Welcoming June, Summer And ADVENTURE!

I think of June as the month of exploration and discovery. This is the perfect time to go out on a limb, hop outside your comfort zone and land in a new adventure! Adventure presents itself through anything from travel, to starting a new job or even just learning a new hobby. Here, you’ll find the inspiration you need to believe that your adventures are truly limitless.

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A Complete Guide To Essential Oils & My Favorite Ways To Use Them

Learning how to incorporate the use of essential oils in my daily life has helped me take giant leaps towards a more holistically healthy lifestyle. Not only have I replaced certain medications with a simple drop of oil, but I get to enjoy these health benefits while also filling my home with a blissful aroma. In this post, I’ve broken down the different was to use essential oils and a list of my particular favorites. Whether you’re looking for a natural alternative to skincare products, hoping to add some relaxation to your days or even just for the delicious fragrance, I’ve got you!

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Healthy From The Inside Out, Vol. 1- What happened When I Started Eating Clean & Eliminating Sugar

Nourishing our bodies with a healthy and balanced diet will keep us feeling good from the inside out. Truthfully, I haven't done anything too crazy, but I'm making small changes each day that are helping me build a perfectly suited healthy lifestyle. In this post, I share the few things I’ve eliminated from my diet, the best whole foods to add and all the ways that these small changes have made me feel brand new!

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Get Back On Track And Re-Discover Your Peace

Hello, I’m here to remind you how important it is to take care of yourself throughout your mission to take care of the world. Today, I challenge you to take a few selfish moments to feel proud, to rest & allow yourself to sit with gratitude for everything you’ve already accomplished in life. Rediscover your peace because you deserve it.

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My daily (and completely natural) skincare routine

The nicest thing we could do for our skin and ourselves is avoid using highly medicated, unnatural or harmful remedies on it. I finally have a skin care routine that only requires healthy, natural products and keeps my face feeling clean, vibrant and happy! So here is exactly what I use and how I use it!

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Welcoming May, Growth & Planting Seeds

Happy May, loves! Nature’s beauty is in full bloom, and so shall we be! Join me in welcoming May, Growth and planting the seeds of our future.

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How I Stay Healthy And Keep My Zen While Traveling

Traveling is awesome! Summer is just around the corner and I know we’re all excited for our adventures to come. However, they can start to take a toll on our bodies if we aren’t careful. Here’s how I eat healthy and keep my zen during a full day of travel!

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58 Uses & Benefits of Coconut oil

Coconut oil is being found everywhere nowadays. From frying pans in the kitchen all the way to hair and beauty products, coconut oil seems to be the answer to countless health and wellness questions. It doesn't hurt that it's totally affordable, either (I buy Trader Joe's coconut oil for about $6)! I use coconut oil in almost every aspect of my life. There's a jar in my bathroom for use in my daily skincare routine, a jar in my bedroom to use with essential oils, and in my kitchen for cooking and recipes! 

 

Health benefits

There are countless health and beauty benefits just waiting to be used up in each jar of coconut oil. One of the most popular being it's ability to boost your metabolism and provide the body with clean, sustainable energy throughout the entire day. The concentration of beneficial fats in coconut oil also makes it a great aid for not only digestion, but also hair growth! It's natural antioxidant properties and abundance of Vitamin E makes coconut oil a perfect product to add to your skin/hair care routines and a warrior in the fight against wrinkles!

 Coconut oil has endless benefits and uses, from the kitchen to the bathroom!

 

Nutrition Facts

Coconut oil is full of Medium Chain Fatty acids (or MCFA's). I know, the thought of saturated fats by any means has you ready to pass on the whole idea of coconut oil, but not all saturated fats are bad! These fats affect the body differently than the saturated fats we typically encounter because they are made up of short and medium chains, which are much easier to digest than the long chain fats. The medium chain fats found in coconut oil can do wonders for aiding in weight loss, increasing the amount of good cholesterol in the body, and lowering levels of bad cholesterol. These MCFA's are sent right to the liver for energy production, and since no bile or pancreatic enzymes are needed to digest it's fats, coconut oil is considered a healthy food for even diabetics. MCFA's have been proven to provide the body with instant energy and increase the metabolism. These are the main MCFA's found in coconut oil:

Lauric Acid- This makes up 40% of the fat composition in coconut oil. The body converts this acid into Monolaurin, which is beneficial for immune function. 

Caprylic Acid- A healthy fat with antibacterial properties

Capri Acid- The body converts this to Monocaprin, which has immune boosting and antimicrobial properties. 

All of these MCFA's have properties that are both beneficial to the body and easy to digest. The medium chain fats in coconut oil are not stored or digested in the same way as long chain fats found elsewhere, which is arguably why coconut oil is good for both weight loss, skincare and brain functionality!

You really can't go wrong investing in a jar (or 3) of coconut oil, as there are a million uses for this magic stuff! Let's see...

 

Coconut oil for skincare & beauty

  • Use by itself as a natural moisturizer

  • Combine with sea salt to create your own salt scrub face wash

  • Use to dilute essential oils before applying directly to skin

  • Mix with essential oils for a DIY massage lotion

  • Use by itself as a simple eye makeup remover

  • Use under eyes to reduce dark circles

  • Use as a natural option for shaving cream

  • Mix into any DIY lip balms or scrubs

  • Apply directly to chapped lips

  • Use alone or mixed with baking soda for a natural deodorant

  • Combine with sea salt to remove dry skin on feet or other parts of the body

  • Combine with baking soda to make a DIY whitening toothpaste

  • Apply to cuticles to help nails grow

  • Use for "oil pulling"- swish around your mouth for a couple minutes to reduce toxins in your mouth and also moisturize!

 

Coconut oil for your hair

  • Use by itself is a leave-in conditioner/detangler on damp hair

  • Use on dry hair to control frizz

  • Make a DIY hair mask using coconut oil, banana and honey (for deep conditioning)

  • Or a hair mask using coconut oil, egg and honey (to repair damaged hair)

  • Rub into scalp (when hair is damp) to stimulate hair growth

 

In the kitchen

  • Use to grease preheated skillets or baking sheets (in place of canola oil or butter)

  • Use as a replacement for canola or vegetable oil in baking

  • Spread on toast in place of butter for a simple, yummy snack

  • Blend into your coffee as a dairy-free replacement for cream and milk (yum)

  • Add to your smoothie for extra energy

  • Mix a tablespoon coconut oil with a tablespoon of chia seeds for an all-day energy boost!

  • Infuse with herbs to give them a special twist

 

Around the house

  • Use in homemade soaps

  • Add into homemade laundry detergents

  • Use a small amount to dilute essential oils

  • Use as lotion for hands after washing dishes

  • Combine with mint essential oil to create a homemade bug repellent

 

Natural Remedies

  • Use in foods or smoothies for some added natural energy

  • May help soothe eczema

  • Can reduce discomfort of mosquito bites

  • Use regularly to resolve acne issues

  • Melt a tablespoon into hot tea to soothe a sore throat (and speed up recovery from cold or flu)

  • Naturally clears up cold sores

  • Ingest daily to fight allergy symptoms

  • Can help improve cholesterol levels

  • Great for use of homemade toothpastes

  • Apply to speed up recovery from sunburn

  • Apply daily to help repair dry or cracked skin

  • It has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to ease arthritis symptoms

  • Combine with apple cider vinegar for a natural Lice treatment

  • Use on skin to soothe itch and discomfort from chicken pox or poison ivy

  • Swish around mouth to soothe a toothache from an infected tooth or cavity

 

Pregnancy and babies

  • Use as a completely natural baby lotion

  • Use as a natural diaper cream (just rub on baby's bottom)

  • Nursing moms can take a couple tablespoons a day to increase milk supply and nutrients (usually add some Vitamin D)

  • Apply to skin to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy

  • Get rid of "cradle cap" on baby- Gently massage onto head, let sit for a few minute and rinse with warm water

 

For Pets (Quincy loves coconut oil!)

  • Add a tablespoon or 2 to entice picky eaters

  • Use as a supplement to minimize shedding hair

  • Apply directly to coat to moisturize (and also prevent shedding)

  • Apply to coat before putting a jacket on in the winter to reduce static

  • Apply directly to paws to soothe dry or cracked paw pads

  • Could reduce skin allergy symptoms when used externally

  • Brush your dog's teeth with coconut oil

There you have it. 58 uses of coconut oil, and I'm sure I've only scratched the surface of the health, beauty and household benefits that this versatile oil has to offer. I'll keep adding to this list as I experiment with my own daily routines and see where else I can sneak in the use of coconut oil!

What do you use coconut oil for? Leave a comment below!

Sending all love,

Kimber



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Kimber is a fellow soul searcher, yoga instructor, and proud dog mama. She invites you along her own journey to wellness and hopes to inspire people to be the healthiest & happiest version of themselves every day!

5 Simple ways to Go Green in your daily routines!

In honor of Earth Day, I've put together a small collection of ways that we can make our daily lives more eco-friendly! These tips are all small, simple changes that are easy to maintain and make it SO easy to Go Green! 

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Tips For Making Your Showers More Green (& Cruelty-Free)

In honor of Earth Month, I've put together a small collection of ways that we can go greener in our daily lives! These tips are all small, simple changes that are easy to maintain and will help to leave a softer footprint on our planet. The second part in this Earth-loving sequence covers everything you need to know in order to keep your showers both cruelty-free AND eco-friendly!

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Let's talk about success

From personal experience, I can assure you that living up to anybody's standards of success aside from your own will only leave you feeling unfulfilled, incomplete, and like you failed. After all, if you judge a fish by how well he can fly, he'll spend his whole life believing he's stupid!

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Simple ways to make your home more Eco-friendly

In honor of April being Earth month, I'll be sharing a small series of posts (leading up to Earth day) that include some tips and suggestions for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle! Yay! We'll cover everything from making your showers more green to adjusting your small, daily tasks. In making these simple changes, you can feel good knowing you're doing your part in our efforts to maintain a clean planet.

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7 Habits for Happier Living

You don't need to dedicate a huge chunk of your free time to self-improvement, either. As a matter of fact, most of the little tasks that improve the quality of my days are ones that I would already be doing, just done a little more mindfully. Take these tips for what they are, try one or maybe all of them, work them into your daily schedule however they fit. After a week, see what sticks, what doesn't, and what serves you the best!

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Cruelty-free beauty products I'm currently obsessed with

I'm always on the hunt for more functional, affordable and environmentally nice beauty brands and I am more than happy to share my experiences with those of you ready to make a change for yourself, the animals and the world! Here, you'll find a list of some Cruelty-free brands, my favorite products, and also some brands who have not yet joined the cruelty-free movement. But let's start with the good stuff.

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Hello, April! Welcoming Spring & Awakening

Hello, April! And Happy Easter, lovelies.

Spring is in the air! I love this time of year. What a privilege it is to witness everything around us come back to life after their long winter sleep. The smells, the colors, the warming air- I am so excited to be able to take my yoga practice back outside. But, what I love the most about April is the swirling sense of new inspiration that awakens with the rest of the world. 

 

Theme of the month

That being said, I figured a perfect theme for this month would be "awaken." I hope you all use this motivating and refreshing time of year to awaken to your passions. Let your heart follow it's true path to finding what makes it siiiiing! 

There is limitless light, wisdom and excellence inside of each and every one of us. And we're each here to fulfill a unique purpose in this world. When we are in tune with ourselves, when we are awakened to our purpose, we can shine it into the world like beaming sun rays. Your purpose will stem from doing what you truly love, and doing it with intention. 

What do you love to do? Do more of that.

Say yes to any new opportunities that present themselves to you this month. You never know where inspiration is hiding or what you'll encounter that awakens those true passions inside of you. Remember, it's never too late to fulfill your heart's desire.

 

Quote of the month-

“Whatever precious jewel there is in the heavenly worlds, there is nothing comparable to one who is Awakened.” The Buddha

There is nothing comparable to the one who is awakened. There is nothing that could stop you from reaching your goals if you believe in them, and your power, whole-heartedly. Follow your path fiercely and trust it.

Whatever this quote translates as for you personally, keep it in mind throughout your month. Come back to it, re-examine it. Set your intentions around allowing yourself to be awakened.

 Say yes to any new opportunities that present themselves to you this month. You never know where inspiration is hiding or what you'll encounter that awakens those true passions inside of you. Remember, it's never too late to fulfill your heart's desire.

 

Mantras of the month

"I am ready to receive" 

"My heart remains open to what's meant for me"

"I allow myself to recognize the fear that comes with finding my purpose"

"I am brave"

"I am a field of all possibility"

The common theme here is simply remaining open to what may manifest into your life. And be brave! Trust yourself, trust your journey, open up your heart and mind- good things will come to you. 

Don't offer resistance to things that come your way by letting self-doubt and worries block the path- simply acknowledge those feelings, notice that they do not serve you, and let them pass. And then continue along your path to total fulfillment!

 

Yoga Pose of the month

Camel- Ustrasana

Any variation of Camel Pose that calls to you. The perfect, heart-opening pose that can really push you to the end of your comfort zone. Find your edge in this pose and then push yourself JUST slightly past it, being mindful not to push too far. Listen to your body and play here! My favorite variation of Camel is adding mermaid arms (I dig the extra stretch anywhere I can get it). Try working this pose into your own flow a couple times.

Tips for Camel Pose-

  • Keep your alignment in mind- Keep your knees hips distance apart (toes can stay tucked for balance or untucked for more extension), draw your hips directly above your knees and tuck your tailbone in.

  • Engage your core- pull in your belly to engage, this helps to protect your lower back

  • Backbending- imagine you are rounding backwards over a giant beach ball- reaching through the crown of the head and keeping your core engaged! Place your hands on your lower back for support to start.

  • Breathe, breathe, breathe- Use your breath to draw you deeper into the pose.

  • If you're new to Camel- play with bringing one hand down to your heel at a time and switch. Then maybe try both hands to heels!

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Essential Oil of the month

Aspire- Enliven & AWAKEN your senses with this magical blend of lime and cardamom. This oil matches our theme perfectly by creating a sense of mental openness and clarity, but also providing a grounding sensation with Hyssop and Cedarwood oils. Plus it smells SO delightful! I will personally be wearing this as my perfume for the entire month of April.

You can grab your own bottle on my Döterra website!

If you take away just one thing from this post, let it be the belief that what is meant for you will come (in time) through staying true to yourself, your journey, and doing what you love. Intentionally awaken yourself to these things! You can't go wrong when you're coming from a place of love! 

 

Wishing you all a bright & happy Spring! 

Sending all love,

Kimber

 



Vegan and Gluten-free Peanut Butter Protein Balls

These peanut butter protein balls are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan (optional) and whole wheat. They require 6 ingredients total and the no-bake recipe takes just a couple minutes. These little guys are full the good stuff - Who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate chips? If you're looking for a quick, healthful and energizing snack, this is your jam. All you have to do is combine the ingredients together and then mold it into balls.

These babies can last up to a week in the fridge, and there's always the option to throw any extra in the freezer! I quickly made a batch of these for Mike and I the night before we left on a 10 day road trip and had no problem keeping them good on the road. We tossed them in our cooler and made sure to keep it at arms length for easy access, of course. 

This proved to be a perfect snack option for any vegans hitting the road, or just on a busy day! Loaded with protein, they are small but mighty in keeping you feeling full and energized. 

Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 0.

 vegan peanut butter protein balls ingredients

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (I used the kind with just peanuts and salt)

  • 1/4 cup honey, OR 1/4 cup brown rice syrup for a vegan option

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats (i used gluten-free)

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/3 cup MINI chocolate chips (i used vegan chocolate chips)

  • 2-4 extra teaspoons of water or some additional vanilla extract

 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine your peanut butter, honey (or rice substitute) and vanilla extract

  2. Stir in the oats and salt until well-combined

  3. Add in the chocolate chips (test the consistency by pinching the mixture together. If it doesn't stick well, add some additional vanilla OR water. try just 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the mixture holds together when pinched).

  4. Form balls using about 1 tablespoon of mixture at a time and pressing/rolling between your palms (1 tablespoon of mixture should make a 1" ball)

  5. Store in tupperware at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerate for about a week, or even place some in the freezer

  6. Enjoy your little bites of delight!

 

Leave a comment below if you tried these little balls of delight!

 

 

 



Home date ideas for a cozy and romantic Valentine's Day

Nobody can deny the abundance of love particles swirling around the air during the month of February. Not only is it the birthday month of yours truly (wink), but every year during the second week of February, we get to witness as relationships of all kinds, old and new, are cherished and appreciated. Valentine's day gives everybody in the world an excuse to act sappy, to write that lovey Instagram post, to upload the "kissy" pic that our friends might normally laugh at us for, send sweet surprises and most importantly, make the one we adore feel undoubtedly special. On Valentine's day, we'd all love to spoil our loved one's with the gifts, vacations and 5 star dinners they deserve. But a romantic Valentine's celebration doesn't need to be an expensive one! In fact, I find something even more special in the idea of an intimate night spent at home. With just a little bit of thoughtfulness, you can create the stay-in, magical Valentine's night of your dreams (seriously, I'm speaking from experience). In honor of Valentine's day and the couples who like to keep it low-key (like us), I've written a guideline to having a cozy and meaningful night at home.

 Use pieces of furniture to support your blanket fort. Then decorate it on the inside with pretty lights & cozy pillows!

Night includes a cozy blanket fort, dinner + dessert, some corny movies, laughter, wine (if it's your thing), conversation, an optional little surprise and maybe a kiss (or 100).

First thing's first- build your sheet fort! Our first Valentine's day, Mike and I had fun collecting random pieces of furniture for this project together, however coming home to a surprise blanket fort already set up wouldn't be horrible, either! Use clothespins to secure sheets over the backs of chairs, tables, etc. Build the fort around an air mattress for added comfort, or if you're like us and don't own an air mattress, fill your fort with fluffy blankets and pillows to make it perfectly cozy. Set your entrance up with a clear view of the TV (for #3 on the guideline), or bring along your laptop. We decorated the inside with some battery operated pink string lights and, for some added cuteness, some polaroid pictures of us.

Second- Dinner! You can get creative for this one, too, surprising your boo with their favorite meal ready upon their arrival home from work, or making it a date to prepare the meal together. If you guys are food network fans, you could even find an episode from your favorite cooking show, collect the ingredients and partake in a makeshift cooking class in the comfort of your own kitchen! Get a little fancy with your herbs and spices (it's a special occasion, after all). Feel free to pick up some wine that pairs well with the food. And absolutely, do not forget dessert!!

 Ask your partner what their favorite meal is, and have it cooking when they arrive home from work! The perfect Valentine's surprise!

Third- After sitting down to enjoy your romantic candle-lit dinner for two, grab the wine (and maybe a second serving of dessert) and report back to the blanket fort! Here's your playlist of Romantic Comedy movies to snuggle up to:

  • No Strings Attached

  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

  • Valentine's Day (duh)

  • The Big Sick

  • Crazy, Stupid, Love

Note: While I'm all about movies that make me say "awww," please don't feel obligated to stick to the stereotypical idea of watching romantic movies on Valentine's Day if they're just not your thing. Collaborate with your guy/girl. If sic-fi is more up your alley then mix it up with some aliens! Maybe some aliens in loooove!? - If anybody discovers such a movie, please let me know!

 

Lastly, the perfect cap to a thoughtful, stay-in V day is a little homemade DIY gift. Since ice cream is our favorite food to share, on our first Valentine's day together, I gave Mike 2 hand painted ice cream mugs. It involved $5 mugs from Target, sharpie paint markers and putting them in the oven to set. Super simple, super cute and we still eat our ice cream out of them every movie night. You can find similarly easy ideas that won't break your wallet over on Pinterest! A home-made card is an added bonus.

While flowers and chocolates are always welcomed, the most important thing to remember this upcoming Valentine's Day is that the best present is simply your presence. On this day, my hope for everybody reading is that you spend it with the one you love. Whether you celebrate Valentine's Day big with a fancy date night out or you use this guideline for a low-key, intimate night at home, let's remember the meaning behind this holiday. Appreciate that no matter what you're doing together, you're doing it together.

And spread the love, y'all!

Leave a comment below if you enjoyed any of these at-home, cozy Valentine's date ideas and share what you loved the most about your day!

 

Tips for developing your home Yoga Practice

”Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.”  - Jason Crandell

When I started yoga, the idea of an at-home practice was far from my mind. I was new to yoga, and the thought of being my own instructor was an overwhelming one. At the time, I was committed to two classes a week at my studio and felt content. However, after a couple months (when the weather got colder and the desire to leave my house got smaller), I started to dabble with home practice youtube videos and getting a feel for moving with no instruction at all. Still, for me, it didn't compare to the atmosphere of my studio. I also found it hard to make my daily routine, tiny apartment and silly dog work with me. Fast forward to when I started my 200 hr. teacher training this past August, and it was no surprise that one of the most important elements was maintaining a home practice. So, I went home and started to mold a practice that would coincide well with my schedule and other aspects of my life. Now, I am so in love with my home practice that I can't go a day without it! I look forward to the time I have dedicated each day towards exploring my own mind, body and soul and I've experienced so much growth in these places. Below are a few tips that helped me along the journey of developing my home yoga practice, and a few that you may find helpful if you're struggling to connect with your own.

  1. Find Space

Your practice space doesn't have to be huge, and you don't need an entire room dedicated to yoga. However, the space you designate to your practice should be comfortable with good energy. I live in a tiny, one bedroom apartment. I barely have space for my shoes, let alone a yoga mat! This was a challenge for me when I started my home practice- BUT with just a little rearranging, I built myself a "yoga corner." This is just a small corner of my living room, under a window where I leave my mat and meditation pillow. I usually sit here for meditation and then shift my mat out to make space for my asana practice. Do a quick scan of your house and find a place to make your own! Once you have it, decorate the space with a couple things that bring you happiness. In my corner, I have a a plant, my incense burner, and some pictures of my family.

  "The more you step onto your yoga mat, the more you get to uncover and discover the true essence of this practice. Working out becomes overrated, working in becomes your main priority. Keep showing up." Bee Bosnak

"The more you step onto your yoga mat, the more you get to uncover and discover the true essence of this practice. Working out becomes overrated, working in becomes your main priority. Keep showing up." Bee Bosnak

2. Make the conscious effort

Another challenge I faced building my practice at home was fitting it into my schedule each day. I was working full time with another part time job, training my dog, volunteering at my yoga studio, plus did not want to sacrifice the class time I spent there! It seemed impossible to squeeze in one more thing. BUT. Everybody needs some me-time, right?! I'll bet you've had days at work that make you excited to go home, throw on a movie and enjoy a glass of wine (and that's great, too!). But the next time you have this urge, try investing that time into your home yoga practice. And if there's one thing I've learned in my twenties, it's that we are much more inclined to follow through with plans that are pencilled into our calenders. SO, my advice is to take out those planners and pick 2 or 3 days a week that you can commit to your practice. It could be an hour in the morning, a half hour at lunch or even right before bed, as long as you follow through and make it a habit!

 

3. Invest in props

I think I've made the most progress in yoga generally through my home practice. Purchasing a few blocks, a strap and a bolster was the best decision I could've made for my asana practice, and the beautiful thing about it is that I can spend all the time I want practicing one pose, and taking notice of what helps get me there. For example, my crow pose required two blocks for my forehead to rest on for quite some time. My home practice gave me the flexibility to play with removing one block, and then eventually both blocks at my own pace. Flowing through a guided class, you may feel the pressure to keep up with the instructor instead of hanging out in a place or pose that might need some extra attention, or just feels good. The one downside to practicing alone is that you don't have somebody who's able to come around and adjust your alignment or move you deeper into a pose. So, having a strap handy for forward folds, and a block for triangle pose has been wonderful. It doesn't hurt to fit in a little restorative pose using a bolster, either.

  "Start where you are: Don't limit your experience with the idea that you need to meet some external goal. Let the internal and external training and churning and transformation happen authentically and in their own time. Show up: Stay present in your breath and be compassionate with yourself as you discover and play with your evolutionary edge. Be consistent: Establishing a practice is about finding a rhythm. Try practicing at different times of the day until you find the time where the rhythm of your daily energy naturally supports a steady practice." Shiva Rea

"Start where you are: Don't limit your experience with the idea that you need to meet some external goal. Let the internal and external training and churning and transformation happen authentically and in their own time. Show up: Stay present in your breath and be compassionate with yourself as you discover and play with your evolutionary edge. Be consistent: Establishing a practice is about finding a rhythm. Try practicing at different times of the day until you find the time where the rhythm of your daily energy naturally supports a steady practice." Shiva Rea

4. Let go of expectations

I felt insecure the first few times I practiced yoga at home, which is silly considering I was the only one there! It's not like I was trying to impress anybody, however it was hard to focus on my breath and remember the flows and poses from class. My mind kept wandering as I overthought ways to transition from tree to down dog, to forward fold, etc. This is important- the purpose of your practice is not to LOOK good and organized, but to FEEL good and nourishing. Once I accepted this fact into my home practice, it became much easier to flow where my body needs to go.  Some days you'll arrive on your mat with the intention of working on strength and arm balances, but find that your body needs more of a calm practice. Some days it'll be vice versa. The point of your home practice is not to mimic the moves of your class instructor, it's to find what feels good for you! So let go of those expectations and honor your body. Start your home practice with some experimenting to discover your own style and flow and then keep it true to you!

 

5. If you fall off the bandwagon, just hop back on!

Practice can be challenging when faced with the distractions of your home life. We can be interrupted by kids, to-do lists, wandering minds, family members, pets, etc. My dog gets so happy and playful when I start flowing around on my mat and I won't lie- sometimes, I give in and my practice becomes more of a wrestling match with a big headed goofball. We're only human! Distractions happen, but the beautiful thing about practicing yoga (and being human) is that we always have the capability to begin again. Helpful tip: let the people you live with know when you'll be practicing so that they can be mindful of your space, maybe even keeping kids and pets occupied. I know how hard it is to hold bridge pose with a dog army crawling through the tunnel.

  "The critical element in meditation practice is beginning again. Everyone loses focus at times, everyone loses interest at times, and everyone gets distracted over and over again. What is essential, and also incredibly transforming, is realizing that we have the ability to begin again, without blaming or judging ourselves, without thinking we have failed, without losing heart, we can, and need to, constantly be beginning again." Sharon Salzberg

"The critical element in meditation practice is beginning again. Everyone loses focus at times, everyone loses interest at times, and everyone gets distracted over and over again. What is essential, and also incredibly transforming, is realizing that we have the ability to begin again, without blaming or judging ourselves, without thinking we have failed, without losing heart, we can, and need to, constantly be beginning again." Sharon Salzberg

Bonus- Don't cheat! Your home practice should be kept fun, but take it seriously. Just because you don't have an instructor keeping an eye on you doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Check in with your breath and alignment as opposed to just going through the motions. Impress yourself! If a pose is hard, hang out there for 3 more breaths. Don't get lazy. It can be tempting to cut practice short when someone is cooking pancakes in the kitchen next to you (I've been there). Stay motivated. But above all, remember there's no pressure here, friends. So play! Try an arm balance, because why not? Take 20 breaths in child's pose, cause it feels damn good. Find your niche and help yourself flourish. Grow like a wildflower.

The hardest part is simply arriving on your mat. What are you waiting for?