Friday, October 13, 2017

Exercises for Flexibility and Strength

Flexibility training is just as important as anything else within your fitness routine, yet is often the most overlooked. Many people may feel as if stretching is not intensive enough, therefore no benefit can come from it. Instead of trying to convince the stretching skeptic, here are some core-focused exercises that are also great for flexibility.

Caution- If you have sensitive knees grab a blanket to use underneath your knees or double your mat. Always drink water before and after stretching and consult your physician if you are unsure if you should be performing exercise. 

Engaging the core
Before starting these stretching exercises, it's imperative to connect with the core first so that you are able to focus on this area effectively throughout the session.

Come to a comfortable seated position with your shoulders rolled back and down. Place your hands on your knees or in your lap while keeping the neck neutral. Begin with an inhale with the intention of engaging your core. As you inhale draw the belly out as far as you can without too much discomfort. With the exhale draw the belly in as much as you can without too much discomfort. Repeat 5x.

Quads, core, chest and shoulders
From a seated position come to all fours then shift your weight onto your heels. From here lift your upper body up on to your knees with a straight back. Next bend your right knee and grab your ankle with both hands (hold a wall or chair for balance). Engage your core while bending forward slightly then come to a neutral spine. Repeat 5x on each side.

Hips, shoulders, chest, core
From the position on your knees bring your right leg forward while engaging the core with the breath. Twist while bringing your left hand to the right knee. With the twist bring your right hand behind you averting your gaze over your shoulder. Hold 3 deep breaths then switch to the other side. 

Core, shoulders, hamstrings, quads
Come to an all fours position. Bring your left arm out in front and kick your right leg behind. Engage the core and squeeze the glutes and lower back. 

Part 2 From the previous position bend the right knee and grab the foot with the left hand. If you are not able to reach your foot you can use a towel or strap. You will feel a nice stretch in the quads, shoulder and hamstrings. Hold each for 5 seconds and switch to the other side. Repeat each side 2x.

End in a comfortable seated position while engaging your core 5x with the breath.

These exercises not only provide muscle toning and core strengthening, but they are great for flexibility.  With time you will find that the breath and the engagement of muscles becomes a natural process.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at I also offer free consultations. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Embracing Age: Your Golden Years of Health

Living in a world which idolizes youthfulness, can make the aging process seem daunting, yet it does not have to be this way. No one can prevent the aging process, but we can prevent the onset of disease from happening sooner than it may. We can also help ourselves to have a better quality of life during the golden years.

Set goals which are long-lasting

The key to long-lasting health and well-being, is learning how to incorporate it in your daily life vs. only event-oriented, temporary goals. When you sit down and think about what you'd like to accomplish, do not just think a year from now, but consider longer term--a lifetime.

Goals can change with age

A younger person aged 24 and below, is not necessarily thinking about disease prevention or increasing bone density. Likewise, a significantly older person is not necessarily thinking about looking perfect in a bikini, or having a chiseled six pack. Goals can change with age, and also how you perceive yourself.

Age can be embraced

Age can be embraced by focusing on what you deem important in your life, vs. allowing the world to impose upon your self-worth. With age comes the wisdom of life experience, which you can share with others, and feel a certain sense of fulfillment from. A healthy body in your golden years can make it even more fulfilling, and is a truly wonderful gift. Of course, the reality of life is that there are diseases and health issues which we cannot prevent, but we can try our best to work on the preventable. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body--embracing age is a healthy mental attitude to have.

It's OK to be a realist

If you are reading this blog post, chances are health is an important factor in your life. You understand why health is something worth giving your time and attention to. Everything in part takes effort and you understand this. If you want something good for yourself, it's going to take some hard work and the possibility of failure is there. Positivity can only go as far as what the basic facts of life will allow, and although being an optimist has its own benefits, it's OK to be a realist. As a matter of fact, it's healthy!

Coming to terms takes courage

Coming to terms with where you are in your health choices is courageous, especially if you have been avoiding the issue. Age happens to us all--this is a basic fact. The world can come up with as many anti-aging products as it wants--age can still be embraced for what it is. This is a balanced way of looking at things, which can lead you to many golden years of health.

Just getting started, or looking to get going again on a fitness program which suits your needs? I can help!  Visit my site at: or email me: Best of luck to you on your journey!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Finding Well-being Through a Holistic Mindset

Many people may not realize how much the body is influenced by the mind and stress. Even if you don't think you may be stressed, there may be things going on within the mind that you cannot directly see. Finding balance is the key to your well-being and understanding how and why can help you to go forward with your goals.

The mind-body connection

The mind and body are connected. What one does impacts the other. You can test this within yourself right now by thinking about something really scary. Observe your body and notice the changes. Your heart rate may have increased, your hands may have gotten sweaty, a nervous feeling may have overtaken you. Now think about something really wonderful that brings you joy. Feel the difference? Your heart rate decreases, you feel at peace, the environment around you also changes as well and becomes more enjoyable. 

So often we may skip over the mind-body connection in pursuit of our physical goals. Yet true well being is the recognition of all parts of our self; mind, body, soul. A truly holistic practice is the balance of all three. An imbalance in one area can create disease within any of the 3 main areas of oneself. Disease as I am explaining here, is not just physical, or only a physical thing; disease can exist within both mind and soul also. 

Finding balance

Once we get to the place where we have assessed our needs not only physical, but mental and spiritual, we can start the journey towards balance where true well-being is found. If you don't believe in any kind of spiritual plane, you can simply connect with your heart place. Think about goals and needs you have which relate to this area of the body; like your personal needs for inner fulfillment and connection with oneself and others. 

Find a quiet place if possible where you can really think about your needs and what you would like to change, improve, or focus on. Don't be too hard on yourself, yet don't be too easy either. For each aspect you'd like to change remind yourself of your strengths in other areas. To help this process you can draw the following chart and write down what you would like to focus on in each area. Allow yourself to be open, creative and not too set on perfecting everything right now. Here is a chart I made with a few examples. You may follow this or create one in your own way:

Simply setting your intention and reassessing when needed is a great way to get going. You'll be surprised at how some aspects will naturally make a shift by setting your focus on it. That's the power of the mind at work!

Exercises for connection & balance

These exercises I've included can help you to balance yourself. Try these 5 basic exercises everyday for 10 minutes to feel a difference. 

1 Breath: Sit in a comfortable position. Gently close the eyes or lower the gaze. Find the breath. Stay with the breath. With the inhale draw the belly out, with the exhale draw the belly in towards the spine. Repeat at least 5-10 times while focusing on your intention. If you've made an intention of healing or connection, focus on your heart center. 

2 Lower back & hip stretch: This stretch can help you release tension existing in the lower back, hamstrings and hips. Inhale roll the shoulders back and down in a seated position. With the exhale walk your fingers out to the left knee. Repeat on the other side. If comfortable you may bring your forehead to the knee. Repeat for 1 minute each side. 

These next exercises don't necessarily require a ball, you can also use a stool, chair or blanket/pillows. 

3 Upper back stretch: sit with your hips on your heels keeping your back straight. Bring your hands to the ball (or stool/chair) with the exhale bring the head through the arms while stretching the arms as far as you feel comfortable. Hold 10 seconds repeat 3 times. 

4 Bridge: Place the ball under your feet, or you can perform without the ball if you feel unbalanced. Use your core (lower abs) to lift your hips while also engaging your thighs and glutes. Hands are next to your sides pressing down into the mat. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.

5 Crunch with heart and neck opener: Bring your hands to the heart center while laying with your back on the ball, knees are bent, feet straight. Engage your abs while bringing your chin towards the chest (part 1). Drop your head all the way back opening up the neck area (part 2). Perform this second part with caution, always stop if you feel uncomfortable. You will hold the neck opener for about 5 seconds then engage the abs again by bringing chin in towards chest.

Please remember to perform all exercises with safety and caution consult your doctor if you're unsure if you should participate. 

Keep going

These exercises help you to not only connect the mind-body but also will set a foundation for healing if that is your intention. These exercises also help to tone and strengthen the muscles and bones creating a stronger foundation. Exercise as well as proper nutrition, life purpose and stress relief, will help you to restore a holistic balance in your life.

You may contact me at my website: if you have any questions, or would like to get started with a  holistic fitness program which fits your needs. Thank you for reading and be well!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Wisdom of the cacti; fortitude in the desert

Saguaro Cactus
Lately I've had a fascination with the cacti. It's a little out of my element since I'm more of a flower lover and although some cacti do have flowers I've just never really considered them to be in the floral category. These prickly plants have never captivated my attention that much before so I've sought to learn a little bit more about them.

The cacti is a plant which protects itself with a prickly exterior although not all are covered in it head to toe. There are many shapes and variations, some also vary in color. Not all are green, but can be hues of pink and purple. Some cacti are succulents and vice versa but not all succulents are cacti. The cacti is misunderstood! Cacti are slow growers however the cacti grow more roots than other plants in order to store water when it rains. These roots will eventually shrivel up when they are not needed. This allows for the cacti to store energy. The cacti is a very efficient plant.

The cacti is a plant of fortitude and endurance. It is this way because it must be able to withstand very harsh desert conditions. When I thought about this and how the cacti is associated with the desert, I began to find similarities with my clients, myself, those with pending goals and life in general.

There is a time when all is fruitful, when the rain comes to provide nourishment and growth. But there are dry, hot and difficult times, and this is why the cacti plant holds water and stores energy. Thus is the same, in not the exact way but perhaps a spiritual way, for those seeking to achieve their goals.

Prepping the mind and body for the potential struggles ahead, the journey can at times be very arduous. Working to achieve your goals however big or small can leave you feeling like you are in a desert at times. However there are beautiful flowers in bounty and forgiving sun rays ahead. Can you persevere through the difficult times? The times when you feel like there is no more hope?

The cactus understands this process naturally. There is no thinking I should prepare, the cactus prepares as its natural biological process. In some ways we also naturally prepare for things. Yet in so many other ways there is too much thinking, rationalizing and analyzing.

There is a proper place for this yet too much thought can lead to burnout and the goals never get accomplished. Maybe perhaps this is why the cacti is made to naturally do these things. If he thought too much, the cactus would be no more! Harsh conditions would come and due to his negligence, he wouldn't have any water to drink.

We can learn from the cacti. We can see how a mere plant holds within its very being a naturally-occurring intelligence. Through this we come to realize the same potential within ourselves. And we can use this as our preparation for the potential harsh conditions ahead. The cactus is a realist.

The cactus rules!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Magnificent Healing Power of Tea around The World

Chamomile Tea is known to reduce cancer cells.

In many cultures and areas of the world, tea is an essential part of everyday life. Tea is seen as not only a social opportunity, but used as a pivotal aspect of health and well-being. In India, chai tea is commonly drank and mixed with a little milk and other spices. In Japan, matcha green tea is used as a sacred ceremony. In China they are known as the tea dynasty, since the leaf was originally discovered here. In parts of Europe most specifically Britain, Tea is a common social drink and necessity as coffee is to the United States. Here's a closer look at tea around the globe:

  • India: The land of Chai tea.
  • Japan: The matcha ceremony.
  • Morocco: Mint tea, the heart of the culture.
  • New Zealand: The “tea-break”
  • USA: The tea explosion. (for such a variety of teas)
  • Thailand: A very trendy tea.
  • Britain: Classic afternoon tea.
  • Russia: Zavarka for guests. (very concentrated brew)
  • China: The tea dynasty. 


Personally I enjoy both tea and coffee. Since I do have sensitivity to caffeine, tea is often a great choice since there is less caffeine and provides more health benefits. I will often drink half-caffeinated coffee or chai tea in the mornings, and green or white tea in the evening.

I use a tea infuser cup which can be easily found online. I place loose leaf tea leaves in a mini strainer which is inserted in the cup. I then poor boiling water (not too hot for green tea otherwise it will affect the taste) after a few minutes of brewing (depending on the type of tea) it's ready! I like loose leaf tea because it is so rich in flavor and the process of making the tea is also enjoyable. Loose leaf tea in an infuser cup or tea pot, is the freshest option next to a traditional tea ceremony, where much attention is given to how the tea is prepared and served.

If you are not yet a tea drinker I'd hope to encourage you to add it to your daily routine after reading this article. Tea provides so many health and wellness benefits it would most assuredly take me hours to write and explain them all fully. So instead, I will provide you an info-graphic with some great benefits and the types of tea you can enjoy:

As the above article states, tea has many healing benefits for those with diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, stroke recovery, prevention of cavities, infections and so on. Tea also boosts the metabolism, may protect skin from damage, provides mental alertness yet also calms the body, and is overall just a great drink with or without its amazing healing benefits.

Even if you don't happen to want or own a tea infuser, the leaves in tea sachets will also provide many benefits. Just heat up some water and place your tea packet in your cup, add some honey for taste or agave if it's your preference. Add a little milk (mostly for black teas) to boost flavor for those more prone to drinking coffee. Tea sachets are a quick and easy way to enjoy tea on the go!

If you are already a believer in the power of tea, good for you! If not I'd encourage you to try it out, after all it wont do you any harm. I will leave you with a tasty spiced masala (traditional Indian chai) tea recipe. Cheers!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Obesity now a global epidemic: Why and what we can do about it

It seems like most people today will fall victims to the lose fat as fast as possible schemes surfacing over the internet and abroad. The fact of the matter is if they did actually work we wouldn't be in a global obesity epidemic as we speak. Since the global spread of high fat no nutritional value fast food restaurants and products, obesity has now become a global problem and not one which is only subject to wealthier countries.

There are many additional causes for this problem which will be discussed here. It is my intention to help you become a believer in healthy weight management programs and not lose fat quick schemes by understanding the TRUE roots of the obesity epidemic.

If you go into any major grocery chain especially in the US, you will notice a small produce section most likely on the side of the store or near to the front, and an overwhelmingly large "everything else" section. Organic, high octane, close to the earth food is not valued any more as it was and many people just wouldn't know what to do with them either.

Home economics are rare in schools, kids grow up knowing very little about home and family life. How to cook, how to bring up their children, how to become organically-minded. This becomes a problem later in life when the children become adults and have little education and understanding of what makes a good quality of life. It then becomes a generational thing until someone breaks the chain. If this is in your own family I challenge you to break the chain if you haven't done so already.

You can start by making a commitment to a better long-lasting quality of life. Think about what this will look like to you and why it will be beneficial in the long run. Yet at the same time don't focus all of your attention on the end result but seek to learn from the experience as you go along. This way you are truly building a foundation for health by knowing how to tackle a myriad of setbacks that may arise.

Take part in a well-rounded whole body/mind fitness and wellness program (I offer that here) one which focuses on multiple areas of your life not just one and ignoring all the others. Being skinny does not assure happiness or health. There are many thin people who are in no ways healthy or happy, so don't obsess over your weight as the main indicator of success.

The obesity epidemic is also fueled by societies obsession with external gratification and appearances. Leading countless people to become chronic yo-yo dieters lining the pockets of the medical and diet industry which sell based on ego, and not something long-lasting. Become a seeker of quality. 

The world is flooded with constant stimulus and ego-based advertising. Become a seeker of quality and don't fall victim to the "get rich quick" scams. Know that you are far more valuable than "just a pretty face." There is an obsession with celebrity culture which fuels people to seek after a perfect "image" forgetting that health and well being is far more valuable than an outward appearance. Your outward appearance will improve naturally, it's not your main goal or prerogative because you are seeking something greater than just that.

When we look beyond what we have been forced-fed to believe and go deeper within ourselves, we discover the true source of health and happiness. No longer do we endlessly struggle with this diet or that. But we live the lifestyle which becomes naturally obtainable to us. We go back to the source. Whole foods, active lifestyles, deeper meaning; a well-rounded quality of life

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Where is your peak? Are you rushing to your peak or taking it all in?

A little over 2 years ago my husband and I visited Pikes Peak in Colorado. Since then I've carried those mountains with me and think about them often. So today I propose the question, "where is your peak?" Meaning are you really thinking enough about your goals or are you just rushing around from here to there. I don't want you to think only about the physical goals, but are you mentally at your peak? Spiritually? Do you see that these things are connected? Body/Mind/Soul. One affects the other and so on. First off is it something that you're seeking after?

Society I think today is very torn. Not knowing whether to just give up and accept whatever or to act and make some kind of difference. I believe we also individually have that choice. I don't think one over the other is particularly bad depending on the situation. There is a certain sense of detachment with the first, and attachment to something better in the second. We are dependent attachment-centered beings. We want affection from others, acceptance, it's how we have survived since the beginning of time.

Detachment though is a spiritual and also a mental skill. It is a skill which when developed properly can help us. Start thinking about where you are now and what you believe yourself to be capable of. Make room for adjustments and DETACH yourself from the immediate outcome. This way you are learning from the process, and taking in all the experiences which come with it. If you simply rush to the end you wont be satisfied in all areas because you have not given them time to be known to you. You'll reach the end and feel a temporary sense of satisfaction and then be wondering what happened.

When my husband and I visited Pikes peak we drove on the highway which takes you to the highest point accessible to a car but we chose to turn around before we reached the top. Maybe perhaps we were leaving it undone for a reason to complete at a later time. Now when I think about visiting again its exciting to imagine what the top may look like. But also there is a certain sense of satisfaction that we took the time to truly experience the mountain for what it was. We probably could have made it to the top (even if our car was getting a bit shaky) but we knew it wasn't only about that.