Becoming Stronger than your “habit energy”

Female doing stretching workout on exercise mat. Woman doing balasana yoga at gym, with focus on hands.

Child’s pose to release the pushing and come back home

I read this beautiful passage, in my yoga class, from Thich Nhat Hahn’s little book, HOW TO SIT.

Take a few moments to gather your energy by taking a couple of conscious breaths, and ponder Thich’s teachings on “Habit Energy.”

Habit Energy

When you sit, you may feeling something pushing you to get up and do something else.

That’s the energy inside each of use called habit energy.

Habit Energy is energy that is fueled by an old pattern, situation, or habit.

It isn’t based on our real needs and our real situaition in the present.

Habit energy is always pushing.

We have the habit of thinking that happiness isn’t possible in the here and now

that we have to go look for it somewhere else or in the future.

That’s why we keep running.  Our parents ran too. They transmitted the habit of running to us, and they received it from their ancestors.

It’s a longstanding habit.

We deeply believe that in the future we may have more conditions for our happiness and that our “real life”lies somewhere else.

It’s because of our habit energy, that the present moment can seem boring.

It is a strong energy.  If we are not aware of it, it can be stronger than we are.

When we sit and invite the sound of the bell, it is a reminder to let go of that

habit energy and return home.”

 

May we be stronger than our habit energy, sit, invite the sound of the bell, and come home to this moment!

 

This simple practice of child’s pose will guide you back into your self and help you to become stronger than your habit energy.

Rebecca

The health benefits of yoga and cardio, do we really need both?

young sporty woman running on mountain stairsThe Health Benefits of Yoga and Cardio: Do We Really Need Both?

If you want to reap the hundreds of health benefits of cardiovascular exercise and yoga, then YES!

You might be thinking, “I get to my yoga mat 3 times a week, why do I need cardio?”

What does cardio offer that yoga doesn’t?

I’m going to share the top 5 benefits that come from pumping up the cardio but first let me tell you about my personal experience.

I’ve been practicing yoga for over 22 years and teaching for 18 years. In my younger days, I worked out at the gym, went running, hiking, and walking.

I got so into yoga that it became my main physical activity.  As a teacher, I practiced a lot but it wasn’t the same as my cardio workouts.  In fact, unless the room was warm, I wouldn’t break a sweat.

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And even if the room was warm, the sweat was triggered more from the external heat then my practice.

I felt good but I wasn’t as fit as I was when I was doing both yoga and cardio.

When I went for my annual physical I stayed the same weight, which was 150 and sometimes 151 or 152.

And I thought “Ya,” that’s pretty much what I weigh. I’m exactly the same as last year, give or take a pound or two.”

But I knew that 150 was on the heavier side, for me.  My most balanced weight is about 140, even 138, if you want to get specific.  And those 12 pounds definitely weren’t coming from my super sculpted yoga muscles.

No, those 12 extra pounds were showing up as fat padding my middle, my arms, and mostly my butt and legs.

I decided it was time to get back to cardio and I found Orange Theory Fitness.

Have you heard of it?

If not, you’re probably thinking… “what?”

“Orange Therapy what?”

Orange Theory Fitness is a High Intensity Interval Training workout that combines running at different speeds and inclines, rowing, and a floor work-out.

In short, its the best workout I’ve ever had but, more importantly, it is the most consistant I’ve been with a cardio workout.

I have experienced a complete shift in my fitness, and my body, since adding cardio to my life.

My Yoga practice feels better.  I am stronger and I have more energy in my poses.

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And, there is no way I could workout OTF style without my yoga!  They fit together like peanut butter and jelly.

If you’re not currently getting your heart-rate up for 20-30 minutes a few times a week, in addition to your yoga, these top 5 benefits of cardio might just inspire you to go outside for run as soon as your finish reading.

And then meet me on the mat for yoga!

Top 5 REASONS to PUMP UP the CARDIO

#1 Boost Your Mood

#2 Burn Fat

#3 Lower Blood Pressure

#4 Stengthen Your Bones

#5 Sleep like a Baby

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Acts of Love that Your Body Needs and the Power of Yoga

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How do you love your body now when you’d rather be slimmer, trimmer and more in shape?

You might be surprised when I tell you it starts with loving the body you have! The word yoga translates to yoke or unite.

This did not come easily for me back in the days before I found yoga.  In fact, in my early 20’s I hated my body.  I was always an active fit kid even into my teens, but by the time I was a junior in high-school, I started gaining weight. In college my weight became a constant source of frustration.   It didn’t help that my best girlfriend was fit-as-a-fiddle with beautiful, lean, tan legs and mine were fat and full of cellulite!  I hated my legs!

Apparently, so did my boyfriend.  

I’ll never forget the night we were walking on the beach when he dropped a truth-bomb on me.  He looked me in the eyes and said, “You have the most beautiful face but your legs are fat and that is a real turn-off for me.”

I was devastated! I couldn’t believe he said that to me.

I was disgusted with him and my body.  I yo-yo dieted and worked out in fits and spurts with little or no weight loss results.  I felt angry and depressed about how I looked. I ate  pints of Chunky Monkey ice-cream and went out drinking with friends which kept the weight on. The downward cycle ensued.Yogasoul-2

Thank God, I found yoga…

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Through the beautiful practice of yoga I embraced my curves and began to experience a new relationship with my body.  I began practicing self-love and appreciation; I changed on the inside and the outside.

Loving your body doesn’t mean you throw your health goals to the wind and continue reaching for the Ben and Jerry’s.  No, loving your body is a shift in how you care for your body internally and externally.  You begin getting the body you want by treating your body with kindness and compassion. The process actually starts in your mind!

Yoga is a lifestyle and a mindfulness practice.  It isn’t a fad diet and it isn’t about weight loss. It’s about balance.  When you step into the world of yoga, you step into self-discovery.  You learn about what makes you tick, your dreams and desires. You learn that yoga is a mind-body-heart-and soul system.  

The practice inspires you to take good care of your body by adopting a diet rich in superfoods, veggies, fruits, nuts, legumes, and to practice clearing negative self talk while adopting a positive mindset.

It all begins on your yoga mat, moving your body, tuning into your breath, and falling in love with you and, yes, your body.

Yoga teaches you that every moment is a gift, even the more difficult ones. Through the lens of yoga you see the miracle of your body and you begin to treat it with kindness, compassion, and care. This is the path to creating health habits that last and become the norm for you.

You really can have the body you want. Your body wants to be in its best shape.

Are you ready to get the body you want?

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Start today by choosing one of the following acts of love:

  1. Nourish your body with a healthy meal.
  2. Get out in nature for a brisk walk!
  3. Cut back or omit one of the following: sugar, alcohol, wheat, or caffeine
  4. Start a 15-minute home practice
  5. When you hear negative self-talk,  shout “Stop” and plug in a positive affirmation.

 

7 Secrets to Healthy Habits that Last

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7 Secrets to Healthy Habits that Last

Are you beating yourself up about your unhealthy food/drink habits? 

Do you frequent your favorite coffee spot for an afternoon pick-me-up and feel a little guilty for having coffee late in the day?

Do you enjoy a glass of wine, or two, in the evening, only to turn around and make yourself wrong for such indulgence?

If you answered yes, you’re not alone. I love my Pete’s coffee and my Chardonnay!  And I’m a yoga teacher.

I’m supposed to swear off meat, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine, right?  Wrong…

But when I’m drinking a glass of wine every night, or dare I say…two glasses, I’m out of balance. I don’t feel good about myself.  I don’t sleep well, I’m dehydrated, I wake up in a fog.  And my vibrant energy is drained. Sound familiar?

Whether you lean toward coffee and a muffin for breakfast, a sugary snack in the afternoon, or sipping your favorite glass of wine while cooking dinner, if you’re starting to feel bad about the choices you’re making, its time for a change.

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The challenge is that by feeling bad about yourself, and your habits, an emotional desire for more of the very thing you’re trying to avoid is triggered.

This is the cycle of addiction and it can be one of the hardest patterns to break.

But break it you can and these 7 Secrets can take you down the path to healthy habits that last…

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So what are the secrets?  Your 7 Chakras!

The word Chakra, in sanskrit, means “wheel” or “disc”; it refers to the vortex of energetic activity flowing from the major nerve gaglia of the spinal column.

There are 7 major chakras that align the spine from the crown of the head to the base of the spine. Each Center is represented by an element, is associated with a color, has a name, and relates to aspects of consciousness, psychology, archetypes, and philosophy.

The chakras are the energy of yoga, harnessing this energy, both on and off the mat, will take you down a path to vibrant health, dynamic balance, and a creative life you love!

Follow these 7 Chakra Steps to healthy habits that last:

Step 1: Connect with the Divine through Meditation: 

Step 2: Vision Your Vibrant Health and Wellness

Step 3: Speak About Your Wellness Goals

Step 4: Love Yourself, Return to Balance,  Find Your Wellness Tribe

Step 5: Take Action in the Direction of Your Wellness Vision

Step 6: Tap into the Pleasure and Passion of a Juicy Life

Step 7: Take Good Care of Your Body Temple and Thrive

crown chakra Step 1: Connect with the Divine, is related to the 7th chakra; this is located at the top of your head. Sahasrara is the name given the crown chakra. It means “Thousand Petaled Lotus.”Meditation enhances the balance of this energy center and allows Universal wisdom to enter to top of the head. Connecting with your Spirit gives you much needed resolve for getting off the wine, sugar, and caffeine.
eye Step 2: Vision Your Vibrant Health and Wellness: 6th chakra, or third eye, is located in the middle of your forehead just above your eyebrows.  This chakra is called Ajna which means both to “perceive” and “command.” Welcome to the command center of your life! See your way into your new healthy lifestyle. Dream about what you want, use your imagination, see the changes you want to make in your life in vivid color, texture, shape, and vibrancy.
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Step 3: Speak about Your Wellness Goals; Speaking your truth ignites the power of your fifth chakra, vishuddha, which means “purify” in English. 

One of the best ways to get what you want is to talk about it. Share your vision of optimal health and wellness with trusted friends and family members.  Be specific about what you want, why you want it, and by when you want to accomplish your goals.


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Chakras (4) Step 4: Love Your Self, Find Your Wellness Tribe: We’re in the heart chakra! Governed by air, Anahata chakra, translates to “unstruck,” and is all about love, balance, and relationship.Love is practicing patience and kindness as you make changes in your life.  Buddy up with a friend, or group of friends, and lean on your wellness tribe for support and accountability. As you reciprocate this support for them, your heart opens to change.
Chakras Step 5: Take Action in the Direction of Your Wellness Vision and awaken your personal power!  Chakra 3, Manipura, is known as the power chakra, it’s element is fire.  It means “lustrous gem.” Taking small steps toward your vision stokes the fire of chakra 3. Action sparks momentum, gives you power to resist temptation, and burns through inertia.  When your power chakra is balanced you’re ready to get up and go!
SecondChakra Step 6: Tap into the Pleasure and Passion of a Vibrant Yoga Body!  Second charka is called swadisthana which means “sweetness.” It’s element is water.  This is about movement, creativity, sensation, desire, sexuality. Getting into the flow of good choices goes beyond diet and exercise, this chakra teaches us to re-awaken our passion and pay attention to what delights our senses.
Earth Step 7: Take Good Care of Your Body Temple and Thrive!  We’ve journeyed down the chakra path to the base of the spine, the root chakra. It’s sanskrit name is Muladhara, which translates to “root support.”This is the energy center that governs your body and your physical world.  Caring for your body as the temple of your Spirit leads to vitality and an experience of thriving.  This includes nourishing your body with healthy meals and rituals as well as caring for your surroundings.  This chakra balances when you take care of your body, your home, your car,  and your bank account.  Root chakra loves organization and taking care of business.

If you’re ready to experience vibrant health, dynamic balance, and creative living, alongside other women who share your wellness vision, join our community!  Click the button below for your Body Love Declarations, Smoothie Recipes, and the 4 Keys to Get the Body You Want While Loving the Body You Have Coaching Call!

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Namaste,

Rebecca