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7 Tips for Talking to Children About the School Shooting

Susan Stiffelman by Susan Stiffelman | December 17th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: afraid to go to school, aggression, anxiety, appetite, campus, children, comfort, Connecticut, conversation, emotions, fear, feelings, guns, kids, mood swings, news coverage, parenting advice, parents, Sandy Hook, school shooting, security, sleep, stress, students, support, talking to kids, tips, tragedy, traumatized, violence

School Shooting

What can you say when there are no words?

We are all still reeling in the aftermath of the school shootings in Connecticut last Friday. I, for one, feel leveled and heartbroken. It is impossible to imagine the impact on the families who lost children, those whose children were spared but so profoundly traumatized, and the rest of us who bear witness from afar to the unthinkable.

Here, in the interest of offering at least a few words of comfort, is some guidance on how to talk to your children in the wake of this tragedy.

Yoga for Road Trips

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | December 7th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Fitness, Yoga | tags: back-pain, breathing, breathing techniques, car, dry eyes, eye stretches, Forward Folds, Gwen Lawrence, high gas prices, holiday, holiday travel, inflation, lions pose, low back, road rage, road trip, road trips, shoulder shrugs, shoulders, stress, stretching, summer, tension, tight forearms, travel, vacation, wrist rolls, wrists, Yoga

With air travel rates literally reaching the skies, many people are choosing to drive instead of fly to their holiday destinations. But along with the excitement of your trip, you can expect to feel some anxiety and stress. Not to mention, succumbing to the inevitable frustration of traffic and road rage after spending hours in the car. In order to balance the added stressors that accompany affordable travel, get into the habit of stretching while on the road.

Here are five yoga poses, stretches and breathing techniques to undo the tension of long hours in the car and help you arrive to your destination refreshed and happy.

The Many Ways (and Days) to Meditate

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | December 4th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: boost immune system, deadlines, food, how to meditate, improved memory, joint ache, lotus pose, lotus position, lower heart rate, meditate, meditation, meditation chair, meditation cushion, medtation anywhere, memory and meditation, mind, muscles, perfectionism, querling children, red bull, stress, tight hip, tight hips, traffic, walk the dog, walking meditation, work

MeditateI, like so many, thought meditation was something only others could do. Others, for example, without quarreling children, looming deadlines or hips that mutinied at the thought of the Lotus Position. Those with minds that didn’t race like a toddler on Red Bull.

Although I wanted to be someone who meditated, I wasn’t someone who meditated.

Someday, I would tell myself, imagining that glorious future when my children, work schedule, muscles, joints and mind would finally and fully cooperate.

But while I was waiting, the research piled up. About how meditation improves memory. Boosts the immune system. Lowers our resting heart rate. Makes us calmer. Happier. Healthier.

I wanted some of that. Not later but now.

4 Ways to Have a More Peaceful Evening

Kate Hanley by Kate Hanley | November 27th, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Relationships | tags: back, bed, bedtime, body, breath, breathe, car, channel surfing, children, cleaning, cooking, couch, decompress, evening, family, floor, happy, intention, Internet, kids, meditate, meditation, mind, night, parenting, peaceful, pillow, relax, relaxing, rest, sleep, spine, stress, stressful, transitions, TV

Peaceful Evening

In theory, evening is a glorious time of day — a time to eat and spend time with loved ones and then unwind before bed. In reality, though, it’s often a stress fest – feed the kids, put the kids to bed, answer some emails, fall into bed. Or simply lost time – eat whatever, channel surf, cruise the Internet, then look up and wonder how it got to be 11:30 already.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to transform your evening hours into the respite they ought to be. Here are four of my favorite tips for a peaceful evening. I’d love to hear yours!

Stress Break: Better Breath, Better Life

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | November 23rd, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: alive, awareness, Big Happy Day, breath, breathing exercise, dance, depth of breath, healthy relationships, Hemalayaa, Kasey Luber, mind, mindful, moment, pause breath, present, quality of breath, relaxation, shift energy, spirituality, stress, stress break, Yoga

Take a “stress break” with yoga and dance teacher Hemalayaa. She believes that a better quality of breath will translate into a better quality of life.  Participate in a short breathing exercise of bringing your awareness to a deeper breath, and see how this can give you a deeper appreciation for being alive. This is a tool you can take with you and integrate into your daily life for rich relationships and a peaceful sense of self.

Is Your Container Too Small? How to Live a BIG Life

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | November 2nd, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Personal Growth | tags: affirmation, anger, big life, blessings, challenge, change, constriction, create space, destiny, emotions, environment, exhaustion, expansion, feel, frustration, give thanks, growing, inner guide, journal, journaling, let go, listen, marriage, peace of mind, Relationships, shift, spiritual disconnection, spirituality, stress, stuck, transformation, work environments

Woman inside a Cardboard Box

In the last few weeks, I have had several clients and other acquaintances who have shared their discontent. Their challenges range from unsatisfying relationships to chaotic work environments to spiritual disconnection to complete exhaustion. As I listened to each person there was a similar question that kept running through my mind: “Is your container too small?”

S-U-M-M-E-R: That’s How I Spell Fun, Fresh and Fit!

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | July 23rd, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Personal Growth | tags: clothes, Clothing, diet, exercise, fashion, Fitness, food, fruits, health, healthy, hydrate, hydration, nutrition, relax, relaxation, SPF, stress, summer, summer produce, summer wardrobe, sun, swim, swimming, the firm, vacation, vegetables, veggies, warm weather, water, work out, workout

SummerBy The FIRM Master Instructor Robyn Smarr

I love summer! If you were listening to this post rather than reading it, you would surely hear me shouting this sentence as loudly as I possibly can.

Maybe it’s because I was born in the crazy heat of August. (I have a theory that people tend to favor the season in which they were born.) Or maybe it’s because I practically lived at the pool and the beach as a child. Or maybe it’s because I can wear flip-flops every day during the warm summer months (the best “shoe” ever invented)! Regardless of the reason, I find so much joy and rejuvenation during the summer.

Here are my favorite tricks for making the most out of your S-U-M-M-E-R:

10 Reasons to Quit Your Coffee

Mark Hyman, M.D. by Mark Hyman, M.D. | July 6th, 2012 | 8 Comments
topic: Detox, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: 5-HIA, acidity, addiction, antioxidants, blood sugar, caffeine, cardiovascular disease, catecholamines, cholesterol, chronic disease, coffee habit, cortisol, detox, diabesity, diet, diterpenes, doctor, dysbiosis, energy, GERD, glucose levels, glycemic index, health, healthy, heart burn, heart disease, Huffington Post, indigestion, inflammation, insomnia, insulin resistance, Mark Hyman, nutrition, serotonin, sleep, stress, triglycerides, type 2 diabetes, withdrawal

10 Reasons to Quit Coffee

Coffee: Is it good or bad for us? You might get media whiplash trying to figure that out. The truth is, I find this subject to be as confusing as you probably do.

After all, the media certainly doesn’t help clarify whether America’s favorite morning beverage is going to land you in the doc’s office or set you free with a clean bill of health. It’s no wonder so many of you shrug your shoulders in utter confusion as you refill your morning mug and get on with your day!

I know all about this adoration of coffee. I, too, was smitten and enamored with Coffea Arabica. We had our courtship during the 1990s, when I worked more than 80 hours in the emergency room and saw 30 to 40 patients a day.

I traded sleep for espresso, authentic energy for Haagen Daz coffee ice cream and normal circadian rhythms for high-speed, caffeinated adrenaline rushes.

But then, my body began to communicate to me what I had been attempting to ignore — that I needed to slow down and let the natural systems assume their proper course. You can read more about how I successfully turned my health around here.

As I began to tune into my body and provide it with what it really wanted — fresh, whole, real, unprocessed foods; sleep; relaxation; and the time to enjoy the life I had created for myself and my family — I was able to break up with coffee and make up with my health.

You can too, and I’m going to tell you how. But first, let’s discuss what makes coffee such a hot topic widely disputed in today’s health circles.

The Most Important Part of a Yoga Pose

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | May 24th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: brain, breath, breathe, breathing techniques, clear the mind, inversion, legs up the wall pose, meditation, muscles, nervous system, pranayama, relax, relaxation, self-massage, stress, tension, thoughts, tissues, Unmani Mudra, Veeparita Korani Mudra, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up, yoga-practice

Yoga PoseHave you ever wondered what to prioritize when you are doing a yoga pose? What is the most important thing to focus on when doing Triangle? Or Downward Dog? Or Savasana? Ask 15 different yoga teachers from different yoga lineages and you will likely get 15 different answers. Is alignment the most important? Is it the breath? Awareness? Eye gaze? What is it?

I have wrestled with this question myself and have attempted to deconstruct hundreds of poses to figure out what is most important … but after 29 years of practice (yep, I’ve been practicing since I was a kid!) there is one element that I come back to again and again — and it might surprise you!

6 Ways to Make Hope a Habit

Chris Freytag by Chris Freytag | May 15th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: belief, choice, exercise, faith, fitness expert, Gaiam Hope Project, gratitude, guilt, happiness, health, healthy, HOPE, how to form a habit, mindfulness, negativity, personal trainer, positive thinking, positivity, self-criticism, stress, well-being

Make Hope a Habit

When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” ~Author Unknown

Hope is having positivity, belief and faith — in yourself. Hope is perseverance, because it doesn’t give up. With a little practice, you can make hope a habit. Not only will you improve your health and fitness, but you also will improve your life.