Exercise to Energize, Rest to Restore! How many times do you hear people say, “I’m just so tired all of the time…”? And, that’s after 3 cups of coffee?
Or, how many people work with that high energy, let’s get the job done, oh wait, squirrel…
As a yoga teacher I preach BALANCE. A time to energize and exert, and then bring it down — rest and restore.
The cycle of exerting energy and restoring energy is incredible important to our bodies – our nervous system. But, our sedentary lifestyles blur the cycle – we never really physically exert, not fully, and then we never really rest to restore energy.
I see this all the time at the studio, many of us are working like crazy as well as working at home and on top of that we are maxing out a high impact sweaty workout three to four times a week.
It’s easy to get addicted to the ‘high’ that a good, rigorous Vinyasa Flow class, and never ever step into a Restorative Yoga class.
Restorative Yoga is a class that is slow with dim lights and soft music and incredible stretches that are supported with bolsters and blocks and blankets. The whole class is designed to drop you into a ‘rest and digest’ state. These days, there are so many places online that you can stream a yoga class like this. Just a few props is all that you need. ( my personal favorites are the Manduka blocks and mat…..and the wonderfully supportive Max Deluxe bolsters. ) So, take a few moments at the end of your very busy day and drape your body over the bolster and breathe. You do not even have to take a full hour class….but I promise….you will WANT to.
As I was searching for an image today, I intended to type “MediTation”, and instead typed “MediCation”! How often do I do this with different words? All the time! You see, the thing is that our minds automatically go where we are comfortable. We drive to places that we’ve been to a thousand times… even though we meant to drive somewhere new. We pick up the phone intending to call a friend, and instead dial the number for MOM, because… it’s familiar. We’ve been calling Mom for as long as we can remember!
So, what does this mean? I have no idea! I’m not a psychologist!
BUT, it makes me think… are we programmed to think and behave a certain way? Do we look for mediCation before something like mediTation to heal?
Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a time and place for medication. Our modern-day advances in technology and medicines are life-saving… to say the least. But, do we jump to it for every ailment before exploring other options?
Tom tells us that exercise matters… not just exercise, but the right exercise! Taking care of our bodies with stretching, foam rolling and exercises that push our bodies is key.
So, my question today is this… how could you improve your circumstance by improving your whole-body wellness?
For me, it’s a focus on taking time to listen to my body! It so often tells me when it needs REST to recharge. Or, if I’m feeling anxious and restless, it’s telling me to get out and take a run! Share your thoughts below…
What makes a Well Being? There is a lot of talk about Wellness. But, for me, the question is really, what makes a Well Being?
• Nutritional Balance
• Work/play Balance
• Exercise/Rest Balance
• Contemplations/Inspiration Balance
• Energetically Balance
• Financially Balance
So, the obvious in all is BALANCE!
Each of these elements of Well Being are segregated – people, places and activities. And, those that teach each element of Well Being, teach just one piece, and often don’t even recognize it’s a small part of the whole.
People can get stuck! Even in trying to be WELL, you can get off balance! A hyper-focus on one aspect of wellness can completely dismantle all the work and investment, because of not tending to the other areas.
We are not simply bodies…nor are we simply minds.
We are mind-body energetic beings. Energy has to flow within us, around us. And, we require BALANCE!
Nutrition Matters! We all know nutrition matters, but how many of us really take the time to plan and manage for quality, nutritious foods – EVERYDAY!
In our “look good at any cost” society, many are starving from the lack of vital nutrients. Lose that extra winter weight at any cost, its the same. Or, in our hectic, over-charged lifestyles, drive through the fast food line everyday—for sure the wrong type of calories.
Our lifestyle becomes part of a self-fulfilling prophecy. “I just can’t keep the weight off…” “It doesn’t matter what I eat, I never lose any weight…” Before you know it, we come to the conclusion we are “just fat” in our desire to eat like a “regular person”.
The problem? A “regular person” in our society eats the wrong things. Without any real thought or intention, we are just eating a sludge of preprocessed foods filled with sugar, salt and fats – all designed to get us to eat them!
There are so many incredible foods that taste good AND don’t have a ton of calories. There are so many recipes that offer fantastic nutritional choices, BUT don’t require lots of salt and sugar to taste good.
Take this quick, fun test:
1. How often do you go to the grocery store? 2x per week, 1x per week, 1x every two weeks, less than that
2. How often do you eat out? 2x per day, 1x per day, 4x per week, 2x per week…
Now, divvy up the cart from your last grocery store run.
3. What percentage of food was from the fresh fruit and vegetable isle? <10%, 10-20%, 20-50%, More than 50%
4. From the fresh meat counter?
5. From the frozen dinner isle?
6. From the sugar and carbs isle (colas and other drinks)?
This work requires a fearless inventory of your habits. Don’t sell yourself short. If you don’t cook, or don’t have time to cook, take the time to seek healthy alternatives. There are plenty of options out there.
And please don’t forget that food is a pleasure. Ease up on some of your crazy restrictions and balance them out with alternative ways to enjoy your life. A nice fruit smoothie for dessert as opposed to that pint of Hagen Daz…(I know….I know) You can still have the ice cream….just save it for a special occasion.
Enjoy your life!!
What is SMFR? Self Myofascial Release is a quick and relatively easy way to immediately improve range of motion (ROM) through soft tissue. See what we’re talking about here.
SMFR works on the same principles as a manual therapist would use for muscle spasm, adhesions, or fascial restriction causing tightness. You tend to get more “bang for your buck” in invested time and increased ROM as compared to Static Stretching. Foam Rolling (with a foam roller like this one) should not replace static stretching, but used in conjunction with, especially in dealing with problematic muscles. (i.e. very tight or recovering muscles)
In cases of power or heavy strength workouts, static stretching has been shown to be counterproductive and decrease power production. So SMFR would be the best choice in conjunction with a good warm-up protocol including a thorough dynamic warm up. Never the less, static stretching should still be done, when coping with very tight muscle groups.
Who should not do SMFR? Contraindications for certain conditions!
There are some conditions that are contraindicated to doing SMFR, they include but are not limited to: organ failure, bleeding disorders, malignancy, aneurysm, acute rheumatoid arthritis, advanced diabetes, severe osteoporosis, and healing fractures. (2) Your physician and physical therapist can help determine whether or not SMFR is an appropriate course of treatment for you.
Positive energy, by design! Feng Shui translates to wind and water, and its principles are used to bring harmony, health and prosperity to an environment and its inhabitants. By developing the life-force, or chi, Feng Shui enhances the flow of energy through the space and the body, improving life and destiny. Placement, rituals and other disciplines are utilized to encourage the flow of chi, so that the beneficial energy neither stagnates nor dissipates too quickly. The design world has taken notice of how these considerations combine, along with the power of color, for success.
Feng Shui involves a careful arrangement and design of a home, office, interior or landscape to bring it into balance with the surrounding environment. It is based on the principle that both good and bad energy flows through and from all things. We can think of this energy as analogous to and intertwined with good and bad design.
To see where the principles of Feng Shui might work in your space, open your eyes and senses to where things feel good and where they don’t. Feng Shui is a practical art that overlaps with the functional principles of architecture and strategic color design. It has developed into a complex blend of common-sense design maxims, logical reasoning and symbolism.
The Core Color Plan, like Feng Shui, gives the home soul. In fact, I did serious investigative study of Feng Shui prior to developing the Core Color Plan. Both practices rest on a foundation of intentional choices. Both can help make the home into a more sacred space—one that encourages respect for the welfare of the inhabitants. The difference is that Feng Shui works from the outside in and the Core Color Plan works from the inside out. Feng Shui works with external compass points, as in architecture, light and air flow, while the Core Color Plan makes use of your likes and dislikes-–your inner compass points. Who you are within. Both teach us how to live in the world—to be attentive to the energies that flow through and from them. Both disciplines are committed to the spirit, and to the individual human being.
Feng Shui works with existing elements whenever possible. It’s not tied to a certain decorating scheme. In fact, a Fend Shui consultation often becomes a psychological conversation about what a client wants to do with their life. The individual retains control over the taste and style of the space. Feng Shui takes a humanistic approach, like the Core Color Plan, to increase productivity and comfort.
I frequently utilize the octagonal Bagua in my practice. The Bagua diagram depicts where certain “life situations” are located, in a home or office –wealth, family, career, children, fame, health, and so forth—according to the location of the front door. This information provides suggestions to enhance or “cure” areas within or outside the home, which is useful for apartment- and city-dwellers.
The Pa Kua methodology of Feng Shui bases its recommendations on the literal, directional placement of a space on the earth, starting with true north. In all respects, critical aspects are symbolized by color. Color is key.
Excerpt from The Core Color Plan: Use Color with Intention for Great Well-Being and Productivity, pages 95-96. ©2016 Debra A.Wilde
Debra is an Accredited Color Consultant through the International Association of Color Consultants/Designers and holds a BA from Southern Illinois University with a specialized major in the Integrated Arts.