• Benefits of Stretching

    Cat cow stretch. Child’s pose and downward dog. These are just a few stretching exercised I do as soon as I roll out of bed. After 20 years of teaching dance (transitioning into something else..stay tuned) my body sometimes becomes very stiff. As we listen to our bodies, it’s crucial to give it the TLC as needed.

    Make a promise to yourself to treat your body the best way possible. In my opinion, the best time to stretch is in the morning. You’ve spent a whole night without mobility which is great! Sleep is crucial. In the morning, stretching sets the tone for the day. It’s also an incredible feeling to relieve your body of any stress it might have from the day before.

    • Stretching relieves stress
    • Improves posture.
    • Increase energy levels.
    • Improves circulation to the body.
    • And most of all, it centers the mind.

    For those of us who sit long periods of time at your desk, take your well-deserved break. Perhaps this will motivate you to stretch!

  • Tap Into Your Intuition

    The topic of intuition has been on my mind. Honestly, it’s been on my mind on overload! Intuition can be defined as a hunch or unjustified belief. It’s a deep feeling that’s unexplainable. At times, I have ignored this hunch. However, as I continue my journey in self-development, I can say that tapping into my intuition has been vital. That ‘feeling’ that you experience is a strong emotion. Often times, your inner voice is right. That is your intuition.

    Have you had moments where an inner voice is heard? Intuition is based on past experiences and knowledge. According to researchers at Leeds University, intuition is a ‘gut’ feeling and it shouldn’t be ignored. On the contrary, you should stop and play close attention. Whatever the voice is telling you, it’s instinctual and might improve your decision-making.

    I have taught dance for thousands of students. One of the first things I say is “Listen to your body.” I say this repeatedly because my students know their body more than I do. They know how far to push themselves and when they should stop. As a teacher and student, I have experienced harsh demands physically and mentally. In life, there are challenges and accomplishments. It’s natural for us to complain and simply not let our intuition guide us.

    Here are some simple ways to tune into your intuition:
    Take moments in bliss.
    Write down your thoughts.
    Pray/Meditate.
    Be still.

    There are books worth reading on the topic of intuition. It can help deepen your practice. Below are just a few books to consider.

    The Power of Now
    The book, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

    The Art of Intuition
    The book, The Art of Intuition by Sophy Burnham.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Compass of The Soul: 52 Ways Intuition Can Guide You To The Life of Your Dreams
    The book, Compass of The Soul, by Lynn. A. Robinson.

    The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness
    The book, The Intuitive Way by Penney Peirce.

    Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
    The book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.

     

    Photo courtesy of Death To Stock Photo.

  • Speaking at the 2016 We All Grow Summit

    This week I’m off to Long Beach, CA! I’ll be leading a wellness circle at We All Grow Summit 2016. I’m beyond excited and also humbled to be given this chance to talk to others about staying intentional. (Pun intended.) I’m happy to be traveling to CA, where I lived a few years ago, see old friends and make new ones! As my journey into studying self-development continue, I mostly want to help others live out their best wishes! Follow me on Instagram for my adventures and most of all, inspirational moments!

     

    Hiking to Griffith Observatory in California.

    Hiking to Griffith Observatory. My favorite LA past time.

  • 3 Breathing Exercises to Ease Anxiety

    Often times, we naturally forget to breathe. How can that be possible? Well, through challenging times, it’s east to feel the tension in the body and allow our breath to become shallow. Our breath is vital to not only bringing in oxygen but to bring ourselves to the present moment. Most importantly to release negative thoughts. The following 3 breathing exercises I have used through some difficult times.

    As much attention we give to charging our electronics, we should give time to recharging our minds. In yoga, there is prana. Prana is the sum total of all energy that is manifest in the universe. For example, we receive prana from food and most importantly, the breath.

    1. Sama Vritti or equal breathing calms the body and the nervous system. This exercise can be done in a cross-legged position or lying on your back. Close your eyes and become aware of your breath. Mentally count to four as you inhale. Then count to four as you exhale. Try to keep your inhales of equal length to your exhales.
    2. Abdominal breathing can calm your body as well as boost energy. Sitting comfortably in a chair or lying on your back, calm the mind. Place one hand on the abdomen. Inhale through your nose and allow your abdomen to expand. You should feel the pressure against your hand as your abdomen is rising. Then exhale through your mouth. Don’t force each breath. It should be natural. Try this exercise for 10 minutes.
    3. Nadi Shodhana or alternate nostril breathing is one of my favorite breathing techniques. At first, I experienced difficulty with this exercise. I felt angst but it turned out to be very beneficial for me. This removes toxins, restores nervous system, and balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain. In a comfortable seat, hold the right thumb nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the top of the breath, pinch both nostrils and hold the breath for small pause. Then open the right nostril and exhale. Continue these exercise for about 5-10 cycles.

    “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” Thích Nhất Hạnh