Monday Flow Playlist

Monday Flow Playlist

"Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul, create the symphony of life."

- B.K.S. Iyengar

 
 

Wherever you find yourself on this Monday morning, take a moment to set your intention for the week ahead. Dancing is a great way to not only get your heart rate up, but it creates a happy spark within our being. Move for love, move for happiness, and move because it feels so darn good.

 

Much Gratitude,

Caroline Jane

Everyday Mindfulness

Knowing the mind; Training the mind; Freeing the mind

Mindfulness - what does it mean? How do we actually practice this ancient teaching that has been around for hundreds of years? 

What is Mindfulness?

"Mindfulness is a state of active open attention on the present. When you're mindful you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience." - Psychology Today

Well, it's 2017. Minds are cluttered, overloaded, overused. For those that have been to any big city, you know it's a mad house of people rushing from one task to the next. When was the last time you stopped, paused, and really took in the present moment? We are always thinking to the future or back to the past. We disregard this moment - right here right now. Are we truly living, or is our precious time here on this Earth passing us by? ( Deep I know)

This quote really opened my eyes:

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

- Eckhart Tolle

So, how do we act out this practice? Below are several tips to help bring mindfulness into your technology-obsessed, fast-moving, schedule-packed life. 


Observe The Rise & Fall

Our breath represents the present moment; a subconscious movement of the body, where you can relish in the fullness of the space you currently reside in.

So, for a moment of time, softly close your eyes and feel the breath. place one hand on the tummy , solar plexus or heart.  Rather than trying to control the in and out, take notice!whats you natural rythm?Use the breath as a focal point where you draw your energy. Do find your inner monologue beginning to take you on a journey. In the moment, rather than forcing or defining, take note of that thought that drew you away from the breath and become aware. Gradually shift your focus back to your breath. We all have a monkey mind, but imagine the  you give a monkey a banana it focus on that one thing. the breath is the same way our minds may wander off, but let your breath be that banana. lol


Eat In Silence

Without a phone, iPad, or television on. Just you and your food. Savor it. Take a couple breaths in between each bite. Find gratitude for the food that's in front of you and giving you life.


Mental Check-In Timer

Set a timer on your phone for each day at the same time. When it goes off, place your hands on your belly and breathe for 6 cycles.


Zombie Scrolling

The average person spends 8 hours and 41 mins on electronic devices per day.

Sound familiar? It should, because this is us on social media. I'm one of those people, we all are. I find myself mindlessly scrolling from time to time - zombie scrolling. Just liking to like. Following to follow, commenting to comment. So when you catch yourself doing this - look up and ask yourself: What can I be doing right now? There's even an app for it! All the time you spend scrolling on your phone, can be used stimulating your brain. 

Here is one of my favorites: https://www.headspace.com


Red Light Check In

When at a red light, use this time to take 4 deep breaths. From there, begin to scan your body for any tension that you may be feeling within the body. Are your shoulders rising up to your ears? Does your back hurt from hunching? Is your heart rate increasing? Take this little moment in time to stop.


Use Your Yoga Mat As A Rug

Take a yoga mat and place it along a well walked path in your bedroom, somewhere that you walk often and will be reminded to take a moment of mindfulness or mediation. Over the time you walk over your mat, you're reminded of the importance of pausing - even if it's just for a couple rounds of breath. 


Appreciate Each Moment 

Observe your mundane tasks, the things that you habitually do. Most of the time we are doing rather than being.
Before you eat, notice if you're feeling hungry. What is your body craving?
While brushing your teeth, make eye contact with yourself in the mirror.
Observe your actions and their intent:

  • opening the door
  • giving a hug 
  • making eye contact with a complete stranger
  • watching the clouds, rain, snow, birds chirping
  • making your food
  • holding someone's hands


Observe Your Thoughts Like The Weather

No judgement. Be a witness to inner chatter. Begin to take note of what feelings or thoughts consistently pass through your mind each day (anger, anxiety, fear, negativity, happiness, etc) Just like we check our weather apps.  we should check our internal weather. Observe these thoughts from a kind place of understanding rather than jumping into critique mode. You can do this sitting up in your bed upon waking or at the end of your day. Jot it down in a notebook to see if you notice a trend of thoughts. 


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Respond Wisely

If someone cuts you off while driving, immediately you get pissed off. Your blood starts to boil, your heart rate speeds up and your mind begins to race with and without any thought at all. We make a split decision to react, speeding up to tailgate the person, putting both of you in harm's way. When this happens, notice the first thing that comes to mind. Notice how it makes you feel inside, from there give yourself a moment to regain clarity - that way we can move forward with a better mindset. Respond, rather than react. I find that our world is in reactive mode, which has caused a huge disconnect with us and the souls around us. If we aren't connected to ourselves, how can we possibly connect fully with others?


What We Practice Grows Stronger

Previous research indicates that long-term meditation practice is associated with altered resting electroencephalogram patterns, suggestive of long lasting changes in brain activity. We hypothesized that meditation practice might also be associated with changes in the brain’s physical structure. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cortical thickness in 20 participants with extensive Insight meditation experience, which involves focused attention to internal experiences. Brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing were thicker in meditation participants than matched controls, including the prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula. Between-group differences in prefrontal cortical thickness were most pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation might offset age-related cortical thinning. Finally, the thickness of two regions correlated with meditation experience. These data provide the first structural evidence for experience-dependent cortical plasticity associated with meditation practice.

Simple mindfulness meditation:

Sit tall legs crossed - softly close the eyes when you feel called to.

This is not a task - just be an observer of where you currently are emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. Tap into all your senses. 

Softly surrender to this moment, notice the presence of your breath moving through you. Take a couple of soft inhales and exhales here. 

Stepping fully into what you are currently experiencing - high or low. Observe with kind attention, no judgement. Let go of any hidden agendas.

Scan the body.

To honor yourself as is.

Say here for as long as nesscary.


Simple as this - if you practice compassion continuously, it will grow. If we practice hate, it will grow. Meditation allows me to exercise the muscle of compassion, love, humility, and empathy, rather than the complete opposite. Plant the seed and watch it blossom.


Say Good Morning - I Love You

A task that may seem silly and crazy - but hold on, don't leave me now. I promise. If you take anything away from this blog let it be this:

If any of the tasks above just seem too time consuming to start, start with this simple task. Every day when you rise, place one hand on your heart, close your eyes. Repeat this to yourself out loud: "Good Morning, (insert name here.)" And when you are ready to go deeper, begin to repeat "Good morning, (insert name here) I love you."

Feel those words resonate within your being. Vibrate within your heart. You are here. Alive. That is a miracle in and of itself. 


Blossom Yoga Playlist

Seeing little signs of life appear in the landscape has to be the one of the most magical things to witness. 

The Earth slowly begins to dance with dabs of color in every direction. Birds gliding in the wind. 

Spring feels like a re-birth. 


A time to peel back the layers of one's self and open our hearts to the sunshine. 

I created this playlist with an intention in mind, to provide a compilation of music that reminds me of a Spring morning.

The dew on the grass, the sun slowly coming up, life around scurrying, birds singing their song.
Walking in the moss, listening to the waves by the ocean, the bees start to buzz. 
Nature has a lesson to share with us every season. 
The power of life itself, resilience and growth.


May this music serve as a reminder to pause, soften, reconnect, breathe, and take a moment to find gratitude for the support mother Earth gives us each day. 

Gratitude for a new beginning.

What are you leaving behind moving into Spring, and what you like to share with world as we step forth? 

 

OM SHANTI SHANTI
NAMASTE.

Caroline Jane 

Cultivate Self Love on the Mat

Our yoga practice can serve as a gateway to help build a loving relationship with ourselves on and off the mat.
When our hearts are open, they are free flowing with compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, and pure love. 
To gain a deeper understanding, we shift our attention to the heart chakra:

ANAHATA : sanskrit - "unhurt" or "unstuck"

Location: "located at the center of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. It also rules the lymphatic system."

Thus, creating harmony in the mind, body, spirit.

Element: "The element of the heart chakra is air. Air is associated with freedom, openness, knowledge, falling in love, expansive and spirited, and letting go. We hold too tight, we suffocate what we love, we give space or air, and it breaths.


Little mindful notes:

  • Modifications are where we find the extra love, honoring our body in all forms.
  • Create a practice not surrounded by changing yourself, but accepting yourself "as is" in the present moment.
  • Slow it down and breathe into each pose.
  • Flow from your intuition to allow your free spirit to arise.
  • Show up for yourself.
  • Positive self talk on the mat. Remind yourself throughout each asana why you're doing this.

A feel good flow to ignite your heart.

Sukhasana  (Easy Pose)

Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana  (Bridge Pose)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

Anjaneyasana  (Low Crescent Lunge)

Anjaneyasana (Low Crescent Lunge)

High Lunge  (Crescent Variation)

High Lunge (Crescent Variation)

Malasana  (Garland Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana  (Wide Legged Forward Fold w/ Bind)

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Legged Forward Fold w/ Bind)

Gomukhasana  (Cow Face Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Hug The Earth

Hug The Earth

Supta Baddha Konasana  (Reclining Bound Angel Pose)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angel Pose)

Balasana  (Child's Pose)

Balasana (Child's Pose)

Adho Mukha Svanasana  (Downward Facing Dog)

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Eka Pada Adho Mukha Savasana  (Stacked Hips Variation)

Eka Pada Adho Mukha Savasana (Stacked Hips Variation)

Tadasana  (Mountain Pose w/ Bind)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose w/ Bind)

Ustrasana  (Camel Pose)

Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Camel Pose Variation

Camel Pose Variation

Overhead Stretch

Overhead Stretch

Savasana  (Hand To Heart)

Savasana (Hand To Heart)


SELF LOVE IS A SUPER POWER

You yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and affection.”
— Buddha

What is the definition of self-love? What is your own?

Self-love is not just about feeling good or taking time for yourself. It’s a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support your physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. Self-love allows you to accept your weaknesses along with your strengths, and to have compassion for yourself as you strive to find personal meaning and fulfillment.

Think about your day to day life. Do you ever find yourself taking a moment to think about yourself beyond the to do list? Carrying stress like a stack of bricks on your shoulders? If you were dating yourself, how strong would you say your relationship is? Silly question - but seriously. Think about it!

Somewhere in the course of our life, we somehow adopted the idea that it's more important to neglect our own needs rather than put ourself first. Everyone has a different reason.

No matter how many times we set our needs aside - until we fill up our own cup of self love magic, we will never be able to share and spread the love into all parts of our life. 

We need to fill up those dry cups to the point that they're overflowing with so much goodness that we have no choice but to find another cup to fill. Let the self love flow like champagne. or coffee. or tea. Whatever is your thing.

Want to hear something crazy that will blow your socks off?

YOU ARE YOUR FIRST PRIORITY.

Revolutionary, right?


So over the next week, we dive into all things that create a balance with our mind, body, and soul, and come back to a place of compassion.

When you think of self-love, you may think "I don't have time for that" or "I can't afford a fancy spa experience." 

Don't let this stop you, it's so much more than pampering. It's about getting to know our fine selves. It could be a 5 star spa in your bathroom, or a moment of silence in your car, rapping to your favorite song, taking a yoga class, talking kindly to yourself, or dancing in your underwear for like you're Beyonce's back up dancer. No shame. 

Truth is one of the most beautiful things we can do in our life. Time to know our true selves.


Together, we're building a self love map to fall in love with ourselves again.

So today's love challenge question is:

If you could do one thing today that you have been putting off, what would it be?

Then do it! 
Seriously! Do it!
Only you can make it happen.

Write it down below and put it out into the universe. It's time to do your thang!!!

All the love to you on this Monday.

 

NAMASTE.

Rest & Renew // Evening Yoga

The energy that is the holidays can really leave us feeling out of sorts. My heart rate rises as I drive past a mall. I don't even WANT to talk about the Trader Joe's parking lot. People's eyes all glazed over. We're on the holiday merry-go-round. It's the last home stretch before New Years & everyone is scrambling to buy the last high tech toy or Tofurky.  

This restorative flow is here to bring ease & allow you to ground down in the evening time, to rejuvenate your soul during a time of high stress, high expectations, spending, parties, indulging, family anxiety & for some, loneliness. To navigate this time of year, boosting our self care isn't such a bad idea. So, take 20 minutes (more if you can) put down the wrapping paper, stop your scrolling through amazon, pause "Elf" and maybe steep your self some tea. Roll your mat out and release. 


Why restorative?

"Restorative yoga is an excellent opportunity to disconnect from the frenetic activity of daily life and let your speedometer return to 0 mph. It offers a welcome respite among all the turbulence of life and helps to prepare the mind and body for the inward stroke of meditation and deepened awareness. Moving slowly through the poses allows you to explore your mind and body at a steady and natural tempo." - Deepak Chopra

 

Take a deep breath. Be here now. Everything will work out. You have enough. You are enough.
Grab all the comfy pillows, blankets & bolsters you own. (yoga + straps optional) 
1-2 minutes for each pose (your body will naturally time you)
Find silence or tune to my Relaxation Playlist on Spotify.


  1. Center + easy breath + soften the face 
  2. Bound Angel Pose (Buddha Konasana) 
  3. Staff Pose (Dandasana) 
  4. Fold w/ pillows supporting your chest

  1. Childs Pose (Balasana) right & left ear + support with pillows + rolled blanket 
  2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Muka Savanasana)
  3. Start with softened knees 
  4. Exhale, extend, shift heels towards the floor

  1. Tent fingers, shift hips with knees stacked over to right (it's okay to not touch floor with foot) place blanket underneath
  2. Repeat other side

Pinwheel legs + hips parallel to pillows  + support chest with pillows 

Find yourself on your back, lengthen tailbone out of crown of head + place strap over the ball of the foot + energy through the feet

Breathe into the belly of hamstring + shoulders relaxed


Knees into the chest (find your heart) 

Reclined Eagle Pose (opposite leg/arm) 

Supported Bridge Pose w/ block (placed below the lumbar spine) arms overhead optional 


R & L side pillows support upper body + between legs 

Supported reclined Supta Buddha Konasana

Legs up the "bed" + blanket under hips 

Lastly, set up your props for Savasana. Blankets under the knees + pillows support the spine & head 


 
 

Finish in what I like to called "cocoon"

Let yourself tune into the quiet, peace & warmth within the body.

Stay here for as long as you need. Try not to rush your way out.


Peace, peace, peace to all

NAMASTE

 

 

"HIIT" the Park Bench

"HIIT" 

What's that stand for you ask? 

High Intensity Interval Training.

What is it?

"High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery. On a 1-10 scale of perceived exertion, high intensity can be considered anything over an effort level of 7. When using max heart rate (MHR) as a guide, high intensity can be considered exercising above 80% of MHR."   - Ace Fitness

Whats all the hype?

This convenient take-anywhere workout is a game changer for our society because we always feel like we're short on time (the number one excuse to not working out.) Proving to burn more calories, improve your anaerobic system, (without oxygen) and aerobic system (with oxygen), speed up metabolism, effectively increase VO2 max & overall improve your health. 

Is this for everyone?

HIIT can be designed specifically to meet your abilities/workout goals. If you have been cleared by your doctor, are at low risk, and performing at moderate/vigorous activity you are ready to go. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, have periods of inactivity, or a family history of high risk (diabetes, smoking, unusual cholesterol levels, hypertension etc.) should possibly seek medical clearance before starting any exercise program. If you're unsure, just contact your doctor and they will be happy to help you on your journey. No matter what, honor your body & don't be afraid to modify duration, movement, or length. You've got this. 

How many times a week?

Start with once a week, while incorporating other forms of steady state exercise. HIIT calls for an extended rest period, so be sure to give yourself that time. 

Then progress to 2-3 times a week, if this fits safely into your workout regimen.  



Breakdown: 

Stretch for 10 to 15 minutes (pretty please.) No cold thighs allowed.

2:1 ratio

[1 minute on, 30 seconds of static hold or light movement]

Repeating 3x through  

Don't sit down (unless you need to) 

 Keep walking. Find your breath.

Drink water before, during and after.

Have fun! 


ON : Mountain climbers. 1 minute

OFF : Hold plank. 30 seconds


ON : Bench step-ups. Alternate back and forth. 1 minute


OFF: Hold side plank. 30 seconds

ON: Plank jacks. 1 minute

OFF: Other side plank. 30 seconds


ON: Wide push ups. 1 minute

OFF: Leg lifts. 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left


ON : Oblique twists. 1 minute

OFF : Bench dips. 30 seconds 

Take a 2 minute break and repeat workout 2 more times. 


COOL DOWN & STRETCH 

FINISH WITH SUN SALUTATION A
4x through


If you loved this workout or absolutely hated it, (in a good way) drop a comment, send it to a friend, or share it. 

Let It Go // Evening Flow

It's the end of a long day. Your body is achy, tired, and all you can dream of is slipping into your comfy clothes & binge watching the new season of Gilmore Girls, but before you dive deep into the dark deep abyss of Netflix, give yourself a chance to release the stress of the day. Make time for yourself by adding a little time on your mat, living room floor, or kitchen floor if that's as far as you can go. The more we can commit to ourselves & create a space to find balance, the better. Who knows? Maybe you'll find a new after work routine. We all seem to lead a fast-paced life, and it can be so easy to just say no to thing that matters the most. What is that thing you may ask? YOU. You matter. So pencil in some time for your fine self. Turn on your playlist & shred the day away. 

This practice can range from 20 minutes to 1 hour. Take the time you need in each pose & be sure to honor your body throughout the practice. Peace begins inside you. Focus your attention on the beauty of the present moment away from the to-do list.

Remember my beautiful friend. Self care is the best care. 

 *Follow sequence left to right

NAMASTE

 

What you need: 

  • blankets, bolster, blocks, pillows (optional) 
  • clear wall space
  • a smile, dog or friend 
  • mat (optional if you're on carpet)
  • gentle yoga playlist or a quiet space
  • your awesome self

Tips: 

  • Honor your body. I can't stress this enough. 
  • Go slow. 
  • Modify. Modify. Modify. (use your props)
  • Skip a pose. Tailor it to your needs.
  • Let go of judgements/expectations.
  • Create a space for yourself where you can hide away (do the best you can)

 


Begin in Thunderbolt Pose. (Vajrasana) Place a blanket under the knees, ankles or underneath your seat. Close your eyes & slowly draw your focus inward, softening the body with each breath. Settle in. 

10 rounds of breath

SET YOUR INTENTION.

INHALE. Clasp your hands at heart center. Press palms to the front of the mat. Find space in the shoulder & collar bone, flowing to the next pose.

Continue inhaling & movement, pressing the palms towards the sky, lengthening the side body. 

On your EXHALE, release hands, slowly drawing your awareness to the space around you.

While holding each position, invite your breath to the side, back & front of neck.

(Four rounds of breathing in each position)

SAFETY: Go slow. Keep the shoulders even. If you feel any strain, bring the head back to center.

 

Inhale. Finger tips touch overhead.

IMG_2103.JPG

Easy pose with a twist (Parivrtta Sukasana)

Exhale. Twist, keeping the heart open & head aligned with tailbone. 

Side body stretch, opposite arm as leg. Root down through the sit bones. Breathe into your side body. What arises?

Half straddle with forward fold. Hinging from the hips, lengthen out of the crown of the head. Activate the leg in front of you.  6x breaths

Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Lay forearm on the floor, parallel to the ext. leg. Anchor down with the bent leg to create a crescent moon shape with the body.

6 rounds of breathing

IMG_2123.JPG

EXHALE. Half straddle forward fold. Hug the shoulder blades.

6x breaths.

This starts the sequence for the next side. Be sure to switch feet to balance out the sides. Take your time to compare the difference between the right & left sideINHALE. Arms rise.

Revolved side body stretch. Twisting your torso slowly with your breath towards the ceiling. What opens up?

EXHALE. Twist, and imagine a spiral staircase moving up the spine. Hold for four breaths.

 

 

Childs Pose (Balasana) Coming to a place of rest. Shifting your focus to your deep belly. Where is your breath? 

Stay for 4 breaths

Side Stretch. Soften the face & root down through the hips. 

 

 

 

Cow pose (Bitilasana)
INHALE. Hips in line with knees. Shoulders in line with wrists.

Cat Pose (Maryjaryasana) Press away from the floor, energizing your core. Creating a dome shape. Comfort: Blanket under knees.

 

 

Plank. Hold for 4 breaths. strong legs & long body.

 

Rag Doll. Holding opp. elbows. Feel the pull of gravity. Releasing the lumbar spine.

 

INHALE. Long spine. Lifting sternum up. Use block or place hands on shins.

Exhale. Catcus arms. Open the heart. 

 

Downward facing dog. Transition by hopping or stepping to top of mat.

4x breaths

 

Puppy pose. Hips stay in line with knees, anchor down with tops of feet & shins. Modify by placing forearms on the ground or placing blanket under sternum. If not, take childs pose. Honor your body.

 

Happy baby pose. Finding the feet and calves to gently pull the knees towards the floor. Feel free to rock back & forth. Modify by looping a strap over the ball of foot & guide the hips open.

6x breaths here.

Flat back, then exhale twist. Gate pose with a twist. Stack wrist & shoulder. Kickstand the leg out, pressing into pinky toe.

 

 

Exhale. Elbows graze ribs. Knees. Chest. Chin.

 

Ext. Mountain Pose. INHALE. Crack a smile & soften gaze.


Low lunge. Long line of energy from heel to crown of head.

 

Exhale. Runners stretch.

 

Tadasana with heart opener

 

Set up for bridge pose. Find natural alignment from the pelvis to the back of the head. Feet hip width apart. Press down evenly through the feet & shoulder blades. INHALE.

 

Bring knees to chest & on your exhale, supine twist. Knees stack on top of one another. Arms to a "T". Placing a blanket under the knees for support. 

Repeat on other side. 

Repeat on other side. Expanding the arms like a bird. Long spine. 

 

 

 
IMG_2156.JPG

Baby cobra. Using the upper back. Lift chest. Legs strong.

 

Mountain pose (Tadasana)
Stand proudly. Lifting tall.


Low crescent lunge. Knee in line with ankle. 

 

 

Modification w/ blocks

 

Chaturunga Dandasana. Modify with knees on the ground. Elbows pull into the midline.

 

Exhale. Press through the feet & guide the hips towards sky. Heart stays open & option to reach arms overhead, be aware of any lower back pain. Modify with block placed under the hips or rolled blanket. Stay for a couple rounds of breath.

 

Reclined bound angle. Guiding your awareness to your belly & the rise & fall. Slowly with each breath, you shed away what does not serve you. Creating abundant space within the mind & body.

YOU made it.

Downward facing dog. Hands shoulder width apart & feet hip width. Modification: Bent knees, blanket folded under lifted heels. 6x breaths

 

 

EXHALE. Downward dog 

4x breaths

 

Standing forward fold. Press firmly through feet & relax knees. Hamstrings long.


Low crescent lunge. Sweep arms over head. Lifting up through the lower belly. 

 

 

Low crescent lunge.

 

INHALE. Upward facing dog.

*Repeat flow on other side. Right & left.

 

On your next exhale lower the hips slowly, one vertebrae at a time. Finishing in a supine position. Take a moment to tune in

 
 

Feel free to take legs up the wall. Sit bones are parallel to the wall, but the stretch should not be too intense. Leave an inch or two of space from the wall. Place a folded blanket under the hips, under the head, or under the hands if you choose.

This is the best way to release the day. Regulating your blood flow & relieving the body of its duties. Softly draw your focus inside. Giving yourself permission to simply be. Stay here for 5-10 minutes. SURRENDER. 

Thank yourself for showing up on the mat today.

OM SHANTI, PEACE TO ALL, NAMASTE

- CAROLINE JANE

"I am love. I am truth. I am light"
 (Check in with me, I would love to hear from you on social media. Let me know how your practice went & what you may be interested in next time!)

 

They See Me Rollin'

 

     Foam rolling is all the rage these days. The wellness industry is marketing foam rolling all over the place, but this therapeutic technique is more than just a fitness trend or some kind of pool noodle. This self-care technique has great benefits when used correctly.  So, whether you're new to foam rolling or trying to figure out why people volunteer to torture themselves, this blog will hopefully help inform you on your rollin' journey.


The Breakdown: 

     Foam rolling (otherwise known as self-myofascial release [SMR]) is a form of self-massage, but let me tell you it's not the most peaceful experience. Our complicated bodies are made up of trigger points (a sore, tender spot deep within the muscle fiber.) These spots can feel like "knots" that are caused through overuse, injury, poor posture & various other lifestyle factors. When you perform the average stretch, these "knots" are not affected & prevent us from lengthening our muscles to their full potential, interrupting our quality of movement.  Once we release these annoying spots of tension we allow the muscle to return to its healthy relaxed state.


KEEPING YOUR BODY MOBILE IS IMPORTANT!


Terms you should know:

Myofascial release - "is a manipulative treatment that attempts to release tension in the fascia due to trauma, posture, or inflammation. Connective tissues called fascia surround the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs of the body. Points of restriction in the fascia can place a great deal of pressure on nerves and muscles causing chronic pain." ( myofascialrelease.com )
"Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater." ( www.myofascialrelease.com )

YAY for anatomy. 

 

Benefits:

  • Return/increase blood flow throughout the body
  • Reduce soreness/decrease recovery time 
  • Help prevent injury
  • Reduce pain
  • May help correct muscle imbalances
  • Improve range of motion (ROM)
  • Decrease inflammation within the body
  • Improve performance 
  • Improves Neuromuscular efficiency

 

 

FOAM ROLLING GUIDE:

Treat your body like a temple. Be sure to ask your physician/physical therapist etc..before implementing foam rolling into your routine. If given the go ahead, inform yourself of the correct techniques to prevent injury?

 

What foam roller should I start with?

Foam rollers come in various density, colors, sizes & textures. Beginners: Start with a roller that has a smooth surface with a less dense/ soft density. Then over time progress the density after you gain more experience. Always ask questions if you're unsure. Be sure to research different brands & explore reviews online/in store! 


When should I foam roll?

Pre-workout, you can foam roll along with dynamic stretching & plenty of water. Post-workout followed by static stretching (stay hydrated!)


How do I foam roll?

"To foam roll properly, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your body weight. You should roll slowly, no more than one inch per second. When you find areas that are tight or painful, pause for several seconds and relax as much as possible.You should slowly start to feel the muscle releasing, and after 5-30 seconds the discomfort or pain should lessen.If an area is too painful to apply direct pressure, shift the roller and apply pressure on the surrounding area and gradually work to loosen the entire area. The goal is to restore healthy muscles - it is not a pain tolerance test." (breakingmuscle.com)


How to prevent injury?

Do not foam roll too hard. It can irritate the muscle. FYI - you may end up with some lovely bruising (not fun.) Especially if you have a pre-existing injury. Be sure to ask yourself if it's appropriate to roll, there is always the chance of re-injuring your sore self. Stay away from joints & bones.  Always remember to listen to your body. Don't rush the process of foam rolling & slow down. Skip rolling the lower back. If you ever feel intense pain or soreness be sure to consult a physician. Body awareness is key!! 


How many times should I foam roll?

Foam rolling is great for everyday use. Implementing it into your daily routine is a great way to reap the benefits & practice self care. Again, body awareness & consult a professional. 

 

Recommendations/Resources:

Take a class at your local gym, online or buy a DVD to learn technique.

Different roller brands:

Check out Dick's Sporting Goods. Whole foods. Department stores. Amazon.

 

This technique hurts like hell, but you'll be running back for more.

One of the things we love to hate is foam rolling.

 

They see me rollin' 

They hatin'

 

 

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Hope this guide helps you on your self care journey.

With a humble heart,

Caroline Jane

 

 

**The Winner of Mind Maintenance 30 Day Meditation Journey was picked at random.

Drum roll please....

Diane Balsley

I will be emailing you to gather info to send you a gift to help kick start your meditation. Be on the look out!

I hope everyone who participated in this adventure found their quiet space & will continue meditating into February.

Stay tuned for more content my loves & exciting adventures to come. 

I'm grateful for our growing community.  

-caroline xo

 

You Don't Have to Be Flexible to Do Yoga!

 

That's right!

We all have a little yogi in us. 

 

Something I commonly hear: "I'm not flexible. I can't do yoga!" Person proceeds to pull up a picture they saw on Instagram of a yoga posture that makes you feel like the tin man from The Wizard of Oz. 

I want to reassure anyone with these thoughts that you're the perfect candidate for a yoga class. 

Everyone is welcome to take yoga! No matter the range of motion you possess, you have every right to step onto the mat.  

Yes! I'm sure you've seen the pictures with legs behind heads (looking like a straight pretzel) or in a split with the person smiling like nothing hurts. HOLD THE PHONE!  Firstly, that's not a realistic example of what yoga is for everyone. Second, that didn't happen in the course of a day. Example numero uno: When I first started dance I never thought I would be able to kick my leg above 45 degrees or let alone do the splits, turns, jumps etc. But let me tell you, after years of working towards it, things started to happen. Example numero dos: If I were to start weight training today, I wouldn't strutt myself on over to the rack and expect to bench press 300lbs. That’s silly! (...and also very unsafe.) You take time to practice good form, slowly add on weight & practice patience. It’s a journey! Good things take time.

It makes me so sad that people miss out on the many benefits of yoga by saying they aren't good enough or flexible enough. You've got it! I promise!

 

 

Also, flexibility is only one aspect of yoga, despite what you may see. It involves breaking a mental sweat & focusing on yourself. Transforming the mind, finding your breath, healing, finding purpose, coping with anxiety/stress, meditation, strengthening & creating self awareness (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.) The physical/mental benefits are endless!

TIPS AND TRICKS

"Sometimes when we leave our ego at the door, magic happens." 

1. First class? Check out gentle yoga. Yoga basics. It allows you to break down postures at a slower pace. You don't have to know the Sanskrit names either. Studios will also recommend classes that fit your personal needs. 

2. Use the blocks, straps, blankets & bolsters. They help you with form & support you. I use them every class no matter what. 

3. Practice. Practice. Practice. In your living room, gym, watching yoga classes on Youtube. That way if you’re not feeling a big class room, you can feel comfortable with your surroundings in a secure space. 

4. Try your best to not be your own worst enemy! Relax! Don't beat yourself up. Respect your body & forgive yourself.

5. Go with friends. Sometimes embarking on something new makes us feel vulnerable. Friends help ease our nerves.

6. You must BREATHE! I would forget to breathe in power yoga class and would hold my breath which took away from ability to move & relax. I would ignore my instructor. So when they say “find your breathe” there is a reason. Trust in the cues. If you don't understand, feel free to ask the teacher to break it down!

7. Explore what class/teachers work for you. Every teacher has a different style & speed. 

8. Notify your teacher of any injures so they can work with you & give you modifications. My warrior 1 pose is going to look different then Susie’s warrior 1 pose. No need to be cookie cutter. Modifications are everything & they make poses accessible.

9. Realize that yoga is your practice. Everyone in the class is there for different reasons & is on their own journey. There is no judgment or test at the end. (Only Savasana, the best thing ever.) 

10. HAVE FUN! LET LOOSE!  

 

 

So the next time you’re asked to go to yoga, grab that darn mat and run, swim, fly, bike, walk, skip, crawl, drive, or snowboard to the closet class near you (you get the point.)

Your body will thank you for it.

Hope this cuts the nerves for some.

Let me know what scares you or makes you unsure about going to yoga?

Comment below

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(No spam here)

With a humble heart,

NAMASTE

xoxo Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do I Bring to Yoga Class?

Happy Thursday good friends!

This week has been a roller coaster of new things happening. I started to teach my first official public class outside of Evolve. I met new faces and familiar ones, which is always nice. What an enjoyable experience. I remind myself of how thankful I am to have people show up willing and open to try new things. I could go on for dayzzzzzz but lets get down to it.

Throughout my journeys, multiple people always ask "What do I bring to yoga?"

Well that's a great question! Let me break it down:

  • MAT. This one may be obvious to some but a lot of people out there are new to yoga and have not purchased one, which is totally okay. Usually yoga studios will have mats you can rent (for a small fee) or they will offer it to you for free. Now what kind of mat you ask? (seriously this could be a whole other blog post) Keeping it short & sweet, you can always go to a store like  Target, (not too pricey) OR we can get FANCY and buy from companies such as Manduka, Lululemon, Hugger Mugger etc.. Just be aware you will be paying a pretty penny. Its all up to you and what your heart desires.

 

  • TOWEL. A towel?? Yeah that's right. Usually it's a good idea to bring one just in case, especially if you are in heated class, because that mat of yours can turn into a sweat filled ice rink 5 minutes deep. A few times I forgot my beach towel at home for my Vinyasa Flow class, and let's just say I had to concentrate extra hard on rooting my feet down in Warrior 2 so I wouldn't fall into the splits. You won't feel as grounded and it may cause you to stray away from your practice. Even in non-heated classes it sometimes feels good to have an extra source of comfort for your body. You can always push it off to the side. Most yoga studios I've been to supply small hand towels for free, (wipe that sweat off your forehead) or they have blankets to use (they've got your back.) Again, there is always the option of investing in a yoga towel that fits your mat. But that tie dyed beach towel in your closet works just as well. This isn't a requirement for yoga but sometimes, it's better to stay prepared.

 

  • H2O! Plain and simple: it's just smart to bring your own bottle of water. I know there are a lot of opinions out there on when the prime time to drink water is. Before class? During class! After class. All I can say is listen to your body. Know your limits and even maybe talk to your doctor. Your best bet? Drink water prior to class and after class. Yes! If you forget water studios will have water bottles for sale, a fountain, or some yummy tea to sip on before and after. Coconut water is a fun alternative.

 

  • Finally, the most important thing to bring is YOURSELF.

Truth be told, beyond all the fancy mats, clothes, things you read on the internet, and trends in the yoga world, once that is striped away what matters most is YOU. Yoga allows us to create a sacred space. There is no certain way to show up to yoga class. No perfect body type. No perfect hair. Allow yourself to give back to yourself for that hour. Get back to that mentality you had as a kid. Let it go and just be you!

P.S. I just can't express enough how truly humbled I am by all the lovely people I cross paths with in this new journey.  I can't wait to see what adventures await.

Till then ...

NAMASTE

Yogi Say What?!

Hello friends! 

Have you ever been in a yoga class when your instructor says a crazy word that leaves you clueless? Almost sounds like gibberish, but trust me, it's not. It really does have a name and origin. I'm here to help you so that next time you hear "surya namaskar" you can get moving other than having to look around the room in confusion (trust me, I've been there.) Let's get to it!

Name: Sun Salutation
Sanskrit: Surya Namaskar
Meaning: Salute to the sun ; a practice of adoring/giving back to the sun, which is referred to as the "heart of the world."

Sun Salutation can be practiced at dawn, to begin your day. It is meant to be directed towards the sun as you move through the asanas (postures.) There are many benefits that may come along with this sequence. 

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Increases focus & awareness
  • Stimulates the heart
  • Strengthens the body
  • Improves mood & mental health
  • & much more!

 

 

The break down

Moving through the salutation, allow yourself to breathe while flowing from one posture to the next, building heat.

Give it a go!

(Start at the top and move clockwise)
Transitioning from one posture to the next allow your knees to bend!

Always remember that when doing any physical practice, you can modify the posture (blocks, straps, and bolsters are your best friend.) Let go of your ego and listen to your body. 

 

 

Sun Salutation has been a game changer for me. Physically I feel stronger, but lighter. Mentally my mind feels invigorated and I'm ready to tackle my day. I usually wake up and start my day with a big glass of water and 5 to 10 sets of these. 

Always know that yoga is a life long journey and nothing will be perfect. Appreciate the small steps you take, in practice, and in life.

Put on some tunes and get to it :) 

Namaste.