FRIDAY CHILL: STRESS BUSTING TIPS
We’ve all heard time and time again that stress is the #1 cause of illness, but for many of us, it seems impossible to escape stress in our daily lives. After a long day of hustling around from class to class, client to client, borough to borough, I often find it hard to get my brain off the hamster wheel. So, how do I keep stress from swallowing me up? I’ve discovered one sure-fire technique to finding relaxation that is simple and can be practiced anywhere…deep abdominal breathing.
When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you take in, the less tense and anxious you feel.
• Sit comfortably with a tall spine. If you are seated on a chair, be sure your feet touch the ground. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Note: If you find it difficult breathing from your abdomen while sitting upright, try this technique while lying on the floor.
• Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, initiating the breath from the belly. You should feel the hand on your abdomen rise as your belly inflates, however the hand on your chest should move very little.
• Exhale through your mouth for 4 counts, forcing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your abdomen should draw in as you exhale, but the hand on your chest should move very little.
• Repeat this sequence for several rounds of breath.
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Wedding Season is Not Over Yet…
Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Some days of planning can leave you distraught and completely run down. During the process I have had days that I am literally in tears on my way into work and once I walk through the door and see my clients waiting for me to teach I am immediately inspired by them and at peace. Even on those extremely stressful days I go in and take that deep breathe during the warm up and truly do not think about anything except how lucky I am to be an instructor for the rest of class.
I love teaching Barre. I love the music and the tempo. The beat drives an electric energy that helps me take my clients and myself to a greater level of being. I have amazing clients and I care about making a difference in their lives. For one hour I have the power and pleasure to create a stress free and FUN environment. I need these classes just as much, probably more, than every client in there. In life, especially during high stress times, it is so important to find something healthy in life that helps you release… allows you to take a step back and find appreciation and focus. Teaching is my own version of Wedding Boot Camp. It helps keep me stay grounded and has allowed me to stay “Wedding Ready” physically but more importantly mentally and for that I am so grateful!
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Do you ever feel overwhelmed with your life or your work? Are you suffering from “burn out” or just feeling that you have nothing left to give the people in your life who seem to be needing so much from you? I think that this is a very real and problematic space that tends to be occupied by teachers of all kinds, especially those in the fitness and bodywork industry. We all want to do our best to help the individuals in our lives who are looking to us for guidance. The question, in my mind, is how to offer our very best selves without compromising our own emotional limitations.
This has been a very real conversation in my life of late and my response to this process has been to practice expanding my container for love. I am not suggesting that we need to love everyone all the time but instead that if we can expand our capacity for love within ourselves then we will, in turn, have more love to give away. What I am speaking of is not a romantic kind of love but instead a process of expanding our tolerance, compassion and empathy for those whom we come into contact with and, in doing so, be able to treat problematic situations with kindness and grace.
So, the question is, how does one go about this? I am practicing really listening, making eye contact and being very present with the people I am sharing space with. Not only in my work arena but also with my personal relationships. If one lets themselves be open to internal as well as external dialogues there is perhaps more room for compassion and ease in situations which can sometimes feel stagnant.
I have found that by being truly open and present, no matter how challenging this feels sometimes, I allow myself to exist in a space where there is less emotional limitation, less irritation and more room for growth both in myself and in my relationships. This is a project that takes time and patience but as it unfolds it seems that I am able to connect more deeply with the people I care about as well those who are looking to me for help and it feels good.
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Tuesday Treat: Grilled Peaches
Scamper to the store and scoop up some peaches before they are out of season!
Grilled peaches can be made for a non-traditional side dish or a dessert option as well.
Check out these 4 easy steps:
1) Slice peaches in half and remove the pit.
2) Sprinkle each cut side with cinnamon.
3) Grill over medium heat with cut side down in a TBS of melted coconut oil for approximately 3-5 minutes.
4) For dessert option serve with a scoop of whipped coconut cream on top. For a dinner side, serve with blue cheese crumbles where pit was.
Healthy & delicious! Enjoy!
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