As a dancer, I’ve always been aware of the magic of music and how moving to different rhythms can transport my body and mind to an altered state of being. This is one of the many reasons that I gravitated toward the hatha yoga style “vinyasa.” There are different interpretations of the meaning of the word vinyasa, but two popular definitions are “to place in a special way” or “breathing movement system.” In essence, just like a precisely choreographed dance, vinyasa sequences take the yoga practitioner through a series of yoga postures (asanas) designed to create balance in the body and link the movement to the breath. By uniting the rhythm and flow of the breath with the movement the yoga practitioner opens up and taps into a deeper flow of consciousness. I find this to be true. My own vinyasa practice not only helps my body, but it becomes a movement meditation. The practice helps me release any stresses that may have occurred in my body and transports my mind to the present moment. Vinyasa, like any hatha yoga class, is great to practice before you sit to meditate. It helps clear the mind and free the body.
As a wellness coach, I am always looking for fun ways for my clients to stay healthy and active. I recommend cardio dance classes all the time because they are fun and you don’t even realize that you are working out. I have danced my whole life and absolutely cannot live without music and movement! To satisfy my dancer soul, I stay fit with a dance based cardio routine, yoga, and a barre method workout. One dance fitness workout to try is a Zumba Fitness class and I’m not just saying that because I am a dance instructor. It really works. You can burn an average of 369 calories per class.
Read the Zumba Fitness Study conducted by American Council on Exercise.
If you spent the weekend out of town for the July 4th holiday weekend, chances are you may have endured hours of sitting in traffic traveling to and from your destination. Below is a simple back stretching sequence that can help release built up tension in the spine. Start this exercise very gently if you have a lot of tightness in your spine and hips. Take your time and move slowly.
1. Stand on all fours, hands underneath your shoulders, shoulder width apart, knees hip distance apart
2. On an exhale pull in your abdominals and round spine
3. Slowly draw your hips back towards your heels
4. Inhale and drop the elbows to the floor
5. Straighten the elbows and gently arch the back
6. Repeat a few times
We all know how delicious and juicy strawberries are, but recent research supports this fruit’s ability to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. The study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that participants who consumed 500 g of strawberries daily for one month had an improvement in their general plasma lipid profile, antioxidant biomarkers, antihemolytic defenses, and platelet function. Researchers state “this is the first time a study has been published that supports the protective role of the bioactive compounds in strawberries in tackling recognized markers and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
This powerful and delicious fruit can be creatively added to many dishes and adds sweetness to salads, sandwiches, and of course blended drinks.
Read the study here.
After a long winter, summer has arrived! It’s a time to get outside and connect with nature. It’s also a great time to kick start your exercise routine and meditation practice. You may want to try walking or biking outside or take your yoga mat down to the beach for an asana and meditation practice. Whatever outdoor setting inspires you!
If you need some guidance you can download my asana and meditation practice on itunes and practice anywhere you like.
Download my free meditation guide: Key points to a Meditation Practice download