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Back To School Yoga and Mindfulness Tips for the Entire Family

Around the US school is, or will be back, in session very soon. The transition from summer vacation to school can be stressful for both parents and children. By learning yoga and mindfulness tips, the transition will go more smoothly for the entire household!  Change isn’t easy. It can be hard to adjust to new routines.    By doing things more mindfully you reduce stress by bringing your entire awareness to the present moment.  In the free eBook,Mindful Monkey Goes Back to School, by Aida Bielkus  and illustrated by her children Daniel and Emilija learn great strategies the entire family can learn to do together!

Mindful Mokey Thumbnail

Here are some easy suggestions from the book:

  1. Wake up with yoga.  Parents and kids can benefit from learning to connect the body and breath.  Tree pose is a great grounding posture!  Stand on one leg.  Pick up the opposite foot and place at the inner thigh or shin. Bring your hands together at your heart center and then reach them up in a wide “V” overhead.  Instruct your family to feel firmly rooted into the earth as they reach toward the sun.  This is a great way to awaken the spine and stretch out.  Also it’s great to remind kids that, no matter what happen outside of the home, they have strong family roots that love and support them in all that they do!
  2. Pre-dinner reset. With sports, friends, pick-ups/drop-offs, and other extracurricular activities, landing back at home and trying to settle everyone down can seem impossible.  This is a perfect time to catch a collective breath.  Make the sock eye pillow from the Mindful Monkey Goes Back to School eBook and rest/meditate for 5-20 minutes before you start the evening activities of homework and dinner. Taking a pause lets the mind release stress so activities afterwards go more smoothly and efficiently.
  3. Smart talk. Sometimes getting your kids to talk about how their day was or how their interactions at school are going can be a challenge. The “Getting to Know Me” activity in the Mindful Monkey Goes Back to School eBook is perfect for drawing awareness to inner feelings.  This activity creates a pathway for noticing the emotional body and thus builds mindfulness.

These activities can be practiced throughout the year to help the entire family feel less stress and more ease.

3 Ingredient Cookie Recipe! Yummy!

We know all of us strive to eat well and balanced, for when we do we feel better, think better and sleep better! But who doesn’t love a treat?!   These are the easiest cookies to make ever, even our busy CEO, Vyda, gets around to baking these yummies.

Three Ingredient Cookie Yummies

–2 Very Ripe (or overly ripened) Bananas
–1 cup of Old Fashioned Oats (not instant)
–Handful Dark Chocolate Chips

In a mixing bowl, peel and smash the bananas with a fork until its totally mushy.  Add the oats and chocolate chips. Stir.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out about 1/2 a tablespoon each to make bite size cookies.  Cook at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes just until they cookies turn a light brown.
The cookies are great just like this, but if you want to add a little bonus flavor you can add any or all of the following: a tablespoon of peanut butter, a dash of cinnamon or a drop of vanilla extract.

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#WellthyWednesday #QuickEnergyShift – Marma Point Self Massage for Stress Relief

#WellthyWednesday #QuickEnergyShift: Marma Point Self Massage for Stress Relief

You literally hold your heart in your hands.  It is called the Tala hridaya marma point. Marma points are Ayurvedic acupressure points.  They are where matter meets consciousness.  It’s true. When you reach out to shake someone’s hand there is a moment of heart connection. Here is a great way to take care of the “HEART” in your hands!

The Tala hridaya marma point is l
ocated in the palm of both hands. It is underneath the middle fingers’ bottom knuckles.  It is responsible for circulation and controls the lungs and heart. Massaging this point on the right and left hand will reduce stress and anxious feelings.

Press into this point with the thumb of the opposite hand. When you feel a knot or tenderness, you have found the right spot. Gently massage, counterclockwise in small circles. This will break up blocked energy.  Finish by closing with clockwise circles. This stimulates and energizes the point. This only takes 3-5 minutes on each hand. One side might feel like it needs more massage than the other.  Go for what you feel you need. Let your intuition guide you. Massage oil and essential oils may be used to enhance this experience.

Feel your body as a whole. Feel the link between the hands and the heart, and the heart that links the whole body. Breath in what you need, exhale what no longer serves you.  The free Prana (life-force) circulating through your whole body feels flowing and balanced. This balance reduces stress and creates an overall sense of wellbeing.

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#MondayMantra – #LoveIsLove

Sky above. Earth below. Peace within. #MondayMantra #LoveIsLove #Orlando

Today, we rise with heavy hearts in the aftermath of the events in Orlando this weekend. Our thoughts & prayers continue to be with those affected by this senseless tragedy.

Today, we also take the opportunity to recommit to finding peace within ourselves so that we may radiate peace, love & light out into the world. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” 

Love is truth. Love is light. Love is the way. And, as President Obama reminded us yesterday, “no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.”

Manifest love & light on your mat using a Lotus Mudra. By sealing in specific energy forces in the body, Hand Mudras (seals) cultivate a certain state of mind. Rising out of muddy water toward the sun, the lotus flower is a symbol of light rising out of darkness. It cultivates grounding and the opening of one’s own heart.

You can practice Lotus Mudra in seated meditation, in asana (yoga postures) such as Vrksasana (Tree Pose), or in conjunction with Pranayama (control of breath or breathing exercises).

To create a Lotus Mudra, bring the heels of your palms together at your heart center. Spread your fingers, bringing your thumb tips and pinky fingers to touch. Keeping your knuckles separate, let your fingers blossom like the petals of a flower.

Closing the eyes or gazing gently at your hands, breath in deeply. Feel strong and grounded like the deep roots of the lotus. Pause and hold in the breath. Exhale slowly, feeling your heart open like the lotus blossom, radiating love and peace.

#TransformYourself. #TransformYourWorld.

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