holidays

Finding Meaning in the Holidays: Yoga & Meditation Tips

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | December 20th, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: breath, bridge pose, christmas, christmas tree, holidays, love, meditation, Pigeon pose, self care, serenity, Yoga

christmas tree

The other night, I was looking at my tree, decorated with the small number of ornaments that are meaningful to my family and me, and thought about how I grew up with a tree full of ornaments, each covering the one behind it. It was one of those moments of clarity for me, watching the tree in the dark of night with the lights sparkling: Less is more. Too many trinkets distract. It’s not about what you get or have. It’s about what you give, and the quality, not quantity behind that sentiment.

10 Ways to Eat Healthy on the Fly

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | December 11th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: complex carbs, cracker sandwiches, dip, fruit, fruit leather, granola, granola bars, healthy-eating, holiday travel, holidays, hydration, jerky, muffins, nuts, portable meals, protein, road trips, salads, sandwiches, seeds, travel, veggies, water, yogurt, yogurt tubes

I just returned from an overseas trip, spending 17 hours in the air and several more hours in airports. Since I’m always a coach-class traveler, I was reminded of how difficult it can be to find healthy food at a reasonable price when you’re flying.

Ditto for road trips: our family drove from Denver to Seattle last summer, and the wasteland of fast-food chains and truck-stop convenience stores clustered around interstate exits is downright depressing if you want a quick bite that’s not burgers, fries or rotisserie hot dogs.

The key, I’ve learned, is to prepare your own portable meals ahead of time. Travel, especially flying, can be draining, not to mention dehydrating. It’s important to choose foods that are high in protein and complex carbs, to maintain blood sugar levels – and to drink lots and lots of water. Those tiny plastic cups the airlines provide won’t suffice — bring your own water bottle and fill it from a concourse drinking fountain once you clear security.

With just a bit of preparation time, you can enjoy easy, energy-sustaining snacks that taste better and cost a lot less than most ‘food on the fly.’ If you’re traveling this holiday season, mix and match a selection of these easy snacks — no need to bother with a cooler or utensils; most items will last outside the fridge for a while, and most can be eaten right from your hand.

4 Ways to Give the Gift of Fitness

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | December 10th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Fitness | tags: exercise, Fitness, fitness gifts, gifts, holiday season, holiday weight, holiday weight gain, holidays, lose-weight, the firm, weight gain, weight-loss, workout

FIRMfeatureBy The FIRM Master Instructor Kelsie Daniels

The holiday season is once again upon us. And because I am one of those people who fully enjoys holiday dining, I have to prepare myself for the usual question that comes as I am stuffing my face: “How do you stay in shape?” One of the people who always asks me this question is my dear Aunt Jo. She asks it every year and then follows with how she wants to start working out and eating right.

Stop the Madness: Choose Mindfulness Over Perfection This Holiday Season

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | December 10th, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: calm the mind, family, friends, holiday season, holidays, hosting, in the moment, Jon Kabat-Zinn, meditation, mind, Mindfullness, perfect holiday, perfection, practice saying no, present moment awareness, silence, slow down, stillness, stress, The National Science Foundation, to-do list, unity, voluntary simplicity, Wherever You Go There You Are, witness thoughts, Yoga

I’m just going to say it … I think the holiday season needs a radical overhaul.

We see ads for the perfect holiday meals, served in a lovely setting where everyone is smiling, especially the gracious host. Truth is, in order to achieve this type of perfection, we nearly kill ourselves with stress trying to get that end result.

I’m sure your mind, like mine, is kicked into high gear this time of year to attend to the million things you have to accomplish between now and January first, but time is limited and your body begins to suffer. It will only be a short time before insomnia and exhaustion set in. Instead of enjoying our time with loved ones, we can wind up emotionally unavailable and stressed out.

7 Ways to Manage Your Weight During the Holidays

Chris Freytag by Chris Freytag | December 10th, 2013 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: burn-calories, calories, exercise, Fitness, fitness routine, healthy, healthy-eating, holiday weight gain, holidays, strength training, weight gain, weight-loss, workouts

freytagfeatureThe holidays make you think about minutes in a whole different way. It’s a time when you eat more, drink more, spend more money and sleep less. You feel time-crunched. You do your last-minute shopping. And as fast as you create the holidays, they disappear.

A Key to Happiness

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | December 10th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: affirmation, authenticity, celebration, desires, gift giving, giving and receiving, happinesss, happy, harmony, heart, holidays, intention, joy, key to happiness, kindness, peaceful actions, peaceful thoughts, respect, share, simple acts, simple and heartfelt gifts, soul, stressful holidays, stressful season, want to be happy, wisdom, without expectation

This is the time of year when people are often either excited to celebrate the holidays or they are feeling a sense of dread about what might be coming during this sometimes stressful season. But the one thing that we all have in common is that we want to be happy.

As I was thinking about happiness, it came to me that a key to happiness involves circulation. By that I mean that true happiness comes from giving and receiving. The kind of sharing that involves the heart and the willingness to share without any expectations.

Best Yoga Pose to Release Holiday Stress

Chris Freytag by Chris Freytag | December 10th, 2013 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: anxiety, christmas, downward dog, downward facing dog, holiday stress, holidays, poses, relaxation, relieve stress, stress, stress-relief, stretch, stretching, Yoga, yoga poses

down-dog-croppedThe holidays can be a time of fun and family. But for many, it can also be a time of added stress — good and bad! One of my favorite ways to stretch tight muscles and relieve stress is yoga. Speaking as a type-A, high-energy person, yoga is the perfect antidote to this stress-filled, anxiety-ridden, wound-up-tight-as-a-drum world we live in. For me, yoga is like personal therapy!

9 Yoga Moves to Blast Holiday Calories

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | December 5th, 2013 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss, Yoga | tags: abs, arm balance, belly, Boat pose, body, Bound Lunge, burn-calories, Child’s Pose, christmas, core, Core Plank, diet, Dog Splits, downward dog, Easy Pose, eat, exercise, Fitness, flexibility, food cravings, handstand, health, holiday weight, holiday yoga, holidays, inversion, lose-weight, meditate, meditation, release, Revolved Pigeon, Shiva Kicks, Side Angle, side plank, strength, stress, Sukhasana, thanksgiving, thighs, Yoga, yoga for weight loss

GAIAM SIDE ANGLEHolidays are a time for family, friends and — let’s not kid ourselves — food. I love to go away for a few days and eat things I normally don’t in amounts that would shock a Sumo wrestler. Hence, it may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also a time when it’s all too easy to pack on the pounds along with the cheer.

Thanksgiving Blessings

Bevin Wallace by Bevin Wallace | November 16th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Personal Growth | tags: America, blessings, dinner, family, food, giving thanks, grateful, gratitude, holidays, meal, prayer happiness, Ralph Waldo Emerson, thankful, thanksgiving, The Book of Common Prayer, travel, William Shakespeare, Yoga

Thanksgiving Blessings

“This food comes from the earth and the sky. It is a gift of the entire universe and the fruit of much hard work; I vow to live a life which is worthy to receive it.” — Grace of the Bodhisattva Buddhists

At the beginning of every yoga class, while we’re sitting in sukhasana, my yoga teacher always says to “give silent gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.” And, even though I am mentally not quite “there” yet — I’m still trying to find my “sit bones” and thinking about my grocery list and how I forgot my daughter’s gym shoes and did I shut the garage door? — usually, I do it. Images of my kids’ faces and my cozy brick house flash through my mind, and if I take time to really think about it (and not about the location of my cute new flats that I hope the dog isn’t eating right now), I realize I have so much to be grateful for: my close, loving family, my friends, my health, my readers, my Dutch oven, fire-roasted Hatch green chilies, pasture butter and the fact that I am rarely hungry.

4 Ways to Green Your Valentine’s Day

Jodi Helmer by Jodi Helmer | February 7th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Relationships | tags: cards, chocolates, DIY spa, eco gifts, eco-friendly restaurant, fair-trade, flowers, gifts, holiday, holidays, i love you, jewelry, locally-grown food, love, organic, organic cotton robe, out to eat, recycled paper, reflexology, Relationships, spa, Valentines Day, Valentine’s Day

istock_000005074709smallI’m a sucker for love letters and chocolate, so it should come as no surprise that I look forward to Valentine’s Day. Show a little love for your partner and the planet by having an eco-friendly holiday this February 14!

Here are four ways to do it: