Self Awareness

How Yoga Taught Me to Meditate, Stretch & So Much More

Yoga is phenomenal for your mind, body, & soul. Yet many may never try it, because they are scared of it, don’t know where to start..or think it’s just not for them. No one wants to be the new person in the hour long yoga class, struggling, & confused. Thankfully I found a great solution to starting yoga & I gained more from it than I could ever expect.

Years ago, I came across yoga DVD from Gaiam called AM Yoga for Your Week. It’s a series of 5 different yoga segments, about 25 minutes each.. that is very basic, yet very beneficial. The thing I appreciated most about the DVD was the instructor guidance throughout each segment. Yoga Master Rodney Yee, not only has an incredibly relaxing voice (lol), but he really breaks down each move, tells you what your body should feel like, reminds to breath & relax.

I personally, am a little on the high-strung side & it is so hard for me to sit still, relax, & clear my mind. When I first started doing this DVD my intentions were to merely learn some basic yoga. With time I learned to really listen to the instructor.. to focus on my breathing.. and to feel every move my body was making.

Before I knew it I went from high-strung.. could never clear my mind.. to meditating! It was amazing!! And the stretching techniques I learned I have carried over into a stretching routine I do after every workout. I have also created my own yoga/meditation routine out of this that I do in the morning or evening.

Learning to focus on my breathing & feeling how my body moves has assisted me in being able to be calm.. which in turn has helped me become more spiritual & manage my anxiety.

The list of yoga benefits goes on.. and on. Just the stretching alone will improve your blood flow, increase flexibility & range of motion in your joints.. which helps prevent injury! Most importantly, it improves overall wellness for your mind, body, & soul.

It doesn’t matter where or how you are getting started.. Just give it a chance! A great resource I have found recently is the GaiamTV website. It has an extensive collection of Yoga videos, even for beginners.. it also has other fitness videos, health, & spiritual resources. So you can try it from the comfort of your own home! (It’s like a healthy Netflix..lol.)

The only downside.. is the more you do it.. the more your body wants it! I guess you could say its a healthy addiction 😉

love you. live long.

Finding A Happier and Healthier You

Many people run from or rebel against the ideal image of “being healthy”.. because of all the standards that come with it. It is so easy to become overwhelmed when searching for ways to improve your health & happiness, especially with all the information available now.

I believe, where people go wrong is listening to everyone else’s standards.. Do this.. do that.. eat this.. don’t eat that! It’s very understandable that someone reaches the point of total frustration & abandons ship all together.

The solution? Set your own standards! Listen to your own body! Yes.. be open-minded to advice and knowledge others can provide you with.. but ultimately you know your body best.. and what fuels your mind, body, & soul.

Being healthy is nothing more than nourishing your body.. Finding what fuels you & helps you be a better person overall. It’s not about “dieting” and restricting yourself. Which may be difficult to see in the world we live in today.. because what is “natural” has become the abnormal & what is “unnatural” is what is normal.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear.. “What you don’t drink sodas?”… “You don’t eat gluten?”… “You avoid processed sugar?”.. You must be so deprived!!

Well I am not deprived.. I am thriving! Those things are so unnatural for your body, and in return they have very negative effects on you.

Come to find out my high sugar diet was one of the sources of my skin problems (next to gluten), it created fuel for my anxiety & even triggered depression. I use to turn to sugar to calm me.. and little did I know the real damage it was causing until it started to cut it out of my diet.

The scariest part was how addicted I was to processed sugars & foods. The more I had them.. the more my body wanted them. It seemed impossible at first to overcome the cravings.. especially with sugar. But the less I had them.. the less my body began to want them.

As long as I don’t sit around thinking about that things I shouldn’t eat.. and focus on the things that make me feel good.. I feel good. I now satisfy my sweet tooth with dark chocolate & fruit.. and body craves spinach salads filled with vegetables.

It’s unbelievable how you can retrain your body.. if you just give it a chance. It’s not an overnight process & sometimes you may get off track. I started this process a few years ago, and I am still growing and making changes.

I do not know all the answers.. all the right ways.. but I do know the healthier choices I make.. the better my body feels. Which lifts my spirit & ultimately makes me a happier & healthier me.

So I challenge you — What steps could you make? Could you add more fresh greens to your life? Cut out sodas? Eat less fried & processed foods? Find healthier alternatives for the things you like?

Give your body a chance to truly thrive & watch your overall happiness grow!! ♥

love you. live long