Tag Archives: yoga

Why is Stillness So Dang Hard to Do?

28 Jul
Lauritzen Botanical Gardens, Omaha, NE. I find peace in nature.

Lauritzen Botanical Gardens, Omaha, NE. I find peace in nature.

It’s scary to be still.

Our brain can be such a nasty thing when we want to be present. “Hey lazy,” it will shout, “how about you get off your butt and do something for once! Try losing a few pounds, loser. You aren’t going to get that promotion–you’re not good enough. Ya sure, they’d go out with you–if you were the last person on Earth.”

Ouch.

It’s a blessing that we aren’t our thoughts. In fact, sometimes they desire a verbal Kung Fu chop back to reality with factual examples of all the times you’ve experienced success–big or small. “Hey Brain. Actually, I just finished a 30-minute workout and replaced my daily soda with this awesome herbal tea–I feel great! And even though I’m nervous waiting to find out about the promotion, that’s okay. I’ve increased my productivity and I’m proud of it. And… I really want to get to know this person and the only way I can know for sure is to ask. Plus, if I was actually the loser person you say I am, then I wouldn’t have such great friends.”

Ka Pow! Kung Fu chopped.

Turn your attention inward again. Listen to your breathing for 10 deep breaths. Listen to your body, not your brain. What is it telling you?

And smile… always smile.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you ever find your monkey mind trash talking yourself with negativity? If so, what do you do or say to silence it?

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Sweet Relief

18 Nov
Uber Happy Mountain yoga in Utah

Happy Mountain Yoga in Utah

Do you daydream about traveling to a secluded cabin with a good book, fireplace and bowl of chili? Or playing frisbee on the beach with your family after you’ve buried your smartphone in the sand? How blissful would it be to take one moment to just LIVE in the moment? What if you had the best my-mouth-hurts-from-laughing-I’m-gonna-pee-my-pants 5-minute ticklefest? I partook in that with my niece and nephew this weekend and it was pure Happy Therapy. And it also got me thinking… what did I enjoy as a kid when I didn’t carry all of my self-worth in how many hours I worked and how “busy” I was?

I cross-stitched, read, danced everywhere, played outside, colored, built pillow forts and laughed. What did you do?

I propose a pinky-swear. A pinky-swear to invest at least 30 minutes per week stepping into “rejuvenation time” and embracing it for what it truly is–not a selfish act, but a self-care act. You cannot be fully present, healthy and loving towards others if you are not fully present, healthy and loving towards yourself. Ahhh… I hear the choir singing.

Here are some activities that have soul and heart healing benefits, proven to reduce stress, improve heart health, increase neurological pathways and are down-right awesome.

  • Flowing Movement: yoga, dancing
  • Touch: massage therapy, hugging, tickling, playing an instrument
  • Arts and Crafts: knitting, painting, drawing, jewelry-making, cross-stitching
  • Nature: walking, hiking, gardening
  • Reflection: reading, meditation
  • Breathwork: deep breathing, singing, laughing

Okay, Action Jackson, let’s take a deep breath right here, right now. Yes, you might be “shoulding” all over yourself at the THOUGHT of putting your work down and taking time for yourself because you’re just too busy, but humor me for one minute. Ready? Read this paragraph first and then close your eyes and continue with the activity. Sitting comfortably, pay attention to the beating of your heart, the tension in your muscles and the thoughts racing through your mind. Inhale through your nose for two seconds and then exhale out your mouth for two seconds. Continue to breathe, extending each inhalation and exhalation by one second until you reach five seconds. Feel your heart beat slow down and your muscles relax. Acknowledge any thoughts that come into your mind and allow them to leave. No judgements or self-criticism; just sweet, beautiful, releasing breaths.

~Steph

Learn to Love Exercise

20 Oct
Rock Climbing in Utah

Climb trees as a kid like me? Try some rock climbing or wall climbing!

Say what?! That’s right… whether you are a hater or just need some variety to get your sweat on, here are some questions to ask yourself so you can discover your inner athlete and get your body moving.

1. What Do You Enjoy and How Can You Incorporate That Into Your Life? Did you love to dance as a child? Then check out a Zumba, Barre or Modern dance class. Maybe you’ve never liked a physical activity you’ve tried, but you do dig Robert Downey, Jr.’s moves in Sherlock Holmes or watching Buffy kick vampire butt (back when vampires were evil and didn’t sparkle). Then try kickboxing or join a martial arts studio. Love to walk and spend time with your family? Then walk around the block together before sitting down to a healthy family dinner.

2. What Are You Willing to Invest In Your Health? It’s not just about the Benjamins, but expertise and time as well. So you found an activity you like–awesome! Find an expert who will teach you correct technique to reduce injury, but also so it is scheduled and organized (i.e. walking into a gym and not knowing what to do can be intimidating and wastes your precious time). Brilliant! Your health is the most important investment, so schedule it like any other crucial appointment in your life. If you like to lift weights, invest in a few private or semi-private sessions with a trainer (having a workout buddy makes exercise even more fun and cost-effective). If you enjoy yoga or Pilates, go to a studio with a knowledgable instructor. If the instructor teaching the class isn’t walking around correcting form or if your trainer is on their cell phone, then find a new teacher. You are hiring them to give you a safe and effective workout, not paying them to do their own workout or text their friends on your time.

3. What One Simple Thing Can You Do Right Now to Incorporate It? The best way to build an exercise habit, is to start slow. Maybe you go to your Martial Arts or Barre class one time per week for two weeks before adding in a second class. That’s cool. And if that is too much of a time commitment, then pop in some Daft Punk, dance your little heart out for 15 minutes and see where your dance parties take you. And if you honestly do not have the money right now to invest, then try this 30-minute workout I designed to get you moving towards your fitness kingdom. Doing something is always better than nothing.

If you incorporate these three steps, you will slowly build lifelong exercise habits and be an inspiring example for your loved ones too. Exercise doesn’t have to be something you sweat (…too cheesy of a pun?). You can choose fun activities and you can choose to make it a part of your life. Now go out there and be awesome!

For more info, please contact Stephanie Bell (hey, that’s me!) at 402-819-8970.