10 Reasons Why to Love Yoga

I have been taking yoga classes for about 10 years, and I’m a fan. Bikram yoga is my yoga of choice. Bikram yoga was designed by Bikram Choudhury, who learned yoga at the age of 3, and after a crippling accident, he found that 26 certain postures restored his health. All 26 postures are done in the same exact order every class in a heated room up to 105 degrees, and they are said to work every part of the body. The heat improves and enhances flexibility, flushes the toxins from the body, improves your overall fitness and increases your immune system (not to mentions helps to reduce your weight). Many forms of yoga exist, and you have to find what is right for you. Whichever type you choose, here is why you should love yoga:


1. It gives you energy-Hatha yoga is one of the only types of exercise that actually increases your energy levels. It works the body from the inside out and strengthens the organs getting everything to function normally. One specific pose in Bikram yoga is said to be equivalent to 8 hours of sleep. I don’t know if I believe this, but I do know that I have more energy after a class. On the nights I do yoga, I have this incredible energy buzz, and I always wake up early feeling extra rested.

2. It takes your mind off everything. Yoga is meditative. It also enhances concentration and focus while teaching you how to stay in the present moment.

3. It puts me in a better mood. Yoga increases oxygen to the brain which makes you feel better and is said by medical experts to even help fight depression.

4. Yoga gives you strength. Yoga helps elongate muscles and creates great looking tone to the muscles in the body.

5. It relieves stress. It helps me be mindful of breathing so when I am in stressful situations, I can deal with them even better. It truly gives me peace.

6. Increases balance, clears the mind and the soul. Balance postures really help you strengthen your body such as standing on one leg.

7. Improves your posture.

8. Yoga reduces your risk of sports injury-Yoga is a great way to gain flexibility which helps reduce risks of injury from other sports.

9. Yoga strengthens your back. When I first started doing yoga, a few friends asked me what type of strength training I was doing for my back. Yoga is the answer.

10. It’s a a great workout. I love doing yoga because it’s a wonderful workout. I honestly feel like I have worked every bone and muscle in my body. I think it only enhances my other sport activities and also enhances my work, my relationships and mood.

Note: The yoga tank above is from 59 Splits.

 

Top 10 Ways to Find Balance in Your Life

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

 

This past year has been a whirlwind for me working on a 400 recipe cookbook (and now promoting it), 3 very, very busy kids, the decline of my parents’ health and more. I have been so filled with multitasking that I spend the majority of the time not living in the “now”, but thinking (or worrying) about what is to come next. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about balance. How do you achieve it? How do you find that happy medium when you’re living in a very stressful time? I thought writing this post might help me get closer to the answers and, maybe, assist some others at the same time.

Ways to find Balance

1. Learn to say no-I say yes a lot, but have learned in business as well as with my kids, I need to learn to say “no” more often.

2. Focus on key tasks-I find myself having more distractions than ever with email, social media, my blog and large projects. I have learned that focusing on key tasks daily simplifies things for me.

3. Be positive-We’ve all have heard it time and time again: “Attitude is everything”. My yoga instructor once said to look at your day as you would look forward to a vacation. It’s all in our control to keep positive and to have a good attitude even in rough times.

4. Take care of your body-Try to eat healthy, drink a lot of water, and exercise regularly to achieve and enhance balance.

5. Get enough sleep-I find being sleep deprived is my worst enemy in feeling balanced. Getting more sleep helps me be better at everything in my life and in a better mood.

6. Find and make more “me” time-(I need to do this more without a doubt.) Whether it’s reading a book, getting a facial or massage or taking a nap, taking time for yourself is a key to finding balance.

7. Meditation-Studies show that meditating can help with stress, help you concentrate more and help you achieve balance in your life.

6. Laugh more-Laughing is a huge stress reliever and a great way to achieve balance when times are tough.

7. Go for a run-Running keeps me grounded, helps me relieve stress and helps me be more creative. A good run always makes me feel better.

8. Take up yoga-Yoga has been one of the top saving graces for me. It clears the mind, helps with concentration and works on the body and mind at the same time.

9. Hang out with friends-Whether it’s a lunch with friends or dinner out, stepping out of your everyday busy routine pays off in spades.

10. Vacation-I need more of these (and not to work on vacation), but a vacation is one of the best ways to get centered and recharge.