How to Have Good Posture with a Desk Jobs.

look back on wonderful memories

It can be unavoidable to sit at a desk for long periods of time…. when you have a desk job. Which a lot of us do!

Even if we aren’t spending numerous hours sitting in front of a computer, we’re more than likely texting, driving, sitting in front of a tv, or eating at a table at some point throughout our day. All of these postures more than likely have us rolling our shoulders forward, bending our necks down, and putting a major amount of strain on our spine. Just take a moment to think about how your body adjusts to looking down at our screens and compare that image to an upright, straight spine posture. It will probably have you cringe a little (or a lot!). It really isn’t the best set up and we’ll actually start to experience the consequences over time.

But just wait! Even if we can’t completely cut out these activities completely from our lives, there are small daily exercises we can do to make sure we’re keeping our bodies happy.

  • Our spine is meant to move and bend but at it’s natural, comfortable alignment, the spine is stacked straight. So as we’re sitting, working on the computer, watching tv, staring at our tablet or phone in the check-out line, take a second to review how our spine is aligned. If it isn’t stacked upright, we’re probably putting unnecessary strain on it.
  • Move! There is no magic number that says you should “get up and walk every 30 minutes” even though we hear these statements all the time. Everybody’s body is different. If you’ve been sitting for a while and you start to notice your posture is slowly slacking than get up and walk around. Go grab a snack, go to the bathroom, go talk to a coworker, anything that will get you on your feet and realigning your spine.
  • Take a moment out of your day to stretch. It can be 15 minutes when you get up, a yoga class over your lunch hour, or a short series before you go to bed but take some time to show your body you care about it. This short routine each day will go a long way to overall health when you have a sedentary career. (I’ll be following up with a short series you can incorporate into your morning or nightly routine)
  • If you have the option, rotate between sitting and standing during work hours. You don’t have to have an adjustable desk. You can find a countertop to work at or stack boxes or books to build height for you to set your laptop atop.
  • Set an alarm on your phone or reminder on your computer to run through a few desk stretches to help relax your muscles and release any unnecessary tension you might be holding in your body. Again, these small moves can have an impact. (I’ll also be following with some fun tips on moves you can do while sitting or standing at your desk)

We’ve heard plenty of the health affects sitting at our desks and staring at our phones has on our body. Now is the time to take care of ourselves! What are some of your favorite tips or tricks to help your posture?

 

EMFs + Self-Care

I wanted to take a moment here to discuss EMFs, Electromagnetic Fields, and how we should be interacting with these fields as well as self-care.

What Are EMFs?

The National Cancer Institute defines electric and magnetic fields as invisible areas of energy that are produced by electricity, which is the movement of electrons, or current, through a wire. Electric fields are produced whether or not a device is turned on, whereas magnetic fields are produced only when current is flowing.

We come in contact with this energy every day. This energy helps us communicate, cook, and even solve complex medical issues.

  • Radio Broadcasting Waves
  • Cell Phone Radiation Waves
  • Wifi + Bluetooth Waves
  • Microwaves
  • Infrared Waves
  • X-Ray Waves

Being in a field where I’m constantly interacting with technology makes it difficult to avoid. But there are simple ways we can disconnect more from everyday technology and EMFs!

Tips:

  • Take breaks every 30 minutes – take your hands off the keyboard, move your eyes around the room, take a quick walk, grab a snack. There are so many ways you can step away.
  • Set devices 5-6 feet away from you when watching television.
  • Get outside without devices for 30 minutes to an hour a day. Go for a walk without your phone, layout at the pool, go for a bike ride, have coffee with a friend.
  • Set limits on your Social Media platforms or your phone altogether.
  • Unplug electronics by the bed or remove from your bedroom all together when sleeping.
  • Flip off the circuit breaker to your room.

Can you think of any additional tips that can help you disconnect from your devices?

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup.

This recent snowy weather has put me in the mood for my favorite soup; Chicken Tortilla. Not only is the recipe delicious and pretty healthy but it also can be whipped up in the crockpot in just a few hours. The only work is shredding the chicken!

I was raised in a household that loved soup and my dad could throw together some of the best variations so it is always been a favorite meal of mine and additional bonus; great leftovers!

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Diced Onions
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Diced Peppers
  •  1 tsp Cumin Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder Seasoning
  • ~3 Cups of Broth (I go between Vegetable and Chicken broth – whichever I have on hand)

Topping Ingredients:

  • Greek Yogurt/Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese

Directions:

  • Place all Soup Ingredients in the crockpot and cook on high heat for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove Chicken and shred into pieces and place back into the pot.
  • Cook on low heat for another 3 hours.
  • Dish up into bowls, top with desired toppings, & enjoy!

Namaste.

soup

How to Prepare for a Morning Work Out Class.

I’m not going to lie, I am one of the worst about getting up in the morning for working out. I claim to be a morning person but when it comes to working out in the morning, I am not that type of person!

Low and behold, I am trying to turn over a new leaf. So whether you are trying to hop over to your gym, tie on your sneakers for a sunrise jog, or getting into an early workout class then we’re in this together.

With anything, a morning work out can be made easier with some helpful tips and tricks. I’ve compiled a few different things that normally help me roll out of bed a little easier before the sun has started to shine.

  • Set out your work out clothes. If you already have them laid out, it is much easier to slip into them instead of spending time picking out what you’re going to wear.
  • Even better, wear your work out clothes to bed. I do this all the time and I am not ashamed one bit.
  • Recruit a buddy early on. This is probably one of the best tricks because you don’t want to let the other person down and now you have a reliablity partner to make sure you show up.
  • Set up a routine that is easy to stick to and not intimidating. If you’re signing up for 5AM CrossFit but you’ve never hit up a CrossFit workout before or you’re aiming to run 6 miles and you’re not in shape to run 1, then you’ll more than likely talk yourself out of a work out that doesn’t sound enjoyable. Find fitness routines that spark interest and a little be of excitement maybe; Hot Yoga, Zumba, Sunrise Hikes. Start simple and then expand the horizon.
  • The night before, prepare a quick healthy snack before you leave the house. A workout on an empty stomach is no bueno, so prepare a protein bar or piece of fruit you can munch on your way.
  • Prepare your breakfast in advance as well. You’ll probably be in an early if you’re coming home between your work out and work so have a healthy meal ready so you’re not scrambling.
  • Set an alarm with a tune that will pump you up to get out of bed. The normal alarm sound is lame and super unmotivating. Set up an alarm that will blast some Sia or Beyonce. A tune that will get you jazzed to start your day off on the right foot.
  • And most important enjoy your workout once you’re there!

Namaste.

Caprese Quinoa Salad.

My biggest concern with holidays is the lack of healthy options that are usually available for big meals. We are all prepared to indulge to some extent but I also enjoy balance. I’ve come to an age where I can tell if I don’t get enough vegetables in within a day and trust me, I don’t end up being very pleasant by the end of the day. Which means it is very important for me to have some kind of greens on my plate almost every meal. This dish is an excellent protein packed, healthy side option if you are already a fan of caprese salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 package of Mozzarella Pearls
  • 1/4 cup fresh Basil leaves (torn to small pieces)
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Olive Oil
  • Half diced Cucumber
  • Salt + Pepper

Directions:

  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil on stovetop. Pour in quinoa and shimmer until water is fully absorbed.
  • Transfer cooked quinoa into medium size bowl.
  • Add in all other ingredients and blend.
  • Chill in the fridge for 3 hours – 3 days. Flavors will intensify and absorb over time.
  • Enjoy!

This is my new favorite sunny day, porch relaxing dish.

What to Know Before Your First Hot Yoga Class.

Checking out a new workout or fitness class can be quite intimidating. You’ve never checked out the studio before, you don’t know where the bathrooms or water fountain is, you’re unsure the instructor’s name, and you’re not quite sure what cues are being called out so you for sure are sticking out like a sore thumb.

We’ve all been there. And none of us want to be.

  1. Have a good quality mat. This is important in a hot yoga class because a flimsy mat will be moving and scrunching up throughout the class so you’ll be focusing more on adjusting your mat back to place than the actual moves.
  2. Have a mat towel. This can simply just be a beach towel or shower towel, you don’t need an actual mat towel but I find this extremely important for soaking up sweat
  3. Bring a water bottle. This may seem obvious but you will increase your heart rate during these classes, you may sweat (quite a bit), so you’ll definitely want water breaks throughout.
  4. Show up early. Get to the studio 15-30 minutes before class. This will provide time before the majority of students show up and can give you time to get familiar with the studio, the room you’ll be practicing in, setting up your space, and getting the props you need for class.
  5. Introduce yourself to the teacher. If you feel comfortable with this, it is nice to connect with the person who is leading the class. They can make sure to give you enough attention throughout the class and also will normally give you insight after the class as well. This is also an opportunity to share with the teacher if you are dealing with an injury or don’t prefer to have hands-on adjustments or assist.
  6. Breathe. This will be your saving grace when you might be feeling dizzy, light-headed, or overwhelmed. The teacher will cue breathe but you might find yourself holding your breath at points when you’re trying to transition between poses, moving into poses, or holding a pose. This will take time to master and you’ll not be a professional in your first class but the more you can catch yourself in these moments the better.
  7. Go Slow. You do not need to keep up with the student to your left or right, you don’t even need to keep up with the teacher. It will more than likely be very hot and probably hotter than you’d prefer. Take breaks with you need to. Child’s pose is also wonderful when you need a moment to catch your breath.
  8. Don’t overthink the pose. If you can’t do the pose, don’t do the pose. Many yogis who have been practicing for years still can’t do many various poses. It’s a practice, not perfection so don’t overthink the pose and just do your best.
  9. Celebrate! You’re a warrior! You tried something new and you did a fabulous job. Now enjoy some savasana.

Namaste.

Homemade Ranch Dressing.

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I shared a bit about this earlier on my Instagram story today but yesterday I whipped up some homemade ranch dressing. If you’re looking to cut some of the calories or sugar from salad dressing then you need to try this homemade ranch. I’m obsessed! I like to top salads and meats with it as well as dip veggies in it, so it is obviously an exact substitute for the regular hidden valley. And trust me, you’re not even going to miss the original.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dill, dried
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Parsley, dried
  • 1 can Coconut milk, full-fat
  • Black Pepper (to liking)
  • 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar/Red Wine Vinegar

Directions:

  • Blend all ingredients in a bullet or blender
  • Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Salad.

Salads do not need to be boring!

I use to HATE salads. I would say naive things like “I feel like I’m chopping on a tree!”. But through the years, I’ve experimented plenty to find out which ingredients I actually really enjoy and have learned that I actually love and sometimes crave a good, hearty salad.

After a busy weekend of eating out way too much, it’s been nice to be in my new place and cook up my own meals. I’ve been in an Asian phase lately which is where I pulled my inspiration. I whipped up this simple salad this beautiful sunny afternoon with 6 ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Spinach
  • Trader Joe’s Miso Salad Dressing
  • Trader Joe’s Fat Free Feta Cheese
  • Mixed Stir Fry Veggies

Directions:

  1. Shred the rotisserie chicken. If you’re making the salad just for you then baggy up the chicken into 3-4 bags and freeze the remaining chicken to use for later. If you making a salad for a group then feel free to use the entire chicken.
  2. Place shredded chicken into a frying pan or wok. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce and heat on medium heat for 2-5 minutes.
  3. If you’re using microwavable veggies, cook accordingly. If you’re using fresh veggies, sauté in a frying pan over high heat.
  4. Top spinach with Miso salad dressing, cooked chicken, cooked veggies, & feta.
  5. Serve & enjoy!

TriDosha Theory of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda.

Well before modern medicine, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, the system of treating illness. Directly translated, Ayurveda is the science of life; Ayur ~ life & Veda ~ science or knowledge. It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy as well as helping to find individual full human potential.

There are two main guiding principles of Ayurveda:

  1. The mind and the body are inextricably connected
  2. Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind

It seems fairly simple, and the mind is truly a very powerful tool. But Ayurveda goes deeper into individual “make-up” with the doshas in order for humans to fully understand how to treat your own body, because we’re all made up differently and what works for me may not work for you.

Dosha.

Dosha is known as the inherent intelligence of the body. It is our individual “make-up”. According to ayurveda, each of us has a unique mix of three mind and body principles, kapha (earth + water), pitta (fire + water), and vata (air +ether). These principles, known as doshas, make up our specific mental and physical characteristics and how these three doshas work together in each of us is a manifestation of our basic nature. The doshas we possess then work in us to manifest our dharma in this life.

Each one of us are a different dosha or combination of doshas. When we know what are make-up is, we can then begin to treat our body accordingly and live our life to the fullest possible potential. You can find a super short & simple quiz on Yoga International. The quiz will give you a result at the end but doesn’t provide much additional information on the dosha or combination so it is best to continue to research.

Vata.

I’ve have received the result of Vata (air + ether). Movement and change are dominate characteristics for Vata Doshas. We tend to always be on the go with an energetic and creative mind. If Vata is in balance, we will be more likely to be living a lively and enthusiastic life.

Balancing Vata means to be on high alert of managing stress. An extreme amount of stress can easily make dominate Vata doshas feel out of control and this may result in anxiety, insomnia, and weight loss. It’s important to slow down and take time for meditation, a regular scheduled meal structure, and quality amount of rest.

Vatas also tend to be cold, light, irregular, dry, and always changing. For balance, seek warmth, stability, and consistency. A routine and structure can be immensely helpful in Vata’s lives. Practice easy movement like yoga, walking, dancing, or light bicycling can also help to distress.

This information is very much just skimming the surface. There are so many tips and insight for each dosha and combinations that I believe can truly help each of us live a happier, healthier life. If you find out which dosha you relate most to, share with me and I can help provide more insight into that specific one. Feel free to share in the comments, through email (onedreamyyogaflow@gmail.com), or on Instagram (@onedreamyyogaflow). I hope you find this information as exciting as I do! 🙂

Om Shanti Shanti Om. 

Pisces Meditation Practice.

We’re currently in the Season of Pisces which means it’s the perfect time to practice letting go of control. We can intentionally try to resist the urge to set deadlines on our dreams, and leave some of our plans open ended, allowing for the universe to fill in the details. Or spend a couple days with minimal or no plans, letting the moment announce what you would like to do. We’re taking this time to tap into our Pisces energy. We may notice that the Pisces in our lives tend to be dreamers, wanderers, and in a constant meditative state. That’s why this season’s meditation practice is extra juicy.

Pisces energy reminds us that we are spiritual beings that just happen to be in human form. It is a time to just watch sensations within, letting them pass instead of reacting to them. This is truly the practice of letting go of control. To hold space for these sensations, sit with feelings, truly feel them, and then release them is a practice of training the conscious and subconscious mind to not react to events both internally and externally. We’re literally training ourselves to chill the fudge out. 

We’ll practice body awareness this season and start with 5 minutes at a time, working up in time to potentially get to 30 minutes. While in the practice, become completely immersed in the sensations that arise and let all other sensations fade into the background.

  • Lie in a comfortable position, relaxing the entire body.
  • Release any excess tension you find yourself holding in your face, neck, or shoulders.
  • Take three deep rounds of inhales + exhales. With each exhale, continue to relax into the floor.
  • Start to bring your attention on one area of your body.
  • Begin to ask yourself what sensations arise in this area.
  • You can label the sensation if you would like. Recognizing it as warm, cool, calming, awakening, etc.
  • Resist any urge to judge these sensations.
  • Release the sensation. It is through conscious acknowledgement and without reaction that we will learn through this practice to eventually release these sensations without resistance.
  • Move onto the next area of your body, working your way through spending around 5-10 breathes on each area until your set meditation time comes to an end.

If you would like you can organize this practice by starting from your head down to your toes or working your way through the chakra system. This meditation is immensely beneficial with training our minds and bodies to not react to external situations. We learn that all energy is temporary.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this meditation practice or if your practicing a different meditation during this season. Share with me in the comment section, by email (onedreamyyogaflow@gmail.com), or on Instagram (@onedreamyyogaflow).

Happy meditating!