Transform Your Entire Day

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Guess what!? There are 10 little tweaks you can do to your normal morning routine that will greatly impact the rest of your day.

Researchers have found that self-control and energy are not only intricately linked but also finite (limited), daily resources that tire much like a muscle. Even though we don’t always realize it, as the day goes on, we have increased difficulty exerting self-control and focusing on our work. As self-control wears out, we feel tired and find tasks to be more difficult and our mood goes downhill.

So when is self-control the highest? In the most important hours of the day, the morning!

But does that mean I have to spend my morning hours just working? Nope!

The morning hours should be used for doing the right things which will help your energy and self-control last longer throughout the day.

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’” And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs

Ok so what should you be doing? Glad you asked.

The following tips will help set the right tone for the rest of your day.

 

1. Start with exercise

Researchers found that people who exercise during the workday have more energy and a more positive outlook. Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses. Exercising first thing in the morning ensures that you’ll have the time for it, and it improves your self-control and energy levels all day long.

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2. But first, lemon water

Drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up spikes your energy levels physically and mentally. Lemon water gives you steady, natural energy that lasts the length of the day by improving nutrient absorption in your stomach. You need to drink it first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) to ensure full absorption. You should also wait 15–30 minutes after drinking it before eating (perfect time to squeeze in some exercise). Lemons are packed with nutrients; they’re chock full of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Don’t drink the juice without water because it’s hard on your teeth.

3. No screen time until breakfast

When you dive straight into e-mails, texts, and Facebook, you lose focus and your morning succumbs to the wants and needs of other people. It’s much healthier to take those precious first moments of the day to do something relaxing that sets a calm, positive tone for your day. Jumping right into electronics has the opposite effect—it’s a frantic way to start your day. Exercising, meditating, or even watching the birds out the window are all great ways to start the day.

4. Eat a real breakfast

Eating anything at all for breakfast puts you ahead of a lot of people. People who eat breakfast are less likely to be obese, they have more stable blood-sugar levels, and they tend to be less hungry over the course of the day. And these are just the statistics for people who eat any breakfast. When you eat a healthy breakfast, the doors to a productive day swing wide open. A healthy breakfast gives you energy, improves your short-term memory, and helps you to concentrate more intensely and for longer periods.

5. Set goals for the day

Research shows that having concrete goals is correlated with huge increases in confidence and feelings of control. Setting goals specific to the day puts everything into motion. Narrow your goals down to a few achievable ones that can easily be broken down into steps. Vague goals such as “I want to finish writing my article” are counter-productive because they fail to include the “how” of things. The same goal re-phrased in a more functional way would read something like this: “I am going to finish my article by writing each of the three sections, spending no more than an hour on each section.” Now, you have more than simply something you want to achieve—you have a way to achieve it.

Getting your morning started off right at home is important, but it’s only half the battle. Here’s how you can maintain a productive tone once you hit the office:

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6. First, clean your workspace

Even though it’s a pain to clean right when you get into work, it makes a big difference to your ability to concentrate. A Princeton University study found that people who worked in a clean workspace out-performed those who worked in a cluttered one because clutter pulls your attention away from your work. In fact, the effects of clutter on concentration are not all that different from the effects of multi-tasking.

7. No e-mail until you’ve eaten three frogs  (Wait, WHAT!?)

“Eating a frog” is the greatest antidote to procrastination, and the most productive people know the importance of biting into this delicacy first thing in the morning. In other words, spend your morning on something that requires a high level of concentration that you don’t want to do, and you’ll get it done in short order. Make a habit of eating three frogs before you check your e-mail because e-mail is a major distraction that enables procrastination and wastes precious mental energy.

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain

8. Keep morning meetings on schedule

Meetings are the biggest time waster there is, and they can ruin an otherwise productive morning. People who use their mornings effectively know that a meeting will drag on forever if they let it, so they inform everyone at the onset that they’ll stick to the intended schedule. This sets a limit that motivates everyone to be more focused and efficient. Keep your morning meetings on time, and your entire day will stay on track.

9. Don’t multitask

Multi-tasking in the morning—when you have lots to do, tons of energy, and it feels like you can do two or three things at once—is tempting, but it sets your whole day back. Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus adequately on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

10. Finally, say no

No is a powerful word that will protect your precious mornings. When it’s time to say no, avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them while your mind is fresh. Research conducted at the University of California Berkeley showed that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Learn to use no, and it will lift your mood as well as your productivity.

The trick is to be intentional about your mornings, understanding that a.m. hours are precious and should be handled with care.

 

-Dr. Travis Bradberry

 

Play Hard Love Big

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Summer Yoga Body Challenge

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The HOTTEST summer challenge is back!

Summer Yoga Body (SYB) is designed to help you create a foundation and stay committed to your yoga practice, especially during the busy months of summer! In the years past SYB has been designated solely to the month of July.

Well this year we are kicking it up a notch!

The challenge begins on May 1st and continues till August. 4 Months of pure summer fun! So who exactly can participate in this challenge? Adults and kids who are looking to amplify their yoga practices.

 

How do you earn a yoga body? Create consistency.

Why Summer Yoga Body Challenge? It will empower you to create discipline.

Should I do SYB with my kids? Well that’s a no brainer. YES! It offers the opportunity to learn something new and have fun together!

Let’s go Summer Yoga Camp! Well without the camp part.

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How about my significant other? Sure drag, I mean bring, them along too! Couples who practice together, stay together.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Nick & Katie.

Aww. ♥

Summer is a great time to catch up with friends. And what better way to do that then next to your bestie on a yoga mat. Plus who doesn’t love a little friendly competition.

See what I did there?

So what exactly does this challenge entail? Adults will commit to the following:

12 Practices/Month

20 Leap Frogs Each Practice

1 Awesome Yoga Body & Mind

Kids commit to the following:

8 I Play Yoga Kids Practices/Month

1 Awesome Yoga Body & Mind

Practicing yoga has been proven time & time again to improve health and happiness. So get ready for an uplifting summer!

Stop by the front desk to sign up for the Summer Yoga Body Challenge. It’s FREE to participate.

See you on your mat ALL summer long!

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http://www.spotteddogyoga.com

A Break Down, an Explanation, an Open Forum. Learn Yoga does it all!

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I had been practicing yoga for about a year and a half. Fully in love with the discovery of the capabilities of my body. An unsatiated desire to LEARN as much as I could about each of the poses and everything yoga!
There was a constant question in my practice, “Was I doing it right?” But after savasana, being so relaxed and calm, I could barely remember one of my many questions to ask the teacher following class.
My western education craving a space to break down each pose and ask, “Is this right?” I had taken two private lessons which had elevated my practice dramatically and relieved pain-points in my body but still I had so many questions!
“Where should I be feeling this?”
“Should my hand be here or here in halfway lift?”
“Where should my foot be?”
“How the heck are you supposed to transition from … to …?”
“Darn it! I want to shoot back to chatarunga – but how?”
I had the curiosity of a four year old wanting to explore my new yoga language and knowledge. I craved reassurance that I was on the right path.
Then during a 10 day fit dog challenge – the LEARN yoga workshop started. 
“Does it count towards the challenge?” I asked Nick. 
He thought a moment, “Yeah, sure.” 
I didn’t blink an eye and responded “Well ok – sign me up!”
The workshop was exactly what my western culture of learning craved. A break down, an explanation, an open forum to ask all my burning questions and share some of the things I had learned along my way.  A safe and wonderful space to discover and grow my practice. I left each session empowered and enormous trust building inside me.
My yoga practice had given me access to listen to my body and finally I was learning to trust and understand what my body was telling me. I could interpret the many sensations.
“Oh that burn – that’s good!”
“That sting – yeah not so much!”
“My breath is a tool to leverage and find new levels of the pose”
A new freedom opened up on my mat and in my life. Trusting my body and mind – together. For so long the two seemed separate sometimes working at odds – almost fighting with one another. I had a new peace in my running – when to keep going and when to pause, rest and heal. I had all the information I needed – the really amazing discovery was that I had all the information I needed before the workshop. The true gift wasn’t all the answers and information, it was giving me the power to have trust in myself.
Cheers,
Em
Emily Kendall
SDY Teacher

Play Hard • Love Big

Fruit Feast or Fruit Fast? By Emily Kendall

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Fruit Feast or Fruit Fast?

The Fruit Feast is this week! Even as a vegetarian I have an initial negative reaction, “You want me to limit my diet!” But I love vegetables: carrots, cauliflower, kale, spinach and broccoli. I have heard over and over, that your body smells according to what you put in it. Google it and you’ll get 2.6 M sites discussing this. I am sure each of has had an experience of eating something and our body not liking it and moving it out FAST! Occasionally calling in sick the next day due to last’s dinner exploration. We intuitively know what we put into our bodies has a huge impact and not just how we smell.

How do you define fruit?
Another form of resistance for me is to get technical and challenge the restrictions. Now, this is not your produce man’s definition – which is usually based on fruit bearing tree; avocado, apple, banana, orange, or berries. But fruit defined by the botanical definition:

  • In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means by which angiosperms disseminate seeds.

More simply, a fruit is the part of the plant that starts as a flower and disperses seeds. A good rule of thumb if it has seeds its likely a fruit. Some of my favorite fruits often categorized as a vegetable at the grocery store are:

  • Tomato
  • Peppers (hot and sweet)
  • Zucchini – any squash
  • Eggplant
  • Olives
  • Artichoke

Reality
Usually with a little planning and a fully stocked pantry my first day goes ok. The challenge of eating only fruit – inspires me to try new recipes and the idea of WINNING keeps me highly motivated. Then I hit the wall. Cravings, resistance to being told what to do…. This is where my plan and fully stocked pantry become key in my success.

Yes, I usually get a little cranky, especially when someone eats French fries around me but I stick to my plan and suddenly 3 days is over in second. At the end of the feast I am re-inspired to try new recipes and my perspective is altered in how I define “What’s for dinner”.

The first time I did the fruit feast I had a daily rule that I would have 1 piece of fruit a day. After the fruit feast, I realized my rule was limiting, and rewrote it – I can have all the fruit I want in a day!

Good luck on your fruit adventure. Here are some recipes that have been collected by our community. I hope they inspire you on your feast.

I am always looking for new ones so please share with us ☺

Resources – recipes I’ve collected and explored

  • Sweet
    • Medjool dates
    • Oranges
    • Recipes
      • Baked Apples – On cold mornings I love a warm breakfast but these can also be enjoyed any time of day and put more dates on it for a sweet dessert. When I make these for breakfast, I’ll bake a 3-4 apples in the evening or on the weekend and keep them in the fridge and heat them up each morning.
      • Poached Pears
      • Fruit salad
  • Savory (SALT)
    • Artichokes hearts
    • Olives
    • Roasted eggplant
    • Recipes and ideas:
      • Eggplant “parmesan”
  • http://allrecipes.com/recipe/236311/baked-eggplant/
      • I omit the cheese
    • Tomato soup
      • Rachel Pond contributed this recipe during the last 40 Day program and I give it 5 out of 5 stars – simple, fast and easy – oh and YUMMY!
        • Sautéed half a yellow onion (diced) with 3 cloves crushed garlic cloves in olive oil.
        • Pour 2 large cans of organic diced tomatoes into the vitamix.
        • Throw in a handful of basil leaves. Two handfuls of raw cashews. Toss in the sauté. Blend until hot… about ten min. So good!
    • Gazpacho
      • Jennifer Cox turned me onto this recipe during my first 40 Day fruit feast. It’s a great recipe that needs almost no modification ☺ You can adjust the coarseness of the vegies – I mean fruits to your preference.
  • http://healthyblenderrecipes.com/recipes/raw_vegan_tomato_gazpacho_soup
      • Apple Slaw
        • Shredded apple, pomegranate seeds, dash of vinegar, chopped red bell pepper, cilantro
    • NO TIME
      • Frozen Zucchini and eggplant in tomato sauce
        • Trader Joes has frozen eggplant and zucchini, place in microwave safe dish and defrost (1-2 minutes depending on the power of your microwave) top with tomato sauce (or puree diced tomatoes) and heat 30-45 seconds until warm
      • Wash and cut up fruit in advance so you have a quick and fast go to snack, especially if you are going to be away from home. Set yourself up for success.
  • PLAY! Play with textures, cutting fruits in different ways can dramatically change the mouth feel. A spiralizer or mandolin are great tools for this.
  • Ask – have a craving – want tips or help modifying a recipe – just ask together we are an amazing recourse.
    • Online community:
  • http://www.becomingformless.com/the-cleansing-diet/
  • http://butterflygirljackie.blogspot.com/2012/05/40-days-fruit-fast-day-1.html

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