This is a fabulous stretching/strengthening sequence. Make sure your body is warmed up before trying this and remember to do both sides. This is delicious for the back and also helps with balance. Hold each pose for 4 deep breaths and keep this flow gentle and unforced. Modify as needed. I especially like doing this sequence after sitting down for any length of time. For more information on these poses please look to my blog articles.
Modified side angle pose is great for strengthening the legs, opening up the chest and helps develop balance. I like to prepare for this pose in Warrior 2.
Warrior 2 : Windmill your arms into a lovely line and expand your legs. Your back foot will be at a 90 degree angle with your front heal lining up with the arch of your back foot. Your front knee will be bent and directly over your ankle. You should be able to see your front little toe if you look down. Your weight is evenly distributed in both legs. Have a fluid line from the tip of your back hand to the tip of your front hand. Hold this pose for four deep even breaths. Always remember to breathe deeply throughout all your poses.
Modified Side Angle Pose: From Warrior 2 pose glide your front elbow down to your front knee. Inhale as you rotate your back arm up to the sky and draw your shoulders back. Chest is bright and your shoulders should be aligned. Keep your upper arm active, using jazz hands to help sculpt the muscle. Hold this pose for four deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
This is gentle and unforced. Make modifications as needed.
I am truly amazed at how healthy my family and I have become since going plant-based with our eating. Since becoming vegan I have lost all the allergies I used to have. I have only gotten sick once in the last ten years from a cold. My skin glows. My energy abounds and I have a greater respect for the environment and what I put in my body. It has been life changing in mind, body and spirit. The health benefits of plant-based eating are enormous.
As a health trainer I cannot emphasize enough that what we eat today will show up in our health tomorrow. Chemical laden/processed food and animal products can have many adverse effects on the human system. We were not made to eat this way.
If we look as far back as Genesis, before the fall of man, we can see that we were given all the plants on the earth to eat and we were to take care of the earth. It is our heritage before the fall of man to be kind to our environment, be kind to ourselves and to each other. Why not embrace the heritage that God has given us? We can choose to live a gentler, kinder lifestyle.
This sequence is excellent for inner core strength, builds stamina, and helps develop power in the legs.
Come into chair from mountain pose. Feet are hip distance apart and parallel. Allow you hips to move back as if you were sitting in a chair. Your chest is bright. Your hands are placed in prayer position. Make sure your spinal alignment is fluid and natural. Find a focal point in front of yourself. I usually find something about 8 feet in front of me to gaze at. Take four nice breathing cycles in this pose.
Ground your feet and activate your legs. Smoothly glide your left elbow to your right knee as you exhale. Keep the spine elongated. Chest is bright. Locate a focal point in front of you and allow yourself to hold a gaze there for four deep cleansing breaths. Flow back to chair pose and then repeat on the other side. Finish by coming back up to mountain pose. This flow is gentle and unforced.
As with all challenging poses make sure your body is well warmed up before performing this combination.
This smoothie was a healthy, tasty morning treat and an excellent kick-start for the day 🙂 The humble pear actually creates a subtle sweetness without overpowering the drink. The vegan yogurt creates a nice creamy texture. I will have this with a slice of toast with almond butter for breakfast and am on my merry way!
1 ripe mango
1/2 cup strawberry vegan yogurt (1 carton)
a splash of pineapple juice
a splash of plant-based milk to your liking
Clean and cut your fruit and add the other ingredients to a food processor. Mix and enjoy!
Reverse warrior is fabulous for creating lower back flexibility and helps develop core strength. It also stretches and strengthens the hips and shoulders. It is an excellent challenge for the mind-body connection as you gain a stronger balance. It energizes the whole body.
Stretch the legs out comfortably. Align the heel of the right front foot with the middle of the left back foot. You can also bring the back foot out in a wider stance to give you more stability. Raise your right arm and keep it active, using a jazz hand to create more sculpting of the muscle. The left arm is placed gently on the left leg and is slightly bent. Your front knee is bent and should be fluidly placed above your front heel and not bending too far forward. Hold this pose for 4 deep soothing breaths. Repeat this on the other side of the body as well to stay balanced in the body.
Stay within your own range of motion and keep this pose gentle and unforced. Make modifications as needed. Embrace the moment with a stretch that edifies the mind, body and spirit.
Everything is being made fresh and new. I recently spoke with a good friend of mine about the challenges and lessons we have learned over the last year. We both came to the same conclusion that we had a lot of personal growth and acknowledged that there is an innate surge of urgency in all of us to be true to ourselves. The process of that journey is different for each of us but there is a fundamental element of power and energy that is released when we acknowledge our true nature as one with Christ.
As we walk through the fog of life we occasionally get shimmers of sunlight revealing a glimpse who we are created to be. The sun comes out for a brief moment and we celebrate the tranquil clarity. Listen to the quiet voice within and make peace with the beauty inside. Embrace it and let it flow through your life!
As we begin another year I challenge each of you to keep true to what you were created for and to move forward with courage. We are formidable warriors pursuing purpose, loving God and loving others. Let the adventures begin!
Life changing relationships take time and commitment. In my walk I have met people who have been married over 70 years. I see them taking care of each other, holding each others hand and just always being there for the other person. I see their dignity and love that has blossomed over the years. In contrast I also have friends who are straining with personal growth and the unanswered questions of their future. Cynicism can be an ugly companion as they search for honesty and assurance.
To live a full, beautiful marriage takes two people equally committed to God and to each other. It is much like how we take care of our mind, body and spirit. It is a never-ending, proactive process. It is the stuff warriors are made out of in pursuit of love, happiness and a beautiful, meaningful life.
Happily ever after is still out there if your willing to work for it. The fringe benefits are enormous and make a lifetime full of wonder and growing on the journey. This year I celebrate my 30th anniversary. It has been a lovely ride and I am still very in love with my spouse. I pray this for everyone who has this desire and more.
Keep at it. Take care of it. Make healthy living and healthy relationships a priority. You only go around once. You were created for joy and so much more!
Smoothies are a great way to pack a lot of nutrition in one glass. My whole family loves smoothies. The fun thing is that you can make each of them specifically to what each person likes. I am frequently experimenting with different flavors. If you want to incorporate more greens into your diet this is an easy way. The rule of thumb is to just use ¼ or less of the greens for any given recipe to keep the flavor balanced. Here is one that I like: