Balance: Day 1 of the #ckyogachallenge

Balance is a hot topic. Finding balance with work/life, working out/chilling on the couch, splitting your time between family/friends, eating well/grabbing what’s available. Forever tipping the scale one way or the other can be exhausting!

Today is Day 1 of the #ckyogachallenge and it’s all about balance. In fact, the next 3 days will be all about balance – diving into Yoga poses that help our physical balance paired with nutritional tips that will help balance our insides. Finding balance inside and out is so essential to your physical and mental well-being.

Balance Day 1:  Tree Pose
Balance Day 1: Tree Pose

Today’s pose is Tree Pose.

Finding balance within this pose can be challenging, but calming once found. Plant your feet firmly hip width apart, rooting down. Raise your right foot and place on your calf (with your toes still on the cround, heel resting on your calf) or you can pick up your whole food and place firmly on your walk, knee pointing to the right, or you can grab your foot and place it on your inner thigh. Just avoid your knee joint. Raise your hands, breathe, focus. Pick a spot in front of you to focus on – you can even repeat an affirmation to help you hone in: I am balanced, I am calm, I am strong. Make sure you hold for a few breathes or minutes if you can. Switch sides and repeat.

Balance isn’t just about how long you can stand on one foot, although it’s a good start! Finding balance nutritionally can be challenging and overwhelming as well! Your body needs a ton of good nutrients to be in balance and function properly. Hormonal Balance is also essential and can be achieved by eating macro nutrients: carbs, protein, and good fat.

What the heck is hormonal balance!? The Endocrine System controls your bodys’ functions by producing and storing hormones  (think metabolism, mood, digestive function, bone growth, reproduction). Having well-balanced hormones is kind of a big deal.

How in the heck do you get well-balanced hormones!? By eating a well-balanced diet of course! By consuming a variety of macro-nutrients (carbs, protein, and good fats) your hormones will be kept in check and your body will function like a rock star, you’ll have increased energy, better skin, good digestion and a strong immune system.

OMG, you NEED fat!? Ummm, yes! Get off the low-fat, low-calorie kick (especially with artificial sweeteners!) Eating the RIGHT kind of natural fat is essential for your body’s growth, function, development. Seriously, eat your good fat.

What do I eat!? Well, here’s a few ideas…

Good Fats = Hormonal Balance
Good Fats = Hormonal Balance

Avocados

High in potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E these green beauties are not only delicious, but super good for you! Put them on sandwiches, rice cakes, top them on asian dishes, make spring rolls, add them to smoothies, make guacamole….the list goes on and on for the things you can do with this super food. Mike and I ALWAYS have avocados in the house – they are a staple!

Coconut Oil

If you’re cooking on a regular basis, it is time to try Coconut oil! It contains lauric acid which helps repair the skin and boosts hormone production.  And it helps kill bad bacteria in the body (take that flu season!) it’s easy to digest and gives a quick energy boost. Try adding it to a pre-workout smoothie, cook your veggies with it, and substitute your butter for this healthy bacteria fighting goodness.

There’s a million other nutrient-dense foods, spices and herbs that will get your body balanced in a bad a#$ kinda way. Remember, balancing your insides are as important, if not more so as your outside. If you are noshing on the right stuff, your guts will be balanced & your tree pose will be balanced from the inside out.

Happy Balancing!

Fundamentals & Dedication

Fundamentals: Core, Breathe, Balance, Practice
Fundamentals: Core, Breathe, Balance, Practice

The #mindbodyyogachallenge is picking up steam!

Day 2 was all about Fundamentals. Bringing it back to the basics, the simplicities of not only yoga or fitness, but life in general. Taking a walk in the sunshine. Playing with your dogs in the backyard. Blaring Christmas music while you make dinner. Breathing.

The affirmation I paired with it: I have all I need within me to be great!

We often search outside for what we need…a job, a pat on the back from the boss, a boyfriend or girlfriend telling us what we’re capable of. Why do we do this!? Seriously, the fundamentals lie within us.

Core. Breathe. Balance. Practice.

These may seem like they’re only relating to Yoga, but think about it. You need a strong core in life, so that when you are in a situation that doesn’t work for you or an instance where people are telling you you can’t….you tighten your core and know what to do. Go with your gut!

Breathe is essential in all aspects, yet we forget to give it attention. It can help calm us, steady us, center us. Going back to your breathe can save you.

Balance is a tricky one, because too far over to one side (work, home, friends, family) and you can fall. Finding balance between good and bad, self and self-less, nurture and indulge. It’s hard, and it takes time and practice….everything you want to be better in your life takes work & practice.

I asked people to go back to the fundamentals with 4 Sun Salutation B in a row. Starting with a basic pose and building on almost guarantees success. There are no shortcuts to greatness.

Today’s theme: Dedication

This separates the good from the spectacular. We can all give our all for awhile, partaking in the above and beyond here and there. But bringing that ferocity, passion, dedication to all aspects of your life? To your health and wellness? Fad diets, all-the-rage routines are cool for a bit, hell I’ve totally hopped on those trains (and honestly, don’t think there’s anything wrong with variety). But is what you’re doing sustainable? Will you be able to lift 200 lbs of weights over your head for months and years and decades? Can your body afford to go on a cleanse diet several times a month? Are you dedicated to your well-being? What are you doing about it?

The Affirmation: I will dedicate time to my wellness each day, both my physical & mental, to become the best version of myself.

You get one run at this life. You get one place to live: your body. Your mind follows you everywhere. Dedicate time to your body & mind. Try 10 minutes of yoga today – even if it’s basic. Need to know where to start or have questions? Feel free to ask!

Happy Dedicating!

Motivation

Happy Day 1 of the #mindbodyyogachallenge!

Today’s theme: motivation

Today’s affirmation: I have the motivation within myself to do anything I put my mind to.

Yoga Assignment: 5 sun salutations in a row

Motivation can be fleeting. You get really excited about a workout routine, a new project, a goal. It can be hard to keep up the stamina though!

That’s what today is about….asking yourself what motivates you? What challenges you in a way that propels you forward?

I set my alarm early (5:50 MST), got up to do a 20 min yoga flow that ended with 5 sun salutations (today’s Yoga Assignment for you!) When I start my day with yoga, I feel so energized, focused, ready to begin! Plus, knowing that it was Day 1 of this challenge got me pumped. What motivates you? Are you motivated by others? By music? By money? What gets you up and raring to go?

There’s motivation in motivating, so try 5 sun salutations in a row and see how you feel! Follow me @clawrencester & @mamaste on instagram along our 21 day challenge. There’s strength in numbers!!

Not sure how to do a sun salutation? Check out these step-by-step instructions: Sun Salutation or check out Mamaste Yoga’s Facebook page.

Happy Monday!