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:

desk

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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Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

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Pregnant? Looking for a way to relax and stay fit during your pregnancy?

Perhaps you should consider prenatal yoga.

Prenatal yoga goes beyond the baby growing phase, it can even help prepare you for labor and promote good health for your baby.

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What are the benefits of prenatal yoga? I’m glad you asked.

Much like other types of childbirth-preparation classes, prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies.

Research suggests that prenatal yoga can:

  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
  • Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath

Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.

prenatal group

What happens during a typical prenatal yoga class?

A typical prenatal yoga class might involve:

  • Breathing. You’ll be encouraged to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
  • Gentle stretching. You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion.
  • Postures. While standing, sitting or lying on the ground, you’ll gently move your body into different positions aimed at developing your strength, flexibility and balance. Props — such as blankets, cushions and belts — might be used to provide support and comfort.
  • Cool down and relaxation. At the end of each prenatal yoga class, you’ll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions.

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Are there styles of yoga that aren’t recommended for pregnant women?

There are many different styles of yoga — some more strenuous than others. Prenatal yoga, hatha yoga and restorative yoga are the best choices for pregnant women.

Be careful to avoid Bikram yoga, commonly called hot yoga, which involves doing vigorous poses in a room heated to 100 to 110 F (38 to 43 C). Bikram yoga can raise your body temperature too much, causing a condition known as hyperthermia. In addition, ashtanga and other types of power yoga might be too strenuous for women who aren’t experienced yoga practitioners.

Are there special safety guidelines for prenatal yoga?

To protect your health and your baby’s health during prenatal yoga, follow basic safety guidelines. For example:

  • Talk to your health care provider. Before you begin a prenatal yoga program, make sure you have your health care provider’s OK. You might not be able to do prenatal yoga if you are at increased risk of preterm labor or have certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or back problems.
  • Set realistic goals. For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended on most, if not all, days of the week. However, even shorter or less frequent workouts can still help you stay in shape and prepare for labor.
  • Pace yourself. If you can’t speak normally while you’re doing prenatal yoga, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard.
  • Stay cool and hydrated. Practice prenatal yoga in a well-ventilated room to avoid overheating. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Avoid certain postures. When doing poses, bend from your hips — not your back — to maintain normal spine curvature. Avoid lying on your belly or back, doing deep forward or backward bends, or doing twisting poses that put pressure on your abdomen. You can modify twisting poses so that you only move your upper back, shoulders and rib cage. Avoid inverted poses, which involve extending your legs above your heart or head, unless you’re an experienced yoga practitioner. As your pregnancy progresses, use props during postures to accommodate changes in your center of gravity. If you wonder whether a pose is safe, ask your instructor for guidance.
  • Don’t overdo it. Pay attention to your body and how you feel. Start slow and avoid positions that are beyond your level of experience or comfort. Stretch only as far as you would have before pregnancy.

    If you experience any pain or other red flags — such as vaginal bleeding, decreased fetal movement or contractions — during prenatal yoga, stop and contact your health care provider.

[ Excerpt from The Mayo Clinic ]

How do I choose a prenatal yoga class?

Look for a program taught by an instructor who has training in prenatal yoga.

Your teacher, Katie Clark, is a E-RYT 500 Hour registered yoga teacher, has completed specialized Prenatal Yoga Training and is a mom herself!

Here at Spotted Dog Yoga in a supportive class of soon-to-be mamas you’ll aim to boost balance, circulation, flexibility and muscle tone for a healthy pregnancy. Through postures modified for each trimester, you will work to open and strengthen all the right muscles to counteract the weight of your baby bump, striving to prevent the aches, pains and imbalances common in pregnancy.

Plus, you’ll pick up deep breathing and relaxation tools to use in labor, delivery and beyond into parenthood!

75 minutes, no heat

Bring your friends along too! Let’s make this a baby bumpin’ good time.

 

www.spotteddogyoga.com

 

Kids Benefit From Yoga

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Man it’s really tough to be a kid in today’s society!

Children deal with so many temptations, distractions, over-stimulating activities and peer pressure. Schools are forced and challenged to do more with minimal resources and be creative in how they reach even the most isolated child.

Yoga is a low-cost, helpful tool that can have a positive impact on our children.

And wouldn’t we want them to have positivity in their lives? After all, they are our future!

How exactly does yoga help though?

Yoga helps kids to:

  • Develop body awareness
  • Learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way
  • Manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement
  • Build concentration
  • Increase their confidence and positive self-image
  • Feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group
  • Have an alternative to tuning out through constant attachment to electronic devices

In a school setting, yoga can also benefit teachers by:

  • Giving them an alternate way to handle challenges in the classroom
  • Giving them a healthy activity to integrate with lesson plans
  • Give them a way to blend exercise into their classes

Here is what kids can expect to learn in a yoga class:

1. Awareness of the breath

Breathing exercises can energize kids or encourage relaxation, depending on what you teach. Different games and techniques help kids connect to how their bodies feel as a result of deep breathing. Focus increases, as does their breathing and lung capacity. Stress is naturally reduced and healthy hormones are released.

2. Strengthening and energizing

Kids think that yoga is great for stretching, but doesn’t build strength. Talking about the different muscles used in poses and incorporating games and sequences will help build strength as well as body awareness and coordination. Bodies that are strong digest food better, maintain a healthy weight and can support the stress of carrying heavy loads, like a backpack. Bodies will also breathe better, work more efficiently and protect the more fragile joints.

3. Balancing

Balancing poses teach children that with increased focus, you can increase attention naturally, even in kids who struggle with different attention challenges. Poses and games focused on balancing skills, develop an intrinsic strength, evoke a meditative feeling, and promote stillness and quieting of the mind. This can help kids deal with the stress of living in a chaotic world where constant stimulation is a regular part of life.

4. Stretching and lengthening

It’s great for kids to be strong, but a body that’s only based on strength has no way to yield under pressure. Strong muscles without accompanying flexibility can’t move quickly, pulling on bones and joints. Yoga poses stretch muscles and through integrating breathing and movement, muscles become warm and become more flexible. They can yield when they need to, and support tender joints in a more functional way.

5. Awareness and focus

Yoga helps create awareness in the body through deep breathing and movement. It gives kids a way to express themselves, build a strong connection between what they hear and what they do. Children that have healthy body awareness are more confident and strong, have better posture, breathe better and have a sense of quiet strength.

6. Flowing, connecting and integrating

When we string poses together, we give kids a taste of what it means to move with ease. It also helps them build the awareness that all our movements are a series of coordinated efforts between muscles, bones, joints and nerves. Older kids are more able to isolate different muscle groups and get more sophisticated about movements; things like keeping the arms lifted in Warrior 1, while at the same time, dropping the shoulders to relax them. All these things together increase a child’s sense feeling integrated.

7. Meditation and relaxation

Yoga is meditative by nature. So whether a child is holding a balancing posture, sitting in meditation or moving through a series of poses, there’s going to be a calming, soothing quality. Giving younger kids something to do as they rest on their mats will help with their attention, such as suggesting they think of a favorite color or toy. Older kids will find it easier to rest longer with less structure.

kid meditation

 

Excerpted from Stretched:Build Your Yoga Business, Grow Your Teaching Techniques, Bare Bones Yoga.

Spotted Dog Yoga is proud to be a family studio providing classes for Prenatal, Mommy & Me, Toddler’s, Young Children, and Teens.

Spotted Dog Yoga ♥ The Family Studio

Community Connections

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Hi all! Bri from Spotted Dog Yoga here. With this blog I wanted to do something a little bit different and give you ideas on how and where to connect with our community.

Here we go!

1. Family Yoga at Spotted Dog Yoga

First Saturday of every month and ages 3-14. Bring the whole crew! The next Family Yoga is on July 7th 3:00-4:00. See you there!

2. El Dorado Hills Farmers Market

Farmers Market every Sunday from May to October at the El Dorado Town Center.

Time

(Sunday) 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location

El Dorado Hills Town Center – Farmers Market

4364 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

3. Fireworks and Freedom Concert

The highly anticipated Fireworks Show and Freedom Concert in El Dorado Hills is set and ready to go! Ring in Independence Day with exciting entertainment for all ages! Definitely the community event of the year!

Date

Tuesday July 3rd, 2018

Time

6:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Location

El Dorado Hills Town Center – Town Center Blvd

2101 Vine Street., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

4. Folsom Farmers Market

Every Saturday year-round, around the historic railroad turntable and public plaza in Historic Folsom. There’s also live music. Park for free in the garage at 905 Leidesdorff St.

200 Wool St, Folsom, CA 95630
8:00 AM to 1:00 PM

5. Twilight Thursdays Concert Series

Each Thursday at the Historic Folsom Amphitheater as the sun drops below the horizon! Great regional bands will keep you entertained and on your feet! Bring your beach chairs and your best friends! You can picnic during the concert or grab dinner there in the district before the concert starts! Free to attend.

The concert begins at 7:30pm. Ample free parking at 905 Leidesdorff St.

Free Family Fun!

6. River Cats Baseball Game

Take me out to the ballgame! Bring the whole family for a night out with the SDY community at the Sacramento Rivercats game!

Seats are in the lower Governors Club Level and SDY has 2 full rows reserved!

Lets fill the seats and have a great time together! Reserve your spots at Spotted Dog Yoga.

Ticket Price $30 per person

Saturday July 28th 7:05 pm- 10:05 pm

Ok, I hope you have found this helpful and get to try some of these fun community activities. I for one will be checking out the Folsom Farmers Market and those Thursday Concerts.

Have Fun!

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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

Spotted Dog Yoga Schedule

Spotted Dog Yoga

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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!

Play Hard ♥ Love Big

 

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