Spring Cleaning

20130318_spring_buds_91Today is the first day where the temperatures are on the rise, the sun is shining brightly, and the snow is starting to melt. After our snowiest winter on record (over 7 feet of snow in one month if you are following) every little peek of the sun and clear blue skies are a welcome sight. I might be a just a tad over hopeful here, but it’s starting feel like maybe Spring is on it’s way.

Spring in my house, always means “spring cleaning”. You know, clearing out the closets, getting rid of the old to make room for the new. So my focus for this week is “spring cleaning”, but not of the house (although that will happen as well), but of my life: body and soul.

Over the past two weeks we’ve talked about finding “Balance” and “Inner Peace”. Now is really the time to get to the physical part of the work. We’ve determined where we need balance, where we need to let go and learn to say “NO”. Now is the time to let go of what is no longer serving us, to make room for the things we want to manifest into our lives that take us one step closer to living our dream life, one step closer to having and being in balance, and one step closer to finding and maintain Inner Peace.

Just as Spring is the time to plant seeds and watch life grow, it is also a time to plant the seeds of what we want in our lives, to tend to them, and watch them grow into the beauty of the life we yearn for. Now is the time to plant the seed and begin to manifest. As the days get longer, the sun shines ever more bright, we must also learn to let the light into our lives to dispel the darkness of the winter.

March Matness Day 1-Hundred

Hundred2I’m participating in March Matness again this year, which begins today. The first Pilates exercise in the series is The Hundred. The Hundred is the first exercise in the Classical Pilates repertoire and is a great abdominal exercise that warms up the body and prepares it to perform the rest of the exercises in the mat repertoire.

Benefits:

  • Challenges Core Strength and Stability
  • Targets and Strengthens Spinal Flexors
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Centers the mind and body
  • Connects to the Powerhouse

How To Do:

  • Lay on your mat in a supine position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor
  • Bring your knees into your chest and lift your head, looking into your abdominals
  • Stretch your hands and arms along your side.
  • Pull your belly button down into your spine, engaging your abdominals
  • Breathe in for 5 counts and out for 5 counts, while pumping your arms 6-8 inches. That’s one full breath or 10 pumps. Do ten reps to finish for the full Hundred
  • To advance this and challenge your core more you can extend the legs straight up to the ceiling, or out to a 45 degree angle, or as low as you can hold the legs without the back arching.

Learning to Say No

balancepostWe are continuing on this week’s theme of “balance”. Do you have a hard time saying no? Trust me when I say this, most of us do! Finding that balance you seek in your life is about saying NO to the things that don’t get you a step closer to the life you want to live.

As I mentioned in the last post on “balance” finding that balance in your life is about making the right decisions. Look at the life you are living and think about what areas you need to focus on and which ones are taking up your precious time. Have a deep think on the life you want to be living and only make decisions that will get you to that life. Learn to say NO to the things that don’t get you on the path to living your dream life.

Focus your time and energy on the things you enjoy doing and that will help you achieve your goals, and say a firm NO to the things that you do out of a feeling of commitment to or pressure from others.

Finding Life Balance

bigstock-all-in-balance-256888911Last week we focused on “self love”. This week’s focus is all about “balance”. Do you have it in your life? What areas are lacking balance? What do you need to do in order to find and maintain balance in your life?

Trying to find balance in your life? Think about the long term benefits of everything you do. For instance choosing between exercising and watching TV. Getting your body moving will be more beneficial to your health and happiness. Letting go of the things that are not beneficial to you now and in the long run makes it easier to focus on what you want in your life now.

Yoga of Self Love

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In an attempt to keep up my writing, I’ve decided to give myself weekly journaling prompts. Each week I will choose and focus on a theme that I will journal and blog about, as well as provide inspiration on the theme over social media. This week, given that it’s Valentine’s Day, I’ve chosen to focus on the (cue the Whitney Houston music) greatest love of all: SELF LOVE/SELF CARE.

I see so many of my friends constantly engaged in negative self talk. We all have those days where it’s a little hard to maybe remember how much we do love ourselves. When I think of self love I’m instantly reminded of the safety presentation on a flight before takeoff. When the flight attendants remind you to give yourself oxygen before administering it to others. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you are not able to properly take care of others. Or in the great words of RuPaul….

ru-paul

Can I get an amen up in here?! I know that self love is hard for some people, but you have to take that time to tell yourself “I love you”. Do you tell yourself “I love you”? I challenge you right now, get up, go look at yourself in a mirror and say out loud “I love you”. Shout it from the rooftops even! Then stand there, without judgement, and tell yourself all the wonderful things that you love about yourself (including the physical ones). Your soul needs to hear it.

This may seem a little strange, or even woo-woo, to some people, but I don’t care. Every morning as I’m getting ready, part of my morning ritual is to say affirmations to myself in the mirror. Affirmations can be anything that you feel you need to hear, and must be stated in the positive. Some of mine include: “I am powerful and courageous”, ” I am receiving all that I desire”, “I am enough”, and of course “I love you” or “I love myself”. Think of some affirmations that you know deep down inside that you need to hear. Create a morning ritual where you take time for meditation, reflection, etc. and repeat your affirmations to yourself out loud.

Take time this week to practice self-love. Say your affirmations, take a long bath by candle light, go get a pedicure or a massage. Of course one of the best ways to practice self love is to take care of your body. Go to a yoga or Pilates class with the intention to connect to your body in a healthy way. Let go of expectations of how your body will perform. Let go of competition by comparing yourself to others in the room. Take the time on your mat to create a loving space for yourself. Let this be a space to connect to your heart, a space to breathe, and a space to say “I love myself and I am enough just as I am”.

Namaste and I LOVE YOU!

 

Teaser Tuesday

10928850_10153035819945883_3462015285274761256_nI am posting this just a few days late for #TeaserTuesday but if you follow me on other social media sites you may have already seen it! Teaser is one of my favorite exercises in the Pilates repertoire to do. It really activates so many muscles in the body not only to come into the exercise but to be able to hold it. I don’t do it often on the Reformer, but the exercise is so much more challenging with the addition of the springs.

Read more about the benefits of doing The Teaser and show me your best Teaser on social media using the hashtags #TeaserTuesday and #PilatesEveryDamnDay and tag me in your posts (Twitter: Om_Boy1 and Instagram: Om_Boy)