Healthy Living

Alleviate Back Pain Through Stretching and Strengthening

Both stand-up paddling and life in general can cause back discomfort. Here are a few poses that stretch the back, open the hips, and strengthen the core, making your stand-up paddling experience more enjoyable. Feel free to try these on your board too!

For reference here are the poses covered in the video:
Seated Forward Fold (Stretches back and strengthens core.)
Forward Fold in Simple Pose (Opens hips and lower back.)
Standing Leg Lifts (Strengthens core and increases balance.)
Standing Forward Fold (Stretches back and engages core.)
Cat and Cow (Loosens the back and stretches core.)
Threading the Needle (Opens up the back.)

If you want more information and poses for strengthening your core, check out our article Strengthen Your Core and Your SUP Experience.

5 Tips to Staying Well this Cold Season!

Staying healthy this cold season
  1. Soothe your sinuses with sesame oil. Lie down, tilt your head back, and apply three to five drops of sesame oil into each of your nostrils.
  2. Keep your lungs clear with the full yogic breathe. Inhaling through the nose, deep into the belly then filling the lungs and chest. Exhale through the mouth, emptying the chest, belly, and finally drawing the belly button back towards the spine.
  3. Boost your immunity with tulsi (holy basil) tea.
  4. Give your mind a rest by limiting screen time. Let the mind relax by letting go of constant stimulation. Put away the phone, tablet, computer, and shut off the tv. Enjoy some quiet.
  5. Bonus: Inversions and gentle hip openers help clear out sinuses. Try down dog, forward fold, plow, baby gate, etc to keep the spine healthy and sinuses open. If you are already sick and achey - do very gentle stretches that won't leave you more fatigued.

Some of the content for this article is from the Yoga Journal. Read the full article here.

Make the Ordinary Come Alive.

I believe this to be relevant for all ages - not just children.

Make the Ordinary Come Alive
by Wiliam Martin

"Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself."

Letting the Soul Dance.

Healthy Living Letting the Soul Dance Sunset

As a society based largely around work, titles, status, likes and incredibly hectic schedules - it is really easy to forget the freedom of living. Getting out there and letting the soul dance and feel and experience… without a time restraint.

Last week I battled myself, convincing myself I was too busy to get out on the water. I stared longingly at the water every night, exhausted from the day, telling myself - maybe tomorrow.

Today, however, I took it all in stride. Taking time to do the things I love, knowing that giving myself that time would ultimately make my work and life better. The soul needs to breathe. - and breathe it did! I cruised out on the water, stretched, paddled, soaked in the sun and the beautiful breeze. My husband brought the kiddos down, I had asked for 20 minutes solo - then we all paddled. It was magical. My little girl wanted to do yoga and my boy wanted to race - and we did both. And my soul was refreshed.. and it felt so good to live - to simply enjoy my surroundings and breathe in the energy we all need to live.

Yoga, a Proactive Solution to Overall Body Health

Healthy Living - SUP Yoga

When it comes to taking care of our bodies, the first thought that comes to my mind is yoga. In a world of reactionary solutions, yoga can be both a proactive and reactive solution. As a society, we tend to eat foods that we know are not good for us and behave in ways that we know can hurt us, all with the attitude that we can just go to the doctor and have someone fix us. If a joint goes out, we replace it with plastic - instead of strengthening the weak muscles that compromised the joint in the first place.

Please note, I'm not going down the road of 'anti-modern-medicine', everything has it's place. I am simply encouraging the proactive attitude of taking care of one's body and being aware of how our body is connected, supports itself, and most importantly how amazing our body actually is… this is yoga.

My Body Image, My Self: Weighty Stories of Self-Acceptance from the Yoga Journal

My Body Image

In a six-part series, Yoga Journal asked six women participating in the 'Practice of Leadership conversation' on Saturday, July 12, 2014, what body image means to them. Disclaimer: It’s positive, pop-y and powerful. And yes, as a yoga community, we do believe experience is everything. Check out Dana Smith's conversation here - and then read them all if you are feeling the love!

Attitude

No matter what we do in this life, simple, complex, large scale life changes, or everyday actions - the outcome can largely be connected back to one common denominator… attitude. It is at the absolute core of centering mind and body. We get out what we put in. Throw your heart into something and that something becomes alive with your energy. Approach a task or new endeavor with an expectation to fail - and you will. This doesn't mean you won't 'fail' with a good attitude, but you'll enjoy the ride, failure or success. And if you enjoy the ride, than a failure becomes success. Enjoy life. It's a gift. Approach every day and every endeavor or task with a positive attitude and kindness in your heart. Your life will bloom.

Once your heart is centered, the good things in life get even better. Take your energy out on the water. Stand tall, paddle strong, and always keep your heart open. I would absolutely love to hear about your journey and stand up paddling stories - email standupsisters@aquabound.com to share.

Centering Mind and Body - Three Part Yoga Breath

Healthy Living - 3 Part Yoga Breath

Centering our mind and body is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, things we will do in this lifetime. Finding peace and letting that peace radiate inwardly - then translating that peace into our actions and words. Becoming that beautiful person that resides within each one of us.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to centering one’s mind and body - but there are some great tips that can get you on the right path. If you haven’t already read my ‘Healty Living - Simplify’ article, please start HERE. (don’t worry - it’s short and sweet).

Here’s another tip to add to your practice. While you are being still, bring attention to your breath. Try this 3-part yoga breath.

Step 1. Lay on your back or sit comfortably on the floor or SUP board.

Step 2. Inhale through your nose and breathe down into your belly, expanding your belly. Rest your hands on your belly as you inhale, so you can feel your hands raise as you fill your belly with air.