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

 

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Light Up! Teacher Training

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Spotted Dog Yoga’s “LIGHT UP!” is a unique and exciting 200 Hour Teacher Empowerment Program where you will learn to share yourself powerfully and authentically!

Whether you’re interested in becoming a yoga teacher or not, this program was designed to empower YOU to be a fearless and bold leader. You will be given the tools to let go of what you don’t need and recreate a strong foundation that will allow you to live to your greatest potential. This training will transform your life and leave you with a powerful new understanding of your true self and what you value from the core.

 

 

 

Enroll Here

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Importance of Staying Hydrated

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Drinking 7-8 glasses every day of pure water is optimal, but there are other ways too to get your H2O intake also.

1. Food That Has Water

If you are adequately hydrated it helps keep your metabolism running at its optimal level. Eating foods that contain a lot of water will help get you there. Fruits, vegetables, soups, and grains have a high water content, particularly lettuce, broccoli, grapefruit, carrot, apple, spaghetti (cooked), watermelon, and celery.

Produce that is also rich in potassium, helps restore and maintain electrolyte balance, thereby preventing dehydration. To make sure you get enough potassium in your diet, eat plenty of cucumbers, bananas, fennel, shelled edamame, and cooked garbanzo beans.

2. Pre-Hydrate

Did you know if you feel thirsty, than you are already dehydrated?

If you’re heading to yoga class, especially a super sweaty hot yoga class, make sure you drink up before you arrive. Hydrating before yoga is essential to avoiding stiffness and cramping. But don’t down a bottle of water right before class begins, or else you may end up feeling bloated during practice. Instead, slowly sip 16 ounces of water during the hour before class.

3. Re-Hydrate

Rehydration is just as important as pre-hydration, especially if you’ve just completed a hot yoga class. Drinking at least 20 ounces of water after class to replace lost fluids will put you right back where you need to be.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! I can’t stress that enough!

4. “Spike” Your Drink

I’ve never really understood people who say they HATE the way water tastes, because um hello, water doesn’t taste like anything! But hey, I get it. Especially when it comes to spring water. YUCK!

So if you must you can add fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or even cucumber and mint to give your water a refreshing taste!

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I have such a hard time drinking enough water. Help!

Find a bottle or cup or whatever you’re going to drink out of that works for you! I personally like to drink out of a reusable cup with a lid and straw. It’s convenient because I don’t constantly have to be taking a cap on and off ALL DAY. I pack it full of ice, top it off with water and GO! And because it is reusable, I can wash it and reduce the waste that goes into the landfill. Plus disposable straws are extremely bad for the environment and animals.

Don’t straws give you lip wrinkles!?

Yes, drinking through a straw causes people to purse their lips and can create wrinkles from the repetitive muscle motion. However, any repetitive movement can increase the risk of wrinkles. i.e. frowning, smiling, sipping hot drinks, pursing lips while talking. But everyone is different and it would depend on how often your muscles make those movements.

You know what helps combat wrinkles? Water! If your skin is dehydrated than it’s going to look leathery and have wrinkles.

So personally I think that if you are keeping your body hydrated enough, worrying about straw wrinkles should be the last thing on your mind.

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Benefits of Mommy & Me Yoga

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Better rest, increased flexibility, happy baby. Yes, yoga can give you ALL three!

Video Link Below. Check It Out!

New baby means new schedule, new routine and less time to focus on health. It’s really important to find an exercise that is both gentle on your healing body, yet exciting enough so you don’t fall asleep.

You know, because of the lack of sleep and all.

“We recommend baby yoga for anyone who is looking for a healthy, playful bonding activity to do with a new baby,” says Lauren Chaitoff, co-owner of New York City children’s yoga studio Yogi Beans and contributor to Yoga Dork.

Nine benefits of Baby Yoga, in case you weren’t already convinced.

1. It’s a Great Bonding Experience With Your Baby

Mom and baby programs focus on both of you. Traditional yoga poses are modified so moms can practice yoga while holding and rocking their babies. The result is time dedicated to bonding.

2. You’ll Be Able to Ease Back Into Yoga

Unlike high-level adult yoga classes that kick ass, mommy & me yoga acknowledges the changes that a new mom’s body has been through.

3. It’s Great for Emotional Well-Being

Becoming a parent can be stressful, and yoga can help ease new-parent jitters. It will also give moms and dads the opportunity to nourish and care for their own bodies through focused stretches and mindful breathing exercises.

4. It Can Aid in Digestion for Baby

The poses and movements chosen for baby yoga are not done at random. The movements can help fussy little ones begin to calm down as they are dealing with things such as colic.

5. It Can Help Baby Sleep Better

What is something any new parent wants? MORE SLEEP! The class experience can be just the right amount of stimulation they need to help them sleep for longer stretches of time.

ZzzZzz.

6. It Keeps Baby Happy Through Repetitive, Soothing Motions

Most babies enjoy movement, so the class is different from a traditional yoga class in that the majority of the class in constant motion without holding one pose for too long. Babies can just roll all over that mat if they really wanted to!

7. It Establishes Long-Term Exercise Habits for Baby

Beginning with a strong foundation encourages your little one to normalize exercise as they grow. One of the greatest benefits your baby can gain, is the joy of a healthy lifestyle from the youngest of age.

8. It’s a Safe, Welcoming Environment

Many new moms are worried about taking their little bundle of joy out because of feeding concerns, noise or diaper changes. During the class, all of that is encouraged! The objective is to create an inclusive environment and a mutually bonding experience for new parents and their babies. So don’t feel bad if your baby cries during class. Taking care of your child is the first priority.

9.You Can Meet Other New Moms

Since it’s a class that is solely geared for new parents and their babies, you’ll be at the perfect place for meeting other moms. Hang around after class for a few minutes to talk about your favorite poses or share parenting advice with your new friends!

So grab that yoga mat and join us for Mommy & Me classes starting June 4th @ 9:30 AM. Your body and your baby will thank you!

 

Mommy & Me Yoga At Spotted Dog VIDEO

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The Power of Community

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We’ve all heard the saying “It takes a village.” Well it really does! And it doesn’t just apply to raising children.

Here are six powerful reasons to depend on your community.

1. Collective wisdom

No one person ever has all of the answers, and regardless of the amount of Google-ing you may do, consulting with experts is always going to give you better information. Like real-life experiences, and those are the best!

2. Pushing our limits

When working alone, it’s oftentimes too easy to give up when things get hard. By surrounding yourself with others working toward a similar goal or objective, you’ll get motivation, support, and friendly competition to push yourself just a bit further than you would have done on your own.

3. Support and belief

Some days those big goals just seem impossible. On those days when you most want to give up, you need to lean on your community the most. They believe in you—probably more than you belief in yourself.

4. New ideas

I truly believe that when you are working within a community of like-minded people that the wisdom of crowds is considerably greater than any one person working alone. Our divergent world views and lenses mean that we all approach the exact same problem slightly differently.

5. Borrowed motivation

Even on those days when your belief in yourself isn’t waning, doing what needs to get done can seem overwhelming. Look around your community and be inspired!

6. Accountability

If you’re a super responsible person, you may not want to admit to people you care about who are pulling for you, that something didn’t get done. There’s nothing like having to be accountable to others to up your game. Keep those promises!

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Insomnia? Try Yoga.

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Having trouble falling asleep at night? You’re not alone. Over 3 million in the U.S. suffer along side with you.

Most cases of insomnia are related to poor sleep habits, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, chronic illness, or certain medications.

If only there was a way to help without having to take so many sleeping pills!

I have good news! Yoga can help!

Ease into a restful night with a quiet yoga practice focused on deep breathing to calm your mind and release physical tension.

Here are some common poses to help lull you into a restful nights sleep.

1. Child’s Pose

1 Minute (10-15 Breaths)

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2. Lizard Pose

1 Minute (10-15 Breaths) Each Side

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3. Locust Pose

1 Minute (10-15 Breaths)

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4. Standing Forward Bend

1 Minute (10-15 Breaths)

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5. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend

1 minute (10-15 Breaths)

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6. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

End this sequence here with Savasana for 3 Minutes

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Have more time? Let’s Continue!

7. Seated Forward Bend

1 Minute (10-15 Breaths)

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8. Side Seated Wide Angle Pose

1 Minute (10-15 Breaths) Each Side

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9. Bridge Pose

1 Minute (10-15 Breaths)

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10. Legs Up the Wall Pose

3 Minutes (30-45 Breaths)

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11. Adept’s Pose

3 minutes (30-45 Breaths)

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Good night and sweet dreams ♥

 

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Learn Yoga Video

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SDY leader & teacher Jennifer Vicari-Cox teaches you how to go from side facing wide leg forward fold to tripod headstand!!

Subscribe to SDY’s channel for more great learn yoga videos!

 

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