Happy New Year! I hope you had a 2018 full of lessons and milestones that helped you grow.
If you're into starting your new year on a positive note, I wanted to share a couple of FREE 30 day programs I'm committing to. The best part (aside from them being free)? They can both be done from the comfort of your home. It felt too good to be true when I discovered that two of my favorite women, Adriene Mishler and Mel Robbins, were releasing programs both starting on January 1, 2019. For me, there's no better way to enter into an improved physical and mental space as I navigate my way through the next year.
Here's a quick rundown of these programs and links to the information you need if you'd like to join in:
Dedicate - A 30 Day Yoga Journey
Adriene Mishler, Yoga with Adriene
There's nothing like 30 days of yoga with Adriene. I've done several of her 30 day programs and although it's tough at times to hop on the mat every single day, the pride and release of emotion you feel on day 30 makes it all worth it. The best thing about this program is that although it is designed to be done every day for 30 days, you can really do it at your own pace. Don't beat yourself up if you get out of sync. Adriene wouldn't want you to feel that way! She wants you to find what feels good.
I like to keep myself accountable by using the calendar she provides. If you sign-up on the Dedicate webpage I linked above, you'll also get daily encouragement emails from Adriene. She's truly one of the best humans. I know you'll fall in love with her. She is the perfect teacher for an at home yoga practice.
All you need for this program is access to YouTube, a yoga mat (or towel, or rug - sometimes I don't use anything!), and some blankets or a pillow.
Mel Robbins, Author of 5 Second Rule
I stumbled upon Mel Robbins on Instagram in 2018 and it was one of the best things that could have happened for me. She is a wonderful, inspirational woman who gives honest, common sense, and science-based advice on how to be a better human. Someone that believes in themselves and their ability to do anything they set their mind to. Someone that controls their mind, not allowing themselves to become a victim of it. And so much more. I absolutely love her.
Joel got me her book 5 Second Rule for my birthday and my mother-in-law got me the journal that helps you apply the teachings from the book to everyday life. I will be reading the book and using the journal throughout Mindset Reset. I've been waiting anxiously to get started!
You don't need the book and journal to take part in Mindset Reset. All you need is, again, access to YouTube, the Mindset Reset guidebook, and a journal. You'll want to sign-up for the program on the website I linked above so you get notified when a new video is up! Make sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as well. She shares uplifting messages everyday.
If you decide to do either of these programs, let me know! I'd love to keep in touch throughout the 30 days. We could also keep each other accountable! I'm all for that.
Namaste and I wish you the best in 2019!
Like so many, I'm a huge fan of essential oils and their benefits. I've shared in previous posts that I like to incorporate them into my meditation and yoga. I also wear them in place of perfume when I'm in need of emotional or physical comfort before I start my day.
I normally apply my oils topically on pulse points - wrists and temples - and on my chest, over my heart. I then inhale from the bottle a few times, passing the bottle back and forth beneath my nose. Although this routine is wonderful and very beneficial to me, I was looking for a way to make the benefits of the oils last all day long. This is where essential oil pendants come in!
Joel and I happened upon an Artist Holiday Pop-Up Shop in Cedar Falls at The Space where I found my first pendant. It is made of lava stone, which absorbs the essential oil, and a quartz crystal, which is a healing stone for a large number of things. I love the combination of the two. Unfortunately, I don't have the artist's information, but here's a lava stone/quartz crystal option from Etsy!
I also found that lava stones have been used for centuries to help reduce anxiety and calm emotions. (AMEN!) Lava stones are a critical element for grounding and stabilizing the root Chakra as well. So when you combine your essential oils with lava stones, you are combining two powerful natural compounds that increase the effectiveness of each other!
The second pendant I have was a gift. A very thoughtful gift because this person didn't know I wanted a clay essential oil pendant option! The pendant I received is from Essential Pendants, LLC. There are so many beautiful options!
When you have your pendant and are ready to use it, you only need to apply one to two drops of your chosen essential oil. The scent from just a couple of drops can last up to three or more days! Wait for the oil to absorb before you put it on, especially if it will rub on your clothing. When you're ready to change oils, wait for the scent of the previous oil to diffuse completely. If your pendant starts to absorb oils slowly, this just means it needs to dry out. Lay the pendant in the sun for two to four days and that should do it!
Are you an essential oil lover, too? Tell me about your favorite oils and how you use them!
I owe a whole lot to Adriene Mishler. A woman I've never met (but hope to) who feels like one of my oldest friends. She is one of the biggest reasons I got into and continue doing yoga.
If you are interested in starting an at home yoga practice, Adriene's your girl. She has a YouTube channel and website with countless FREE(!) yoga and meditation videos. From yoga for beginners to 30-day programs and five minute simple stretches to 60 minute flows.
Her motto is "Find What Feels Good." That means no "yoga robots" - go at your own pace, move the way your body needs you to move (even if it looks silly). It's not about the perfect pose with Adriene. It's about showing up on your mat in whatever form you bring in that moment.
She's pretty darn funny, too. There hasn't been a video yet where I haven't laughed out loud at an adorable thing she's said!
Here's one of my favorite practices. I reserve it for times when I am in a place that feels uncertain and sad. I end the practice at peace and in tears because I release so much emotion.
I hope you'll give Adriene a try. She's one of the best yogis out there who I love very much!
I've been on the search for a daily reflection book and was lucky enough to run across this gem in a used bookstore we frequent!
The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo contains a reflection for every single day of the year. There are no days or years tied to the dates, so it can be reused over and over again!
The topic of each passage varies - some are personal stories from Mark, others are stories from or about people he knows. Each one is very brief yet insightful. A consistent theme at the end of each entry is a focus on three mindfulness activities. You're asked to focus, to breathe, to silence your mind, to release anything you're holding onto.
Taking time in the morning for daily reflection has been a great addition to my routine. So far, I haven't missed a day. It's become very important to me to start the day in the right state-of-mind. It takes just a few minutes. Whether or not you personally connect to the message that day, at the very least you can feel good knowing you took some time to be still and focus on your personal growth. Namaste, my friends!
I try to make "me time" a thing every Sunday evening before beginning the week. My favorite thing to do is draw a hot bath, throw in some Lavendar essential oils and epsom salts, light a candle, and put on some meditation music. It's just as heavenly as it sounds. I also like to choose a stone from the box pictured above and focus on the items the stone is said to heal. I make whatever the stone is listed to heal my mantra for the week. I close my eyes, hold the stone to my heart and take several deep breaths. I then keep the stone on my bedside table throughout the week as a reminder of my mantra.
I'm no healing stone expert so what I like about this set is that it is very much for beginners learning about the properties of these balancing tools. Even if they don't work their magic on me as some people believe they are meant to, they do allow me to take a moment and focus on positively moving forward each week. For that alone, I am thankful.
Here's a list of what's in the box and what they're meant for:
I got my set of stones from Urban Outfitters, but you can also find them here. Happy healing!