At-Home Yoga

I enjoy the people I work with so much, that sometime it is hard for me to do an at-home yoga session. I love being with my clients. I love the energy, the music, and the people I’ve come to know and chat with before and after class. But sometimes I don’t have time to run to a class or work in a group.

at-home Yoga

1. Find a space in your home or apartment that you’d look forward to practicing in. Maybe it’s by a window, maybe it’s a cozy den, or maybe it’s right next to your bed so you can roll out of bed in the morning and get right to it. Having a “yoga spot” can help you get over to your mat and practice.

2. Make your space relaxing and comforting. Make your at-home yoga studio a retreat. Light a candle, dim the lights and try to make it a relaxing experience.

3. Find a yoga video you love. Everyone has a favorite teacher or teachers. If you are lucky, they’ve made a video.There are hundreds of teachers at your fingertips when you search online (Try MyYoga), so you’re likely to find one that fits your needs. Having a go-to teacher or a favorite class can be a great way to make you want to practice.

4. Memorize some of your favorite flows and start to practice on your own. Doing yoga without being led is a completely different experience than following along with an instructor. You get a better sense of how the poses feel throughout your body. You may even start to notice which transitions you enjoy and can start to build your own flow. Plus, you get to move at your own pace, which can be a real treat, especially if you want to enjoy child’s pose just a little bit longer.

5. Make it your own group. Turn your at-home yoga sessions in to your own class with friends and family. Invite the girls over!

6. Take advantage of your couch and practice inversions. A lot of people fear inversions because they fear falling and getting hurt. I’ve found that practicing in front of my couch takes away all of my fear because if I fall over, I just land on my couch. When you practice against the wall, you never really get to chance to practice balancing because if you go too far you hit the wall. Practicing in front of your couch allows you to get the sense of being in the middle of the room, without actually being in the middle of the room. (Note: if you’re new to inversions, you’ll want to practice with a teacher for your beginning attempts to avoid injury, our new yoga instructor can help!)

Like anything else, practicing at-home yoga is a habit that can be built. So roll out your mat and get your stretch on.

 

First Time Juicing

Many of you know that juicing is one of my love languages. I tell clients about it, I post recipes for it, I send pictures of it. I can’t explain enough how much I love the health of juicing and smoothies. So when my virtual assistant asked about juicing, I gave her my usual download of information full of excitement, and everything she would need for her first time juicing, and then it hit me. Most people are probably tired of hearing how amazing juicing is from people who have been doing it forever. So I asked her to share her experience with you. Indianapolis Wellness Family, meet Codi Quick, my virtual assistant.

Codi QuickFirst Time Juicing

My first time juicing? Well, let’s say it was an adventure. You picture this glorious kitchen, fruits and vegetables neatly piled, all clean and fresh. Maybe even me in my yoga pants, hair in a cute pony tail, and my brightly colored sneakers. Sounds nice right? Healthy and fit. Well, that is not at all how it went.

I thought I had a “juicer” attachment for my handy little chop/blend machine that I will leave unnamed. I have had it for years, and have never put the juicer attachment to work. Can you tell that I was a bit skeptical about this whole idea? But now I had built myself up, and I was excited about my first time juicing. I was ready to give it a try! I followed Lacey’s advice and started with a simple recipe­­-a granny smith apple and a couple carrots. I get my “juicer” all ready, stick my carrot in. Push down on the plunger…push harder…push a little harder. I continued to shove my produce into this thing the best I could. The result was not this beautiful picture of my first time juicing. Actually the result was nothing edible or drinkable. I had this small amount of mush in a jar, a sticky kitchen, and a lot of frustration. This obviously was not going to work for me.

But Lacey is full of encouragement, and I did try again. This time, I purchased a real juicer. I read all the instruction because I was determined this attempt was going to be better. This juicer made a huge difference. I put in my first carrot and couldn’t believe the result. This thing ate it up like it was nothing and out came the orange liquid-no chunks, no mush. Couple more carrots in and an apple, took only seconds. In my little pitcher was this vibrant color juice. So I did it. Simply stirred it up, and drank it. And to my true surprise, it was good. It was real good.

As the next few days went by, I tried more and more recipes. And it all became very exciting to be honest. I would search for hours online about juicing and my juicer. Tips and trick, health benefits, the dos and don’ts and information galore! It really was a whole world that I had never seen before. You see people throwing a little of everything in. Here is where another adventure begins. You start getting confident and exploring new combinations. Some juices are better than others. Personally, I like them colder, and would pour them over ice. I got adventurous. I was able to juice Kale, and actually not hate it. I did find where I draw the line. Beets! The only juice that I could not finish contained beets. And not a lot of beets. I am sure there are people out there who enjoy it (Lacey!), but that is just not a taste I could get over. As stubborn as I am, I still convinced myself to try another recipe that had beet…several weeks later. It is hard to not get in to it when they say something is so good for you, so I had to try again. Moral of the story, I obviously don’t like beets! AT ALL! But the cool thing is I am still eating more produce now that I probably ever have, even if I avoid the beets.

I will be honest. I am an average person. I am not a “health nut.” I really love pizza! But I know that my diet and nutrition are important and I do look for ways to improve health and still indulge a little. My first time juicing may not be a glory moment; actually, my juicing today doesn’t look anything like those pictures. But I am now juicing at least five times a week, and I actually do enjoy it. It is a quick easy way to get my breakfast in, and let me tell you, I hit my daily recommended veggie and fruit intake now, where I never did before. On the days I don’t juice, I notice a difference in my energy and sleep.

It may not be earth shattering, but I like the positive lifestyle change. It is the baby steps in the right direction that are sustainable, and juicing has been a habit that I can keep. So you don’t have to go crazy. You don’t have to do a cleanse or fast. But try it for a meal, you might be surprised.

Want to learn how to juice or make small changes that have a big impact on your health and wellness? Contact our wellness coach to get a plan build just for you.

6 Tips for Finding Self-Love

Love is a beautiful, enchanting thing. It is held dearly and shared amongst friends, lovers, and relatives, passed down through generations like a precious heirloom. It’s that one thing we all yearn for so desperately. We search endlessly for it, lifetime after lifetime, seeking out the comfort of love in all the wrong places, and if we’re lucky, in all the right places. It resides in between pages of novels about star-crossed lovers and in the hearts of new mothers’, cradling their babies for the first time. Love is the key to a peaceful world, a better place, a new hope. Imagine a world filled with not only love for others, but love for ourselves. A love so deeply rooted within our bones and soul that it’s only natural to let it flow freely. We seem to have disconnected completely from our inner spirit, our love, and the degradation of our self-love burns a bright path to slowly destroying our planet as a result. We can heal this though.  It starts with each of us and our ability to love ourselves through and through and building that sacred bond that transforms us entirely. Self-love can be renewed, built or simply maintained by following some healing core concepts as defined. Come in to this experience with an open heart and mind in tow.

Find Your Self-Love

● Self love starts with self-acceptance: It’s easy to be hard on yourself or to punish yourself for being a certain way, doing a certain thing or showing a specific behavior. Everyone has self-doubt, an inner shadow within your ego that belittles you for what you ate for breakfast or how little work you did over the weekend. In order to begin the flow of authentic self-love, you must accept yourself fully and truly. Instead of focusing on the negative aspect of something or judging yourself, simply accept whatever it may be and say to yourself aloud “I accept this part of me and I release any negative energy surrounding it. I choose to heal and live in a path of love and light towards myself.” Then simply let that thought go. You can practice this in a moment of self-judgement to bring awareness to any self-destructive habits and replace it with thoughts of abundant love.

● Look into your own eyes: You know that feeling of staring dreamily into your partner’s eyes? Try channeling that love while looking into your own eyes in the mirror. You can do this as a daily practice for a set number of minutes or simply do this anytime you come face to face with yourself, perhaps while washing your hands in the bathroom, applying your makeup or brushing your teeth. However long you choose to do this self-love mirror work, release any snap judgements
or harshness. Smile gently. Feel the love, warm and radiant, flowing through your entire body as you lock eyes with your reflection. She is you and she is beautiful. Acknowledge and accept yourself as you are, find something to love in the things you feel that you don’t. Saying positive affirmation aloud can be incredibly beneficial during this self-love ritual. Something as simple as “I love you,” or “You are beautiful,” can be effective in generating more awareness and love within.Self-Love

● Set aside time for you: Life is busy and hectic, but that’s no excuse to deny yourself some pleasure or relaxation. Carve out some time in your schedule each day to do something just for you. It can be as extravagant or indulgent as you want. Do you have a stack of books you’ve been itching to read? Pour yourself a cup of tea, sink down into your favorite chair and dive into the first one on your list. Is your body trying to tell you that it’s exhausted? Accept this with love and draw yourself a hot bath, toss in some epsom salts, a few drops of lavender essential oil, and soak luxuriously while listening to your favorite playlist by candlelight.

● Eat whole foods that nourish YOUR body: Getting caught up in the newest diet trend is a waste of your precious time and money. The real secret to losing weight, increasing energy and living a healthier, happier life is by eating real food. Everyone is unique and learning what foods make you glow inside and out will align you with your true path to healing, thus perpetuating the wondrous cycle of self love. It’s been said that when you look good, you feel good and perhaps even more rightly so, when you feel good, you look good. When you take the time to give your body what it actually needs, you are operating from a place of love and understanding. Real food can be defined as whole, unprocessed, and fresh. So whether you are an omnivore or a plant-based eater, you will undoubtedly benefit from choosing organic whole foods to nourish yourself–mind, body and soul. Our wellness coach can help you create a meal plan based on real food and give you more information about the impact of ingredients on your overall health.

● Embrace your passion: No matter what it is that you’re passionate about, whether it’s living a healthy lifestyle or a specific hobby, such as dancing or painting, pursue it wholeheartedly. Never let anyone or anything stop you from embracing who you are and what you enjoy or want. When you make the time to live in your passion zone, you are living on course with your authentic self. Authenticity is a catalyst for abundant self-love in all areas of your life.

● Be more mindfully sensual and feel: You don’t necessarily have to make this practice about enticing or attracting a mate or your partner. This practice is for you and your inner goddess. Take some time out to simply feel your body in the moment. If you’re doing yoga, feel your muscles stretch gently and be mindful of each movement as you transition to another pose. Or learn to start meditation. If you are drinking a beverage, engage all of your senses and feel the liquid as it swirls on your taste buds, igniting them. Simply be in your body and feel each pulse, each trigger, each touch or aroma you encounter. Experience it in that brief and fleeting moment. Take it all in and allow it to fuel your desire to be even more mindful. Nothing is more delicious than feeling every sensation and generating that positive self-love while doing so. Being in touch with your body is the gateway to self-love, so embrace it fully and without regard.

How to Start Meditation

Meditation is a mindful process and just another piece to overall wellness. We like to think of health as a whole, not just individual pieces. There are many aspects that go in to overall health, and none are less important than another because they all are connected. Part of our health and wellness coaching discusses Meditation and Yoga and the impact it can have on your health.

Meditation

Meditation isn’t easy in the beginning. If it was, everyone would be doing it and we’d all be happier, healthier, slightly saner people. My first attempt at meditation went a little something like this…Meditation

About a minute into the guided meditation, I began sweating and felt like I was on fire—this from just sitting still. As my body temperature began to rise, my brain started spewing thoughts uncontrollably. I felt like I was miserably failing meditation, which continued the complete loss of concentration. This went on for five minutes, the entire time, I wanted to get up and run out of the room.

I thought I had to silence my mind and my mind fought it the entire way. What I didn’t realize that first night was that I was missing the point. The noise doesn’t quiet down; it’s all about how you deal with it. When you learn to not engage with your thoughts, you find stillness in your mind, your breath, and your body.

Sounds nice, right? So how do you get there? Start small. I can’t stress that enough. If you go into meditation thinking you’re going to be sitting down for a half hour in a state of bliss, well, that’s probably not going to happen. In the beginning, five minutes will likely feel like an eternity. Start with three and see how it feels.

There are several different types of meditation, but I found in the beginning it was incredibly helpful to have a guided meditation practice. There are plenty available online. There are even apps you can purchase for your phone that will walk you through a meditation. Another popular technique is to focus on your breathing.

Breathe

  • If you have a yoga practice, it helps to meditate after yoga. (That is the point of yoga, after all; it prepares the body for meditation.)
  • Find a comfortable place to sit. You can sit upright in a chair with your feet grounded on the floor or you can sit cross-legged on the floor. If you decide to sit on the floor, it could help to sit up on a pillow or a rolled blanket to elevate your hips.
  • Once you’re seated comfortably, close your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale. Sit up tall. Picture warm water running from the center of your head and slowing washing over your body. Let each muscle slowly relax and as you picture the water running over it.
  • Softly focus on your breath. As thoughts come up, don’t engage with them. Acknowledge them and then let them go. Imagine they are a parade and you’re just watching them go by. If you get attached to one, notice it, then let go and refocus on your breath.
  • You want to move as little as possible during your meditation so your mind doesn’t get distracted. Notice if you get frustrated or uncomfortable at any point. This is normal. Just like your thoughts, let the emotions come and go without attaching to them. If you get lost, it’s okay, just remember to come back to your breath once you notice your mind has wandered.

Remember, this is the practice. And you have to practice at anything to get better at it. Your mind will never be completely empty. If you’re having a hard time getting started because your mind is so busy, try starting your meditation when you are the calmest. If that is in the morning before the day begins, try then. Some people do better after they have tackled the events and can let it all go, so maybe the afternoon or evening is best for them.

As you practice this more and more, you’ll start to apply the letting go to your daily life. If you get frustrated at work or mad in traffic, life’s little annoyances will be easier and easier to let go of. Eventually, you will learn how to engage less and less with your thoughts and just notice them. Slowly increase the length of your meditation and you’ll notice that sitting still with your thoughts gets a little easier each time.

Good luck!