978-766-8722

bodyweight training

More Exciting News – Online Course Launch!

I don’t know about you, but I am jumping for joy. I have been preparing over the past several months to put together online material that is relevant, accessible, high quality, and affordable. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I share with you the launch of my online courses!

0001GQ

The material I’ll be sharing with you over the next several weeks and months will cover a range of topics — everything from getting your first full push-up and pull-up to holistic lifestyle courses and a special online course for women which will be released late 2016/early 2017.

In addition to sharing this online school and course launch with all of you, I’m also going to share with you the official launch of…

0001yU…rather than create a downloadable pdf of the blog I shared with you all a while back, I decided to take the material and create a FREE course for you that you can access at any time. If you are looking to develop your upper body pushing strength, want to feel the connection between your core and your arms, or want to begin the process of developing shapely shoulders and triceps, then this is a good place to start.

More exciting news in the days and weeks to come! If you’d like to keep abreast of all that is coming down the pike, be sure to follow me on any of the social media accounts in the sidebar; or subscribe to my newsletter (I’m only going to be emailing once per week unless I have something to share that cannot wait) and receive your FREE copy of “9 Secrets to Living a Vibrant Life.”

 


Basic Push Up Progression Guide for Women

 

IMG_4705We all have different reasons why we feel called to do push-ups. Or, maybe we don’t. Maybe our only reason for doing a push-up is because our trainer says we should. o_0

Before diving into the nitty-gritty on how to go about developing the strength and confidence to rock your first push-up, or to develop the courage to push yourself out of the muck that you may fall face first in, and you will, if you are aware of it —

Yes, that did happen to me once while backpacking in Alaska. I was hiking along a river bed, tripped over a rather small rock, and, since I was wearing a heavy pack, the momentum propelled me forward until…you guessed it…I landed face-first in a pile of silty mud. Life has also landed me in the mud more times than I care to count, and it has always nourished me, even if it didn’t seem nourishing at the time. I digress…

I would invite you to consider your attention to your intention.

Set an intention.
Why do you want to do push-ups? What’s your intention behind wanting to learn this skill? Take a moment now, pull out your journal (or pen and paper if you are journal-less), and write down your why. Allow your imagination to flow. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. The answers you provide, or the questions you ask yourself, are unique to you.

How often do you want to work on developing this skill?
How much time, energy, and/or effort are you wanting and willing to devote towards learning the push-up? There is a fine balance between not training a skill enough and training it too much. This balance is unique to you, your goals, your lifestyle, and your biology.

Who will help keep you on track?
Although as women, we have somewhat fallen into the trap of needing to “be strong, independent,” and do everything on our own (sound familiar?), having a support network is crucial to keeping you on track and helping you keep going when you run face-first into the metaphorical wall. Develop a list of 3 people who are in your corner, who will be here to support you, and have your best interests at heart whilst in this role.

Where? When?
The good news is that push-ups can be practiced anywhere and at nearly any time! It’s a skill that is very simple to incorporate into ones’ day if the attention to intention is there. 😉

Cooking dinner? Take a few moments to do a couple of sets of push-ups using the counter. Watching TV? Do some push-ups during each commercial using the wall, the couch, or the floor for support depending upon your current level of ability.

Now that your intentions are clear, you’ve set up a support network, and are pumped, primed, and ready to go…

Push-Up Progression 1 – The Wall Push-Up

Perhaps you’ve never done a push-up before, or it’s been years since you’ve done one. If you’re getting back into training, this is a good place to start. Continue practicing the wall push-ups until you can do at least 3 sets of 10 reps with ease and good form.

Push-Up Progression Level 2 – the Bench Push-Up

The great thing about the bench push-up is that you can adjust the height to change the difficulty of the movement without needing weight machines, pulleys, or any fancy equipment. Begin by using a bench, or counter top that is roughly waist height. As you develop the ability to do 3 sets of 10 reps with ease, challenge yourself by moving to a bench of a lower height.

It may be challenging to set your ego aside and accept where you are. A lot of people want to go straight for the lower bench without honoring the journey to “get there.” Take your time. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. When we rush through things too quickly we set ourselves up for a metaphorical, or physical, face plant in the mud.

Do you ever find yourself doing that?

One you’ve become confident exploring the bench push-ups at lower and lower heights, it’s time to move on to Progression 3.

 Push-Up Progression 3 – The Eccentric/Negative Push-Up

Pause for a moment and give yourself a virtual high five, a pat on the back, and a “heck yeah!”. Although it may seem like everyone can do push-ups, outside of people who regularly train and/or do this for a living, the majority of women have lost the capability to do a push-up.

The eccentric push-up will help you develop the strength and grease the groove towards doing a full push-up.

Watch for common compensation patterns as you get tired, such as: head dropping towards the floor, elbows splaying far out to the side, chest or bum dropping, bum lifting, and…holding your breath. Remember, breath = life, so breathe.

Push-Up Progression 4 – The Full Movement

Wowza! You’ve made it to the end of the Basic Pull-Up Progression Guide for Women. How cool is that?! You’re now rocking out all of the other push-up progressions and have hit the last phase in the basic push-up progression series. No doubt you’ve learned a lot about yourself along this journey. What have you discovered?

One thing I have noticed in my journey is that life will knock us down at times so that we can learn. There may not be a branch for you to grab onto to pull yourself up. There are times when no one may be there to extend a hand and help lift you up.

There will be times when you are invited to dive deep within yourself and find a way to push yourself up out of the muck. You’ll be invited to explore, experience and integrate an inner strength that perhaps you did not realize you had.

Incorporating holistic movement will help you do that. Training push-ups will help you do that. They’ll also help you develop those sexy, toned arms you desire, develop a strong core, and shapely legs, and they will help develop your pectoral muscles which  may help keep your breasts on the perky and lifted side.


I would love to hear about your journey through this guide. Send me an email with your questions, progress photos and/or videos, and/or comment or ask questions directly on the YouTube video that corresponds to where you are at so others may benefit from the learning experience as well.


Can I Train Hard when I have my Cycle?

period, cycle, moon cycle, training, work out, training with cycle, training with period, training hard, training hard with period, training hard with cycle, menstruation

This one’s for the ladies and any men who work with women, train women, teach women yoga, and care about women in general. In other words, although moon cycles are a “taboo” topic, discussing them and the impacts it has on training can benefit everyone. Besides, I’m all for demystifying and diving right on in to “taboo” topics to rock the boat and see what I can stir up in folks. Put on your life-jackets and let’s go for a swim…

period, cycle, moon cycle, training, work out, training with cycle, training with period, training hard, training hard with period, training hard with cycle, menstruation

Some of the frequent questions I receive from women regarding their moon cycles are:

  • Can I train when I have my cycle?
  • Can I train hard when I have my cycle?
  • What does it mean when I’m training a lot and I miss a cycle?
  • Is it ok to practice inversions when I have my period?

While it’s great to have plans and goals during and throughout your cycle, it’s important to keep in mind that your monthly visitor may or may not invite you to alter your training habits. Many years ago, women’s cycles were seen as a time to gather together, to create, and to rest. Nowadays, women’s cycles are seen more as something to hide, something to be ashamed of, something unnatural. And, this is shifting. Yes!

Can you train when you have your cycle and can you train hard when you have your cycle?
It depends. It depends entirely on you, your body, and the changes your body is experiencing during your monthly cycle. If you have a cycle with little to no challenges — your flow is fairly regular, you’re not gushing or passing large clots, you don’t suffer from severe cramps that leave you laid up in bed with a hot water bottle on your abdomen…basically, if your cycle days are pretty similar to your non-cycle days, then by all means train away.

If your cycle tends to resemble a scene out of a horror movie — super heavy, passing large clots, painful, irregular — then perhaps it’s time to slow down a little (or a lot) and honor your body. Allow yourself to take advantage of the invitation to explore a more restorative, rejuvenating, self-nurturing practice rather than beat yourself up in the gym. Your body will thank you in more ways than one.

What might this look like? You could go for a walk in the woods, practice gentle yoga or yin yoga, turn down the intensity and volume of your regular practice, allow yourself to create art. Maybe the most loving thing you can do for yourself during this time is take a warm, soothing bath with essential oils and epsom salts. Receive a foot massage. Let yourself be held and nurtured during this time.

What does it mean when you are training a lot and start missing cycles?
Unless we’re pregnant or going through menopause, irregular cycles and/or missed cycles are a sign that something is off in our bodies. We are out of balance. It’s often a sign that we’re experiencing stressors beyond our capability to handle them. I often see women in the bodybuilding world who lose their cycles when they cut, continue to train hard, and their body fat percentages drop below levels at which we’re able to sustain the life-giving force that is inherent within us as women.

In my opinion, this is a big sign to slow way down and reevaluate what you are doing, why you are doing it, and get really clear as to whether or not the stress is worth it. When your cycles stop due to over-training or low levels of body fat, it’s an invitation to take care of your health. To me, it’s a gigantic STOP sign with flashing lights and sirens blaring.

How to begin to bring the body back into balance — slow down, destress, reduce training volume and intensity. Eat pure, vibrant, high quality organically grown food, not processed crap and stop starving yourself. Eat healthy fats and incorporate hormonal supporting and balancing herbs and tonics into your meals.

Is it ok to practice inversions when you have your cycle?
Again, it depends. If you follow strict, dogmatic yogic principles, then no. However, I tend to shy away from anything dogmatic. Perhaps I’m being dogmatic in my distancing myself from and calling out practices or beliefs that are dogmatic. Hmm…

Anyway, it totally depends upon you and what works for your body. Chances are unless you are in Cirque du Soleil, you’re not spending hours upon hours upside down on your hands. So, if you feel up to it, there’s really nothing wrong with popping into a headstand, pincha mayurasana, or a handstand when Cousin Flow is in town. You may not want to if you feel particularly bloated or if the river is flowing more like Class V rapids than a quiet, meandering brook, but again, that’s completely individual and may change as quickly as the weather in the northeast.

The bottom line is to develop a relationship with your body and with your cycle. Your body will tell you what it needs, when it needs it, whether to train hard, to rest, to go upside down, or to take a relaxing stroll through the woods. The largest considerations are whether or not you hear your body when it speaks to you and whether or not you choose to listen to your body when it speaks to you.

You’re a male trainer/teacher. What can you do?
If you’re a male trainer, movement or yoga teacher, or male in general, there are some things you can do to help support your students when they have their cycles. Have some feminine products on hand just in case your student unexpectedly gets her cycle in the middle of a session or class with you. Organic…

Your menstruating or nearly menstruating students may be more in tune with their emotions during this time. Please don’t call them “emotional.” This is a natural part of the intuitive process of being a woman. Granted, if there are significant mood swings, it may be a sign of a hormonal imbalance, but that’s a post for another day.

Your student may feel fat, bloated, gross, worried about leakage, and/or in pain. Please be kind. If your student has made the decision to show up and be present on a day when she may be feeling less than stellar, support her. Likewise, if her cycles are spot on and she feels great, wants to crush it in the gym, let her.

If you notice your student chooses to not practice inversions around the same time each month, chances are mentioning it in front of class isn’t going to be the most supportive time to share a conversation. She’s likely already self-conscious about people noticing that she has chosen to not go arse over teakettle when she has her moon cycle.

The more comfortable you are regarding women’s cycles and discussing women’s cycles, the more likely your female students will be in opening up and discussing this natural part of life with you.


I love comments, questions, and feedback so please post below.


Video

Finding Balance whilst Letting Go of Pain – Movement Monk Embodied Flexibility Review

It’s not often that I feel I can recommend a program or a teacher with 100% confidence. Truth be told, for this picky practitioner, it’s a rarity – I can count on one hand the number of people who fall into this category. Benny Fergusson, aka The Movement Monk, is one.

Benny and I began working together roughly two years ago. I had a few simple, yet complex goals:

  • reduce and/or eliminate the niggling pain in my left hip from a yoga injury (you can read about that here and here)
  • dive back into a movement program after three years off from rehabbing from my hip injury
  • find a way to increase my flexibility again while developing strength so I wouldn’t feel like a rag-doll, susceptible to injury

I had tried various neuro-muscular therapies, physical therapy, chiropractics, different variations of yoga therapeutics, contract-relax stretching, and so on and so forth…Not one of them provided me with a platform that allowed me to safely explore increasing my flexibility whist maintaining and developing strength and stability. No other program, or teacher, at the time provided the space and support for me to explore the “issues in my tissues,” until I began working with Benny and his Embodied Flexibility Program.

Not only has my flexibility increased, but my strength has as well. The niggling pain in my left hip is nearly eliminated, and I have jumped back into a full-on movement program. Check out the video below to see the improvement I experienced in just 30-days’ time.

If you have been on the search for a program that can safely increase your flexibility whilst stabilizing and strengthening your body, I highly recommend checking out the Embodied Flexibility Program. If you have any questions about my experience, ask below or send me an email. You are also welcome, at any time, to reach out and personally connect with Benny and his Movement Monk Team via the Movement Monk website.

 


Life By Design

life by design, climb, authentic, joy, mud, nourishing, excitement, excited, let go, friends, people, creativity, passion, mission, love, purpose, focus, drive, commitment, self

When you begin to live your life by design, listen to and follow your organic timeline, and build your life, & your business around your passions, you may notice & experience the following:life by design, climb, authentic, joy, mud, nourishing, excitement, excited, let go, friends, people, creativity, passion, mission, love, purpose, focus, drive, commitment, self

  1. People leaving or entering your life. Or both.
  2. Conscious decisions to let go of what isn’t serving you.
  3. A tremendous amount of freedom in being.
  4. Excitement. Pure unbridled excitement.
  5. The beautiful and painful process of bursting forth from your shell, into the nourishing, dark mud.
  6. Unbound joy as you burst forth into the light of what is.
  7. Immense focus, clarity, and creativity.
  8. An unwavering commitment to yourself, your passion, your mission. Psst – it’s ok to take care of yourself and to do so beyond what you thought was possible.
  9. Profound awareness of your innate biological rhythm and what your essence needs in each moment.
  10. A zest for life that draws people in and welcomes them to ask and be curious about you…sparking the life force within others by shining your own light.

What are you most passionate about? What would you choose to do if time and money were of no issue? Are you doing that now? If not, why not?


Wrist Considerations in Yoga and Acro Yoga

yoga, acro yoga, wrists, injury, warm up, wrist considerations, mateo daniels, high hand to hand, high h2h

A fair number of people are coming to yoga and acro yoga from non-movement related jobs – ie: desk jobs – where there tends to be little movement in general and mainly repetitive wrist movements. Then, they come to the mat, and the first few poses tend to be downward facing dog, chatarunga, and cobra pose or upward facing dog — all poses that place an immediate demand upon the wrists without any prior warm up.

yoga, acroyoga, down dog, wrist, hands, injury, warm up, health, considerations, amanda patti
In acro yoga, it’s a similar scene except many are going from their jobs to an acro practice where they are interacting with another person (basing or flying), exploring movements that put a fair amount of stress upon the wrists also often with little to no warm up.

What are some potential effects of not warming up?

  • sore wrists
  • inflammation
  • injury
  • tendonitis
  • carpal tunnel like syndrome

yoga, acro yoga, wrists, injury, warm up, wrist considerations, mateo daniels, high hand to hand, high h2hJust check out the awesome h2h (hand to hand) dear friend Mateo Daniel is rocking out at basing here. So tempting to just want to jump into this and play, isn’t it?!

If we look to the majority of circus art classes, any hand balancing class or workshop that’s worth its salt, and/or the careers of people who perform professionally and wish to be able to have some sort of career longevity, a wrist warm up is one of the first things they do. Why is that? Well, chances are a fair number of them have experienced wrist pain and/or injury and would like to do all they can to avoid a repeat occurrence if at all possible. And, quite frankly, having “been there, done that,” your teacher likely wants you to stay healthy, pain and injury-free.

low h2h, hand to hand, acro yoga, yoga, mateo daniel, wrist, wrist warm up, injury, painIf you’re a yogi, acro yogi, hand balancer, mover, massage therapist, car mechanic, plumber…wouldn’t you enjoy having bullet-proof wrists that are strong and supple and pain-free?

I know I would and do. What can be done about it?

The answer is pretty simple. Warm-up. Take care of your wrists. Stretch and strengthen them. (It’s a bit more complex with people who already have injuries and/or pain). How?

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I highly recommend checking out the series of videos below put together by my teacher, Yuri Marmerstein.

This video is by far the most comprehensible hand and wrist sequence I have seen to date. In my opinion, it’s worth its weight in gold. It’s also the wrist warm-up I use prior to each practice session (though I have had a couple of times where I did hop directly into an acro practice without warming up only to have sore wrists for a couple of days afterwards. Doh. Lesson learned.).

If you have any questions or are wondering how to integrate hand and wrist care into your practice, comment below and let me know.


For more info about Mateo Daniel, follow him at The Playful Warrior and PLAY Acro Festival.

For more about Yuri Marmerstein, follow him at Yuri Marmerstein.

 


The Green Monster

The Green Monster is an amazing power-packed smoothie chock full of incredible benefits.

It contains living silica, fulvic acid, and chlorella. Wowee! Living silica helps with joint and connective tissue health. Fulvic acid is an incredible cell food with benefits too numerous to go into detail here today.

What makes the Green Monster so, green?green monster, chlorella, fulvic acid, living silica, banana, smoothie, snogging, swamp thing, antioxidant, joints, connective tissue,

That would be the chlorella, a micro-algae. Some of its benefits include:

  • strengthening our cells against foreign invaders (no, I don’t mean aliens)
  • binding to and removing heavy metals
  • helping to tonify and cleanse the body
  • promoting healthy, natural growth (anti-aging, anyone?)
  • it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound healing properties

…and more.

 

The problem — It. Tastes. Like. Algae. What does algae taste like? I’d say it’s a cross between what one would expect from either

chlorella, living silica, green, superfood, swamp thing, creature, black lagoon, algae, cell food, regeneration, detoxification, purium, earth shift, joint health, fulvic acid, smoothie, green monster, chlorella, silica, fulvic acid, algae, superfood, smoothie, health, cellfood, benefits, joint, antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory

Sounds, delish, doesn’t it?

Not unless you like that kind of swamp stench in your mouth. However, there is a way to enjoy and reap the benefits of this potent superfood without feeling like you just snogged the Swamp Thing or the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Yay!

This tastes much more like a mint-chocolate chip smoothie than any foul creature from the bowels of the swamp or toilet. Although, Swamp Thing did do some pretty cool stuff.


Ingredients:

16 oz milk or mylk of your choice
1 banana
1 tsp Living Silica
3 drops Fulvic Zeolite or 10 drops Fulvic Acid
1 tsp Cracked-Cell Chlorella
1 TB cacao nibs
peppermint oil to taste


Sources:
Chlorella image: vitaforce.com
Smelly Swamp Thing: bloodydisgusting.com
Creature from the Black Lagoon: moviesonline.ca
Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford
The Green Foods Bible, David Sandoval

 


Getting Your Groove Back

Chances are, if you’ve had more than one relationship, you’ve experienced what it’s like to have your heart broken. Not that our hearts can really break, but the end of a relationship can certainly feel like our heart is breaking. Why is that?

It’s a death of sorts, and a rebirth. It’s a death of what was, of how we perceive our experience of the person we were with. It’s an end to how we know and/or interact with someone on the physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and sometimes, spiritual planes. It’s also a beginning to the next chapter of your life.

Ya, right. I’m sure that’s the last thing you probably want to hear from someone if you’re in the midst of relationship changes or are mourning the loss of the ways in which we experienced another person. I hear you. Stay with me. This post is all about some of the steps towards getting your groove back.

  1. Feel your emotions.
    Are you checking out? Or are you staying present with yourself and this process? Granted, some of you may not have the luxury to take time off from commitments — be it work, or family — to allow yourselves to experience and temporarily wallow in the nourishing mud of your grief and/or anger. I would invite you to give yourself permission to spend some time doing so. Have that really good cry. Scream into your pillow. Take a look at the photos and revisit the memories. Allow yourself to walk down memory lane and feel whatever comes up for you.

    Let the rain of your tears, the thunder of your laughter, and the lightning of your anger cleanse and renew you.

  2. Write.
    You are hereby invited to attend your very own venting party. Pour yourself a cup of tea or cacao, grab an glass of organic IPA or pour yourself a glass of organic wine (I recommend red). Have some delicious raw chocolate on hand. Get some paper and a pen and pull up a chair.In this letter, write whatever you want to say to your former partner — they are not going to read this, so have at it. If you feel angry and want to tell them how you feel, do so. If you feel sad and lost beyond all comprehension, get it out. Put it down on paper. Tap into those emotions. Don’t hold back. Let it all out. This is your opportunity and invitation to spew on paper.

    Read it. Enjoy some of that tea, wine, beer, or chocolate. Are you feeling a little better now? Ready for the next step? Set your beverage aside and take a deep breath. This is a biggie.

    Go back through that letter. Every time you wrote your former partner’s name or referenced them, cross it out. Write your name in there. Ooh. Ouch. Heavy, yeah? Here’s a little secret…are you listening?

    Almost everything we dislike or cannot accept in our partner is a reflection of where we are not accepting, liking, or loving ourselves.

    Reread the letter. Allow yourself to feel what you just wrote about yourself. Cry if you need to. Yell if you need to. Allow those emotions to move through you.

    Write yourself another letter, this time giving yourself what your heart needs, whatever it is you need most in this moment. Read the letter and allow it to permeate throughout your being. How are you feeling?

    Take the letters and ceremoniously burn them. Offer them up to the Universe. Note any words or phrases that do not burn.

  3. Check your Back.
    Seriously. Turn around and look at your back. If you can’t see your back, have an authentic friend who is not afraid to be real with you check it for you. Is there a sign back there that says “KICK ME“?Who put it there? Are you beating yourself up? Playing the blame game? Kicking yourself when you’re already down and out? Mmm. I bet it doesn’t feel very good, does it? Would you like to take sign off?
  4. Dance.
    Yes. Dance. Not only have you been invited to a venting party, you are also invited to a daily get up and dance party.What is your absolute favorite song that you can’t resist dancing to? Each and every morning when you awaken, you are invited to join the dancing brother- and sister-hood of awesome people who choose to start their day with a song in their heart and a beat under their feet. It will change your day.

    Play that song every morning and dance. You can dance in your bedroom, in the bathroom, the kitchen, the family room; in your pajamas, in your work clothes, in the nude. Grab a mop or a broom — I won’t tell! Have at it and dance your heart out for those 3-5 min.

  5. Go on an Adventure.
    What makes you happy? What makes you come alive? What makes you want to get out of bed each and every morning? What is it about you that drives you to get up every day?We’re about to take a trip and go on an adventure into discovering what you enjoy, what you love, what lights you up from the inside and invites you to smile from ear to ear and laugh with such abandonment that your belly hurts and tears stream from your eyes. No one can answer what that is but you. It’s there. It may not feel like it, but it is.

    If you’re not sure how to do that or where to start, let me know. I’m happy to help.

Bonus: Live a Life of Pleasure.
I’m not necessarily inviting you to explore hedonism. Or, maybe I am, comparatively speaking in a society where the general consensus is that martyrdom is the norm and people tend to have their panties in a wad.

Once you discover what it is you enjoy doing for you, (and does no harm to yourself or society), go out and do it. You want to enjoy a dinner at the fancy restaurant in town? Take yourself out! Want to go away on a vacation? Go ahead and go! Love flowers but don’t feel like buying yourself flowers? No offense, but get over it and go buy yourself some. Put them in a gorgeous vase and enjoy. What’s holding you back?


 

If you’re curious and ready to get your groove back, you are invited to join me and my dear friend and colleague, Diana Deaver, this Oct. for a 4-day all inclusive luxury retreat where we’ll be diving into the heart of this and much more. You can learn more here.


10 Tips to Nourish Yourself – Part 2

Thanks for joining us again. If you missed Part 1, you can view it here.

Without further delay, here are tips 6-10:

6. Go outside and connect with nature.
IMG_1753Have you ever laid upon the earth and noticed how incredible it feels to do so? When was the last time you watched the stars come out at night? The sun rise in the morning? We spend so much time, in general, surrounded by technology in our man made concrete jungle, that we have largely become disconnected from who and what we are. We are human beings, not human doings. Unplug. Go visit the forest, the beach, or the mountains. Kick your shoes off, close your eyes, and allow yourself to connect with the earth. You may notice you breathe more fully. Your stress may decrease significantly. Your mood may brighten, and you may feel more grounded. If you feel so bold and daring as to be called a tree-hugger by your friends, please do hug a tree. If you “listen” carefully, you can “hear” the flow of movement within the tree, “hear” it “speak.” Yes, I hug trees. Part of me feels ashamed to share that with you. Interesting.

7. Breathe.
Some would argue that this should be first on the list. Without breath, we would not be alive. So, breathing is just a little important.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to receive a deep breath? Can you receive a deep breath? Can you fully exhale? When you inhale, where do you breathe from? What is your belly doing? Are you a chest breather? A mouth breather? A noisy breather? Are you really breathing or do you just think you are breathing? Dysfunctional breathing patterns are a sign that your system, your body, is under stress.

I invite you to lie on your back, place a small sandbag, bag of rice, or herbal hot pack on your abdomen. Which direction does it move when you inhale? It should move up towards the ceiling. Draw your attention to your ribs. Are they expanding laterally? Posteriorly? Can you breath in 360°? I would like to invite you to take a few moments and breathe. Focus on slow, steady, quiet breathing, inhaling through the nose for a count of three, exhaling through the nose for a count of 5-6. You may find yourself experiencing emotions as you relax and let go. Allow yourself to feel them, to experience them, and let them go. Experience what it is like to feel, to receive and to give breath, and to relax.

8. Meditate.
Perhaps it would be worth exploring tips 6-8 together? Have you ever noticed how noisy our minds can be?! I don’t know about yours, but mind used to wander like crazy (and still does at times)! I would sit in meditation and find my mind wondering about what I had to do, what was going on in my life that was stressing me out, what to cook for dinner…inhale for three, exhale for six. Why can’t I relax? Breathe in, breathe out. Is this over yet? Has it been five minutes? My bum hurts and my feet are falling asleep. There goes my mind again. Monkey brain, monkey brain. Focus on the breath. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Sound familiar? It does get easier.

Meditation has many benefits, including, but not limited to the following:

  • reduces stress
  • lowers high blood pressure
  • decreases tension within the body
  • increases serotonin
  • increases the immune system’s ability to fight infection
  • increases energy
  • increases mental clarity
  • increases emotional steadiness

There are numerous meditation apps out there. I invite you to try one and incorporate 5-10 minutes of daily meditation into your life. Who knows, it may just carry over into the amazing art of what I consider moving meditation, like what my friend Rusty is doing here:
10568800_10100257140934739_5982001169600630633_n10403308_10100257140136339_8811961264099672713_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Play and allow your inner child to express his/her unique, creative self.
Now we’re getting serious. When was the last time you played? Really played and had fun and allowed yourself to be wild and carefree? What were some of your favorite things to do as a child? I loved climbing on things, swinging, sitting under this huge blue spruce tree in the backyard and making mud pies, blowing bubbles and running around to pop them…

What would you do right here, right now if no one was watching that would invite your inner child to giggle with sheer delight? What’s stopping you from doing that? I’ll admit, this is a topic that likely has many layers to it and may very well warrant a post of its own.

One of the things my inner child likes to do is write. She also likes to swing, though I get nauseous if I swing for too long. She loved the experience of contradancing, and would probably enjoy contact improve…and, I’m a horrible dancer and haven’t done it in a long time. She likes to climb on things, slide down slides, and be upside down on her hands. She loves to laugh and laugh with you.

What are some things you could do right here, right now that would allow your unique inner child to express him/herself through you? I’d love to hear about it from you. You won’t be judged, even if it means catching frogs or, holding a pumpkin and acting like it’s a microphone. Go for it and have fun!

IMAG0121

DSCN0486

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Ask yourself what makes you happy and go do it.
What invites you to feel happy? Only you can answer this. What can you do for yourself to welcome more happiness into your life? Do you feel happy? Do you really feel happy or are you in denial that you are unhappy? I’m curious, what does true happiness mean to you?

This isn’t a fake it until you make it post. I’m inviting you to consider one thing, just one that invites you to feel happy. One thing that invites me to feel happy is taking care of myself and moving my body every day. Another is spending time connecting with people I love and care for. I would like to invite you to spend some time every day doing one thing that invites you to experience happiness.

Bonus:
11. Be curious about yourself.
Have you noticed how certain patterns may reappear in your life? Have you noticed that sometimes you are triggered for no reason whatsoever or that seemingly trivial situations leave you worked up and in a tizzy? Have you wondered about your dreams and what they may be telling you?

Would you consider being curious about yourself? What does that mean? Rather than rationalizing and accepting things at face value, would you consider asking yourself “why”? Would you consider asking yourself “what”? Would you consider asking yourself “is this true,” or “is this for my highest good at this moment in time”? I’ll admit that asking questions often leads to more questions and few answers. However, the answers are sometimes in the questions themselves. By remaining curious about ourselves, we may open ourselves up to a realm of possibility that may not be realized otherwise.

How do you nourish yourself? I would enjoy hearing from you below. Please feel free to share some of the ways you nourish yourself. If you find that you’re not nourishing yourself or don’t know where to start, please shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help guide you.


10 Tips to Nourish Yourself – Part 1

How are you at taking care of, well, you? Are you caring for yourself as well as you could be or should be? I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I fall short of nourishing myself. After mildly injuring myself last week, I found myself asking myself those questions.

If we have a bit too much go-go and do-do in our lives, then we may find ourselves setting ourselves up for the opportunity for a bit of doodoo to land in our face, our lap, or on the bottom of our shoes. When that happens, life can become rather stinky. To help keep the roses smelling rosy and the air fresh and crisp (Don’t you just love autumn?), to find more balance and nourish yourself, check out these 10 tips:

1. Drink quality water.
A lot of seemingly unconnected symptoms may be connected to dehydration. Drink water and you may find yourself feeling better. A good rule of thumb, and this is just a guideline mind you, everyone has their own unique needs, is to drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water. This is different for those who use kg for bodyweight…in that case it’s closer to a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you weigh 180 lbs, a guideline is to drink 90 ounces water. Again, this is just a rough guideline. You may need more or less depending on your body and its needs. By the way, if it’s not clear, it’s not water, it’s food.

2. Eat quality, wholesome food from healthy plants and animals.
You are what you eat. If you eat diseased animal, you get diseased animal. If you eat diseased plants, you get diseased animal. If you eat pesticide laden food, you get a toxic animal. If you eat crap, well, you get crap. Got it? It’s not necessary to be perfect all the time. Who doesn’t enjoy a treat every now and then? I’d recommend aiming to eat well and healthy 80% of the time.

Three of our favorite nourishing foods (note, foods, not meals) are the following:

Not only are they nourishing from a nutritional standpoint, they are also what I would consider “soul food.”

3. Develop a relationship with your food.
Turn the TV off. Set the computer and iThingys aside. Put the newspaper, magazine, or book down. Disconnect from your disconnections and connect with your food and the people who may be sitting in front of or next to you. You may find yourself chewing your food more thoroughly, tasting what you are eating, getting more full sooner, and maybe, just maybe sharing a conversation. I would invite you to consider chewing your food until it is liquid or nearly so. As Paul Chek says, “Drink your food. Chew your water.”

4. Sleep.
That’s a shocker! Yes, we need sleep. Quality sleep. How well and how long you sleep for you (everyone has their individual needs), will impact your health and well-being. If you’ve been experiencing yourself short of temper, prone to emotional outbursts, facing difficultly thinking clearly, feeling sluggish in the gym…sleep, or lack thereof, may be a contributing factor.

5. Move.
In my opinion, don’t just move. Ask yourself why you are moving your body. What are you moving for? What are you hoping to get out of moving your body? Are you beating yourself up in the gym or doing endless hours of cardio? Are you burning yourself out? Maybe you need to slow down and invite more yin-like movements into your day. High intensity go-go, more, more, harder, harder, and faster, faster isn’t often what our bodies need. They need balance. If your life and job are super stressful, maybe stressing yourself physiologically is pushing you over the edge. Check out these videos by my dear teacher and friend Benny Fergusson of Cohesion Gym for a quick glimpse into this topic. Although I see it far less often, maybe you need to move more. If you’re finding difficultly finding balance, I invite you to reach out to a holistic movement specialist who can guide you to bring balance back into your movement and your life.

Click here for Part 2, after you watch the videos.