Despite the long list of ingredients, this easy soup is incredibly quick and simple to make, and so, so good for you!

Think of it as an alkalizing vitamin pill! Using really fresh produce in here makes a huge difference and being raw, you will retain all the vital nutrients in all the fresh vegetables and herbs used.

This is a wonderful green soup to enjoy for a healthy, light lunch or anytime you’re not feeling 100%. If you add a little more liquid you can enjoy this as a great detox drink too.

Super Detox Green Soup Recipe

Serves 2


  • 1 cup kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup mixed green leafy herbs (basil/coriander/mint)
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 large, ripe avocado
  • 1 zucchini, roughly chopped
  • ½ cucumber, roughly chopped
  • ¼ leek, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups cold, filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon of cashew cheese to top each bowl (optional)


Simply place all ingredients in your blender and blend until super smooth. If you want the green soup a little thinner (as it can be quite thick), simply add some more water until you reach your desired consistency.

You are also welcome to warm this easy soup slightly if you would prefer. Just warm on a stovetop in a saucepan after blending until it is just warm to touch.

Garnish with cashew cheese, sprouts, chili, and herbs.

Enjoy Your Detoxifying Green Soup!

This simple and easy soup is everything! It is jam packed with nutrients and so quick and simple to make.

So hit up your local market, grab your blender, and simply combine to make this delicious and nutritious easy peasy detox green soup. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite green soup recipe? What other easy soups do you love to make? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Detoxify With This Super Healthy, Easy Green Soup (Recipe) appeared first on YogiApproved™.

Source:: Detoxify With This Super Healthy, Easy Green Soup (Recipe)


In the US, major depressive disorder (MDD) is prevalent. In fact, it’s one of the most common mental health disorders.

A 2016 study by the National Institute of Mental Health found that nearly 7% of the adult population has dealt with at least one MDD episode in the past year.

Those who seek treatment frequently receive antidepressants. But that prescription may only bring partial relief. Luckily, people who want alternatives or supplements to this course of treatment have other ways to manage the debilitating symptoms of depression.

Using yoga for depression is a great place to start.

The link between yoga and depression relief is well-known. Studies can now even designate how often one should practice in order to get relief from the symptoms of MDD. They can also suggest types of yoga for optimal intervention.

What Is Major Depressive Disorder?

Major depressive disorder is a mood disorder. And, as those who suffer from it know, it affects how you handle daily tasks, how you think, and how you feel. To be diagnosed with MDD or clinical depression, symptoms must last for two weeks.

Those symptoms are varied and sometimes surprising – from feelings of anxiety, numbness, and loneliness to physical pain and insomnia.

The link between yoga and depression relief is well-known.

Symptoms can manifest in one of the many different kinds of depression – postpartum, seasonal affective disorder, or persistent depressive disorder, just to name a few.

Depression affects women and men, all races, nationalities, and classes, every gender and orientation. And all these groups can benefit from yoga for depression and its ability to help alleviate symptoms.


Why Does Yoga for Depression Help to Alleviate Depression Symptoms?

Like all exercise, yoga increases serotonin production. Scientists believe that serotonin affects one’s happiness.

There is also a theory that yoga’s emphasis on mindfulness and non-judgmental focus on the present moment helps practitioners develop these skills. And, furthermore, bring this approach to life beyond the yoga mat. (You may have gathered this without a clinical study, but hey – nothing wrong with a little scientific validation.)

Like all exercise, yoga increases serotonin production.

Further, some reports and meta-analysis (studies of studies – I know, it gets deep) assert that yoga is a better treatment than other types of exercise or relaxation techniques. And, that yoga may help regulate the autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that handles involuntary functions).

Also, because yoga is fluid and gentle, everyone can practice at their own level. That accessibility is just the thing for MDD’s chronic, often recurring nature.

Want to learn more about the mental benefits of yoga? Read: Your Brain On Yoga – 6 Mental Benefits of the Practice

So, How Do I Practice Yoga for Depression?

The Boston University School of Medicine reports in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. They say that two or three 90-minute weekly yoga classes in concert with at-home practice can lead to a substantial reduction in the symptoms of depression.

Participants in this study practiced Iyengar Yoga. This style uses helpers and props like blocks, chairs, and straps to aid in alignment of the body.

Along with Sun Salutations, the yoga classes in the study progressed from passive postures to more rigorous ones that incorporated a number of backbends and inversions followed by a period of mindful breathwork between each posture.

Yoga and meditation practices benefit people mentally, emotionally, and physically.

The principles of Iyengar Yoga can also apply to other forms of yoga for depression. The most important aspects seem to be mindful breath and the focus on alignment and aiding the body to pursue this.

Need more mindful breath tools? Here are 4 Go-To Breathing Exercises For Meditation, Stress Relief, and Overall Wellbeing

Meditation, Alone, Can Also Help Depression

The Boston University study is, by no means, the only one to document the benefits of breathwork. The University of Pennsylvania conducted a study of people whose symptions were not relieved after more than eight weeks of traditional antidepressive treatment.

When those same people practiced eight weeks of Sudarshan Kriya meditation, they experienced a marked improvement. Sudarshan Kriya is a simple rhythmic breathing technique. It roughly translates to proper vision through purifying action.

How fitting that the mindfulness it energizes and encompasses has been found to diminish and remove exhausting depressive symptoms – and without the potential side effects of medication.


Yoga for Depression: The Takeaway

Yoga and meditation practices benefit people mentally, emotionally, and physically – and for good reason.

For those living with MDD in the short- or long-term, these practices can provide not just hope, but real change. The scientific community is building a body of work to show exactly why you may want to consider this intervention and how to best utilize it.

If you haven’t, it’s a great time to see for yourself. After all, it’s always the perfect moment to regain some control, to feel again, and – certainly – to feel better.

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

The post Yoga May Be Able to Help Relieve Symptoms of Depression – Here’s How appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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a real sign
of progress
is when we no longer
punish ourselves
for our imperfections

yung pueblo

The dream job that went with another candidate. The boss who let you go. The submission after submission that never got published. The rejection letters. The cut from the team. The callback that never happened. The denial of a loan. The exhaustive attempt to please everyone that pleased no one at the end. These failures all have one thing in common: each one comes with a valuable lesson.

As Alexander Graham Bell famously quipped, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” It’s human nature to cling to what is not, instead of accepting what is. Perhaps we’re afraid of falling behind, and maybe we’re caught in the confines of comparison. But the failure itself is not what holds us back—it’s our attachment to it, the way it hurt our pride and bruised our egos and left us in the dust. Then comes the mind’s self-flagellation: Why did I do that? That was so stupid of me. I’m stupid. I’m a fraud. Why do I even bother? I can’t do that. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. Nobody cares what I have to say. It’s hopeless.

The fear of failure is real.

It’s often the one thing that stands in the way of our success. But life is messy. We are all imperfect and flawed. And if we didn’t at least give something the old college try then we’d never grow. We’d stay stagnant and small, instead of expansive and limitless. We’d stay cowering on the edge instead of taking a bold leap of faith. What if we were on the brink of a major breakthrough, and never even gave ourselves the chance? And what if we never even came to our yoga mat because we had made false assumptions about our lack of flexibility or strength? Then all of the lessons we’ve learned about ourselves throughout the journey of our practice would never have been revealed. But when we give ourselves permission to stumble and fall in, say, Warrior III or a handstand, we transcend from our own self-imposed boundaries. We soar to new heights.

It’s easy to forget that yoga is not a competition when our innate desire to be competitive can all too often show up in our practice. While there are times within our work and leisure activities when competition is healthy (and even necessary), our practice ought to serve as respite from that innate drive to “push” and be “the best.” And when that drive is challenged by the possibility of not being “the best” or most capable yogi in the room, not even by a long shot, the fear of failure stops us short and prevents us from cultivating a healthy sense of humility.

This idea of “winning” or being better than others, or keeping up with the joneses, could derive from an inherent lack of self-worth. It’s as though we need to prove our value and worthiness to others as a means of boosting our own belief in our abilities and ourselves. But we ought to remind ourselves of the meaning of “Namaste”: the light in me honors light in you. We ought to remember that we are always enough as we are, we are all progressing at our own perfect pace.

When we can cultivate real kindness toward the Self, we can extend that same kindness to others with effortlessness and ease; a nurturing that becomes part of our nature.

Self-love and self-acceptance are now widely regarded a revolutionary act, one that empowers us to forgive one another and ourselves. When we can find the courage to forgive ourselves when we mess up, we learn to practice that same compassion toward others, despite our differences, abilities, and where we’re at on the path.

We all make mistakes.

To err is human! And our very own mistakes are some of our greatest teachers, revealing certain truths about ourselves that may have previously been hidden from view. Growth and progress can only happen when we are kind to ourselves, when we can fully accept the possibility of failure and be okay with it. After all, when we are in pursuit of our goals or something very close to our heart, aren’t we often our own worst critics—judging our progress and process, and comparing our authentic path to that of another? Yes, we will inevitably mess up, but why waste that energy on false beliefs about ourselves that we’re not good enough? Where is the self-compassion in that?

When we are kind to ourselves we foster space for which to grow and create. We can show up for others from a place of loving-kindness—of unlimited potential. When we allow ourselves to be humble, we can recognize that not only do we respect and love ourselves, but we also respect and love each other without criticism, judgment, or envy.

Be fearless when you fall.

Next time you stumble… Smile. Empower yourself to try and try again, and also accept when it is time to change course—without being so hard on yourself. Without failure, there would be no success. There would also have never been a light bulb on the ten thousandth try.

Andrea Rice is a writer and yoga teacher. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, NY Yoga + Life, SONIMA, mindbodygreen and other online publications. Connect with Andrea on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her website.


The post Forgive Yourself for Falling appeared first on Wanderlust.

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Oh yes, the weight loss struggle is real. Especially for women. Nothing is more frustrating than when you can’t lose weight – and despite your best efforts, dropping those extra pounds feels next to impossible.

Does this sound like you? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything, but are still struggling to lose weight?

You’re eating healthy and exercising regularly, so what gives? The reasons why you can’t lose weight may surprise you. And they have nothing to do with diet or exercise.

Here Are 3 Surprising Reasons Women Can’t Lose Weight and How to Fix Them:

1. Not Enough Vitamin D

Yep, we’re talking about the sunlight vitamin, ladies. According to a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health, older women with low levels of Vitamin D are more likely to gain weight compared to women who have normal Vitamin D levels.

Researchers explain that there are several ways Vitamin D is linked to weight gain. Since fat cells contain Vitamin D receptors, “Vitamin D could affect where fat cells shrink or get bigger,” says Erin LeBlanc, MD, endocrinologist and researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon.

“There is a lot that goes into Vitamin D levels: sun exposure, age, diet, pigmentation,” LeBlanc explains.

If you can’t lose weight, it might be time to soak up some sun (with sunscreen protection, of course).

How to Get More Vitamin D:
Aside from the Vitamin D our bodies produce from sunlight, Vitamin D can be found in milk, salmon, tuna, and other types of fish. However, it can be hard to get the amount of Vitamin D we need from food alone. This is why supplements are a great option if you’re struggling to lose weight.

2. High Levels of Cortisol

Cortisol: the big bad stress hormone. It’s no secret that stress leads to a wide variety of health problems – weight gain being one of the big ones. And excessive stress can also be a primary reason why women can’t lose weight.

However, what many women don’t realize is that they need to go directly to the source of the stress. This means lowering their cortisol levels. Cortisol is scientifically-proven to cause an increase in appetite.

Your cortisol levels will naturally increase during stressful times, and “this can turn your overeating into a habit,” WebMD reports. “Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.”

The Secret to Reducing Stress Naturally:
The mind and body are intrinsically linked. By maintaining a healthy mental state, your physical health will improve and vice versa.

When you’re feeling stressed:

Need more stress relief? Try Yoga For Stress Relief: De-Stress With This 30-Minute Yoga Sequence

3. Underactive Thyroid

When women have hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland in the neck fails to produce enough thyroxine, a hormone that controls energy and metabolism.

Dr. Josh Axe, naturopathic doctor, explains “These hormones can be thrown out of whack by many issues. From a diet with too much or too little iodine, to toxicity from amalgam fillings, to an undiagnosed medical condition, the thyroid can produce too much or too little T4, impacting your metabolism.”

How to Balance Your Hormones:
Even if you are eating healthy, your body may be lacking the nutrients it needs to function properly.

“Instead of turning to hormone replacement therapies with the use of pharmaceuticals, natural hormones using animal hormones or, in extreme cases, surgery, first look at any nutritional deficiencies you may have that are contributing to an imbalance, like iodine or toxicity from things like amalgam fillings in your teeth,” Axe adds.


Now You Know Why You Can’t Lose Weight, So Take Back Control of Your Body

Now that you’re empowered with this information, you can go out and make all the adjustments that you need to finally stop struggling to lose weight!

Did you identify with any reasons on this list? Are there any that surprised you? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

The post (Ladies) 3 Surprising Reasons Why You May Be Having A Hard Time Losing Weight appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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All humans have within them both masculine and feminine energy.

These are also known as yin and yang or Shiva and Shakti in various cultures.

But, what are these energies exactly? And how do they relate to corporate workplaces and workplace culture as a whole?

Masculine and Feminine Energy 101

Although getting a complete understanding of masculine and feminine energy is a very wide topic, let’s get an introduction to these.

Masculine Energies

Let’s start with some masculine energies. Traditionally, these are:

  • Planning/strategy
  • Selectiveness/exclusivity
  • Strength
  • Emotional detachment
  • Stoicism
  • Guardedness
  • Details
  • Growth
  • Expansion
  • Linearity
  • Knowledge
  • Pragmatism
  • Logic
  • Moving from point A to point B with focus
  • ”Doing”

Feminine Energies

Some traditional feminine energies are:

  • Introspection
  • Integration
  • Connectivity
  • Vulnerability
  • Wonderment
  • Sensitivity
  • Contraction
  • Holistic thinking
  • Non-linearity
  • Intuition
  • Letting go
  • Chaos
  • ”Being”

Feminine Energy in Workplace Culture

Masculine and feminine energy are meant to be complementary to each other and not in competition. But, they are usually perceived in competition.

Straight off the bat, which qualities do you see more of in a corporate environment? Which do you see more of in your workplace culture? The answer is probably clear: masculine energy. This could be a result of corporate environments being predominantly male through the decades with a lack of diversity and inclusion.

“Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.” – Carl Jung

Fortunately, we see many women in corporate environments nowadays, which is changing workplace culture. However, even if corporate workplaces have opened their doors to females, in many cases the doors are still closed to the integration of feminine energy.

In typical workplace culture, any person – irrespective of their gender or their inherently dominant energy – is always expected to operate mainly in masculine energies. Embodying any feminine energy is seen as a lack of “professionalism” or a sign of weakness.

Workplace culture typically awards masculine energy while punishing feminine energy. This causes employees (again, irrespective of their gender) to suppress their feminine energies. Also, it pressures them to always operate in their masculine “zone.”

Workplace Culture and “Shadow Energies”

Many times, this social conditioning causes an emotional imbalance and it can manifest in employees in different ways. Some of these are:

  • Controlling behaviors
  • Extreme competitiveness
  • Stress due to the need to control outcomes
  • Focus on personal gains via quick routes
  • Emotional detachment from employees, considering them as mere “resources”

These are not balanced masculine energies. It is an expression of masculine energy in it’s most imbalanced, overflowing, and out-of-whack form. We can call this the “shadow masculine energies.”

Sometimes, this might also manifest in “shadow feminine energies.” Some of these are:

  • Victim mentality, feeling prosecuted
  • Inability to make decisions with confidence
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Manipulative behaviors

In order to avoid these “shadow energies” from surfacing, we need to find a balance between the two energies in our workplace culture.

Here Are 5 Ways to Bring Feminine Energy Into Your Workplace Culture:

How then, can one enmesh feminine energy into the masculine workplace culture and structures? Here are a few ideas.

1. Be Authentic and Expressive

This is a tough one. Ever since the day a person enters the workplace, the first thing they are taught is: Let’s keep this strictly business. This translates to: “Please be emotionally detached.”

But is this a valid ask? We spend 8 to 9 hours of our lives every day at work, doing high-pressure tasks, interacting with our colleagues, and so on.

The best way to deal with heavy emotions is to express them in a clear, concise way without taking the issue too personally.

Then, how can one be completely Zen and emotionally detached while doing the “right thing” all the time? Only a person with extreme self-mastery can be capable of this. And, let’s not kid ourselves – we aren’t there yet. Instead, this turns employees into robots who only work, but don’t feel.

When we don’t express emotions, it can cause them to become repressed. Then, they might come out in an explosive way at a later time.

The best way to deal with heavy emotions is to express them in a clear, concise way without taking the issue too personally. Don’t let bad emotions fester. Always keeping the communication channels open. If expressed properly, emotions can bring teams and colleagues closer and develop deep bonds of team spirit and friendship.

2. Be Vulnerable

Were you given a task that feels too difficult to handle? Is the deadline just too unrealistic to be met? If so, don’t hesitate to say “no.”

It’s recommended to put on a brave front even when feeling vulnerable inside: the “fake it ’til you make it” mentality. But, to do it all the time takes a toll on a person’s mental and physical health levels. Everyone needs some time to recuperate from stressful situations.

So, feel free to say “no.” Feel free to explain to your boss or teammates that a particular project or deadline has you feeling overwhelmed. Feel free to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength and shows belief in others, a feeling of oneness. This is one of the core feminine energies.

3. Be Creative and Chaotic

Is everything done only in a particular, meticulous way in your workplace? Do people get reprimanded if they try to do things in a different and creative way? If the answers to these questions are yes, then it indicates that masculine energy dominates your workplace culture.

Find your chance and try to introduce something new to shake things up a little bit. If going big in disruption is not possible, find a small gap somewhere. Maybe propose a week every quarter in which people can work on creative, personal projects or learn a new work-related skill that they want to acquire.

A planned/provisioned time to do something creative is a perfect combination of how the masculine energy (planning) can work with the feminine energy (creativity) to bring out innovations.

4. See the Bigger Picture

Masculine energy is notorious for being super focussed, detail-oriented, and somewhat controlling and perfectionistic. It can get stuck in the details.

When this is the case, one can make use of feminine energy to get a bigger, web-like, connect-the-dots, eagle eye view of the situation. We can start moving forward without getting bogged down by the details.

This includes having faith and moving forward, even when some details along the way are unclear. It practices giving up of control (which the masculine energy struggles with). But, maybe with the bigger picture in mind, the need for control can be let go.

5. Express Compassion

It’s all good to be cutthroat, logical, and stoic in boardrooms and meetings. But once out of these meetings, feel free to drop down to your heart when interacting in the office.

Offer a co-worker an empathetic ear if they are having a bad day, even if you have some tasks to finish up. Be a light for someone in their gloomy day.

Feminine Energy in Workplace Culture: The Takeaway

With steady adaptation of these ideas, we all will be able to express feminine energies in the workplace in a more acceptable way. This will lead to more wholesome and welcoming work environments – where everyone feels completely comfortable being who they truly are.

According to yogic principles, to attain a higher state of consciousness, every human has to balance their masculine and feminine energies within themselves.

Here’s to hoping that we can create an environment in which everyone is more balanced, accepting, and whole within.

Need some more help awakening your feminine energy? Use these 10 Yoga Poses to Awaken Your Inner Goddess and Harness Your Feminine Energy

The post Here’s How to Bring Feminine Energy into Your Workplace Culture appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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Inversions are some of the most sought after poses in the yoga practice. But, for many of us, they are also the most frustrating. Oftentimes our own fear of going upside down overshadows other essential elements of what it takes to balance.

Did you know that strong core muscles are essential for balancing in inversions? You might have thought so, but you can transform your inversion practice by understanding why they are essential and what core exercises you can practice to strengthen them.

Did you know that strong core muscles are essential for balancing in inversions?

The core is essentially your torso. Its main function is to stabilize the spine and pelvis. The skeletal component of the pelvis is comprised of the:

  1. Left hip bone
  2. Right hip bone
  3. Sacrum
  4. Coccyx (or tailbone)

The main function of the pelvic girdle is to support the weight of the upper body when sitting and to transfer weight to the lower limbs when standing. It is less mobile than your shoulder girdle, allowing for a strong foundation to support the upper body.


Why Are Core Exercises Important to Prep for Inversions?

But what happens when we flip the relationship of the pelvic girdle and the shoulder girdle as we do in inversions?

We call on a more mobile joint (the shoulder) to support the weight of the pelvic girdle. For this reason, developing strong muscles in the shoulders to better stabilize the shoulder girdle will help you to find better balance in your inversions.

But, so will developing a strong core!

Think of the core as the link between the pelvic girdle and the shoulder girdle. The stronger the muscles are that attach to these two areas, the better they can stabilize both the pelvis and spine.

Think of the core as the link between the pelvic girdle and the shoulder girdle.

Strong core muscles coupled with strong muscles supporting the shoulders will transform your inversion practice by creating more stability when balancing upside down. So, some solid core exercises are key!

Learn more about the core’s primary muscles and what core exercises work best: Stop Doing Ineffective Sit-Ups! Use These 7 Yoga Poses to Strengthen and Tone All Parts of Your Core

So, Practice These 12 Core Exercises to Step Up Your Inversion Practice:

1. Hollow Body

Targets: Rectus and Transverse Abdominis


Let’s try it:

  • Lay on your back and place your arms by your sides with your palms facing up
  • Lift your straight legs off the ground maintaining your lower back as “flat” as possible
  • Draw your front ribs in and feel your pubic bone draw up, engaging your rectus abdominis
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the mat and draw your chin in toward your chest
  • Reach your arms straight above your head and three-dimensionally cinch in your waistline, activating your transverse abdominis
  • If there’s a lot of space between your back and the floor, modify by lifting your legs higher, bending your knees, or placing a rolled up blanket underneath your lower back
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and repeat three times

2. High Plank

Targets: Core and shoulders


Let’s try it:

  • Stack your shoulders over your wrists and place your hands shoulder-distance apart
  • Stack your heels over your toe mounds and engage your quads
  • Draw your low belly in and hug your front ribs toward your spine, creating a hollow body shape in Plank
  • Move your shoulder blades away from your spine and push the floor away with your hands
  • Hold for 10 seconds to one minute

3. Inversion Prep

Take this hollow body shape into your inversion prep poses.


Let’s try it:

    • Down Dog Hollow Body
    • Dolphin Hollow Body
    • Headstand Prep Hollow Body



4. Plank Single-Leg Lifts

Targets: Glutes


Let’s try it:

      • From Plank, place your feet hip-distance apart
      • Lift one leg up and keep your heel in line with your hip
      • Set your foot back down and continue this action five to 10 times
      • Keep your front ribs drawing in so that your glutes are the primary muscle group working
      • Switch sides and repeat five to 10 times on each side

5. Scissors

Targets: Adductors


Let’s try it:

      • From Hollow Body, lift one straight leg up so that your legs create an L-Shape
      • Keep your bottom leg hovering off the mat and your low spine on the mat
      • Lift your head and shoulders off the mat and reach your fingers toward your toes
      • Engage your adductors (your inner thigh muscles) as you scissor and switch the legs
      • Repeat five to 10 times on each side

6. L-Shape Kicks

Take the strength from the glute drill and the strength of the inner thighs in the scissor drills to find an L-Shape kick up in each inversion.


Let’s try it:

      • L-Shape Handstand
      • L-Shape Forearmstand
      • L-Shape Headstand

Struggling with Handstand? Try this 20-Minute Handstand Tutorial (Free Class)

7. Tip-Toe Tuck

Targets: Transverse Abdominis, Rectus Abdominis, Hip Flexors


Let’s try it:

      • From a kneeling position, place your hands alongside your thighs
      • Lift your thighs into your chest, bringing your nose toward your knees
      • Move your shoulder blades away from your spine and engage your transverse abdominis by pulling your belly in toward your spine
      • Hold for one to three breaths
      • Return to your kneeling position and repeat five to 10 times

8. Supine Tuck

Targets: Transverse Abdominis


Let’s try it:

      • Lay on your back and bring your knees close into your chest and your heels close to your seat
      • Lift your head and shoulders off the mat with the strength of your core
      • Keep a Hollow Body shape in your front abs as you pull your belly button toward your spine
      • Keep your chin drawing in and bring your nose close to your knees
      • Stay in this tucked position for three to five breaths, rest, and then repeat three times

9. Tuck

Take this compressed shape, thighs to chest as you tuck into each inversion.


Let’s try it:

      • Tuck Handstand
      • Tuck Forearmstand
      • Tuck Headstand

10. Plank Slides

Targets: Hip Flexors


Let’s try it:

      • Put on a pair of socks and maybe choose to use blocks under your hands
      • From a forward fold position, come onto your tip-toes while keeping you palms flat (so bend your knees if you need to) to create a Hollow Body shape
      • Then, shift your shoulders past your wrists as you slide your feet back to a High Plank
      • From High Plank, lift your hips up and pull your belly button toward your spine to slide your feet back to your starting position
      • Repeat three to five times and do three separate sets



11. Leg Lifts

Targets: Hip Flexors


Let’s try it:

      • Lay on your back, lift and straighten your legs so that that they create a 90-degree angle with your body
      • Rest your arms along your side and turn your palms to face down
      • On an inhale, slowly move your legs down until they hover over the ground. Only go as low as you can maintain your low back flat on the mat. If there’s a lot of space between your back and the floor, modify by not going as far down with the legs, bend your knees, or place your hands in a diamond shape underneath your sacrum
      • With an exhale, pull your legs back to your starting position, keep your low back as flat as possible and draw your belly button in and down toward the mat
      • Repeat eight to 10 times

12. Pike

Use the strength of your hip flexors to pull the legs up into a pike position, where your body and legs form a 90-degree angle.


Let’s try it:

      • Pike Handstand
      • Pike Forearmstand
      • Pike Headstand

Need more inversion help? Here are 6 Yoga Poses to Master Before Even Attempting Handstand


Put All of These Core Exercises Together to Rock a Solid Inversion!

Apply all of these actions that you just worked in these core exercises to your inversion practice, whether you’re practicing Handstand, Forearmstand, and/or Headstand.


In all three inversions work these same actions:

      • Hug your front ribs down and your pubic bone up, creating a Hollow Body shape, which will engage your core
      • Gently move your shoulders toward your ears to stabilize your shoulders and create a vertical line in your body
      • Stack your shoulders over your foundation
      • Stack your hips over your shoulders
      • Align your heels over your hips
      • Keep your core firm and your legs and glutes engaged


The Takeaway: Bring Core Exercises Into Your Inversion Prep Practice

Practice these 12 core exercises in preparation for your inversion practice and you’ll strengthen the primary muscles needed to get you into inversions and keep you balancing with more stability.

What are your favorite core exercises to prep for inversions? Let us know in the comments below!

Rock your inversion practice with Learning to Handstand on YogiApproved.com Classes

Images: Katie Fanning

The post Ready to Completely Transform Your Inversion Practice? Do These 12 Core Exercises appeared first on YogiApproved™.

Source:: Ready to Completely Transform Your Inversion Practice? Do These 12 Core Exercises

koala sleeping on trunk of tree in forest

There are a lot of ways to define wellness. Renowned yoga teacher Elena Brower defines it as “your ability to respond rather than to react;” Dr. Mark Hyman says it’s the integrated care of every aspect of ourselves: Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational. Wellness activist Kerri Kelly believes that “wellness is the culture of how we take care of ourselves and one another.”

However you define it, one thing is certain: Around the world, people are becoming increasingly interested in what it means to be well. And while we wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that wellness necessitates consumerism—you do not need expensive cushions, treatments, or infused juices to be well—a not-so-deep dive into social media reveals that superfood smoothie bowls, cupping marks, and guided meditations are definitely having a moment. Wellness, that is, is trending. And it’s not just in the US: Around the world, teachers, practitioners, and consumers are redefining mindful living through buying choices they make every day.

In celebration of Passport—your ticket to an unlimited number of the 50+ Wanderlust events around the world—we’re taking a deeper-than-social-media dive into worldwide wellness trends looking toward 2019. Journey with us as we stretch our scope and explore both the similarities and differences in our global community.

This week: What’s trending in wellness in Australia.

Accessibility to Adaptogens and Ayurvedic Eating

There’s been a buzz around adaptogens, gut-health, and Ayurvedic diets for some time now, but it’s recently become much more mainstream in Australia. 

According to Good Food, an Australian food-focused website, a 2017 APS Stress and Wellbeing Survey revealed that, “Australians anxiety levels are the highest they’ve been in five years.” Enter: foods and supplements that can help fix that. 

Through the introduction and incorporation of mood-boosting, stress-relieving ingredients, food can become a valued source for mind-body connection.

Restaurants, cafes, and bloggers, have been popping up from coast to coast to help Aussies navigate a new way of healing the body, and in turn the mind, from the inside out. On the menu, and on the blogs? Adaptogens and superfoods. These eateries and influencers have been making these new ingredients, and new information, both more accessible and easier to digest (in more ways than one). 

Reece Carter, dubbed the “Garden Pharmacist” in Australia, helps to break down the mystery around adaptogens, gut-healthy foods, and how to create healthy masterpieces at home on his blog.

For those who are looking to get started in simple, small, ways—like swapping their coffee for a chaga latte instead, or experimenting with Ayurvedic eating—they can now turn to restaurants and cafes for mindfully crafted meals. Places like Nalinis Ayurvedic Kitchen, which was featured on Good Food, and Matcha Mylk Bar offer up a host of adtopgen-laden, superfood-stuffed, ayurvedic-diet-friendly, whole-food menu options.

Now that Australians have been introduced to these powerful elixirs, we’re curious to see what the coming years’ APS Stress and Wellbeing Surveys will reveal. Until then, keep the turmeric, chaga, and moringa coming.

Native Traditions and Utilizing Nature for Healing

Australia is looking to it’s aboriginal people to bring past healing traditions to the present. Tradition holds a special, sacred space in Australia, and honoring the culture of Australia’s Aboriginal people is becoming more and more apparent. One showing of this is the inclusion of a thousands year old practice, the smoking ceremony, in Australia Day celebrations.

Yuin Elder Uncle Max Harrison helps to explain the tradition of smoking ceremonies on the Australia Day website. In a video, Max says that smoking ceremonies can be “a gesture of good will, bringing people together, and healing, there’s smoking when there’s a burial, there’s smoking when there’s a celebration, and there’s smoking for clearance and healing also…” adding, “it’s not just about lighting up a fire, it’s about how we light that fire.”

Many of the traditional ceremonies of the Aboriginal people call upon elements found in nature that are native to Australia—from bush leaves to different types of tree bark and wood. Various elements are used during the practice depending on what the desired outcome is of the ceremony.

Some wellness spas throughout Australia have adopted similar practices. In honoring the importance of culture, treatments offered weave in traditional practices of Aboriginal people, like utilizing natural ingredients from native plants—desert salts, clays, and scented emu bush for healing and wellness.

Photo by David Clode

Food Foraging

Clearly turning to the elements isn’t a new concept for Australians when it comes to wellness, what with so many amazing resources within reach. Foraging through nature for food is a practice that’s recently been picking up steam, though. Amy Taylor-Kabbaz of Happy Mama told us that, “Chefs are using native plants and ingredients found in the wild and it’s really gaining popularity.” 

Workshops are even offered to help people find ingredients out in nature to incorporate into meals, and healing remedies.

Amy let us know that foraging workshops are offered in Sydney by Diego Bonetto. One such workshop offered by Diego is a wild food and medicine workshop that promises to help attendees “learn how to identify plants and forage for wild food and medicine.” 

These workshops can be a great jumping point to learning to forage on one’s own. This new knowledge offers up the opportunity to then be able to take advantage of all of the delicious and nutritious native plants nearby that have been overlooked.

Finding Friends through Fitness

Technology and fitness have a way of bringing people together—and Aussies are no exception to this trend. A simple Insta search turns up hundreds of inspirational Australia-based wellness leaders who are motivating and uniting the masses. Kayla Itsines, with over 10 million followers worldwide is likely the most well-known, bringing together millions of people with her fitness guides. Just take a look at the #BBG hashtag, and you’ll find millions of devoted followers who are enthusiastically cheering for, and encouraging, each other from across the globe.

We also can’t get enough of yoga-couple Claudine and Honza Lafond, who run YogaBeyond, transplants who now call Australia home. Through their wide-reaching Insta platform (492K followers), they organize yoga retreats and hiking excursions. Others have even found ways to turn technology into a real-world tool. Australia native Colin Tilini, for example, built the GymBud app to allow users to connect with fellow fitness enthusiasts to book trainings together and keep motivation high.

Natural and Reef-Safe Products

Recent news revealed that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is experiencing bleaching as a result of exposure to toxic ingredients. Turns out, those damage-causing toxic ingredients can be found in many sunscreens. Locals and visitors alike have taken heed of these recent discoveries and are now opting for reef safe sunscreen to protect their skin, as well as the beloved reefs. Some places in the world have even gone so far as to ban sunscreens that have the potential to harm the reef.

If you want to jump on this reef-saving, skin-protecting bandwagon stick to mineral-based sunscreens, and keep an eye out for ingredients that can be especially harmful to coral like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate (aka octyl methoxycinnamate).

But, it doesn’t stop at the reefs. Australians are also taking steps in the beauty industry to alter their impact on animals, the environment, and themselves, too.

Potentially harmful chemicals and ingredients like sulfates, parabens, propylene glycol, methylisothiazolinone (aka MIT), and triclosan are now banned from Australian cosmetic products entirely. Many cosmetic brands are also adhering to cruelty free, and sustainable practices. Sourcing natural, organic, and even local ingredients, using eco-friendly, recyclable packaging, and ensuring that products are dermatologically tested, and not tested on animals are practices that are increasing in popularity.

The beauty industry can certainly be tricky to navigate—but Australians are lucky to have a plethora of organic and clean beauty bloggers to help them cut through the BS. Our favorite is The Nourished Life, which not only breaks down brands, but explores what different types of products can do (did you know exactly how a “serum” works? Yeah, neither did we).

Wellness is a state of being and a way of living. For some, a wellness practice could be laying in a hammock, listening to a podcast, watching the clouds roll by; for others it’s bounding up a 14,000-foot summit, blood pumping, adrenaline screaming. There’s no wrong path to take on the journey to mind-body wellness, and there are countless interesting and inspiring trends within the wellness world to get you there. 

We hope this series will bring new practices, new experiences, and new thoughts around wellness, and how to find the perfect recipe of what works for you—wherever you are in your wellness journey, and wherever you are in the world.

Maggie Peikon is a New York native, writer, and sufferer of insatiable wanderlust. An avid endorphin seeker she has a constant need to be moving, seeking adventure in all she does. She is a lover of travel, daydreaming, fitness, thunderstorms, and her dog, Finley. Despite the fact that she has to take medication daily due to a thyroidectomy, Maggie still believes that laughter will always be the best medicine. Follow her musings on Instagram and Twitter.


The post Wellness Down Under: 2019 Aussie Trends to Watch appeared first on Wanderlust.

Source:: Wellness Down Under: 2019 Aussie Trends to Watch

Mexican street with colorful buildings and artisans

There are a lot of ways to define wellness. Renowned yoga teacher Elena Brower defines it as “your ability to respond rather than to react;” Dr. Mark Hyman says it’s the integrated care of every aspect of ourselves: Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational. Wellness activist Kerri Kelly believes that “wellness is the culture of how we take care of ourselves and one another.”

However you define it, one thing is certain: Around the world, people are becoming increasingly interested in what it means to be well. And while we wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that wellness necessitates consumerism—you do not need expensive cushions, treatments, or infused juices to be well—a not-so-deep dive into social media reveals that superfood smoothie bowls, cupping marks, and guided meditations are definitely having a moment. Wellness, that is, is trending. And it’s not just in the US: Around the world, teachers, practitioners, and consumers are redefining mindful living through buying choices they make every day.

In celebration of Passport—your ticket to an unlimited number of the 50+ Wanderlust events around the world—we’re taking a deeper-than-social-media dive into worldwide wellness trends looking toward 2019. Journey with us as we stretch our scope and explore both the similarities and differences in our global community.

This week: What’s trending in wellness throughout Mexico.

Photo by Jezael Melgoza

A Ritual For Release

This ritual may not be for the faint of heart—in all seriousness, though, people have been known to faint during this practice. Some people are drawn to Mexico specifically to seek out this traditional and unique cleansing experience. A Tezmacal Ritual will undoubtedly challenge your will, take you out of your comfort zone, and offer an unlike-any-other mind, body, spirit, and soul cleansing experience. Oh, and if you’re claustrophobic, or afraid of the dark, add: confronting fears and phobias head on to the list of things you’ll experience through Temazcal.

A Temazcal Ritual takes place inside of a small—generally fitting about five people—stone igloo-like hut. In its center sits a pit where hot stones are placed, and surrounding the pit are mats for attendees to sit at. A towel is placed over the small entryway, closing everyone in, and water is poured over the stones. It’s hot, steamy, sweaty, and to many a bit overwhelming. There is chanting, drums, and the use of therapeutic herbs, too. In totality, the experience can last anywhere from 30 minutes to upwards of two hours.

Benefits include sweating out toxins, both physical and emotional ones. When the ritual ends, and the door is opened, the steam that exits the space can be symbolic of what everyone inside is letting go of. It has also been said that the ritual is incredible for the skin.

If you can handle the heat, this is one experience that packs a punch of healing, cleansing, and tradition into a small, but mighty hut.

Healing The Heart

Another gift from ancestral culture, and another unique—but far less intimidating—way of seeking out healing in Mexico? Cacao ceremonies.

Back in the time of its origin, cacao was believed to be purifying for the body, and able to heal a variety of physical ailments, too. According to Culture Trip, in the Aztec culture, “xocoátl (the bitter chocolate drink)” was given to sacrifices “to purify them before death, and it was also used to relieve stomach pain, colds and fevers.”

Culture Trip goes on to reveal that it was also thought to have aphrodisiac effects—which may have something to do with its more modern use in cacao ceremonies as a heart opener, and perhaps why chocolate is sometimes synonymous with love (looking at you, Valentine’s Day chocolate hearts).

In most modern cacao ceremonies, the ceremonial-grade raw cacao is served in a liquid, drinkable form, and the liquid is shared among the ceremony attendees. Though every ceremony is different dependent on the energy of the group involved, most ceremonies will include music, dancing, meditation, internal reflection, and even open group sharing.

It is, in most cases, a very emotionally-charged healing experience, as a writer for The Numinous notes, “everything feels heightened within the physical and emotional body, including your awareness to your deepest sense of self and to your heart.”

Mindful Makers

By now we know that meditation comes in many forms, from deep breathing in a forest (a la Shinrin-yoku), to sitting on a tradition meditation pouf and finding your zen, to the more physical ways of quieting and clearing the mind, like knitting, or, in Puebla, making ceramics.
Talavera ceramics are steeped in Puebla’s history, and it’s an integral part of the city’s aesthetic and culture. So, it’s no wonder that learning to make this traditional art is something that both locals and visitors love to do. As creating something—be it a painting or a piece of pottery—can be a rewarding process, it is also one of deeply mindful, thoughtful action, and one that requires intense presence, qualities that often go hand in hand with wellness.

In addition to being able to visit Talavera workshops and learn from artisans firsthand, Talavera’s influence has also made its way into spas. At Rosewood Puebla’s spa, visitors can enjoy a Talavera massage. Rosewood honors traditional Talavera in its therapy by “utilizing the centuries old, hand-made pottery,” to “incorporate its warmth and mineralizing effects on the body to replenish and balance your overall health.”

Good Vibrations, and Good Energy

From clearing out energy blockages, to manifesting the power of sound through sound healing, and vibrational therapy, Mexico is having a moment in alternative spiritual healing methods. 

All throughout Mexico, experiences abound for those who are feeling in need of some internal realignment. With the use of voice and instruments, the vibrations and melodies of sound healing are believed to offer up a deep sense of calm, stress relief, and even physical pain relief. Some sound healing practitioners throughout Mexico call in traditional elements to elevate the bespoke experience. Yaan Wellness uses, “sacred shamanic instruments such as gongs, crystal & Tibetan bowls, Mayan shells, and didgeridoo” during the practice.

Spiritual retreats are offered in various regions of the country that allow for true exploration of the mind, body, and spirit in a safe and sacred space. In addition to sound healing, chakra balancing is offered, guided meditation practice, yoga, awareness exercises, crystal therapy, reiki, and one-on-one session with shamanic healers—some places even offer a session with a shaman for dogs, because everyone deserves the serenity that comes with mind-body connection.

Wellness is a state of being and a way of living. For some, a wellness practice could be laying in a hammock, listening to a podcast, watching the clouds roll by; for others it’s bounding up a 14,000-foot summit, blood pumping, adrenaline screaming. There’s no wrong path to take on the journey to mind-body wellness, and there are countless interesting and inspiring trends within the wellness world to get you there. 

We hope this series will bring new practices, new experiences, and new thoughts around wellness, and how to find the perfect recipe of what works for you—wherever you are in your wellness journey, and wherever you are in the world.


The post ¡Vamos a México! Chido Wellness Trends in 2019 appeared first on Wanderlust.

Source:: ¡Vamos a México! Chido Wellness Trends in 2019

One of the many strong, beautiful postures of an intermediate yoga practice is Half Moon Pose, or Ardha Chandrasana in Sanskrit.

A balancing act and strengthening combo, Half Moon Pose is a powerful peak pose for classes and can make you feel like queen of the divine feminine energy over which the moon rules.

This pose is also effective for alleviating anxiety, backaches, osteoporosis, sciatica, fatigue, constipation, gastritis, indigestion, and menstrual pain.

Half Moon Pose is a power pose. You can’t help but feel grounded, strong, and beautiful while holding this posture.

Need to harness your divine feminine energy to rock Ardha Chandrasana? Practice these 10 Yoga Poses to Awaken Your Inner Goddess and Harness Your Feminine Energy

Practice These 6 Yoga Poses to Help You Prepare for Half Moon Pose:

With these six poses, you will warm up your muscles and prepare the techniques necessary to execute your most balanced expression of Ardha Chandrasana.

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Balance starts from within. Prepare for balancing postures with a comfortable cross-legged seated position that gives you an opportunity to connect with your breath, feel the status of your physical and emotional bodies, and cultivate compassion and patience with yourself.


Let’s try it:

  • Find a comfortable cross-legged seat on your mat (option to sit on a bolster or block)
  • Root down through your sit bones and simultaneously extend up through the crown of your head
  • Roll your shoulders away from your ears
  • Focus on breathing air in through your nose and into your belly, and then out again through your nose
  • Continue for five to 10 breaths



2. Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

All plank poses build core strength which is absolutely necessary for balancing and active extension throughout the body. Side Plank builds strength in the side body to keep a strong trunk even when holding it on its side.


Let’s try it:

  • From Downward Facing Dog, lead with your shoulders and roll forward to Plank
  • Splay your fingers wide to help distribute your weight
  • Root down through your right hand
  • Roll toward the right side, and open your heart and front body toward the left
  • Actively push the floor away with your right hand and feel yourself being pulled up toward the ceiling with your left hand
  • Lift your hips away from the floor and tighten your belly, using your breath to reinforce your core
  • Activate and engage your legs and kick energy out through your heels
  • Stay here for three to five breaths

Looking for similar strength-building poses? Do These 10 Yoga Poses to Strengthen and Tone Your Core + Upper Body

3. Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)

This pose helps strengthen your balance and works your standing leg. It’s also a brilliant hamstring and hip opener which will prep you for opening into the final pose.


Let’s try it:

  • From standing, root down into your right leg and draw your left knee toward your chest
  • Engage your core, lift up through your right leg, and out of your right hip
  • Roll your shoulders away from your ears and stand tall
  • Reach with your left hand to find a yogi-toe-lock on your left big toe
  • Take a big inhale to grow tall and, on your exhale, begin to straighten your left leg forward
  • From here, open your left leg out to the left side of your mat
  • Keep your core strong and kick out through the heel of your left foot
  • Stay here in your deepest expression for three to five breaths

4. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

This is a posture that will help you feel long, strong, and grounded. Strengthening the core, opening the hamstrings and hips, and drawing open the heart space with full extension of the spine, Extended Triangle Pose is definitely a whole-body opening posture.


Let’s try it:

  • From Warrior II on the right side, inhale and straighten your right leg
  • Exhale and reach forward with your right fingertips, allowing your upper body to slide forward as if sliding between two panes of glass
  • Tilt your hips so you can bring your torso parallel to the mat
  • Once you have reached as far as you can, with as much length as you can, rotate your arms so that your chest opens toward the left side
  • Your right hand can rest on your shin, a block, or the mat inside or outside of your right foot
  • Actively reach your left hand toward the sky
  • Breathe here for three to five breaths, imagining your heart spiraling toward the ceiling

5. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Here is another pose that finds extension throughout the body. This hip opener will help you develop even more space in your legs, arms, and side body, not to mention some serious strength in your quadriceps.


Let’s try it:

  • From Warrior II on the right side, take a big inhale
  • Exhale and bring your right forearm to your right thigh
  • Reach your left arm up and overhead and activate your fingers
  • Notice the strong, straight line of your body from your left toes to your left fingertips
  • Spiral your torso and reach your heart space toward the ceiling
  • For a challenge, tighten up your belly and bring both arms into the air above your head as if you were holding a big beach ball
  • Stay here for three to five breaths

6. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior III is all straight lines and active muscles. It’s easy to feel this pose build strength and balance throughout your body. For a challenge, try to find peace in the pose. Keep your breath steady and your mind focused.


Let’s try it:

  • From standing, root down with your right leg
  • Extend your arms overhead and activate all your muscles from feet to fingertips – so much so, that you can begin to feel your left foot become a little weightless
  • Find a drishti: a non-moving point where you can focus to help you keep your balance
  • Inhale and then, on your exhale, hinge from your hips to draw your body parallel to the floor
  • Flex through your left foot and point your toes toward the mat
  • Reach forward with your fingers and kick through your left heel
  • Engage your core for steadiness and activate your right thigh
  • Stay here for three to five breaths



You’re ready! Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

With the length, strength, core balance, and standing leg steadiness fully prepped from the six previous postures, your body is now ready for Ardha Chandrasana.


Let’s try it:

  • From Warrior II on the right side, shift your gaze to a foot or so ahead of your right toes
  • Find the peace you discovered in Easy Pose
  • Begin to move your weight into your right foot
  • Reach your right hand to where your gaze is – about a foot in front of your right toes and a little to the right of them (option to use a block under your hand)
  • As your right hand grounds, hover your left foot off the floor
  • Like in Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose, activate your back leg and kick through the heel of your left foot
  • Like in Extended Triangle Pose, keep your body parallel to the floor as if between two panes of glass
  • Just like in Extended Side Angle Pose, feel the full length of your body extending open with both of your arms reaching in opposite directions and both of your legs long and active
  • Find the same core connection as in Side Plank – create a sturdy and long torso
  • Bring awareness to your standing leg and engage your right thigh like in Warrior III
  • Breathe easily but actively
  • Create space in your body and hold here for three to five breaths


Rock Your Half Moon Pose!

Remember: as with many poses, Ardha Chandrasana looks different on every body. Embrace how Half Moon Pose looks in your body.

Your practice is always changing, growing, and evolving with you. Some days your practice looks like something out of #yogaeverydamnday on Instagram, while other days your practice can look like a seated meditation.

The most amazing aspect of your yoga practice is how unique it is to you and how it always supports you in all stages of your life and your very being.

So, roll out your mat and get going. Ardha Chandrasana is waiting for you!

The post Do These 6 Yoga Poses to Prepare Your Body for the Elusive Half Moon Pose (Photo Tutorial) appeared first on YogiApproved™.

Source:: Do These 6 Yoga Poses to Prepare Your Body for the Elusive Half Moon Pose (Photo Tutorial)

man jumping over two rocks with sun behind him

It seems like only yesterday you were basking under a hot summer sun after jumping in a lake on the countryside. Or sipping a mocktail at the newest hotspot downtown on a warm August night. Time slowed down. You felt relaxed.

Now, here you are. The temperature has dropped several degrees. Your bikini is stored in the back of your drawer. Booties are covering your non-pedicured toes. You’ve switched your order from a half-sweet pumpkin spice latte with almond milk to a peppermint mocha with whipped cream while wearing your coziest bulky sweater, and you’re feeling festive. You’ve booked flights to arrive just in time to surprise family on Thanksgiving—not to mention that you’re feeling ahead of the game with a holiday list already made. You even mustered the courage to step into the holiday shopping jungle.

Suddenly it hits you. Perhaps while sipping that peppermint mocha and overhearing the ladies next to you complain about all that they have left to do before year-end.

2018 is almost over. 2019 is right around the corner.

That sweater doesn’t feel as comfy anymore. Despite it being ten sizes too big, you feel everything around and within you tighten. That latte you were enjoying moments earlier is now cold and you start feeling guilty for spending $6 on a beverage as the thought of holiday expenses overwhelms you. You quickly respond to this feeling by channeling your “I’m gonna get sh*t done” attitude, and decide that you need to make your 2019 plan. Stat.

Not only do I have what you need to make said plan, but I also have what you need to feel loose in that sweater and give the best gift of all this holiday season: Your beautiful presence. Read on for how to savor it all.

Photo by Doran Erickson

Slow down. Set a date.

Before you start trying to figure out what you’ll have accomplished by this time next year during the five minute break you have between meetings, relax. Slow down. You wouldn’t want your mechanic putting your winter tires on while he’s feeling rushed, stressed, and doing 10 other things at once; you make an appointment knowing that he’ll be taking his time and focusing on nothing else but your car. One tire at a time. It’s intentional and efficient. It’s safe and decreases the likelihood that you’ll slide off your path into a ditch.

Be like your car mechanic. Start by making an appointment when you’ll be creating your initial 2019 plan. You’ll need anywhere from one to three hours to a full day depending on which of the following elements you want to include.

Show up.

Don’t blow yourself off, keeping that anxious mind of yours partying like you did at your first college party. Instead, get dressed up for the occasion. If you want 2019 to be your best year yet, you must treat this date with the kind of love and respect that you expect 2019 to show you in return. Show up early—even if you’re doing this at home on a Sunday afternoon. Be punctual.

Have what you need prepared and ready: Pen, paper, smooth jazz, a pot of chai tea, and your calendar.

You may even get in the mood by creating your own version of Wanderlust 108: run, yoga, meditate. You’ll feel invigorated after hitting the pavement. Open after you’ve flowed. Clear minded after sitting on your cushion.

Take a step back before getting ahead.

You’re excited to put down on paper a long list of goals that make you feel good now but burnt out by mid-February. So we’re not going to do it as you normally would in 2019, ok?

Before you look ahead, root your feet firmly into the floor, sit up straight, and acknowledge where you are right now. You are not behind by any means. You’re where you are and that’s the only place you can start from—don’t waste time wishing you were somewhere else on your life path. From there, take a few steps back. A lot has happened in 2018. Take time to celebrate what was in order to create what will be.

Complete this short and powerful review to see what truly mattered. Answer these questions to guide you:

  1. What are you most proud of having experienced, learned, contributed, accomplished, started, or stopped in 2018?
  2. What have been your most memorable moments this year? Note at least 3–7.
  3. Who has made the biggest impact on your life and why? Cap this to 3–5 people.
  4. What would your best friend celebrate about who you have been and what you have done in 2018?

Resist the urge to rush through this exercise. Slow down even more. Review your answers. Let them sink in. Smile. Laugh. And if tears come, let them. Chances are they are simply a sea of gratitude. Surf them.

Lean into the future.

With your heart full and your soul calm it’s time to lean into the future. To do this, imagine yourself one year from now or at the end of 2019. Ask yourself:

  1. What will you be most proud of having experienced, learned, contributed, accomplished, started, or stopped in 2019?
  2. What memorable moments will you have created?
  3. Who will be part of your soul tribe?
  4. What will you be celebrating about who you have become?

Capture anything and everything that comes up. Make a list of all the ideas, goals, and projects that you want to focus on. I often have clients write down their Top 25 list. Write yours. Then do this next muy importante step: choose your top three items. Not five, not 10, three. Max.

Create Your “Absolutely Do NOT Touch List.”

The three items selected become your core priorities. What remains becomes your “Absolutely Do NOT Touch List.” Give yourself permission to devote yourself fully to your top priorities. Play full out for these to become a reality and bench the others till it’s their turn to play. If FOMO tries to creep in, kick it out in order to experience the magic that comes from channeling your time, energy, and love on what matters most.

Here’s the secret: When you focus on core priorities and let go of the rest, you actually end up accomplishing more than if you were to try to do it all at once. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it and prove me wrong.

Reverse engineer.

Now that you’ve chosen your top priorities, it’s time to reverse engineer. Start with the end in mind and work backwards till you arrive at today.

  1. Get crystal clear about what you want.
  2. Put all the details down on paper.
  3. Identify key milestones along the way.
    Break these down into actionable steps.
  4. Break these down even further until you identify core habits that you will practice daily, weekly, monthly in order to become the person who realizes their goals in a graceful manner. Remember, the little things become the big things in life.
  5. Add to your calendar dates when these will be completed. Block off time for celebration.
  6. Set the date for when you’ll review and tune this plan. I recommend a monthly check-in and at the very least a seasonal review. You can even match your review dates with appointments you’ve set with your mechanic. If you’re tuning your car more than yourself, alignment will be off.
  7. Start today. In fact, if your priorities don’t create an immediate shift within you, then these aren’t goals of the soul. Immediate shifts are like sparks that light up the highest version of ourselves. If you feel both excited and terrified right now, you’re in a good spot.

Be present.

Now that you have your simplified and actionable plan, you begin. No matter how small the action, take it. Don’t wait for 2019 to come around to start creating the life you dream of. Because this is the dream. Let 2018 flow into the new year as smoothly as that peppermint mixes into that mocha.

Plan a sample of your ideal day.

We all have to work—and it’s true that not everyday can be full of only the activities that light your soul on fire. But that doesn’t have to be a roadblock. Instead, plan out your ideal weekend day, and then adapt it to days in which you may have ore rigid time constraints. I invite you to adapt this sample to represent what your ideal weekend day in 2019 would look like. Doing it now is an opportunity to put it into practice and train yourself to BE who you want to be. DO what you want to do. Focus on what’s important to you. Most of all, enjoy the process. Because at the end of the day, the journey is the destination.

6am: Wake up. Don’t snooze.
6:30am–7am: Meditate.
7am–8am: Hydrate with water, enjoy a cup of java and a light breakfast.
8:30am–9:30am: Time in nature. A brisk walk in the park or in your favorite hood.
10am–11:30am: Yoga class from home or at your favorite studio
12pm–1pm: Healthy lunch made with love. Eaten slowly. Enjoyed thoroughly.
1pm–4pm: Time to work through these action steps.
4pm–4:20pm: Power nap to integrate and restore.
4:20pm–5pm: Review what you’ve created. Identify your FIRST step. Take it. Celebrate it.
5pm–7pm: Date with someone you love and who supports you to share with them what you’ve created. Green juice or vino, is up to you.

For additional tools to support your journey, listen to the Inspired & Empowered Podcast where I interview rad humans and offer lifestyle design and coaching tools along the way. I may be biased, but it’s truly awesome!

Melissa Colleret is a life coach, speaker, and yoga instructor based in Montreal. Sharing her mission to make you come alive and live your best life keeps this passionate entrepreneur on her toes. From 1:1 sessions, online workshops, cleanse programs, and yoga classes, Melissa wakes up every day wanting to inspire and empower.


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Source:: Get Ahead of 2019—Set Your Intentions Now