two weeks you are going to:

  1. A) hurt yourself and 
  2. B) need a full week to recover from that crazy “training.” 

This is not a healthy option, nor is it sustainable. Make sure that you are resting and recharging, especially if you are working out and activating new muscles. We do not need to go hard every day of the week. 

Just Keep Moving

No matter what your health and wellness goals are if you want to improve your comfort, quality of life, range of motion, and mobility you need to keep moving. Even if you’re not doing a full workout every day, you can always do something quick like this Heart Reset Flow to keep your joints and muscles from getting stiff or cramped. 

Desk jobs, long commutes, and more may be keeping you somewhat immobile, but you want mobility and decreased tension so do the grapevine in the hallway, moonwalk to the water cooler, get creative! 

Do whatever it takes to keep active and move a little more each and every day. Soon, it will be habitual to make sure your body is grooving daily. 

And of course, don’t forget about the incredible BOGO SPECIAL I’m offering this month:

When you purchase my 30 Day Total Body Makeover you will also receive the 7 Day Chakra Cleanse (a $197 Value) completely free!  

Suitable for any and all levels of skill, these two courses will 100 percent launch a new YOU this new year!  These are my two favorite courses EVER and I want to see you ROCK your 2020 EDITION BADASS SELF!  YASSS!

GET ON IT!  SALE ENDS JANUARY 7, 2020!

As we get ready to rock 2020, the best New Year’s gift you can give me is to say hello on Instagram and let me know how I can help you live your best life! I’m here for you and completely committed to helping you succeed, and I can’t wait to see the amazing progress you will make in 2020!

Happy New Year and cheers to YOU!

The 4 Most Effective Methods for Tension Relief 

Tension can strike at any time of year, am I right? Any time, any season, any given day your body may feel tight and tense, leaving you uncomfortable. Maybe you’re finding its worse during the winter or even just during this hectic holiday season. Whenever you’re feeling tense, put these methods to good use to experience some fast-acting relief for all your tension symptoms!

Stretch It Out

As a Physical Therapist Assistant over the last 7 years,  I have always told all my patients to take the time to stretch, no matter when or where. And now, I am telling you! Push whatever fears or concerns about looking awkward aside and get down to business by stretching anywhere and anytime you feel necessary.

You can make stretching look good, I swear. Honestly, whoever has the pleasure of seeing you will probably just assume you’re an athletic person, doing normal things that athletic people do. So go for it! I always celebrate anyone I see on the street stretching and releasing discomfort. Stretching is something everyone needs in order to stay healthy and maintain their best mobility. 

Sip, Sip

Sipping on a soothing beverage has powerful benefits for both mind and body. Mint, lavender, or chamomile are all teas that are well known for their calming properties and relaxing scents, but one of my personal favorites is rooibos. I love rooibos for it’s delicious, warming, fragrant qualities, but also because it is beneficial for blood pressure and circulation.

A lot of tension and inflammation problems can be caused or worsened by poor circulation, and oftentimes when you feel super stressed you’re blood pressure and heart rate are probably higher than normal. Rooibos works to lower blood pressure, helping relieve problematic manifestations of tension and stress in the body. My favorite rooibos blends are from Tea Sparrow; they come up with the most inventive, healthy, and delicious flavor pairings each and every month. 

Turn Up The Heat

Heat can be a great way to combat tension throughout various muscle groups in the body. If you have access to a sauna or steam room, those are great options, but you can also achieve the same results by taking a warm, luxurious shower or bath. You can even heat things up internally by doing a quick, energetic yoga sequence (with me)! 

Special Neck-nique 

Sometimes tension that originates in the neck will be symptomatic as pain in your shoulders and head. Nowadays with everyone straining their necks working at computers and looking at their phones, it is so important to address neck pain quickly and consistently. Letting neck pain linger can cause chronic headaches and migraines as well as knots and prolonged tension in your shoulders and back. 

I’ve observed this evolving trend of increasing neck trouble throughout my career, and love teaching people new techniques to get their necks right.

Try this in just three easy steps:

  1. Sitting on a chair or on the ground, stretch your left arm down by your side
  2. Then, tilt your head to the right until you feel a nice, gentle stretch along the left side of your neck
  3. Hold for 20 seconds or more, and then switch and do the other side

Super, simple stretches like this have a tremendous benefit when done consistently. To really get to the root of tension extending from your neck, get The Text Neck Fix, which I created as a tool you can use literally anywhere to quickly and effectively relieve neck pain and improve your posture (mega bonus -it’s currently on sale, because I love you all so, so much)!

Looking for more safe and effective methods to combat tension, increase mobility, and sleigh all day? Take a look at today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram to learn more!

 

3 Tips for Healthy, Painless Travel

The traffic and travel delays around the holidays can be brutal, meaning longer travel times, more time sitting in cramped spaces, and more tension and discomfort for you. Do not fear, Tristan is here! And I’m sharing with you the easiest precautionary measures and quick fixes for the most common travel-related ailments. 

Tip 1: Quench Your Thirst

Staying properly hydrated is essential for what seems like countless reasons. One reason that is maybe not as intuitive is that having enough water in your system will actually help your joints stay lubricated and help you avoid inflammation and stiffness. This will naturally help you feel less creaky and squeaky when you hop out of the car or off the plane. 

Tip 2: Soothe Your Skin

You all know that the air on a plane is drier than a stale rice cake. Drinking enough water will ensure that your skin stays luminous and doesn’t risk drying out, especially if you are headed to a colder climate. One practice that people often get confused about though is how to properly hydrate your skin on a flight. 

I sometimes see people spritzing their faces – I love a good face mist, but please save it for when you get off the plane! Water sitting on your face will be evaporated by the dry air, and will take even more moisture from your skin along with it. Full disclosure I am not exactly a scientist, I’m trained in physical therapy, but this is how evaporation works, my friends!

Try instead to get a good layer or two of something super hydrating on your face, neck, even your hands. Opt for a non-greasy oil, serum, or super thick moisturizing cream or mask that smells nice and soothing for your flight. This will leave you feeling dewy and much less prone to breakouts. You’ll safely avoid disembarking with dry, itchy, irritated skin.

Tip 3: Flawless Flexing

Are your hips tight, stiff, creaky, or sore from a long car ride or sitting on a plane? In addition to hydrating properly (not with airline wine, I’m talking w-a-t-e-r) here are some simple mobility tips to maintain fluidity in your joints, and get your muscles flexing flawlessly: 

  • Take a spin around the plane, strut your stuff down the aisle, just get your muscles moving for a few minutes and out of whatever cramped seated position you’ve been forced into. Stretch your arms a bit if you are able. This will prevent your joints from locking into an uncomfortable position, potentially leaving you achy.
  • Stretch your neck to the right, hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat on the left side. Even the simplest stretching and basic movement can help avoid getting those annoying cramps in your neck.
  • As soon as you get out of the car or off the plane, take a few minutes to stretch or return some movement to wherever feels tight. Do some simple calf raises, shake out your ankles, reach your hands above your head, reach for your toes and hold for a bit – anything to wake up some of those sleepy muscles. 
  • When you’ve reached your final destination, give this YUM YUM HIP MOBILITY flow a try to immediately feel relief from stiffness and tension in your hips. I promise it will set you up for a relaxing holiday, no matter where you are!

I’d love to know what other Holiday Health Hacks you guys rely on to get you through the season! Don’t be a stranger, tell me what you cannot live without this month

Stay tuned for this week’s Workout Wednesday, where I’ll show you a super simple way to get energized in the morning!

 

When You Get That Feeling, You Need…Hamstring Healing

How many times in my career have I heard about unbearable, tight, fatigued hamstrings? Literally countless. 

The group of muscles in your upper thigh, particularly your hamstring, can be so easy to strain and so difficult to properly heal. Releasing the tension in your hamstrings is a way to bring mobility and comfort back to that area of your leg and ease much of the discomfort associated with long-term tension.

The hamstrings are part of the superficial back line of fascia, which means they are built with more endurance muscle fibers. Endurance muscle fibers, also known as slow-twitch fibers, are meant to be more resilient and durable. These fibers that make up our hamstrings do not fatigue easily and provide us with necessary support and stability for posture. So, naturally, there will always be some tightness in your hamstrings to help you hold yourself upright and help propel your body forward while you walk.   

The problem is when they get too tight, causing hamstring strains, general discomfort, and decreased mobility. Sometimes the hamstring will get so tight it will actually pull your pelvis down and into a backward tilted position. This creates too much strain on the lower back and can be the cause of a lot of chronic discomfort or pain. 

Does any of this sound familiar…?

I would venture to guess it probably does.  So, how do you actually loosen up those super tight hamstrings that plague so many of us?

One simple yoga pose you can try is called “legs up the wall” or “waterfall pose.” This pose I find just straight up relaxing, in addition to helping stretch out the legs. Try it in three simple steps to feel a nice stretch:

  1. Scootch your booty so it is flush with a stable wall
  2. Climb your legs up the wall until they are flat against it, or modify as needed by bending your knees to ensure you are comfortable
  3. Hang out here for a minute or more, breathing and relaxing into the pose, feeling a comfortable stretch in the back of your thighs

One of the best things you can do, weekly if possible, is to devote some time to targeted hamstring release techniques. Targeting and really thoroughly stretching your hamstrings at least once each week will ensure you are making progress over time and seeing results in the form of decreased pain, lower back, and pelvic alignment, and much less leg fatigue. Set aside a minute to really get some solid work in, stretch with me, and get loosey-goosey hamstrings in under 20 minutes! I’ll guide you through every step to ensure you are maximizing the benefit of each movement throughout this sequence. 

Last but not least, check out today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram for another super-fast method for stretching those hamstrings. Let me know if you have any questions about effectively opening up your hammies, or if there are any other muscle groups you’d like to learn more about releasing from tension!

Stay Balanced: Holiday Edition 2020

Here we are. December! In my last blog post, I focused on what steps you can take to help your body stay healthy during the holidays. There are so many things that drain our energy this time of year, and it’s important that you know how to balance it all and stay well. 

But, there are honestly so many reasons your body can feel out of whack this season. 

Maybe it’s the excess of food, maybe it’s the travel, maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s all the running around, maybe work is wild, or maybe the holidays are just a tough time for whatever reason that may be. Whatever the cause, I want you to know that you are not alone in feeling worn out by this month. I feel pretty confident that for one reason or another, the holidays are hard on everyone. 

Even so, there is a lot to be grateful for and a lot to celebrate! Celebrating your victories, getting excited about the new year ahead and spending time with those you love.  Looking back on how far you’ve come is so important, and taking the time to focus on those positives can hopefully help take some of the stress away and bring you joy. 

If staying in good health seems like it might be a challenge while you’re traveling, visiting, and celebrating – that’s okay! I have some solid advice for staying balanced this holiday season. 

Get Moving

Getting some type of motion in each day and exercising is so important. Exercise can ward off feelings of anxiety, help you feel calmer, and is, of course, great for our overall health and wellbeing. Gentle movements and yoga will be super useful if you are feeling stiff from flights or time in the car, and even just going for a quick walk or run can help you clear your head and work up a sweat. 

You don’t have to jeopardize the things you like about the holidays in order to achieve a good balance and fit in some daily exercise. Invite family and friends to exercise with you or invite them to stretch or do some gentle yoga.  

Simple as A, B, C

Make sure you are getting your vitamins! Either taking them as supplements or eating foods in which key vitamins and nutrients naturally occur will help keep you feeling good. Some of my personal favorites this time of year are: 

  • Vitamin A: found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and lots of types of winter squash, its probably easy to find something full of vitamin A on any holiday dinner table. Vitamin A is vital to your immune system and pairs well with vitamin C in helping you ward off common ailments. 
  • Vitamin B: B-complex vitamins have so many benefits, including increased energy, better immune function, and stronger mental clarity. If you’re eating almonds, avocados, and leafy greens, you’re getting your B vitamins in!
  • Vitamin C: found in citrus, lemons, peppers, and brussel sprouts, vitamin C will boost your immunity and help you fight any infections or viruses you might be exposed to. 

Even with all the craziness, fueling your body with good nutrients and keeping active will help you find and maintain balance this holiday season. I promise that taking just a little extra time to eat something healthy and move your body will have a huge payoff in helping you feel good the whole season long!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more holiday wellness tips, and don’t miss out on the opportunity to enter to win the incredible Holiday Giveaway, which includes a delicious selection of tea from Tea Sparrow and a FREE course from me!!

Also, check out how you can maximize mobility in your shoulders with just a few minutes each day. You’ll see immediate improvement. Perfect for loosening up after periods of extended holiday travel! 

Stay well!

How to Get Rid Of “Holiday Hangover” 

Aside from getting your flu shot and having Vitamin C supplements at the ready, what else can you do to stay healthy and happy during the holidays? 

The basics are this: get enough sleep, stay hydrated, move your body. 

Getting enough sleep may be easier said than done, but it is so, so essential. If you’re feeling fatigued, every part of your body is going to feel it too. In order to keep all the functions of your body in top condition, you have to get enough rest. 

At least 8 hours is recommended, but let’s be honest…how many of us actually get that much?

But, did you know that while you are sleeping your body does most of its healing?  So, cutting into that sleep you need can really take a toll on your health. Think about it — do you want muscle recovery, digestion, or detoxification working at a sluggish rate?

 Nope. 

Ideally never! And definitely not during the holidays when there are so many yummy foods, desserts, and drinks to indulge in. You want everything functioning at full capacity to enjoy the holidays in good health, even if we snack on a few too many cookies shaped like snowmen!

If you’re somewhere chilly or if you’re lucky enough to be in warmer weather for the holidays, it’s probably not quite reaching summertime heat levels wherever you are this month. Drinking water and iced coffee can be so easy when the sun is scorching hot or you’re enjoying the beach, but sometimes as the weather cools down we have a tendency toward not maintaining adequate water intake. 

Drinking water not only helps maintain normal organ function and cell growth, but it is also a key piece of flushing your system and aiding your liver and kidneys in your body’s natural detox processes.

The average recommended water intake per day is 8-10 glasses per day.  (That sounds like a whole lot of trips to the toilet if you ask me!)

Whether its sweets, a few cocktails, or half a cheesecake that your body needs to flush out, drinking plenty of water will help this process tremendously. I’m a believer in living your life and enjoying that second (or third) helping of your favorite holiday food, but I think you can agree that feeling bloated after eating too much is never, ever fun. 

Water, even with a squeeze of lemon or lime for some extra vitamin C, can help with stimulating digestion and flushing your system. Keep a water bottle on hand, find a water source at every party you attend, and be sure to drink a huge glass of water right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. 

One of the body’s best detox mechanisms is the lymphatic system, which is stimulated almost purely by movement. Exercise, walking, massage, and yoga are all great ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Twists, gentle movement, and gentle stretching is beneficial for the lymphatic system and will ultimately help boost digestion and strengthen your immune system. I’m sure you’re completely out of Thanksgiving leftovers by now, so if you want to get your lymphatic system pumping and feel totally refreshed, try out this Turkey Day Detox Flow!  

The holiday season is always crazy, so we all need to be sure we are providing our bodies (and minds!) with a little extra TLC. Get some extra sleep, drink a ton of water, and be sure you’re moving each and every day!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more information on holiday health this coming Workout Wednesday, where I’ll explain how we can use yoga to help ease anxiety. And keep an eye out for an exciting Holiday Giveaway announcement coming up soon….!