Transition Tuesday

Hello Friends!

Today I am breaking two simple but challenging transitions that fit well together or work all on their own. If you haven’t seen the video on my IG already, head over to @leenslens to see the spilt hop & handstand hop switch transitions. These can be used to come into and out of most of your standing postures, and are fantastic ways to build in extra shoulder & core work (road to handstand anyone?!?!?!).

9A610727-B82D-403C-8B02-68899999BA8EFirst is the split hop from down dog into crescent lunge (or any other standing pose). It’s important to make sure you’ve warmed the hamstrings up a bit – any split or handstand requires open hammies! Step 1: extend left leg up – keep left pinky toe angled to the floor so hips remain square. Step 2: look between your hands, shift your body weight forward, and wrap the outer arms in towards center. Step 3: draw the belly button in & up, spread the inner thighs apart, and hop the right foot up between your hands (or close to it bc as you can see I didn’t quite make it there). Step 4: set the foundation for your standing posture and inhale to rise.

51DD437C-F88E-41E7-83E3-DC4421DA1438Next, we look at the handstand hop/switch back to chaturanga. This second transition does require a little more time to get right but it’s fun to play around with. Step 1: plant your hands shoulder width apart and extend your left leg up. Step 2: tuck the right outer hip back, wrap the outer arms in (sound familiar?!?!), and bring your body weight into your hands. Step 3: lift your hips, rise onto your right toes and kick up to handstand. Step 4: leave your right leg extended up, slowly bring left leg towards mat, bend elbows into the sides of your ribs and draw the chest forward. Step 5: keep the core and shoulder girdle tight to land with control in chaturanga. FULL DISCLOSURE – step 4 & 5 will not happen right away…most of us will take step 3 & then head back to vinyasa and that’s okay because this is just yoga!

The goal is to do this every week…we’ll see how it goes! Have fun with sprinkling this into practice!

’til next time, keep smiling! 😉

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! The sun is finally shining in this city by the bay and I am doing my best to get out there and enjoy it. With all the changes in my schedule lately I’ve been feeling quite tired. I finally bit the bullet and started taking naps to give me enough energy to get through the 5am wake ups and 9pm close outs. pros_cons_napping_aI have always been on the fence about napping – I felt time was more importantly spent doing other things – foolish me! I did a bunch of research, tested some theories, and now I’m sharing my results with all of you to round out this month’s Wellness Wednesday. Here are 5 things I’ve learned about napping, why it works, and what to avoid.

Napping 101

  1. Shorter is betterI was always under the impression I needed a few hours in the middle of my day to dedicate to napping but it turns out anywhere btwn 20-60 minutes is really best. 
  2. Waking aint easyI don’t know if this one is a universal or not but I have the hardest time getting up from my naps…I want so desperately to linger/go back to sleep. That feeling goes away after 5-10 minutes but its always there (for me).
  3. Recharge the battery With so much to do and such a unique work schedule my days are longer than usual, which means I am not getting as much sleep at night as I used to. I look at it like my phone battery – since I wasn’t able to get a ‘full charge’ overnight I have to recharge mid-day to keep things running.
  4. No Screens/SoundSince napping isn’t something I have a lot of time for it’s paramount to get right into it. At first I was watching TV to nap or listening to music but I ended up getting too caught up in the audio/visual stimulus that it took longer to fall asleep than just laying quietly in a darker place. 
  5. There is always time I love to talk myself out of something by saying I don’t have enough time & that, quite frankly, is bullshit…everyone has enough time and the reality it if you don’t make time to nap and  you really need to, you won’t be able to effectively do all the other things on your plate anyway! 

’til next time, keep smiling! 😉

Wellness Wednesday

Hey there guys!

I hope everyone is getting some restful nights sleep and if not, today I will be offering a few more tips to help you catch some z’s. While I can’t say my husband has been taking my advice, since he still seems to be tossing and turning every couple nights (love you babe, 🙂 ), I have been employing my breathing tips to help my fall asleep faster now that my days are longer.UnknownIt is very difficult to get up at 5am when you finish work at 9pm and still need to eat & unwind; which is why falling asleep quickly to get as much sleep as possible is paramount. I haven’t exactly established a perfect routine yet, but below are 5 easy tips to help you unwind and prepare for a more restful night sleep.

The Evening Unwind

  1. Put the phone away: set your alarm, respond to whatever needs to be responded to, check the last of your social media feeds and then say goodnight to your phone. Taking yourself away from the screens can help get in the right mode for rest.
  2. Eat Light: in my opinion, its really important to refuel after teaching/working out/etc. even if its late. The main thing you have to remember is your body will need about 45 min. for your food to settle and you’ll want to keep it simple (ex. greens and lean protein)
  3. Drink Tea: consuming ginger or a decaf tea with anti-inflammatory properties such as chai can help calm things from the inside out and aid digestion.
  4. Wash Up: taking a warm shower to cleanse the body & allow for a few minutes of peace can be just what the dr. ordered before you hit the hay
  5. Lavender: Light a lavender candle or use lavender oil on the skin once you’re out of the shower. The smell & the oils can also help promote calm and prepare you to sleep

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

We’re half way through another week and with some sleep issues here at the April home, I am doing a second round of sleep help for Wellness Wednesday. Phil had a terrible night sleep last night and was tossing and turning the night before as well. While my breathing techniques are pretty amazing, below are 5 yoga poses to help promote better and more restful sleep. Everything listed below can easily be done at home and with the support of pillows, bolsters, blankets, etc.. if needed.

Sleep Sequence #1

IMG_1064The poses shown above are as follows: Big Toe Hold A & C (Top Row), Happy Baby, Plow, & Legs up the Wall (Bottom Row). Each pose is to be held for around 7-10 breathes or about 2 minutes. Use a towel, strap, or t-shirt to help with the first two, feel free to bend your knees in plow (the middle one on the bottom row), and make sure your but is touching the wall in the last one.

Since I have noticed this is a pretty serious wellness issue I will be dedicating all the Wellness Wednesday posts for the month of March to sleep tips! Getting a good night sleep is paramount to getting the most out of your day, so if there are any specific issues out there or things you’d like to cover, comment below!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

imageI’m gearing up for Phil to leave for another business trip and making sure to spend as much time together as possible! One of the worst things about Phil going away is getting to sleep. Some people may think it’s a blessing to have the bed all to themselves but for me, it’s hard to get settled. Thanks to yoga I have a few proven techniques to calm my anxious energy & for Wellness Wednesday, I’m going to share them with all of you.

sleeping beautyFind a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. As you deepen your breath start to imagine yourself sinking into the mattress, one body part at a time (starting with your toes and working to the crown of the head). Once you are settled, the real magic begins… Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, exhale for 6 seconds, and repeat until you are asleep. It might sound simple but is incredibly powerful. For me, as soon as I think “Man, this is taking forever, maybe it isn’t going to work” I fall asleep. A good night sleep is a foundation to a healthy life, so what do you have to lose?

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesday

Smile Friends! 🙂

We’re half way though another week!

As some of you may or may not be aware, this month is National Cancer Prevention Month. I’m teaming up with the M.A.A. center to bring you some tips and simple steps you can take this month and every month to help prevent cancer in your life! Before we dive in, I wanted to share a little about the Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center. The M.A.A. center is a place for victims and their families to find more information about Mesothelioma, get help understanding their care options, learn about their rights, and gain insight into careers and communities at higher risk for this type of cancer. Mesothelioma is a rare of cancer that forms on the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen.MAA_cancer_prevention_month_v02

As you can see from the info graphic  above, cancer is something we can absolutely take steps to prevent. Just like we talk about each week, it’s simple changes, healthy choices, and small steps in the right direction to create change for your overall well being! In addition to 30 minutes of daily activity, eating vegetables, and spending at least 15 minutes in the sun, here are three tips of my very own to help prevent incidence of cancer in your life.

  1. Practice a positive attitude: Have you heard the expression ‘a smile is contagious’ ? It couldn’t be more true – countless studies show smiling and maintaining a positive attitude is proven to help lower blood pressure and boost your mood! Take that, cancer! ;-D
  2. Sleep: Yes, Yes, I know, there is a lot of awesomeness to be packed into every day, but in order to make the most of it, your body needs time to recharge. Research shows that regularly allowing 6-8 hrs of sleep daily can help prevent cancer, elevate energy levels, and improve cognitive function.
  3. Crowd Out: Add two new healthy snacks or choices to your diet so you don’t have room for the other options you were choosing before. For example, try swapping your pizza dough for a cauliflower crust or trading your afternoon diet soda for some green tea.

Remember friends, it’s the little things that make all the difference down the line. Let’s be honest, there is a lot to see in this big beautiful world and we all want to be around long enough to enjoy as much of it as possible!!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

Motivational Monday #6

Happy Monday Friends!

IMG_4747I’m excited to share this weekly dose of motivation because we’re both starting to see differences. As I have been sharing we’re still enjoying our lives, indulging in moderation, and we’re both down 5+ pounds. More than that, we’re both noticing a bit more muscle definition and feeling great! IMG_0632We had a wonderful weekend in Tahoe skiing and enjoying the amazing views! This week, in addition to my studio classes at Moxie, I am teaching a free class in the Mission as part of Haven Collective Yoga‘s trunk show. I met these talented ladies at the Yoga Journal conference and am so excited to be a part of their pop-up trunk show here in San Francisco. Phil is busy with work meetings and hitting the gym so we’re both already looking forward to our Valentine’s weekend together! ❤ IMG_0628But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. Here’s what we have lined up for this week to keep us motivated and making positive changes.  It’s week 6 of 16 and we’re feeling like we could do this forever!

Week 6

“Once you see results, it becomes an addiction.”

Exercise

  • 45-60 minutes yoga daily (me)
  • 50-55 minutes yoga 2x/wk (Phil)
  • 45-60 minutes cycling 3x/wk (me)
  • 45-60  minutes mixed weights & cardio  (Phil)

*as much as we love doing stuff together we’ve noticed our bodies and our routines naturally have taken us in slightly different directions in fitness and in our diets*

Dietary Routine

Breakfast: 

  • sprouted whole wheat bagel (hollowed) w/banana & peanut butter
  • oatmeal w/almond milk, dried cranberries & pumpkin seeds
  • protein shake

Lunch:

  • roasted chicken w/mixed green salad
  • apple and spinach grilled cheese on sprouted whole wheat bread
  • chili lime tofu w/brown rice and mixed veggies

Dinner:

  • healthy fettuccine alfredo w/whole wheat pasta
  • healthy sweet potato gnocchi w/roasted veggies
  • tofu pad thai

Snacks:

  • homemade chia bars
  • plantain chips
  • veggies w/hummus
  • trail mix

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

Wellness Wednesday

Happy hump day my fellow wellness lovers!

I hope you’re all in the midst of enjoying another wonderful week! Things have been crazy busy around here and I couldn’t be happier about it. Even though things are quite chaotic, it’s all positive and it is all in the name of advancing myself, my career, and my relationships. It’s during times like these when I find it most important to leave a little space – allow for the ability to reflect, breathe and soak in the moment.

FullSizeRender (16)

That’s why this week, Wellness Wednesday is dedicated to leaving some space – in your schedule, in your mind, in your heart – for what comes up. When I reflect on where I was about a year ago and where I am today, it is truly unbelievable, except it can’t be because it actually happening 😉 !

FullSizeRender (17)

A year ago (a little more if I’m being true to the actual date) I was teaching yoga a few nights a week, as my third job, in the basement of an apartment building in center city. There were about 3-5 people in class and 1 was always Phil 🙂 haha! If you had asked me then whether I’d be teaching full time now I probably would have said no…not for a few years, but here I am!!

FullSizeRender (18)

I love what I do for a living and I feel so lucky to share my passion with a room full of students each and every day! It’s really easy to get wrapped up in taking each step that we forget the path from which we came; so remember, leave a little space for what comes up!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

Motivation Monday #5

Welcome to February Friends!

MM5.jpgCan you believe the first month of 2016 has already come and gone?!?!? I think I must have blinked and missed it because I sure can’t! January was full of so many exciting visits, adventures, and exciting career opportunities I can’t imagine how February is even going to compare.IMG_0542.JPGOne thing is staying the same though, and that’s our commitment to healthier choices. We made it through one month of more conscious living: eating well, exercising, making healthier decisions, etc… and even though there was indulging, like these amazing desserts from dinner at Delfina when my parent’s visited, we’re both feeling lighter, leener (see what I did there 😉 ), and full or energy!

Week 5

“If you are persistent you will get it. If you are consistent you will keep it!”

Exercise

  1. Running 1x wk 45-55min
  2. Cycling 1x wk 45-55min(Bike in the shop until Wednesday 😦 )
  3. HIIT 1x wk 30min (45on-10rest 6x w/25sec rest btwn rounds)
    • Squats
    • Mountain Climbers
    • Lunges
    • High / Forearm Plank Transitions
    • Side Step Wide Legged Squats

Dietary Plan

Breakfast: Homemade Chia Bars OR Oatmeal w/banana and nuts

Lunch: Ground Turkey Burrito Bowls OR Mixed Green Salad w/Tuna

Snack: Hummus w/Pita & Cucumbers, Protein Shake, Multigrain Tortilla Chips w/fresh pico, trail mix packs, OR apple w/nut butter

Dinner: Salmon Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries w/ zesty slaw (I know we eat these all the time but they are sooo good, I promise I will get more creative soon), Mixed Mushroom Marinara w/ whole wheat penne, OR 1 of 3 Plated meals being delivered later this week (check out Foodie Friday this week for some delicious meal ideas)

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

We’re mid-way through another wonderful week and I for one am beaming today! There is a lot to be grateful for everyday but today especially because my sister and parents are coming to visit!! That, and things are falling into place more and more with my career and our live’s here in San Francisco.yoga-photography workshop-10 In the coming weeks there are lots of exciting things happening! Everything to come has to do with growing in my career, so I couldn’t be more excited that I have time with some of my family beforehand; which brings me to today’s Wellness Wednesday topic, balanceWork-Life-Balance1When I mean balance, I don’t mean the kind I do on my head or in the picture above 😉 I mean happily and effectively managing all the different aspects of life. I used to get this tunnel vision when it came to the different aspects of my life: I would focus on whatever I wasn’t happy about and figure out a way to fix it or make it bend my way. Sometimes I would succeed but most of the time I wouldn’t and I would end up morwheele unhappy than when things started. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was really able to make a sift…things just were not working. Now, my focus is on finding time for the little things, working smarter, and allowing myself downtime. I know as life continues and children are added to the picture, things will get even more exciting and the challenge of balancing things out might become more tricky but in the end, its ALL doable. Whatever your priorities in life, you’ve got time for all of them and the stuff you want to do too, it just takes a bit of balance. If you’re not sure where to start, begin by taking 5-10 minutes to be silent, alone, and just see what pops up.

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂