The Boho Girl’s Guide to Fail-Safe Meditation

tumblr_n11nqjet3D1qb7dwvo1_500This world is growing faster and more furious every minute. With all that we have on the agenda these days, it can become a huge headache to relax. Our ability to stay in the present gets jumbled up in technology mania; messages from all over the globe flashing across computer screens, cell phones, and television sets at a million miles a minute. What’s a Boho gal or guy to do when it’s time to zone in and focus up on some serious “me” time?

For centuries, people have used meditation as a way of zeroing-in on themselves, their desires, and the goals that they wish to achieve. It’s a spiritual practice used to elevate the understanding of our inner nature as well as a practice to establish a connection to the divine. It’s been clinically proven that meditation not only calms the body and mind, but also works to inspire creativity, improve the immune system, and even help to boost our relationships with everyone (and everything) around us.

I could list the benefits for days, but how do you get down to the crunch when there is so much that is seemingly “crunching” you? Meditation is not supposed to be difficult. By all spiritual accounts, it’s one of the simplest practices, which immediately makes it the most difficult. And it’s totally important!

To get you in the “OM” mode, here are some tried and true, bohemian certified ways to make your meditation practice as simple and consistent as possible:

1. Get comfortable. In a lot of traditions, practioners remain in a seated position, legs crossed, hands upon the knees, or in the lap. However, we’re in the new age, so as long as you are comfortable, you will find that it will be easier to connect with your practice. As such, lying down is perfectly acceptable.

2. Focus on the breath. Start off your practice by simply paying attention to the ebb and flow of your on breath (if you are a yogi, you’re already familiar with this attentiveness to the act of breathing). Notice how the breath fills your lungs, your torso, and your chest, and notice how it leaves your body. Remember, you are not in this to change these sensations. Just notice them and connect with the physical act of the sensation.

3. Get a guide. Some people find guided meditations to be very helpful. A guided meditation will involve specific breath work, or alternatively, some visualizations that will create something of a “meditation story” for your practice. If this is something that you think you will enjoy, do some research. There are several books and websites that will have some incredible guided meditations for any practitioner.

4.  Accept where you’re at. You’re going to get frustrated. Accept this. No one ever achieved anything on this planet without hard work and practice. This is the biggest thing to remember when you are meditating. Be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, and in time, the flow will come with less effort.

5. Breathe. When in doubt, just go back to the breath. I can guarantee that your mind is going to wander from time to time, and seriously, it’s no big deal. Even the greatest spiritual teachers in our world veer onto the mental fast lane! If your mind is starting to do its own thing, just bring your attention back to the breath. Notice the sensations again. Start counting the time it takes to inhale and exhale, and you’ll be on the right track again.

Once you’ve started your practice, it’s time to add in some consistency. Pick a time of the day when it is easiest for you to take a few minutes and enjoy the process of meditating. Some prefer the morning before they get up, while others like to wait until they are about to go to sleep. Discover what works for you and then commit yourself to doing it! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

As with all things, practice is key. Enjoy it, live it, and you will reap the benefits of meditation in every aspect of your life. I can guarantee it!

Namaste!

Lauren is a guest writer for the Huffington Post and Social Media Coordinator in Toronto.

0Vpv6YS3_biggerFind More of her below!
Twitter:@LaurenMesservey
Web: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lauren-messervey/

The Power of Pilates, Barre and Fitness: My Top 8 Reasons to get sweating and get smiling.

0479b183bcd612b2e8356c8ca1526764Okay sure, we would all love to hear the secret workouts that have shaped, sculpted and stopped the clocks of aging for celebrity bodies like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and the Kardashians’, and I hate to break it to you, but there is not a “secret workout” that will solve all problems. There are, however, hints and tips available to help enhance your workouts so you can get the most out of them…consistency, variety and challenging yourself are KEY!

IMG_4572As a fitness fanatic, I LOVE changing up my workouts; whether it’s getting my om on in a hot yoga class, enjoying the fresh air with my pup on a light jog, building my booty-strength deadlifting, or participating in one of the Pilates classes at my studio, I love the way working out makes me feel. Most importantly, I have FUN doing it! At my new studio, Breath of Fresh Air Training Facility, I have been able to offer all of my favourite types of workouts: athletic conditioning, yoga, Barre, Learn to Run and my absolute favourite Reformer Pilates. Pilates is SUCH a great way to gain lean, toned muscles, get stronger and improve flexibility at the same time.

 

Check out my Top 8 Reasons why I choose to get sweaty and have fun!

1. Progress – I workout to get stronger, faster, hold longer, improve form, etc. There are always ways to intensify your workout, even intensifying the same exercise (especially in Pilates, as many of my clients will know).

2. Be Present – I love being able to turn my mind off, to focus on just one thing. When I am deadlifting a new person best, holding snake on the reformer or pushing through to finish off that 10km, I can’t think about the million other things, you have to be present and stay with the moment.

3. Muscle – We all enjoy the aesthetic benefits that come with working out and while I love what squats have done for my glutes, I also love the FUNCTIONAL aspect even more. Strong glutes help to rehabilitate and prevent injury for your low back, hips, knees, ankles – you name it; they are important! I love educating my clients on why it is important to work the muscles that we often target in Pilates: glutes, abdominals, deltoids (shoulders), etc. Sure, they look GREAT in tank tops, but more importantly they keep your body safe from injury.

4. Health – After two kidney transplants and back surgery to correct a scoliosis curve, I am extremely health conscious and do everything I can to ensure my body is getting the proper nourishment, training and care it needs to function optimally.

5. The Cycle of Wellness – Everything is connected. When you have a great workout, you don’t want to go home and grab a bag of chips for snack, you WANT to fuel your body properly. In addition wanting to eat better, you typically drink more water (especially when you have your instructor telling you to DRINK UP), you sleep better, you are happier and less stressed, and as a result, you want to do it AGAIN! Consistency is key to getting the most out of your lifestyle and the more you do things, the more they become an enjoyable habit!

6. Talk the Talk & Walk the Walk. – As a fitness instructor my clients inspire me every day with their progress and hard work and I enjoy attempting to return the favour by continuing to keep myself in shape and challenge myself to do new things. Otherwise, who am I to advise my clients on how to live a healthier, fit lifestyle?

7. Socialization – I love the atmosphere of group classes in my studio, they are fun, friendly and totally kick ass. I love when I have the opportunity to hop into a class and get my workout in at the same time as passing around a couple of jokes here and there. It’s nice to feel like you are a PART of something and that is exactly the type of clients I am lucky enough to attract at the studio.

8. Chocolate, Sunshine, Tea, Warm Socks & Mala Love – Things that just make everything better! It warms my heart to have clients come a few minutes early to class and enjoy a cup of tea to help them unwind before their session or to meet up early and chat up with a friend they are meeting for the class. I love the simple, little things that make life so special!

IMG_4455Stay Connected:

Website: www.breathoffreshairtrainigfacility.com
Email: morser@outlook.com
Facebook: Breathe of Fresh Air Training Facility
Instagram: http://instagram.com/megan_orser

Wellness Wednesday with Hol:Fit – Boho Inspired Smoothie

Welcome to week two of our 6-week Wellness Wednesday Series with Hol:Fit!

This week is all about fuelling our soul with smoothies, check out the video and recipe below.
Here is a link to Week 1 if you missed it last week:)

Blend It, Share It, Print It and Love It.

smoothie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ange Peters

Founder of HolFit
Online Health School
Creator of EAT CLEAN :: GET LEAN & Ready, Set, GLOW Detox
Co-Host of The Holistic Health Diary Podcast
Twitter @ Hol_Fit
Facebook @ HolFit