Category: Wellness

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Bad Yogi’s Secret to Ushering in the New Year

 Can I be honest with you about something? With 2018 right around the corner, I’m trying not to fall back on old habits. I’m pretty easily swept up in the obsession over making grand and mostly unattainable New Years Resolutions, but I’m not gonna do that this time. And honestly, I think anyone interested in improving themselves is bound to feel obliged to use the end of the year to evaluate where they’ve been and where they want to go, even before the official New Year.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make positive changes to your life, but usually the anxiety over finding just the “right” thing to change comes from a place of guilt rather than a place of empowerment.

So instead of vowing to make massively life changing resolutions this year, what if we all took a moment to give ourselves a high five for a job ALREADY well done?

In fact, I’m going to let you in a little secret ritual I implemented for myself last year that I plan on carrying over to every single year for the rest of my life. Before I make a list of goals or things I want to achieve in the coming months, I make a list of everything I’m proud of accomplishing in the year before.

I set a timer for 10 minutes and write down every single point of pride I can think of. Some things are small, others are huge, but writing each thing down brings my accomplishments to life. It drags them out of the closet and forces me to say, “WOW! LOOK WHAT I DID!” I know, I know— congratulating ourselves is hard to do, but we have to do it once in a while!

We don’t take enough time to truly reflect on growth we’ve made unless someone external points it out to us. It’s time for that to stop. Practicing true self love can mean pursuing growth and self development, but it also has to include praise and appreciation for your “wins” along the way, no matter how small. 

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The bottom line is no matter where we are in our journey, we’re already completely whole, worthy, beautiful, and badass versions of ourselves. So the next time you sit down to evaluate where you are and where you’re headed, take a moment to appreciate everything you’ve already done and give yourself some love.

 

Over to you! How are you going to show yourself some love as we get ready to close out this year? Did you accomplish anything big (or small!) in 2017 that you’re proud of?

badyogibioErin is the co-Founder of Bad Yogi and a voice of real yogis everywhere. She is also the creator of the Perfect Body Yoga Program, which is centered around the belief that the “perfect” body is simply the healthiest version of the body you already have. In her spare time she’s a wine drinker, cheese eater, and not-your-average yoga teacher. She may be a Bad Yogi, but if she’s being totally honest, teaching yoga has been one of her greatest pleasures. She practices to feed her teaching, but she teaches to feed her life.

website: http://www.badyogi.com

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youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/badyogitv

 

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The Holiday 2017 Guide to Gifting with Intention

 

It’s the time of year where party time tends to trump time spent on your mat! So…..  we came up with this holiday guide to help inspire your gift giving for the yoga lovers, wellness enthusiasts and meditators in your life. Here’s our favourite products to keep you and your loved ones focussed on your physical and spiritual health into the new year!

  1. Inner Fire

2G2A1838_2000xInner Fire creates beautiful, high quality, suuuuuper comfy lifestyle clothing that fosters connection and honours Mother Earth.  We basically live in these Flower of Life leggings and everyone we know has these on their Holiday wish list!

 

 

2. Tiny Devotions

We obviously looove our mala beads and Tiny Devotions  is the original creator of gemstone malas. They have stepped up their mala game this year with their Limitless Collection. The Limitless mala is the first interchangeable mala in the universe. We love that you can change up your intentions with your fave guru stones. There are hundreds of combos and Tiny Devotions is always adding new amplifiers to this growing collection.

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3. ToeSox

We love that the ToeSox intention is to create products that enhance and support natural movement! We rock our Sox during Barre and pilates classes, so this is perfect gift for your ballerina bestie or fit mama who is all about working her core on those reformers we love to hate.

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4. La Vie Boheme Yoga

Who doesn’t need (or want) a mat that’s both beautiful AND extra comfy.  La Vie Boheme Yoga has chosen every single piece of their collection to represent their love of beautiful prints, and colors as well as functionality and comfort for daily practice.  We are in hearts with the starry vibes of the Celestial Hot Towel Mat. One for a gift and one for me?

 

 

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5. Christine Russell of 889 and doTERRA

Christine Russell, founder of 889 Yoga Studio and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate can’t say enough good things about the doTERRA  Balance essential oil, and we are right there with her!
This warm and woodsy blend is perfect for grounding, calm and an overall sense of well being. It’s ideal for the oil junkies in your life who’ve always got their diffuser on! We will be slipping these into a bunch of stockings this year.

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6. Philosophie

Eating clean can be one of life’s biggest struggles (especially during the Holidays), but Philosophie by yoga superstar Sophie Jaffe  is providing us with food that makes life better!! Her Coconut Butters and Superfood Honeys make your avocado toast ooooh so much better. And don’t get us started on her Philosophie Powders …  your morning smoothie will never be the same! We are upping our dose of these healthy treats to balance out all those Holiday cookies. (Read: wine)Philosophie 3

 

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BONUS: For the Stocking
It’s high time yoKrisCarr-Collageu gave yourself (or your bestie!) a healthy dose of self-love with Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Love Notes.

This 52-card deck features gorgeous illustrations by artist Lori Portka that serve as gentle yet powerful reminders to help you care for and appreciate yourself at the deepest level.

 

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All about the Chakras

I’m having a chakra moment right now  I’ve always been interested in the Chakras, but never dedicated the time to reallllly dig deep and learn about them… About 6 months ago that changed when I hit a low point in my life that I just COULD NOT bounce back from. I was overwhelmed, broke, exhausted, anxious and lost, I could feel my grip on everything slipping. I called one of my closest friends, a true Lightworker, and over lots of tea (and maybe a little wine) she helped me face the darkness in my life, and opened my eyes to how integral the chakras are to our health.   Continue reading

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Is Gratitude a Habit, a Practice or a Value?

Do you think of gratitude as a habit, a practice or a value? I often speak about all three, each one having a place in our everyday lives. When we are focusing on how to be more grateful every day, it’s important to look at each one separately and figure out how to fit all of them together in the end. As you read this post, I invite you to take a look at your own habits, practices, and values. Then you can decide whether or not you are living in alignment with these on a daily basis.

Let’s start with habits.

Habits are the things we repeat every day, such as writing in a gratitude journal or choosing to wake up with gratitude. I share my favorite morning routines in this post which will be helpful when you’re looking to create new gratitude habits. My favorite morning gratitude habit is to simply say, ‘Thank you for this gift of another day and the opportunity to be of service to others and make a difference in the world.’ Which of your morning habits is currently serving you well? And which ones are not?

The old adage that it takes 21 days to create a habit is not always accurate. I’ve found that a new habit can be created in a matter of days, once you’ve made the decision to change. And it’s often much easier to create a new habit, rather than trying to get rid of an old one. For example, let’s say you have a habit of pressing snooze a few too many times and are often late for work. Create a new habit by choosing to wake up with gratitude, which could include changing the name of your alarm to ‘I am grateful’. That way when you see your alarm, it reminds you to be grateful. This will often make you smile and start to wake up, as you think of what you are grateful for this morning.

What about a gratitude practice?

Practices are when we use gratitude to help us in different situations. For example, we can practice gratitude while waiting in line, instead of being frustrated. Keep a list of simple things that you’re grateful for in your phone, such as clean drinking water and electricity. Instead of scrolling through your social media feeds, review your list of things you’re grateful for. That will quickly shift your mood!

We can also practice gratitude with others when we acknowledge and give thanks for those that make a difference in our lives. Sending out gratitude cards or Thank-You cards is a great way to do this. We live in a time where a physical piece of mail is very special. Taking a few moments, each week, to send out one or two cards of thanks is a very valuable and inexpensive gratitude practice.

For many of our Tiny Devotions tribe members, both yoga and meditation are also daily practices. You can incorporate gratitude into both of these easily. This post from the Chopra Center shares some excellent poses that inspire gratitude. I am also a fan of guided gratitude meditation and use my Insight Timer app daily. Which app do you use for meditation (if you do use one)? If you’d like to download a guided gratitude meditation, I’ve recorded a 10 minute one for you that you use to start your day.

How does gratitude fit into our values?

And lastly, as a value, it’s when we choose to live a life that is built on a foundation of gratitude. It’s when we choose gratitude first and often, as a way of relating to others and understanding our differences. As we learn how to be more grateful, we start to think of gratitude as one of our values. It may not be a core value for you, as it is for me; however I highly encourage you to include it in your top five core values. Our core values help us to make decisions and are expressed in how we show up in the world. We can choose to find a way to be grateful in any given situation, whether it’s full of joy or great sadness.

Which one of these is right for you?

In summary, there are many ways in which we can easily include gratitude in our everyday lives. What’s most important is that we choose to include gratitude from the moment we wake up in the morning, til we lay our heads down at the end of the day.  It doesn’t matter where you start. Make a decision to live a more grateful life and you’ll find that your habits, practices and values will evolve over time. When we live in alignment with our values we tend to have a better outlook on the world and find our groove much more easily.

Julie-128Julie Boyer’s mission in life is to inspire people to build their lives on a foundation of gratitude through her brand, Wake Up With Gratitude™. Julie’s first book, 30 Days of Gratitude, The Gratitude Program That Will Change Your Life, became an Amazon bestseller when it was released in May 2013. She is also the founder of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox Program, a healthy, whole food detox that nourishes your body at the cellular level. Julie also loves to mentor and develop leaders through her mentorship program as well. A former triathlete, Julie has completed 3 full Ironman Distance triathlons. Julie lives in Ontario, Canada with her 6 year old daughter and husband Dan. She can be reached on her blogInstagramTwitter and Facebook.

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Using the Breath to Uplift Your Energy

The breath is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal for altering negative thought patterns and staying centered in the present moment. Simply taking a moment during the day to close your eyes and breathe deeply makes such a difference in terms of your mood, mindset and even your productivity levels.

There are endless yogic breathing techniques you can try to engage your parasympathetic nervous system and feel more peaceful within minutes. Breathing truly is one of the most effective methods for calming the mind and uplifting your mood, and the best part is that you can seamlessly incorporate these exercises into your day without disrupting your schedule.

To get you started, here are five tips for using the breath to uplift your energy and stay focused:

1. Add a mala to the mix. Using your mala beads during your breathing or meditation practice image3can add a grounding, calming method as it gives you a tangible object to hold onto as you find your zen. All the Tiny Devotions malas make for lovely meditation tools, but the Amethyst Om Mala is especially useful for opening and clearing the mind during your practice.

2. Keep the spine long and erect. While you can choose to lie down during your breathing practice, this often leads to accidental nap time! Instead, try sitting cross legged, propped up on a block or a pillow, with your spine erect, shoulders down and the crown of th
e head leading up towards the sky. This will ensure the energy is flowing freely throughout your body and lead to a more effective practice.

3. Set the mood. While you may be at the office or in a public washroom during your breathing practice, do your best to find or create a space that feels peaceful to you. If you’re at home, light candles and keep elements of nature nearby like crystals, plants or water fixtures. This will help to amplify the healing powers of the breath and really set the tone for your meditation practice.

4. Inhale slowly through the nose for four counts, hold the breath for four counts and exhale for four counts, then try counting each inhale and exhale up to ten. As you focus on counting your inhales and exhales, you’ll find your mind beginning to slow down and the relaxation response kicking in. If you give the mind an occupation other than worrying, fretting or making endless to-do lists, you’ll find yourself feeling more zen in no time.

5. Meditate on the breath. Think about the coolness of the air coming in through your nostrils and the warm air coming out to stay centred during your breathing practice. Or, imagine the breath coming in through the bottom of your feet and leaving through the top of your head as you exhale. You could also imagine the breath as bright, white light travelling through your entire system, cleansing the organs and tissues in your body and bringing peace to your entire being. Get creative and think of a few visualization techniques that work for you to support your practice.

How do you use the breath to uplift your energy? Let us know in the comments below!

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 10.59.47 AMBorn and raised in Toronto, Kenzie is a writer, blogger and yoga teacher. She loves all things beautiful, magical and free-spirited, and she’s passionate about seeking inspiration everywhere.