Insulin spikes make you fat. If you are feeling starved that pretty much means your insulin has already spiked and the next thing you put into your mouth will now get stored as fat. Refined carbs and sugar are the worst offenders sending blood sugar sky-rocketing. These types of carbs raise endorphins in the brain like a drug, but the high is short-lived.
“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk”
~ Dalia Lama
“Reach your heart forward!” This is the mantra for getting into Planche’ from Handstand.
In yoga, as in life you will not get much out of something if you don’t put your whole heart into it. You can’t just dip a nervous toe into the ocean of yoga and expect enlightenment, peace and joy to wash over like a tsunami of zen.
Rather, these things are hard won victories paid for by many sweat-soaked hours in Warrior 2 and various other means of yogic torture. (oh did I say torture? I meant bliss…of course..)
Likewise putting your heart out there usually means risking it being hurt or worse metaphorically speaking when it comes to matters of the heart.
Of all the difficult things you will learn in life and in yoga one of the hardest is letting your heart lead the way, risking it, or being vulnerable. The great conundrum, is how can I give it all, yet still stand in my strength?
This is the work of Handstand to Planche’,…talk about putting your heart into something, and “out there ” while maintaing your strength. It is a wonderful thing when yoga and life mirror each other. Hope this inspires you lovers and yogis to do the same.
Put your whole heart into whatever t is you are seeking. Planche’ your heart out past what feels safe. If you are waiting for the right moment, stop waiting, that perfect moment never arrives.You have to go for it! All the while maintain your core values, your dignity and your strength.
“You’ve been walking the oceans edge holding up your robes to keep them dry. You must dive deeper under, a thousand times deeper!”
Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available. ~ Jim Beggs
Ever see someone who’s face reads “Please check your cheerfulness at the door”? Deep frown lines, eyes that bore holes when they look at you, and a face that would make the Grinch squirm?
So how does one end up waking up one morning with a face that growls at everyone it meets? I must admit I have always been a little afraid that I might cross the line of crankiness and wakeup looking like a grouch. So far so good.
I often smile at strangers when passing on the street. It’s the small town girl in me, I can’t help it. When I’m lucky they grin back. Sometimes however they’ll shoot me a look that says they’d rather pull a hamstring than smile back. It’s as if they are genuinely pissed off that someone has the nerves to smile at them. Other times they observe me as if I am an alien life form come to invade their angry planet. And of course there are ones who only manage to curl up one side of their mouth. Sure, it’s technically a sneer, but I imagine it is a smile trying to get out.
So what’s my yogic point here? Smiling is important, it’s basically yoga for your face. Those cheeks need a grin like your leg muscles need downward dog. Studies show that there are many mental, emotional and social benefits from smiling. It reduces stress, makes you happier, and makes the opposite sex find you more attractive. (Go gettem’ tiger!)
A few more smile motivating facts..
If you can’t smile at least try not to frown. Studies show that adults who get Botox for their frown lines report feeling less depression after the procedure. I am not suggesting you go get botox, but there is clearly a mind-face connection at work.
Smiles are more attractive than makeup: A recent studies show that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
Smiling makes you memorable. You are 3 time more likely to remember the person that is smiling over the one that is wearing a negative or neutral expression.
Smiling improves the way others see you. 72% of people think of those who smile often as being more confident and successful.
Smiling helps You make new friends. 86% of people say that they are more likely to strike up conversations with strangers if they are smiling.
Even a fake smile will lift your mood. Your body releases endorphins Serotonin, Dopamine and Morphine when you smile. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that reduces fear and worry. Dopamine squashes negative emotions. Morphine is a powerful pain-killer. Enjoy the natural high!
Smiling at others is a way to show Ahimsa (non-violence). A smile is a non-verbal way to communicate non-violence. Scientists have found that smiles reduce aggression in both the giver and the receiver.
Smiling makes you healthier. Smiling activates the central nervous System and boosts your immune system. It lowers your blood pressure, regulates your heartbeat, and enhances respiration. Those lil’ guys the white blood cells (Leukocytes) activate as well! They are on the front lines attacking foreign bacteria, viruses, and toxins keeping you disease free!
Fake smiling can lead to genuine smiling and real happiness. Fake smile for 20 seconds for seven (7) days, and it creates a neural pathway in your brain.Continue for 21 consecutive days and fake smiling becomes hardwired into your brain becoming a genuine smile!
Happy people live 9 years longer than unhappy ones.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
While working on handstands in Brock Cahill‘s Flight Club class at Yogis Anonymous, I was chatting with other students about handstand tips. We were talking about how hard it is to manage simultaneously two of the tricks to finding balance in a handstand: engaging your core while opening your heart. Thinking about it after class, I was pondering about how these two principles apply in life. Read More…
“Never Stop Lifting!” is the advice my teacher Krista Cahill gave me what felt like a million times as I attempted (and failed) at this seemingly impossible transition from Crow Pose (Bakasana) to Handstand.
Physically its all about shifting your weight forward by moving your pelvis up and forward and bringing your knees towards your chest.
Mentally it is all about never giving up, even when something looks and feels impossible!
This transition serves as a great reminder to never ever, ever give up!
What poses inspire you? What have you learned from them?
Testosterone is responsible for making it possible for men to lose fat and retain muscle more easily than women. The good news is that women’s bodies produce it too, and there are many ways in which we can increase its production. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t want to have a hairy chest and a deep voice”. Never fear, that is only a problem if you take synthetic hormones like steroids.
Increases sex drive
Must eat some fat (even saturated fat) Testosterone relies on the right balance of fat in the diet.
Human Growth hormone is a fat burner. Your body usually uses glucose before burning fat, but HGH forces your body to use its fat reserves first! Yippee! This turns you into a fat burning machine even when you are sleeping! It also helps your body make new muscle cells. Usually your body stops growing new muscle cells after your teen years due to inadequate HGH in your body.
Progesterone is useful in shedding fat stores as it facilitates the utilization of stored body fat as energy. When your body produces enough Progesterone it helps you burn an extra 100-300 calories a day! (That’s two of my favorite organic chocolate truffles,…but who’s counting…) When your body does not produce enough of it you overeat. Poor liver function suppresses Progesterone production. Progesterone also helps you to correct estrogen dominance as it does the following:
Essential for proper thyroid function and thus fat burning
Delivers more oxygen to the cells
Restores sex drive
Helps prevent cancer
Stimulates bone building
Reduce stress. Stress greatly reduces Progesterone production in the body. (slow down, do yoga, meditate, breath deeply ect. all are beneficial when it comes to stress reduction.)
Avoid products like soy, tofu and soy milk. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these foods contain natural plant estrogen. More estrogen in your bloodstream enhances estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance causes fat storage and a slow metabolism.
Foods containing B vitamins, Zinc and Magnesium boost the body’s ability to produce Progesterone. Eat Yams, Walnuts, Whole Grains, Red Meat, Chicken, Shellfish, Turkey, Turmeric, Thyme and Oregano.
Drink warm water with the juice of one organic lemon upon rising to boost liver function. Do this before consuming anything else.
Watch processed foods, high refined carb intake, alcohol, medications (Tylenol, Aspirin ect.) and environmental pollutants (household cleaners, perfumes, air fresheners ect.) as they suppress the liver.
Happy Fat Burning!
Watch for my next article on the hormones that make you fat….
So here they are, The Top 15 Unofficial Golden Rules to Live By…according to your non-guru yogi sister Angela..
1. Say “I Love You” to those you care about as often as possible. Look past the petty stuff and blurt those words out as often as you can muster. You can’t say them enough!
2. Remember to say “Thank You”. Let’s face it, you have it goooooooooood! I mean for one thing you are reading my blog, which is a huuuuuuuuuuge! Jokes aside, gratitude is good for you! When you celebrate your blessings you magnify the pleasure you get from life.
3. You are fallible. Everyone is. Get over it!
4. Believe that good will overcome. It always does. Truth prevails.
5. Don’t burn bridges, you never know when you are going to have to take a stroll down the path you came up on.
6. Forgive others so that you may be forgiven. Hatred towards others is hatred for yourself disguised. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Hatred is heavy. Forgiveness is light. Let go!
7. Make your word your bond. If you don’t honor what you say, neither will anybody else.
8. Don’t play the martyr, because you’re not! Everybody has a cross to bear so carry yours with a smile. You might just inspire someone else to do the same.
9. Let your actions speak of your character instead of your words. Don’t say who you are. Be who you are! People who need to brag about themselves rarely live up to the hype.
10. Nice guys finish first. Sure, there are people who will say this isn’t true, and usually they fall into two categories. 1. People who are’t nice. 2. People who think they are nice but are worried they won’t finish first. Problem is, they are both missing the point. Karma catches up with the first kind and frankly the second kind just don’t get it. Doing the right thing is its on reward, and what comes back to you is simply icing on the cake.
11. Be yourself. It’s your story, tell it how you want to. Be different. Be silly. Be amazing! Do it now, and never look back!
12. Be Happy! If finding joy is not enlightenment then it’s pretty darn close!
13. Love! Love till it hurts, love till your heart breaks, and then do it again. Love unconditionally, love wildly, love because love is all there is. If love is not the meaning of life, I don’t know what is. Love!
14. Don’t listen to the critics. Believe in yourself. Be your own biggest cheerleader. Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t!
Here is a quick body detoxifying yoga sequence! When you are feeling sluggish and need a full body cleanse these yoga poses will kickstart the process!
Even the best laid plans this time of year tend to get derailed by the many bbq’s, picnics and poolside gatherings that are customary during the warmer summer months. As lovely as that mac n’ cheese, burger or in my case 5 gardenburgers (In my defense I didn’t eat the bun,..but did I really need 5 gardenburgers smothered in bbq sauce? ) looked the day before you end up waking up the next day feeling like you are about to give birth to a bowling ball. Ugh!
So what’s a person to do? Besides of course sitting around rubbing your tummy, groaning and muttering things like “I am never eating such and such (insert food you overindulged in) EVER again” to anyone who will listen?
Yoga to the rescue!!! Here are 10 detoxifying poses that will kickstart your digestion, elimination and get you back on your livers good side in no time!
Start with a gentle warm up, nothings fancy, just 5 Surya A Sun Salutes to get the joints, tendons and ligaments warmed up and the blood flowing to all the major muscle groups. As a bonus this alone is already helping the lymph glands to eliminate waste, and Cobra, Up Dog and Forward Fold are all excellent for detoxing as well!
Benefits:Breath of Fire is a super detoxifier as it works expel carbon dioxide. This is one of the ways the body expels excess acid. Exhalation of carbon dioxide represents an excretion of acids. So this breathing technique helps to restore the bodies pH. As an added benefit, Breath of Fire is also one of the most effective way to engage and strengthen your Transversus Abdominals which act as a corset around your middle!
Detox Poses 2 and 3:Navasana and Ardha Navasana Cycle (Boat and Half Boat) Go slowly and do 10-20 reps depending upon how strong you are. On the last Ardha Navasana hold for 30-60 seconds.
Benefits: Navasana works to clear gunk from the intestines while Ardha Navasana works to clear the liver, gall bladder and spleen. These will tone your abs and get you back into those skinny jeans pronto!
Benefits: The pressure on your abdomen when performing this pose aids in digestion, stokes the gastric fire and helps with in flatulence issues you may have.(Oh sure, you can play dumb..I believe it wasn’t you..really…)
Benefits: Chest opening poses are good to counter congestion or stagnation. Backbends are also very useful to increase metabolism…and let’s face it we could all use a little extra metabolism after a big day of indulgence!
Detox Pose 7:Marichiyasana C (Seated Sage Twist) Benefits: Yoga twists stimulate digestion and help with the elimination of impurities and waste products from the body. The abdominal organs are squeezed during twists, stimulating the kidneys and liver, and forcing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When the twists are released, then fresh, clean blood enters these organs, bathing the cells in nutrients and oxygen.
Benefits: Inverted pose, such as Plow, Shoulder stand, or a simple “Legs up the wall” pose helps to drain accumulated lymph fluid from the legs and re-circulate it through the body. This benefits the immune system. Inverting is also good for increasing metabolism as it stimulates the thyroid gland!