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Ancient Wisdom for a Modern Family: Five Tips to Balance Your hOMe

Is your home your sanctuary? Is your family your inspiration? For many of us, the answer to these questions too often is, no. This unfortunately creates a blame game and perpetual expressions of stress. With just a little information, a whole lot of intention setting, and some responsible follow-through, this paradigm can change.

Here are five tips to practice at home, together as a family. The sanctuary you are seeking lies within—you create the inspiration for which you’re looking. By 1) letting go; 2) creating; 3) cleaning; 4) sharing; and 5) moving, you will observe balance, comfort, and a foundation that will nourish your family for generations to come.

  1. Let Go

Let go of cell phones. Whether your children are old enough to have their own or are just beginning to witness their parents’ connection to this electronic appendage, a mindful disconnect from your devices is a powerful choice.  Verbally express your choice as a family, making a point to turn cell phones off and put them in another room, starting with meal times. Experiment with expanding cell phone free time.

  1. Create

Write and record your own family guided meditation. Have everyone participate in writing a script and performing it on a cell phone recording app. Be sure to include breathing deeply, placing your hands on your belly, feeling it lift and lower, relaxing body parts from head to toe. Take a visualization trip through your favorite nature spot. Ask everyone to picture something for which they’re grateful and make positive “I am” affirmations. Then listen to this beautiful meditation together.

  1. Clean

Physical clutter not only gets in the physical way, it clutters the mind. Once a month, have every family member fill a bag to donate to Good Will or throw away. In a clutter free home, the family cleans together. Wipe down dust, place shoes in a tidy row, vacuum… there are always jobs to do. In the kitchen cupboards, find a processed food item and read the ingredients together. If it contains chemicals you can’t pronounce, toss it and replace with a nourishing alternative. Talk about how nice it feels to care about our bodies and our homes.

  1. Share

During dinner, share the day’s highs and lows, with everyone taking turns. Ask interesting, age appropriate questions of each other—anything but, “How was your day”? Make sure your questions require a more involved response than, “good.” For example, “What is your favorite fictional character of all time?” “If you were to open a business, what would it be?” “What is the one place in the world you are dying to visit?”

  1. Move

Move together. Set a timer for a 20-minute circuit. Take turns choosing a movement that everyone follows for one minute at a time. Take a walk together outside. Have a dance party in which everybody gets to choose one song for the playlist. Practice yoga together.

Calling all Families! Join Aida Bielkus and Jess Melfa at Health Yoga Life Cambridge, Sunday October 21st at 1:30 pm for an unforgettable workshop, “Ancient Wisdom for a Modern Family.”

Aida Bielkus, PhD, is co-founder of Health Yoga Life and an experienced life coach and yoga teacher. She encourages everyone to find easy ways to reduce stress in daily life.

CLICK HERE to register you and your family

Secret to happiness is…

Happiness is available to all of us but elusive at times.  Recently a Tibetan Buddhist monk,  Matthieu Ricard was given the superhero title of “Happiest Man Alive”.  His secret? Meditation!

I know. I know. It’s hard to believe that yoga and meditation (simple things that you need very little to actually practice) are the key to so many benefits.   As research proved, scans of Ricard’s brain actually showed while meditating on compassion “an excessive activity in his brain left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, allowing him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity toward negativity. ” (source: click here)

Life for for all of us has ups and downs.  Pains and pleasures. Highs and lows. Meditation practice is an anchor.  It draws you back to center every time.  Center is where the magic is.  It is the seat of true authentic happiness.  Nothing will bring you closer to center than a commitment to a practice that teaches you about yourself.

Did you know Health Yoga Life offers drop in Meditation Classes at our Cambridge studio?  Class is offered Tuesday and Thursdays at 5:15pm.  Make it a double hitter of happiness and stay on for the 6:00pm yoga class.  Watch anxiety, stress, depression wane; happiness, ease and peace increase.  This is not a hoax. This is science!

Can’t make it to the studio consider signing up for our “Mind, Mood, & Meditation” 12- month program!  Only $7.99 a month. Receive a yoga class, meditation, energy shift video, and healthy lifestyle  tips delivered to your inbox monthly! CLICK HERE

Go for your choices!

When we desire a change in our life, we need to realize that goals are only part of it.  The real change happens from our choices.  Life is a series of choices.  Whatever you are choosing is what your life becomes. Your choices produce outcomes that bring about your current experience of your body, your mood, your energy, your spirit, etc.

HYL yoga teacher training

Here’s a list of some of the choices I have made along the way that I can honestly say changed my life.

  1. Trying yoga for the first time (I still remember my very first class)
  2. Committing to my self-growth with 1:1 HYL Coaching. There is a way out of feeling stuck.
  3. Giving up Diet Coke, processed foods, and junk. Food is fuel.
  4. Starting a company with powerhouse females (my 3 sisters and mom)
  5. Meditating every day.
  6. Ditching the confines of what I thought my profession should look like.
  7. Letting go of my fear that certain things aren’t for me

Explore your choices.  What are you choosing now that is or isn’t supporting the life you truly want?

If you want a deeper connection to knowing yourself, your body and shaping your daily choices, consider the Health Yoga Life Yoga Teacher Training.

Early Bird for the Boston 8 Weekend training ends this Sunday!  Save $200! CLICK HERE

Or learn more about our 2 week yoga teacher trainingintensive in Vermont! (also early bird savings still on) CLICK HERE

Simple Yoga Routine to Do at Home!

Go ahead and try this at home!  In need of quick routine you can do at home to get the blood pumping and the body moving, check out this latest article on Boston Magazine, featuring co-founder of Health Yoga Life, Vyda Bielkus.

vyda-bielkus-Health-Yoga-Life-plank-position-1

All you need is the space of yoga mat and you can do this simple yoga routine anywhere!

CLICK HERE and try it for yourself. A little yoga everyday goes a long way!

Looking for Balance? Choose It!

These days we have so many things to distract us, it’s easy to forget what is truly important to us!  It can feel like we are being pulled in thousands of directions.  This way and that.

So how can we find that elusive quality- BALANCE so many of us are searching for?

YOU CHOOSE! That’s how.  I distinctly remember when I started practicing yoga I started making more true choices and sometimes those felt scary at first.

For example one of the scariest choices for this recovering Type-A personality to make, was choosing to leave work early to make a yoga class I loved.  I had to leave 15 minutes before the customary end of day, otherwise I would miss the class.  This was a tough one. Every time I got up to leave I feared I would get yelled at by my boss or at least get criticized. I could feel the sneers from my colleagues as I walked by them and out the door.

But you know what I came to find out. No one really cared! Besides a few sarcastic remarks, there really was no issue. I was a great employee and a great co-worker. And the ones that smirked, what they actually felt, I think, was disappointment in themselves.  And as we know it’s much easier to be mad at someone else than be upset with yourself.

Start practicing the right choices for yourself and see, you just might find what you have been looking for!

EmpowerUP :  “I align my choices with my desires and take action”. 

Join us for our Boston  fall yoga teacher training   It’s not too late! Choose Now!  Read all about our training including weekend dates CLICK HERE.  Don’t worry if you have to miss a day or a weekend.  We work with you to make up the missed time.

CLICK HERE to register! Add to cart for automatic $200 savings.

Questions?  Email yogatt@healthyogalife.com!

#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.

Check Out HYL’s Ongoing Offerings

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Available HERE

Virtual Coach Training Available HERE

Mind, Mood & Muscle™ Online Yoga & Wellness plan.  Includes 12 months of Quick Energy Shift Videos, Motivational Coaching Tips, Yoga Class Videos, and Audio Meditations sent directly to your inbox! Available HERE

#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.

#MondayMantra – Try something new!

Don’t let fear stand in your way, try something new! Everyone has a list of “I’d like to, but haven’t” – whether it’s paddle-boarding on the Charles, joining an ultimate Frisbee league, taking a music lesson or cooking class, or hosting a dinner party.

When it comes to leaving our comfort zone, we often let fear stand in our way. But how often do we actually regret trying something new?

Commit to checking one thing off your list this summer! We promise, you won’t regret it.  We’re stronger together! Share your progress with us on social media #HYLSummer

HYL AT THE STRATTON MOUNTAIN RESORT, VERMONT!

Our Summer 2016 two-week Intensive Yoga Teacher Training starts June 25th!

Join us for an amazing time in the mountain of Vermont. Great hikes, terrific food, awesome friends, a great learning environment, and someone to make your bed every morning!

Get certified in 2 weeks! Find your voice. Improve your practice. Or take one week now and the second week later!

Email us at yogatt@healthyogalife.com for more information!

Love our studio?! Vote for HYL for Best Yoga Studio on the 2016 Boston A-ListVOTE HERE! Share your vote on social media with the #bostonsbestyoga & be entered to win a $25-$50 HYL Gift Certificate!

Questions about our upcoming events?! Contact us at info@healthyogalife.com or 857.350.4124.

Namaste!

#MondayMantra -Yoga Off The Mat

Yoga is synonymous with flexibility. But yoga isn’t just about flexibility of the body. Yoga is about flexibility of the body and the mind. And we need both to live life energetically, with ease and vitality!

People with flexible minds are resilient and adaptable. They bounce back more easily from hardship and, more often than not, perceive challenges as opportunities.

Like flexibility in the body, a flexible mind is an attitude that can be cultivated with practice. The physical practice of yoga allows us to practice adaptability and increases our metal flexibility.

As you flow through postures, notice your thoughts – How do they change from one breath to the next? What are you saying to yourself? How do you react when you fall out of posture? Where are you able to change ingrained patterns of thinking? Seeing how you can adapt to evolving situations on your mat with positivity and resilience, and let go pre-set responses that no longer serve you, allows you to be more adaptable and resilient off your mat!

DON’T MISS OUT!

 Saturday, 5/28, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Stretch for the Jimmy Fund Charity Class to Support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Join HYL instructor Courtney Mussina for a gently-heated Power Vinyasa class to support 2016 Pan-Mass Challenge rider (and yogi), Jessica Lack, and Dana-Farber. $20 Registration. SIGN UP HERE!

 Memorial Day, Monday, 5/30. HYL will have a REGULAR Class Schedule! (6:30 a.m. Groove ‘n Flow, 12:30 p.m. Power ‘n Flow, 4:00 p.m. Power ‘n Flow, 5:45 p.m. Power ‘n Flow, and 7:30 p.m. Groove ‘n Flow).

 Tuesday, 5/31, 7:00 p.m. @ The Tip Tap Room! Join us to celebrate the end of the 30 Day Yoga Challenge! Appetizers will be provided. Winner’s Raffle at 7:30 p.m. Raffle winners will be announced!

Love our studio?! Vote for HYL for Best Yoga Studio on the 2016 Boston A-ListVOTE HERE! Share your vote on social media with the #bostonsbestyoga & be entered to win a $25-$50 HYL Gift Certificate!

Questions about our upcoming events?! Contact us at info@healthyogalife.com or 857.350.4124.

Namaste!

Health Yoga Life