Tips to make time for yoga every day!

“ I don’t have enough time.” Does this sentence sound familiar? A large amount of people use this excuse for dozens of things, one of which is a reason to not practice yoga daily. Most of us who have taken a yoga class know that feeling of pure bliss we experience after walking out of a yoga class. We also know the immense benefits we reap from a daily and continuous yoga practice. So why don’t we “have time” for this blissful practice?

Though we’d like to aim for a full one to two hour class each day, even a 10 minute flow after crawling out of bed in the mornings or right before heading back at night can improve your health, mood and ensure you a more stress-free week. 

  1. If you don’t have time, make time. 
  • You’re not practicing yoga for anyone else’s benefit other than your own. You practice because something deep within you craves it - your mind, your body, your soul… or simply because you know it’s something healthy for your body. Ask yourself, why do you practice yoga? Use your answer to this question as your inspiration to make time forward practice. 

2) Keep your yoga mat handy. 

  • If you’re practicing after waking up or before going to sleep, keep your mat near your bed. Perhaps leave it open right beside your bed so that it’s waiting for you when the time comes to practice. Do you practice in your living room? Leave it on your couch so it’s in your way before settling down on your couch in the afternoon. 

3) Do yoga in bed!

  • Before you go to sleep or right after your alarm goes off in the morning try a few of these postures!
  • Sit facing a wall, lie back and slide your legs up the wall, moving closer to or further from the wall depending on how your legs are feeling. Relax your arms out to your side and breath deeply. If you’ve got discomfort in your hips, try placing a pillow beneath your hips!
  • Seated spinal twist! Seated side stretch! Pigeon! Seated forward fold (perhaps resting your chest on a set of pillows)! Childs pose! Supine butterfly! Supine twist! Happy baby! Fish! Knees-to-chest! Savasana - maybe not in the mornings…

4) Plan your flow! 

- If you’re not wanting to think of a new flow each day, plan a simple flow that’s at your level or find an online video, there are literally thousands on youtube!

5) Be understanding.

  • If you don’t make it to the mat every day, be kind to yourself. Sometimes we get thrown more than we can hold and juggling becomes difficult. Practicing yoga off the mat is equally as important as practicing the physical postures. Practicing stress-management, controlled breathing and a let-it-go attitude are all examples of what yoga is about: finding steadiness of mind in each action of our day. 

6) Practice breathing throughout the day.

- Seems silly right, we all breathe without even thinking about it. What I mean is I want you to truly breathe throughout the day. Be aware of your breathing during times of stress, notice your breathing before a big presentation or performance, is it short, hollow or ragged? Take a moment to inhale, deepest you have all day, and exhale long and steady. Repeat this as many times as you feel needed and notice your body, mind and spirit begin to relax and calm. 

If there’s only one thing you take away from this article, let it be this last part. Begin to see your life as a yoga pose, specifically Warrior lll. The first time you rise up into the posture, you may stumble over and fall, but you get right back into it and keep fighting for your balance. Just because you fell over once, that doesn’t mean you stop trying the posture altogether. Life is like that… we trip and we stumble. Maybe not aways with grace, but we should always keep fighting for our balance and keep on breathing through the challenges.

Tips for Sweeter Slumber

Whether it’s a job, an early class, a 6am flight, a long commute, a workout partner that insists on starting before the rest of the world wakes up, a child or dog that seems to always wake you before 7am… We’ve all got early mornings… most of us loathe them. Here are a few tips I’ve learned from getting up at 5:45 most days to help make those early mornings less brutal and a little more “eh, this isn’t the worst thing in the world..maybe I could learn to like early mornings”.

  1. Turn down the lights! Dim the area you’re in up to an hour before bed, I leave my phone facing down so I’m not tempted and laptop off (but the phone’s always on, in the case of an emergency and I need to be contacted). I don’t have a tv, but I don’t allow myself any Netflix or Youtube videos while in bed, rather I read myself to sleep. Right now I’m reading “Turn Right at Machu Pichu” by Mark Adams, great read if you’re into adventure and history! Also, sleep in total darkness, no flashing chargers or bathroom lights.
  2. Warm shower. I take a warm shower at least 30-45 mins before I plan on sleeping. This way, your body will be relaxed, but not awake enough to keep you up. Bonus: you don’t have to wake an extra 10 mins to shower in the morning!
  3. Be comfortableIf it’s -20 outside, put on some warmer pyjamas, if it’s +35,  then dress accordingly – depending on the heating/cooling systems in your home of course. If you’re too hot or too cold, you’re bound to wake up so try to plan ahead by grabbing a suitable blanket and picking the right sleeping gear!
  4. Plan out your morning: when do you have to leave and what do you have to do before? Make breakfast, walk your dog, shower, make your lunch, do your makeup, get dressed, pack a bag for the day… half of these things can be done the night before; prep a lunch, shower before bed, prepare your clothes for the next day, pack your bag beforehand.
  •  Once you plan out how much time you need, give yourself an extra 10 minutes for lying around, staring at your fridge while deciding what you want to eat, napping between bites at breakfast…

Now that you’re up…

What not to do? Check emails, facebook and other social media, the news, texts, etc…

1) Upon waking, drink a large glass of water. Think about adding some lemon slices and ginger to your water to add some flu-fighting Vitamin C, help keep your skin radiant from the antioxidants and to help your stomach and liver produce acid and bile to aid in proper digestion. Think of the water as hydration after a night-long fast!

2) Get moving: do just a few minutes of basic stretching to get the blood flowing, go for a quick walk with your pup or if you’re up to it, throw in a yoga sequence or workout!

Cant fall asleep? 

I’ve tried everything from stretching to relax my muscles, meditation to relax my brain, thinking of the day’s events, and there are still times when I seem to be wide awake while trying to fall asleep.

  • Workout. I tend to practice yoga each evening to unwind my mind and move my body. However if I don't manage to make time for a flow, I try to stay moving in some way, even if it’s just taking my pup for a longer walk than usual. No matter how badly I might want to nap in the afternoon, unless I REALLY need it, I don’t. Some evenings, I might have a glass of red wine, while reading, writing a new post or relaxing with family or friends. Having a cup of tea before going to bed helps me wind down, it’s become a bit of a habit that my brain has learned to recognize as preparing for sleep. I've been recommended to try warmed milk with turmeric as a means of relaxation, if you give it a go, let us know in the comments below!
  • Try going through absolutely everything you did that day – turning off the alarm, preparing breakfast, calling a cab, buying a snack, a conversation with a friend or coworker, everything. 
  • Try a sleep mask, that way you’re unable to continuously open your eyes and look about.
  • Feel your body. Starting from the tip of your head, slowly go down your body and consciously feel the weight of your relaxed self, feel the pressure of the bed underneath you, allow your muscles to loosen completely. Listening to meditations designed for sleep and relaxation is always one of my go-to sleeping aids.
  • Deep breaths. Manipulating your breathing to a more slower paced inhalation and exhalation is extremely helpful with relaxation. Not thinking about it really, so much as just being aware. Notice where you feel your breath the most; in your nostrils, your throat, your chest or your lungs... focus your mind on this spot. If your thoughts wander, that is perfectly ok, simply return your focus to your breath.

Feeling extremely tired in the morning?

When I wake up painfully exhausted (aside from a larger cup of coffee), I tend to drink much more water, open the blinds and windows for some sunshine and fresh air and DO SOMETHING. If I just lounge around thinking about how tired I am, I’ll never get out of my fatigue phase. If I busy myself with preparing for the day, planning out the day’s meals or outings, if I focus on whatever work I may be doing, I am better able to cut out the sleepiness and get going. 

Can’t seem to get out of bed? 

You’ll hate me for this, but put your alarm across the room and put on an obnoxiously loud alarm (unless you’re living with somebody… in that case maybe make the alarm a bit more gentle). When you’re forced to physically get out of bed, you’re less likely to drop right back to sleep.

Have something to look forward to; whether it’s a lunch date, a workout class, a great cup of coffee, snuggling your furry friend, seeing somebody, or just starting up a new day.


I hope this will help you with dealing with those early mornings and sleepless nights! For comments or questions, email me at masha.petrasinovic@gmail.com

I'd love to hear your tips and suggestions for a good night's rest! 

Namaste, sleepyheads. 

Earthy Beet Smoothie

Beets are a magical food. Their deep crimson colour is what makes them a uniquely healthy choice. They are high in vitamin-C and fiber, which is extremely important in maintaining bowel health and normalizing your stool. Beets also contain betaine, which is an amino acid that helps to promote protein synthesis in our bodies, helping with muscle gain and fat loss.

That being said, this smoothie is refreshing, nourishing and rather filling! Using the whole beets as a smoothie, rather than a juice allows you to also consume important finer, keeping your intestines healthy and helping your body process foods. I love this as an afternoon snack or an early breakfast energizer before my yoga practice.

Bonus: beets and apples are usually inexpensive (even organic) so they won’t break your bank!

Recipe:

  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 apple
  • half a lemon
  • fill the blender with water

Tastes earthy, it’s very tasty and extremely good for you!

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The Winter Blues ~

Ah winter… the time of year when a large portion of people go into hibernation and await the sunny, warm days of spring. As a self-proclaimed lover of winter; snowboarding, snowshoeing, playing with my pup (who can barely peep out of the deep snow), hiking, road trips, warm fires, delicious foods, staying in during snowstorms...  the one thing that gets to me is the fact that nightfall comes as early as 4pm. 

I try to get everything I need done by then because I know that my body will start thinking it’s bedtime after being in the dark for an hour or two and my productivity plummets. I guess it’s good that I’ve been going to bed around 10 as of late, I wake up earlier naturally, without that alarm blaring in the middle of a wicked dream. 

To me, winter is both the time to get outside and bask in the natural beauty that comes with it, and it’s also the time to stay inside, wrapped up in a warm blanket on the couch and feed your soul. Start a good book, play some games with family and friends, watch a film, play with your animal friends, eat and drink delicious foods, celebrate the holidays! 

Although the winter may seem cold, dark, almost dead at times, you have to keep in mind that when spring comes, all of the energy that was stored over the wintertime is blooming and winter is what allows many seeds to fully prosper. 

Think of yourself as one of these seeds. Though you may want to just cuddle up alone to be still and quiet, which is completely ok, don’t let yourself feel alone. 

Listen: to your mind, body and soul. Listen to you loved ones, as they speak about their lives, their hopes, dreams and plans. Maybe write in your journal, record your dreams. Just pour yourself out onto the pages. 

Fuel; your body with healthy foods. Fuel your mind with quality books. Fuel your soul by spending time with people who make you feel good. Deepen your relationships with people who matter to you.

Explore: what this world has to offer! Each season brings with it so many unique and beautiful qualities that it'd be a shame to just let them pass by without a second glance. Living in the countryside, I'm blessed to have a very white snowfall (no grey slush), however it's also a LOT colder out here. That being said, dress warmly, layer up, cover up your face with a good scarf or balaclava and go outside to explore! Take a walk and see what animals are out roaming the snowy world. Listen to some of the winter birds singing. Feel the snow pack as you take each step. Try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, go tobogganing, make an outdoor bonfire, drink hot tea on your walk... the possibilities are endless!

Our world is ever changing and we should really learn to explore the beauty in it all, even if you don't feel like it, throw on your winter boots, bring some hot apple cider and go for a walk! You'd be surprised how good you'll feel afterwards. 

 

 

Sweet Green Treat!

Healthy eating just got a lot more tasty! 

This green smoothie is rich in micro nutrients from the fruits and veggies and the chia seeds will keep you full for longer! Vegans and vegetarians, you'll get your Omega-3's from the flax and hemp seeds. Fiber from the fresh produce and from the chia seeds will keep your intestines in top health! 

Blend this up and enjoy... Your taste buds will thank you! 

  • 1/3 large cucumber
  • 1 organic apple (I love honey crisp)
  • 2 organic kiwis
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • Tablespoon each of chia, hemp and ground flax seeds
  • 2 cups coconut water