Self Teacher Study – Plant Nanny

I found this really cute app called Plant Nanny. It helps you drink enough water. It was rated as the best App of the Year in 2013 and has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. It’s free and slightly addicting, in a good way…

I’ve been playing with this app for a couple of months and I can tell you that it works. So much so that I’ve shared it with 60 people. From the App Store description:

Plant Nanny combines health with fun to remind you to drink water regularly. The cute plant keeps you company every day by living in your phone. In order to keep it alive and help it grow, you must give it water at certain periods of time.

One of the first things I talk with new clients about is the importance of being well-hydrated. One of the reasons people try yoga is because they want to increase their flexibility. Being well-hydrated is an essential first step towards reaching this goal.

Inflexibility (muscle tightness, cramping, etc.) is just one side effect of dehydration. Being well-hydrated has many positive effects on the body and mind. According to the CDC, drinking enough water can help with:

  • Managing body weight
  • Clear thinking
  • Mood stability
  • Regular digestion
  • Prevention of kidney stones

Paying attention to your hydration levels involves paying attention to your body. That’s not always an easy thing to do. Many people find that it’s easier to focus on another person’s well-being, as a way of beginning the process of taking care of themselves.

Nurturing someone else helps them do the very thing they need to do for themselves.

How the App Works:

  1. Start a plant. Select any of the free varieties, pick a pot and a background for it. You can even give it a name.
  2. Enter your body weight and activity level to determine how much water your plant needs every day.
  3. Select your favorite drinking container and pick a water measurement.

Say you pick a glass that holds 8 oz of water. When you water your plant you press the glass icon button. Above the icon is a number. If you need to drink 64 oz of water every day, you’d need to water your plant 8 times a day.

The idea is to drink water at the same time as when you water your plant. Each plant bobs and chirps when you water it. However, if you forget your plant it gets sad and eventually dies. [Hint: Don’t start a plant at night.]

The first time I forgot to water my plant I tried reviving it with my “Drops of Life.” You start with ten drops that be used to help your plant grow faster or can revive a dead plant. None of my plants died but I did waste a lot of Drops trying to resuscitate my sad little plant.

After your plant grows up (takes 1-2 weeks) you move it to your garden where it produces seeds every day. You can use these seeds to buy exotic plants, fancier pots and unique backgrounds.

Plant Nanny teaches you how to take care of yourself through a personalized approach to health and wellness. It also teaches kindness, empathy and self-care.

Interested in learning some additional strategies for staying well-hydrated? To schedule a free initial consultation visit: Book Now

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Park Gym Mandala

Park Gym
Photo courtesy of Bodybuilding.com

So I recently discovered this amazing park gym in Boise, Idaho…

The Bodybuilding.com Park Gym at Ann Morrison Park is made up of 15 pieces of durable new fitness equipment installed on a 1,400-square-foot pad. Use of the equipment, which is accessible year round, is free to the public.

If you’re not sure how to use all of the pieces of equipment, you can follow the detailed, step-by-step instructions that are posted at the entrance. (Self Teacher Training note: you can also devise your own ways to use the equipment.) 

I’ve seen outdoor gyms before, but I really liked this one because it’s circular and because it’s designated for adults and children (14+). Why is this so awesome? Outdoor training season has officially started, so it’s probably a good time to discuss a common stereotype about adults using playgrounds. 

During the warm months I like to practice in parks and playgrounds. They’re great for Mind Body Parkour and exercising in nature does wonders for the spirit. Most of the adults are enjoying time with their children and my interactions with them are positive. But every once in a while I’ll encounter some resistance.

I could tell you stories…

There’s a fraction of the population that doesn’t support the idea of adults using playgrounds for exercise. I see this as being due in part to the a large number of Americans who’ve fallen prey to the Spectator Epidemic. Meaning, they tend to be passive observers about exercise which is a big problem in our culture. In this video of Chinese seniors, you’ll see that their culture is completely supportive of adults exercising in parks.

So I’m even more appreciative of parks that cater to adults who want to work out. When you consider that obesity rates in America are among the highest in the world, with two out of every three Americans being obese or overweight, it’s quite obvious that we have an exercise shortage in our country. According to Wikipedia:

Obesity has led to over 120,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States. An obese person in America is likely to incur $1,497 more in medical expenses annually. Approximately $190 billion is spent in added medical expenses per year within the United States. Obesity is a preventable condition that has been increasing within the United States. Health authorities anticipate no change to this vector.

What is needed in order to bring about this change is a shift to the public’s perception about integrating exercise with lifestyle. Television is the primary obstacle, as it breeds passivity and creates a mind-body disconnect. It also prevents many people from perceiving their homes as viable places for exercise.

A good starting point in beginning the process of lifestyle rehabilitation is to use your local park for routine exercise. It’s free and easy to access (for the most part). By doing this you’re helping yourself as well as helping to shift the collective consciousness.

Want to learn more about developing your own park gym routine? Book a FREE no-obligation consultation today.

The Spectator Epidemic

Mindless garbage spectator epidemic
Found on the Pinterest

Have you been to your local Walmart lately? Depending on where you live it can be a DISTURBING experience. I’m not saying this to be mean, I’m saying it because it’s true. There’s a cross section of middle America which borders on a zombie apocalypse. And it’s a real problem…

How did this happen? Diet is a big part, as well as the toxic cocktail of chemicals added to our food, water, air and medications. But it’s also related to social conditioning. Take a drive through your neighborhood one night and chances are you’ll see the flickering blue light of televisions emanating from people’s homes. Or maybe you’ll see groups of people at sporting events or playgrounds, where the adults are watching their kids exercise. Maybe you’ll see people at the gym. Maybe.

The Spectator Epidemic

Most likely you’ll find adults sitting at home watching television. It’s such an engrained part of our culture that no one really thinks anything of it. Television provides fuel for conversations – at work, the bar, and the dinner table. For many people television fulfills certain needs that are not being met in our modern day standard of living.

Part of this has to do with people being such visual creatures. When we watch dancers, martial artists or athletes, we experience something called the kinesthetic response. It’s a spontaneous reaction to a motion or stimulus that occurs outside of ourselves. The muscles contract and release in conjunction with the visual stimulation. So afterwards there’s a feeling of being energized or pleasantly fatigued.

Without actually having to do anything.

By and large, it’s much easier to be a spectator. Exercise can be challenging especially when the body is out of shape. Sitting around and talking about someone else exercising (did you see last night’s game?) is a piece of cake compared to actually doing it.

I’m not saying that you should never be a spectator. A good martial arts movie can be incredibly inspiring and hopefully you’ll do some kind of training afterwards. Playing video games or going to a sports event can also be great incentives – maybe you’ll feel really jacked afterwards. But if you don’t put that energy into your own life then what is the point?

Television addiction is an “undo-it-yourself” project that takes a little courage. Television breeds passivity so it takes time to shift gears. If you’re ready to become more of an active participant in your life a personal yoga practice can help.

Ready to take the next step? Book a FREE no-obligation consultation today.

A Taste of Divinity – Raw Cacao

Practice Create Repeat

For just a moment ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the BEST that you’ve ever felt?
  • Where were you at the time?
  • How old were you?
  • What were you doing?
  • Were you alone or with someone?
  • Did this happen more than once?

Just sit with these questions for a minute and see what comes up. Now ask yourself:

  • Could you create this state again?
  • What would it take to replicate it?
  • What (if anything) is keeping you from feeling this way now?
  • How might you take this experience to the next level?

I’m asking these questions because they relate to my mission as a yoga teacher. For the past thirteen years I’ve been focusing on my personal evolution. My body is the healthiest it’s ever been. I’m committed to eating the most beautiful food, moving in ways that I enjoy and living a low-stress lifestyle. I am free from scoliosis-related back pain. My mind is calmer, clearer and more creative than ever before. I am learning so much and I am more in love every day.

My goal is to help people learn how to do this for themselves.

Life is not easy. We face countless challenges and seemingly endless distractions. Thankfully there are some simple ways to create heightened experiences on a regular basis. One way to do this is by cultivating a personal practice. In my humble opinion this is the BEST thing that we can do for ourselves. A personal practice is an amazing tool that helps us connect with our highest Selves – our creativity, divinity, sovereignty – call it what you will.

When you treat your body like the temple that it is you elevate your life.

If a daily yoga practice seems overwhelming to you, not to worry. There are plenty of ways to administer self-care. I suggest that you start small by picking ONE healthy habit that you can do on a daily basis, such as drinking lemon water or eating one superfood every day. A superfood is a food that is extraordinarily good for your health.

One of my favorite superfoods is raw cacao. The botanical name Theobroma cacao means “Food of the Gods.” Raw cacao is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet. It contains three natural mood enhancers which make you feel like you’re in love. The health benefits of raw cacao are far more powerful than conventional chocolate.

Raw Cacao:

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Is high in antioxidants
  • Enhances mood
  • Contains essential minerals and vitamins
  • Improves brain function
  • Promotes heart health
  • Is an aphrodisiac

I have a little side project called Amaroons. I make handcrafted macaroons with raw cacao powder, coconut, almonds, maple syrup, vanilla and Himalayan sea salt.

Amaroons make a wonderful gift!

I’m happy to announce that my Etsy shop is open for the holidays.

Your purchase supports my independent small-business and will help to expand my operation. Thank you for your support.

Amaroons Raw Cacao Superfood Macaroons
Amaroons – Raw Chocolate Macaroons

Self Teacher Study – Mind Body Tune Ups

Mind Body Tune Ups

Alignment. Chances are you’ve heard this term for describing the positioning of our bodies in yoga postures. But what is alignment, really? What is it for? Is it simply the organization of our muscles, bones, tendons and organs, or is it something else?

Alignment is a practice of fine tuning the body. All vehicles require tune ups from time to time. When we bring our cars to the mechanic they might perform a wheel alignment and check the suspension. These adjustments help to keep your car functioning at an optimal level.

It’s the same with our body-vehicles. Yoga poses help to improve the functioning of your body by reversing the effects of poor postural habits, and from overworking or underworking the body. As our alignment improves so does our state of mind. When we’re not distracted by physical discomforts we’re free to focus on other pursuits.

Alignment develops through consistent, comprehensive yoga practice. Over time, practitioners begin to develop an increased level of awareness of their bodies and minds. This heightened sensitivity permeates other aspects of their lives. American yoga master Erich Schiffman explains:

“The beauty of being more sensitive lies in the discovery that beneficial things naturally start feeling good, better than before, and therefore become more attractive to you. Things that are bad for you no longer hold the attraction they once may have had. Your diet, for example, may undergo an effortless change. Certain foods you previously enjoyed may no longer be so appealing, and previously uninteresting foods may now entice you. Lifestyle habits may also change without conscious determination.”

By exploring our alignment we can begin to understand the mind-body connection. As we unravel the layers of our being we may discover how our outer and inner state parallel one another. The peace of mind you feel after a good yoga practice is a reflection of the freedom you feel in your body.

When you’re in “the zone” life takes on a fluid quality. This occurs in our interactions, our daily tasks, and our ability to move seamlessly through our days. This level of impeccability is like driving a sports car through a series of green lights. As we begin to tap into the intelligent design of the bodymind our confidence improves.

As our sensitivity develops we’ll become more aware of the times when we’re not in the zone. There may be a noticeable dissonance in our bodies, minds and environments. Some tell tale signs of needing a tune up include:

  • Mental tape-loops
  • Aches and pains
  • Feeling distracted
  • Encountering technical “speed bumps”
  • Increased irritability
  • Spilling things
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Low energy levels
  • Anti-social tendencies
  • Wasting money
  • Rushing

The first step is to notice that something feels off. Then take a moment to pause and listen to your intuition. The answer will appear if you simply ask yourself “What do I need right now?” Exercise, a home cooked meal, a massage or a good night’s sleep? Some time in nature or a good laugh with a friend?

These are all good forms of mind body tune ups. Another tune up tool is saucha, one of the niyamas (observances) of yoga. Saucha refers to purity in mind, body, and speech. Practicing saucha is a holistic form of spring cleaning. Next time you’re feeling a little funky try taking a shower, washing your yoga mat, emptying your inbox, or freshening up your living space.

What sorts of mind body tune ups do you practice? Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.