Posts

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!

How An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Will Change Your Life

Ever feel bloated? Experience brain fog and sluggishness? Maybe you’re slow to get out of bed, or it takes you a while to really wake up. While a good night of sleep and coffee can help, you can’t out sleep, outrun, or outwork a bad diet. And sometimes your diet might be more of a problem than you know!

The diet I am talking about isn’t one where you curb carbs or eliminate fats – you need a well-rounded holistic diet to really improve your overall health. And if you’ve got joint pain and stiffness, take note! 

An anti-inflammatory diet is what I’m talking about. This diet is geared toward getting you the nutrition you need, but eliminating foods that are scientifically and medically proven to cause inflammation. 

Here’s the thing – inflammation in your body is actually normal – think about when your muscles are sore, or your ankle swells and gets inflamed after you roll it. Inflammation can be a sign of your body working hard to protect and heal itself. 

However, prolonged or chronic inflammation is not good. If you are constantly eating foods that cause inflammation, you are making your body work overtime, which can lead to other more serious health problems. Chronic inflammation can even cause exhaustion and brain fog. 

Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression, heart disease, and more can be caused or worsened by chronic inflammation. By decreasing inflammation and triggers – such as inflammatory foods – you can stop some of these chronic inflammation issues before they even begin. 

Firstly, try to buy organic – organic food is free of harmful pesticides. Toxicity from pesticides can cause inflammation as your body is digesting the food. 

Get yourself some Omega-3 Fatty Acids (like in salmon)! There are many types of fish that can impart beneficial oils into your diet. Think about these healthy oils like lubricant – for your joints, for your digestion – it keeps everything running smoothly.  It’s also crucial to brain health!  You can even opt for fish oil supplements to give your body an extra, daily, boost. 

Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory, used for centuries in Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East as a healthy, balancing, spice. You can easily add to various foods or enjoy in the form of a Golden Milk Latte (see recipe below). In order for turmeric to be bio-available, it’s best to pair with pepper or pepperine.

Diet and anti-inflammatory nutrition are so essential to eliminating joint pain and living your best life, which is why Yoga Prehab ™ has brought on a new certified nutrition specialist! The Membership will now include seasonal meal plans in addition to body-rejuvenating courses and full-length yoga classes! 

Not a Member yet? Do not miss out for one-second longer…join us today

 

EASY GOLDEN LATTE

  • 2 cups of almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk (or a combination!)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or grate in a few pinches of fresh ginger)
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Sweetener of choice, such as maple syrup, coconut sugar to taste

To a small saucepan, add coconut milk, almond milk, ground turmeric, ground ginger, cinnamon stick, coconut oil, black pepper, and your sweetener of choice.

Whisk to combine and warm over medium heat. Heat until hot to the touch but not boiling,  about 3-4 minutes,  whisking frequently.

Turn off heat and taste to adjust flavor. Add more sweetener to taste or more turmeric or ginger for a more intense flavor.

Serve immediately, discarding the cinnamon stick. Best enjoyed fresh, although leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave until hot.

 

3 Things You’re NOT Doing For Your Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain is the worst. I mean, anything that prevents you from being out and about is the worst, and plantar fasciitis is totally one of those things. Waking up in the morning you might experience pain and pressure in your foot, or maybe after standing for long periods of time you notice stiffness and pain radiating through your calf and entire foot. Whatever your symptoms, know that plantar fasciitis is preventable and it is possible to avoid having to suffer through the pain. 

Let’s cover some basics first. Your plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the front of your foot to your heel. Repeated stress, standing, or even super tight calf muscles can tear and damage the tissue. This causes the soreness, tenderness, and inflammation in your foot. 

After helping so many people find relief from plantar fasciitis as a Physical Therapist Assistant, I can tell you the 3 things that most people do not do to help prevent plantar fasciitis. 

1. Consider Your Shoes

If you’re constantly feeling the aches and pains of plantar fasciitis, it’s probably time to check your shoes! Even if you aren’t experiencing foot pain, it is something you want to avoid. Things to think about when buying better shoes are: 

      • Is the sole flexible, but still firm? You want support, but don’t want it to be so firm that it causes an excess of pressure on your foot. 
      • Is your arch being supported adequately? Everyone has a different arch, so not all shoes support every arch in the best way. If your shoes aren’t doing the trick, look for ones with better arch support or try an insole that will better support your arch.
      • Is there enough cushioning in your forefoot? If your soles are too hard, the stress that the shoe experts are on your foot is going to cause increased tension for your plantar fascia. This is why having enough cushion throughout the sole of your shoe, especially in your forefoot, is essential. It helps absorb shock from the everyday walking, running, and standing that you’re doing.

2. Your Calves Are Too Tight

Oftentimes when the calf muscle is too tight, it pulls on the plantar fascia, causing heel pain and inflammation. If this is true for you, you need to release the tension in your calves! Try this (but do not proceed if you experience any painful sensations):

          • Stand near a wall with one foot in front of the other, front knee slightly bent.
          • Keep your back knee straight, your heel on the ground, and lean toward the wall.
          • Feel the stretch all along the calf of your back leg.
          • Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds.

3. You’re Not Mobilizing Your Toes Enough (Or At All)!

If your toes don’t get much of a workout, they could contribute to foot pain and additional strain on your plantar fascia. Here is a quick and easy toe engaging exercise for you: grab a sock and wrap it between your toes, weaving in and out or over and under, until there is a bit of sock firmly in between each toe. Then, scrunch your toes up and release slowly (if you experience unusual pain, back off or discontinue). This toe separator exercise helps you engage your toe muscles and releases tension in other parts of the foot. 

Looking for more guidance to help overcome foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis? I’ve created a course – PLANTAR FASCIITIS FIX – designed specifically as a one-stop-solution to regain your mobility and ease foot pain, all from the comfort of your own home! 

 

Get started with PLANTAR FASCIITIS FIX today!

Get started with PLANTAR FASCIITIS FIX today!

Top 3 Tips for Relief from Arthritis Pain: No medication needed!

I’ve got a quick story for you, about a client who suffered from arthritis. She had been feeling achy, chronically stiff, and had pain in her joints that was starting to radiate through her limbs. Ouch. When she was diagnosed – she was shocked, thinking “I’m 23 years old – how is this even possible?” Well, with autoimmune arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your immune system attacks the lining of your joints – at any age! 

She looked for alternatives because she didn’t want to be on arthritis medication for the rest of her life. And I don’t blame her! Some of these intense anti-inflammatory medications used for osteoarthritis treatment and RA can be really hard on your vital organs — even causing prolonged nausea, headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. Many RA medications also drastically reduce your immune system placing you at higher risk for infection, drug-related cancers, and in rare cases even death. No thanks!

The good news is that there is an alternative to medication! One important thing to note about joint pain is that typically the more you move, the better you will feel. I know, I know – it sounds counterintuitive. But, think of it like this. The motion involved in moving your joints actually creates lubrication between your joints, making it easier and much less painful to move. Remember, motion is lotion…for your joints! 

This client worked through progressive yoga and physical therapy-based mobility exercises with me, and quickly experienced amazing results – as long as she keeps up with her mobility work she experiences no more chronic pain and has yet to go on arthritis medication! HUGE WIN! 

Here were the three most important things I shared with her…which I will now share with you!

#1 If you have any form of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, it is so important to stay mobile. Even the most gentle movements will go such a long way to increase your mobility and level of comfort. Yoga-based mobility is great for this, because you can work your whole body and isolate certain joints that need more TLC. 

However, with Rheumatoid Arthritis, specifically during times of flare up, it is advised that you avoid intense stretching and exercising as this may be more detrimental to your joints and create more damage than good.  It’s not to say don’t move at all, rather modify your intensity and be gentle on your body as you move through your day or attempt a light mobility practice during a flare up.  Once it resolves, you can continue your regular strength and mobility practices.

#2 Practicing balance poses and core strengthening with mobility work or gentle yoga practice will improve your flexibility and balance. This will increase your long term strength and endurance, which will in turn support your joints and overall stability for a lifetime. 

#3 One of the most common things I would see as a Physical Therapist Assistant were people who experienced gradual muscle deterioration, aka “sarcopenia” – because getting moving again with arthritis was causing them too much pain. So, in addition to rebuilding muscle strength and endurance, you also want to ensure that you keep up with your strength and mobility work! This requires just a few minutes of daily movement – if you don’t use it, you lose it! So be sure that you stay consistent! As I always say — CONSISTENCY IS KEY! 

Arthritic pain and stiffness can be present at any age, whether it is simple osteoarthritis from “wear and tear” and the aging process, or Rheumatoid arthritis which is a systemic inflammatory disease process that attacks your joints.  

Your body is unique and so will be your journey if you have arthritis.  Not every person requires medication, though some may eventually or intermittently from time to time.  However, EVERY BODY can benefit from healthy mobility practices, yoga, whole body strengthening and balance training to protect your joints.

With arthritis you do want to make sure you work progressively – start simple and gentle and go from there. Need some help with this? Not sure where to start? Check out Chair Yoga for Joint Healing, which is the perfect “done-for-you” place to start! 

If you need ongoing support, get on board with the Yoga Prehab™ Membership – for just 0.80 cents per day, you’ll get the very best at-home Physical Therapy-based healing guidance, easy-to-follow yoga mobility programs, and more!

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!