I had sorta planned on not writing any more posts about yoga, mostly since there is just only so much I can share at the level (non-teacher) that I am at. But hey look-y here, the topic creeped in again, cultivating a simple, stylish and content every day is heart and habit‘s focus and yoga fits somewhere in between their nice and cozy like — so creep in from time to time, it will.
At the very beginning of the year I wrote this post all about making this the year to take care of, you! And I still think this year should be for you (and me), but not just this year…every year. You should be a part of your priority list. I know starting something new, or changing old habits can be tough, life sometimes gets in the way and sometimes things can be darn hard to keep up with. But don’t fret, because each season can feel like a brand new beginning and for some reason fall more than any other. So if you haven’t been super good at taking care of yourself so far this year (as good as you take care of all the other people in your life) why not stop and take a minute to start doing that now, for fall. And hey, maybe these 9 simple ways to do so, will help you make fall the season to take care of yourself!
Every time I think it can’t get any better, it does. Stronger, calmer, more content, more in tune with my own body. The laundry list of ways yoga has improved my life, literally goes on and on. When I think, I usually think out loud. And the closest person to me is Chris, so I usually talk his ear right off. Half the time I’m messily talking about my dreams and goals (that usually make no sense to anyone except me, because they are a mess of thoughts) or I’m annoyingly talking about yoga (I assume it gets annoying).
Every few months I feel I hit a new realization with my practice usually a “holy crap, I didn’t know I could do that!?” or a “wow, I don’t think I would have handled that situation like that before yoga”. Lately I’ve been going through a ton of both and I realized that in general, yoga has made me a better human being. Both inside and out, but since the insides are truly what matter most I thought I’d talk everyone’s ear off a little about some of the realizations I’ve come to lately.
FOCUS ON MYSELF.
In class, I’m in my own head focusing on my breath and my body. Half the time I’m transitioning and moving into postures with my eyes closed, to stay focused on myself and feel the breath in my body. It’s been carrying over into life, caring even less about what others are doing (because it’s not about me) and keeping my focus onto myself. Except for my kids and husband, but they are an extension of myself, at least in this instance.
Yoga has taught me to be kind to myself and my body. I still beat myself up better than anyone else on earth ever could, but it really has helped that negative self talk ease up even just a little. Which translates into being more compassionate to others, but for some reason that comes much easier than being kind to ourselves.
NOT TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY.
Because it’s not about me, unless it’s about me.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
Once I realized that the practice isn’t just about the postures, it’s about everything that happens before, after and all those beautiful in-betweens. It spilled over into life, I try much harder to enjoy the transitions, the travel to and froms. Rather then gunning for the destination and missing all those tiny in-between moments.
BREATHE THROUGH THE UNCOMFORTABLE.
My yoga breath, is probably the most impactful skill I have learnt. For someone who is naturally anxious, it has helped take me through a difficult muscle burning posture, and now through a difficult public kiddo tantrum. Sure it doesn’t make uncomfortable or hard situations go away, but it really helps to get thorough them more calmly and keeps adult tantrums at bay…even just a little.
TEACH ME TO TRY NEW THINGS.
Going to yoga for the first time ever was way outside of my comfort zone, and most everything that came afterwards has also been. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit more self-aware because of the practice, or more compassionate to myself – but trying new things isn’t quite as scary as it was prior to yoga. Public speaking? I’m pretty sure that’ll still make me pee my pants.
LISTEN TO MY BODY.
I’ve learned that everyday is different and some days my body just says no to something, so I’ve learnt not to push it. Same goes for life, if I’m hungry I don’t keep going to a point in the task where I feel comfortable to stop, now I just stop and eat. Things are much better, and more productive when I listen to what my body needs, instead of telling my body what I need from it.
KICK AWAY SOME EGO.
I should say learning, but yoga sure has taught me a lot about kicking my ego aside. Mostly it’s humbled me in so many ways, which has helped to beat down my ego even a little.
I have a feeling that someone who is a runner, or maybe a barre enthusiast has found similar things spilling over from their class/practice/run into their day-to-day lives. Has anyone found that a of those things make you, just an all around better you?
And to lighten things up a little, let’s talk about these yoga pants I’m wearing. They are my Dear Kate #nothingunder yoga pants. Built specifically so that the wearer can go commando while wearing them. Because who likes to wear underwear while practicing yoga? Only crazy people. I haven’t worn them into the hot room yet, I don’t think I will. I think the ‘extra’ coverage around my under lady parts (the part that makes them commando friendly) would make the pants too hot for the hot room, what an oxymoron that sentence is. But I will try one day soon and probably report back! So far I really dig them, but I mean what’s not to love about a great pair of yoga pants that aren’t see thru, and are built to go sans underwear!
I’ve written a bunch of posts (all in the voice of a student/someone who is also learning) about getting started in yoga, advice for hot yoga beginners, how to make your home practice a priority, yoga on a budget, the effects of a consistent practice, a pretty decent spectrum of everyday tips and advice for the everyday or beginner yogi. I realized a few weeks ago, when my husband started going to yoga (I know, totally amazing!) that I left out the most important piece of the whole getting started/developing a yoga practice puzzle. How to find your breath/how to breathe. I actually sorta left it out on purpose, I just figured I wasn’t the right person to explain it. Since I’m not a teacher or an expert – but since trying to help explain how I found m breath to Chris in a way that makes sense, I remembered just how hard it was for me to find my breath and figured why not share what I tried to articulate to him and maybe it’ll help someone just a little. Without the proper (I can’t think of a better word, there really is no “proper” but I think you get what I mean?) breathing the class can feel so much harder, confusing, frustrating, aggravating and fumbly then it needs to be. I’m not talking about just plain old breathing as opposed to holding your breath, normal breathing is cool too (I mean, it’s hip to be alive: breathing=life) but I mean your yoga breath which is called pranayama – how to find yours and what the heck is it anyways?
The past week, actually maybe two weeks? I honestly can’t remember, its all a bit of a fever and coughing blur. We’ve had our first taste of the cold and flu season (maybe our first ever REAL taste, I probably just jinxed the rest of our season). This cold has made it’s rounds through almost all 4 of us and even back around to a couple of us. I usually try to stay on top of things, keeping everyone healthy and making sure we have the right remedies but this cold season totally through me for a loop. In an effort to make sure you aren’t thrown into the same PJ lock-down, I wanted to share some of our personal favorite remedies as well as some amazing ones I have been wanting to try (and there is no time like the present, cough cough).
*Many of these are natural remedies, containing things that might not be safe for under 2 years old, or items that might be intense on little bodies – so please use your judgment or consult your dr when it comes to using anything on your little ones.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ELDERBERRY SYRUP from ohdeardrea
This is more of a preventative measure, and one we surely should have being doing. So if you want to boost your immune system, and help speed up recovery time (no brainier), go see my good friend Drea for more info and the recipe.
DIY VAPOR RUB from everydayroots.com
Make your own, it’s easy and way healthier filled with really helpful essential oils. I couldn’t decide between this recipe which contains beeswax pastilles or this one from DIY Natural, that is made with shea butter – two great recipes for homemade vapor rub.
COLD AND FLU ELIXIR from ohdeardrea
Sick and in need of a magic remedy head over and get this recipe (I called it an elixir because it sounds magical). Drea has natural living totally covered, if I were you I’d follow her to stay up to date with all that future magic she dishes out (also, she’s just the best). (this contains honey, which is not recommended for kids under 12 months and if you use raw honey, kids under 2 should not use)
GINGER TURMERIC AND HONEY BOMB from greenkitchenstories.com
Very similar to Drea’s magic, focusing in on the benefits of turmeric, honey and ginger. (this contains honey, which is not recommended for kids under 12 months and if you use raw honey, kids under 2 should not use)
MORE TOOLS TO ADD or KEEP IN YOUR TOOLBOX:
- Manuka Honey. It is known for its healing properties and literally works wonders for aliments. (I would highly recommended buying this at your local healthy store and speaking to a professional before buying, some people have sensitivities to honey and it is not recommended for kids under 2)
- Badger Balm. If making your own vapor rub, doesn’t sounds like a good time. Go for this option, over the vicks.
- Coconut Water. A healthy electrolyte booster, when you really need that extra hydration skip the Gatorade and go for this. In my experience O.N.E Coconut Water is the best tasting (usually the one they sell at Starbucks), in case that’s what’s been keeping you away.
- Ener-C. a powder you mix in your drink, it gives you a hit of 1,000MG of Vitamin C and changes the taste of your water, since you are probably already drinking tons of that. I buy this for Chris every time he shows even the smallest sign of getting sick.
- Salt Water Gargle. No one really loves it (my Mom used to make us do it as kids), but it really helps with the pain of a sore throat. Also good for cleaning the mouth of germs, since you are detoxifying everything else in your home (if you aren’t you should be: boiling tooth brushes, changing pillow cases and sheets – better to be safe then sorry, because no one likes a germ spreader).
- Humidifier. The cool mist really does help open up stuffed up nasal passages, also it’s just nice to sleep with.
- Elevate the Mattress. We usually lift the kids mattresses by putting a stuffed animal under the portion where thier heads lie. For us we just double up pillows, keep the head elevated to help with breathing freely when stuffed and help keep the coughs away at night.
- And of course, soup (avoid cream based), booger wipes (if that’s your thing), rest (always), and endless amounts of fluids (just pee the cold away).
Do you have any remedies to add? My Oma always made us this homemade cough syrup, I need to hound my sister to get the recipe – I remember it working like nothing else that and her homemade chicken soup where instant cures!
I’m not turning to food blogging. I’m just into sharing things I’m totally obsessed with and sometimes (pretty rarely) it happens to be food (even though I am constantly obsessed with food). So let’s start by explaining just how ridiculously addicted to salt + vinegar chips I am, like can’t-stop-eating even after my tongue is hurting, addicted. I recently did another detox, a once a year occurrence in my life now. And since being with out all the unhealthy things for 12 day I really didn’t want to go back to eating them. So in an effort to find a replacement for my severe love for salt + vinegar chips, chickpeas met vinegar and then they got all roasted. They of course aren’t a perfect replacement, there is just nothing like the real deal – but they suffice and totally cut the hunger and craving game too (high protein snack will do that).
- 2 cups pre-soaked Chickpeas (or 1 large can)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (appx. 3/4 cup)
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
Soak, rinse and drain your chickpeas. Lay chickpeas out in a wide bowl or deep pan, try to make it so they aren’t piled on top of each other – too much. Pour your vinegar overtop, depending on the type of bowl or pan you used to spread out the chickpeas, the amount will vary. You want every chickpea to be at least half way covered in the vinegar. Let them soak for 1.5 hours, or more depending on how vinegary you want your chickpeas to be. Drain the vinegar, toss chickpeas in olive oil, sprinkle salt and some pepper over top and then roast for 40 minutes.
Eat them as a snack or throw them on a salad. Also maybe try white vinegar or balsamic, totally different “fake” salt + vinegar chip, flavor.
PS. the kids like these too!