Monday, October 23, 2017

Reasons to do Kids Yoga

In case you're still not convinced!

"If you are wondering what to do this weekend together with your little one, yoga might just be the perfect activity. In a world of busy parents, study pressures, tight schedules, unending tuition lessons and competitive sports, the bustling pace of life can take a toll on your child’s emotional and mental health. Yoga counters these pressures by teaching your child techniques for self-health, relaxation and inner fulfilment.
Here are four reasons why yoga should be the family’s brand new weekend routine:

Yoga teaches us about our body

Yoga stretches your body out, and strengthens it at the same time. Different muscle groups are targeted in different poses and this helps to build strength. Bodies that are strong digest food better and can maintain a healthy weight more easily. Additionally, balancing poses force you to focus your mind, helping to deal with attention struggles as well as increasing body awareness and coordination.

Yoga teaches us to quieten our mind
People often talk about the Zen yoga brings. Balancing a pose, or learning how to breathe helps reduce stress levels and release healthy hormones. This is because yoga often requires us to be still, and this in return gives us an intrinsic meditative strength that is innate – one that quietens our mind. When the world outside is a whirlwind, inner peace can help your child regulate his/her temper, as well as promote clarity of the mind for better absorption of information. This is good for both parent and child because it helps the both of you to relax your minds.

Yoga teaches us about taking care of ourselves

Practicing yoga is a form of workout albeit it being a light one. This is one of the methods that indicates self-care. Taking care of yourself by calming the mind and learning more about your body shows your child that it is a form of self-love. After all, the greatest form of love is self-love, right?

oga teaches us to be in control of our bodies

When a certain pose hurts or it is beyond our limits, we learn that we can modify it to fit our bodies’ strength and flexibility. This teaches us to be in control of our body. We get to recognize the body’s weaknesses and strengths, and this knowledge helps us work on what we are weaker in whilst boosting self-confidence. We then learn that we are the managers of our own bodies, and hence we have to manage it well.
The benefits of yoga for both adults and children are endless and it is a great routine to stick to. Remember to keep it fun!

Thursday, October 19, 2017


I got across a catchy headline: "Yes, You Can Get A Massage Every Day Without Breaking The Bank"... Of course it caught my attention!
"As a health coach, there's no recovery method I rely on more than massage. Additionally, it's the number one thing I recommend to my clients. Unfortunately, massages can get expensive—but that hasn't stopped me.
In fact, I've found several cost-effective, time-efficient ways to hack my own self-massage. I've relayed these methods to my clients, and they love having these tools at their disposal and often report how much better they feel in their bodies. They're recovering faster, breathing easier, sleeping better, and rocking their workouts.
If you're ready to incorporate self-massage into your routine—or want a few tips for a less expensive massage—here are a few foolproof ideas for you:

Roll out your feet and glutes with massage balls. 
Roll out your feet and glutes with massage balls. Runners and sprinters, listen up: I swear by this specific mini green ball ($6) for rolling out achy feet and a standard lacrosse ball ($6.99) for digging in to tight glute muscles. If you're lifting heavy weights, wearing heels, or sitting a ton, you'll also want to pay specific attention to these areas before you develop inflammation issues like plantar fasciitis, tight calves, or chronic pinching in your lower back from overactive glute muscles.
Buy a foam roller and keep it in front of the TV
If your legs, butt, or back feel stiff, spending 10 minutes on your foam roller melts away tension, stretches out your muscles and fascia, and promotes circulation of fresh blood for true healing and regeneration. Foam rolling can feel awkward at first, but I promise, after just a few times, you'll build up a rhythm and spot the tight spots right away. Try to roll 10 times over each sore muscle and pause over the tightest areas, breathing through the tension. I recommend this standard one from Amazon for just $18.99. Split the cost with your roommate, and remind each other to roll when you're home watching TV.
Go to the nail salon
Here's a cost-effective idea: Got to a nail salon and ask for the 10-minute massage. Be specific with what you want: Request attention to a tight neck muscle, and ask for deep pressure. I like paying in cash and tipping $3 or $4 for good service. Bonus points if you play hooky from work and sneak in this 10-minute massage for an energy-boosting, stress-relieving midday reboot for your brain and body.
Take a salt bath
Next time you swing by the pharmacy, pick up a 3-pound bag of Epsom salts. Pour the entire bag into a hot bath and soak for 10 to 20 minutes. You'll melt your muscles and sleep like a baby because of the mineral magnesium in the Epsom salts. Don't have a nice bathroom? Buy yourself a foot-soaking tub instead, pour in the Epsom salts, and enjoy some magical self-care for your feet.
Trade foot massages
Here's a completely free idea: Sync up with your partner and exchange foot massages while watching a movie or enjoying the early fall sunset. Promise each other you'll give it your best efforts, and if one of you is slacking, give each other a nudge! Set up a timer if you'd like, or just massage until you lose steam. Five to 10 minutes a foot seems to work best."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Being barefoot benefits brain development and more!

Good thing we always practice yoga with no socks!

It drove my mother crazy when I went barefoot as a kid. Still does – because I’m in stockinged feet in the fall and winter and barefoot the rest of the time!
I can’t stand the confinement of shoes. And I’ve long been an advocate for children to go without them. As I wrote in the very first edition of my textbook:
“Children have been moving in sneakers for physical activity for so long we seem to have forgotten that feet do have sentient qualities. They can be used to grip the floor for strength and balance, and their different parts (toes, ball, sole, heel) can be more easily felt and used when bare. Furthermore, there is evidence indicating that going barefoot strengthens feet and improves body alignment. Young children feel a natural affinity for the ground that can be enhanced by removing all the barriers between it and the feet.”
Nothing really startling there. But you might be surprised to learn that there’s scientific evidence that barefooted is better. Among other things, it’s important to development of the nervous system and to optimal brain development as well! Turns out the feet are the most nerve-rich parts of the human body, which means they contribute to the building of neurological pathways in the brain. Covering them in shoes, therefore, means we’re eliminating all kinds of opportunities for children’s brains to grow new neural connections.
Of course, it’s worry that keeps parents and teachers from setting children’s feet free. One common concern is that kids will contract germs by going barefoot. (That’s my mother’s issue.) But our skin is designed to keep pathogens out. We’re much more likely to become ill from touching something with our hands, which are in contact with so many things during the course of a day. I’d hate to think we’d keep kids in gloves all day to prevent germs!
There’s also concern about injury. But being barefoot actually toughens up the bottom of the feet, so unless children are walking through a construction site full of nails, the likelihood that they’ll injure themselves is slim.
The truth is, many podiatrists contend that shoes can be much more harmful to little feet than nakedness can. Feet should be allowed to develop naturally, not conform to the shape of a shoe. Also, shoes can often constrict movement of the feet, and can negatively impact walking, balance, sensory development, and proprioception (the understanding of our body’s orientation in the space around us).
If you’re worried about the potential chaos of many children shedding shoes and socks at the same time, you can establish and practice routines for removing and retrieving footwear. Socks should be put inside shoes and shoes lined up against a wall or placed in each child’s cubby. And should you have children who are reluctant to remove shoes and socks, you can encourage them with concepts like “barefoot time” or, for toddlers, “tippy-toe time.” They’ll also become more enthusiastic about bare feet if you remove your shoes and socks as well.
If you still face reluctance (and even if you don’t!), offer sensory experiences like those shown in a couple of fabulous videos online. In them, children are walking barefoot through plastic bins filled with many different textures, including water, soapy water, sand, leaves, and more. It would be the rare child who’d pass up temptations like these!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Spending time outside

I strongly agree with this article. Having spent the last couple of weeks indoors, I appreciate even more the energy and power of outdoors. Even if I'm not practicing yoga yet! Important to invite children to play and spend time outside too.
"I have notoriously suffered from gut health issues for my entire life. My parents say that I came out of the womb with stomach problems. Colic, acid reflux, food sensitivities and allergies; you name it, I’ve had it. Always. I used to scream every time they would feed me. How's that for developing a positive relationship with food?
My journey to ease my gut health and try to get my stomach issues under control has been a long one with a very windy road. I always say that as much as my stomach problems challenge me, they have also been my greatest blessing. Without them, I wouldn't have become so passionate about health and wellness.
Now wellness, nutrition, exercise, and overall seeking every opportunity to feel good and write about it has become my career, so I guess I should say, "Thank you, gut health problems."
One thing I have found that helps immeasurably with my stomach problems is getting outside, immersing myself in nature, and moving my body intuitively. Active recovery outside has become my refuge, and my body now craves it from the inside out. It sounds so simple, but returning our bodies to the earth is one of the most healing things we can do for ourselves.
Have you ever heard of grounding? Here's the concept: When we touch our bare feet to the earth—i.e., walking on the wet sand, standing tall in the dirt on a hike, wiggling our toes in the grass—then we soak up the natural, subtle energy that nature has to offer us. In essence, grounding our feet into the earth re-connects us to who we are at our core.
The infusion of energy is incredibly powerful! I do this as often as I can, which means that yes, I am that girl who takes her shoes off at the top of a hike in order to feel the dirt between my toes. Call me crazy, but the proof is in the pudding. Nature has so many healing properties, including massive amounts of stress reduction.
It’s no secret that so many of our gut health issues are related to the stress of modern life. I don't know about you, but I have to make a conscious effort to wake up and not look directly at my text messages and the rising number in my email inbox. Instead, I make the choice to re-connect. To myself, and to my true intentions for the day and how I want to show up for myself and the people in my life.
Getting outside and moving intuitively is one of the key ways I am able to stay consistent with those choices. It’s not about rejecting technology—I built my blog and brand solely off the beauties of technology and social media!—but about learning to balance the intake of electronics and being "on" with being able to totally shut off and return to nature.
It’s also no secret that I have gotten pretty "hippie" over the last few years. If you’ve followed my arc on Instagram alone, then you know I have made some serious shifts in my lifestyle to include so much more self-care, downtime, intuitive movement, outside time, and soul-nourishing activities. The shifts have changed everything about me in such a positive way, from my gut health to my business.
A few gut-health benefits I have experienced from my intuitive movement outdoors (i.e., going on a walk or a hike instead of a hard-core run or an indoor HIIT class) are less bloating and pain, more ease with digestion, and much more access to my intuitive sense about the foods I need each day to nourish myself and feel my best. When I feel that rising ball of stress in my stomach, I pop outside and go for a walk. Even better, I try to make my way to the beach or to the mountains for a hike.
It’s also not about rejecting those more intense workouts or indoor exercise but rather about balancing them with getting outside. Vitamin D has so many healing properties too, not to mention it will make you a happier person overall.
If anything, I try to focus on doing the things that make me feel my best from the inside out. Being outside makes me happy, helps clear my head, gives me more access to my creative stimulation and new ideas, and of course—eases those gut problems! It’s simple and far more basic than all of the other things I do for my gut health. We all deserve to feel our best every day after all, and the medicine of nature is there for us at any time of day, always."

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