Sign board that points to which direction you would like to go. Stressed or relaxed?

Healthy Alternatives For Relieving Stress and Anxiety

Why is it that being bad feels so good? What is it inside of us that make us want to relieve our weekly stress by engaging in self-destructive behavior? Sure, after toeing the line all week, wanting to engage in a bit of weekend mayhem is totally understandable, but when being bad starts feeling bad, that might be a signal that you need to find a healthy alternative.

If you’re finding yourself having more downs than ups, here are a few things you might want to try.

Mind Relaxing Activities
Okay, so writing doesn’t sound like the most exciting way to spend a weekend, but leaving yourself some time to write might make it a little more relaxing. Writing about the things that are bothering you can help to put them into perspective. Aim to write for about 10 to 15 minutes each day about stressful events and how they affect you. Tracking your stress can help to locate the cause of it and find better ways of dealing with it.

Let It Out
Not very emotional? Maybe that’s the problem. Let yourself cry, laugh, talk and express anger when you need to. Seek support from family, friends, counselors, and even members of the clergy who are willing to provide a sympathetic ear.

Enjoy Yourself
A lot of the time, we see enjoyable activities as a barrier to getting things accomplished, but sometimes, they are just what you need to help you relax. You might try engaging in a hobby, such as gardening, a creative activity, volunteer work, or even caring and playing with pets.

Women lying on a yoga mat.

 Focus On The Now

  • Mediate
    Meditation helps you to concentrate on things that are happening in the present, temporarily allowing you to release anxiety
    caused by thoughts about future goals and past mistakes. Meditation can be achieved by focussing on breathing. Mindful-based
    stress reduction is an especially effective form of meditation for coping with stress.
  • Guided Imagery
    Guided imagery is a way that helps you imagine yourself in a setting in which you feel calm and relaxed. Audiotapes, books and teachers can all help guide you through the process.

Relaxing Your Body

Couple sitting on the grass stretching.

Exercise
If you’re considering committing to a regular exercise routine, it may seem more likely to add to the chaos of the day than escape from it. However, exercise is one of the best ways to relief stress. If the daily workout is not for you, walking is a perfectly acceptable form of exercise, as are housecleaning and yard work. Even the briefest stretch can provide relief from muscle tension.

Techniques

  • Breathing exercises
    Engaging in roll breathing and other types of deep breathing can help to beat stress.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
    This is a way of reducing muscle tension by relaxing muscle groups separately.
  • Yoga, tai chi, qi gong
    These are all techniques which combine meditation with exercise. It may take some training to learn how to practice these effectively. Books and videos can help you to learn at home.

How are you relieving your stress healthily? Does it keep your bad behavior in check? Let us know how it’s working, or not working, for you.

Mother and child

Tips For Getting Your Girls Into Yoga

If you remember correctly, one of the easiest ways to ensure that you wouldn’t do something was having your parents tell you to do it. Even if you were going to study for that test, clean up your room, not go out with that boy, your parents’ advice was probably the best way to ensure that you would do the opposite.

Well, now the roles are reversed – you’re the mom. And you want your girl to get involved in yoga. You dream daily of the coming home to find your little one in a tree position chanting “asanas.” It would be a great way to lower her stress, raise her physical activity level, and improve her awful posture. But how can you get her to start?

How Children Benefit From Yoga
We usually don’t think of children as being highly pressured. They don’t have nine to five jobs and they certainly don’t raise themselves. But they do have difficult tests, acne, and bullies, and that can be enough to make anyone stressed out. Yoga can help with these pressures. It’s a physical activity which promotes compassion, self-esteem, and body awareness. Plus, unlike so many other things in your teen’s life, it’s not competitive.

The experience of yoga can introduce children to new concepts and ways of assessing what is important in life. For example, when children assume the lion pose (Simhasana) they harness the power of the lion. This makes them aware of their own sense of power, when to be aggressive, and when to maintain control. Children also receive an introduction to the values of yoga: expression, union, honor for oneself, and the role one plays in life.

Yoga pose

Teaching Yoga to Your Kids
If you’re going to teach yoga to your kids, it’s important to realize that one of the greatest challenges you will have to deal with is figuring out a way to hold their attention. When you think of the benefits of yoga: balance, stillness, focus, and grace, children don’t exactly pop into your mind.

The best way to teach children is by encouraging them to actively participate. Most children will love the idea of imitating dogs, flowers and trees. Get them to bark in the dog pose, or hiss when they are doing the cobra. Sound is great for children and adds an auditory element to the physical discipline of yoga.

Don’t Be Demanding
Children like to discover things on their own. They may not respond well to criticism. Aim for providing a creative environment for them to explore. Spur them on, encouraging them to really imagine themselves as a cat stretching its spine, or a tree growing roots. It will make the experience fun for them while making connections between themselves and the environment.

Yoga Poses For Kids
Here are some easy poses for getting your kids started:

  • Boat Pose: Have children balance on their buttocks with their legs up. Then have them rock like a boat.
  • Bow Pose: Have children lie on their tummies, bend their knees, lift their chests, reach their arms toward their toes, and hold onto their feet.
  • Bridge Pose: Have children lie on their backs with their knees bent and their feet flat on the ground. Have hem rest their arms along their bodies, tuck their chins into their chests and lift up their buttocks and back to make a bridge.
  • Cat Pose: Have children come up on all fours, round their backs and tuck their chins into their chests.
  • Chair Pose: Have children stand tall with their feet hip-width apart, bend their knees, and hop like a kangaroo.

Are you getting your children into yoga? Let us know how it’s going. We love to know!

Woman doing chair yoga

Ease Into Exercise With Chair Yoga

Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic Arizona State University Obesity Solutions has been credited with coining the expression, “Sitting is the new smoking,” adding that, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people that HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Pretty scary stuff! While this may sound a bit dramatic to some, Levine’s words do seem to hold some water. Researchers have found, and are still finding evidence proving that sitting can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. However, there is a healthy activity that you can engage in without leaving your chair. Welcome to the world of chair yoga.

Benefits of Chair Yoga

Greater Strength and Flexibility
If mobility is an issue, chair yoga can increase body strength and help withstand falls while sustaining fewer injuries. This means you can better continue daily activities and hobbies. Also greater flexibility will mean greater ease when it comes to tying shoes and bending to pick things up.

Improved Bodily Control
Proprioception is the ability to know where your body is in relation to space and accurately coordinating movement. By improving bodily control, chair yoga can help people with disabilities such as MS which interfere with this skill.

Improved Mental Clarity and Reduction of Stress
Chair yoga can relieve the impact of pain and chronic illness and can help replace stress caused by feelings of helplessness and isolation with feelings of relaxation and tranquility.

Chair Yoga Poses

Chair Cat Cow Stretch
Sit on the chair with your spine long and feet flat on the floor. Put hands on the top of your thighs or knees. Inhale, arching your spine and rolling your shoulders back and down, bringing your shoulder blades into your back, You are now in cow position. Exhale, rounding your spine and dropping you chin to your chest, allowing the shoulder and head to come forward. You are now in cat position. Continue to move from cow to cat positions for five breaths.

Chair Raised Hands Pose
Inhale, raising your arms upward. Let your shoulder blades slide down your back as you reach toward the ceiling with your finger tips. Push your sit bones into the seat of your chair and lift from there.

Chair Forward Bend
Exhale, coming into a forward bend over your legs. Rest your hands on the floor, letting your head hang heavily, Inhale, raising your arms back up over your head. Continue to switch between the raised arm position and forward fold, moving with each breath.

Chair Extended Side Angle
Bend forward and bring your left hand’s fingertips to the floor outside your left foot. Opening your chest, inhale and twist to the right, bringing your right arm and lifting your face upward. Hold for several breaths and exhale bringing the right arm down.

Chair Eagle
You can achieve the eagle pose by crossing your right thigh over your left. If you are able, try to wrap your right foot around your left calf. Cross you left arm over your right at the elbow. Bend your elbows and bring your palms together. Lift your elbows while dropping your shoulders. Hold for three to five breaths and repeat on other side.

If you tried chair yoga and liked it, we would love to hear all about it! Please send us your comments and suggestions. We love to hear from you.

Man doing yoga

Yoga's Benefit for Men

Many people find yoga to be relaxing, energizing, and to help contribute to a sense of calm, contentedness, and well-being. It also helps one become more flexible and breathe better and more fully, and conceivably could count as a form of light exercise. It doesn’t replace a good 20-30 minutes of cardio daily, but every little bit counts.

Of course, the vast majority of yoga practitioners are female, so it could be intimidating for men to start a yoga habit. But don’t let that stop you: like most arbitrarily gendered things, thinking yoga is just for women is silly. Let’s talk about a few benefits of yoga, benefits anyone can attain from yoga.

Stress Relief
Many forms of exercise relieve stress in one way or another, but while vigorous or aggressive exercise routines can make one angry or just really tired, yoga uses techniques to make you overall calmer. For this reason, yoga makes a great way to start one’s day, because it promotes a calm but aware state of mind that can help get you through a busy work day with lots of quick thinking and tough choices, as well as help you stay on task better.

Strength
Did you think yoga was only about stretching and getting flexible? You’d be wrong. A lot of yoga exercises involve using your own body’s weight to build muscle. Your yoga routine may have a lot of stretching involved, but it can also include drawn-out pushups, leg lifts, squats, and more.

Flexibility
One of the more obvious benefits of yoga, you’ll find with just a few classes you might already feel more limber and springy. If you’re into any sports, know this: increased flexibility is an advantage in just about any sport. Those funny-feeling spine twists can especially help you relieve major tension and improve your tennis and golf abilities.

Injury Prevention
Yoga also has the benefit of reinforcing mindfulness of one’s own body and its needs and limits, which is a huge boon in other workouts you do or sports you play. The ability to listen to your body and be aware of its state at any given moment, and just how far its limits are being pushed, and most importantly, when you should stop, will be a huge boon in keeping yourself from getting hurt. Because seriously, who wants to nurse a broken bone, sprained ankle, etc, etc, when it could simply be avoided?

Goal Setting
Yoga classes also place a significant emphasis on goal setting. You are likely to be asked to set a goal for any given individual session, and to set goals for the future in other areas of your life. They can be as small or large as you like, but keep them attainable and realistic. Further, be sure and reward yourself whenever you meet or exceed a goal; yoga can, surprisingly enough, help with all of these, as the mindset it fosters is incredibly conducive to calm, clear thinking, which is required to set good goals and then take steps to reach them.

Resveralife Yoga Mats

The practice of yoga encompasses physical, mental and spiritual discipline. Yoga originated in India, where it has been practiced for centuries. Practicing yoga is beneficial for all individuals as it is a safe, low-impact form of exercise. But yoga goes beyond physical exercise: it helps clarify your mind and fosters a deep sense of relaxation. Resveralife is excited to offer exclusive mat designs that represent the beauty of yoga.

Designed by the Resveralife design team, Resveralife currently offers two yoga mats designs: a Mandala Mat and a Dream Catcher Mat. A celebration of strength and unity is captured in both designs. The word mandala is a Sanskrit term that means “circle” or “discoid object”. A mandala can be defined externally as a schematic visual representation of the universe and internally as a guide for several psychophysical practices that take place in many Asian traditions, including meditation. The beautiful mandala on our mat is meant to inspire completeness while focusing on your wellbeing. The origin of the dream catcher goes back to the Anishnabe Indigenous Tribe, where an elder had a vision of a spider’s web in a hoop with a feather and bead attached that would catch the bad dreams of the tribe’s people while letting good dreams pass through. Our dream catcher mat will remind you to only let positive thoughts guide your life.

The style, prints and materials in Resveralife yoga mats are certainly part of what distinguishes these mats from others, but it is not only the aesthetic appeal that is different. All yoga mats are made with natural rubber and microfiber, and are machine washable. Designed to grip and at a 24” x 69” size, they are ideal for all variations of Yoga, Bikram, Pilates, meditation and general exercising.

Resveralife encourages a lifetime of healthy habits that keep you looking and feeling your best. All yoga mats have a limited lifetime warranty, guaranteeing that you have years of health and wellness in every mat.

With Resveralife mats you invest in yourself and your well-being. Practicing yoga is an incredible way to take a bit of time to relax, tone and center yourself in the midst of your busy life. Available in Resveralife boutiques.

Woman exercising.

Workouts to Transform Your Body

Getting the fit, lean and toned body you desire may seem impossible, particularly if you are just beginning an exercise regime. However, we promise that results are totally possible, and will come, if you stick with exercise and make it a regular habit. When it comes to diet and exercise there is always a new fad or trend circulating that promises the most amazing results in the shortest amount of time possible and some of these have components that truly do work, but it is still important to know that there is no magic cure-all that will give you instant health and the body you’ve always wanted. It will take work and discipline, but if you strive for progress not perfection, you will see your hard work pay off. That said, there are some workouts that truly can transform your body when you dedicate time in your day to exercise and use the techniques. Here are some of our favorite workouts that can help transform your body:

Yoga.

Yoga
Preconceived notions of yoga may have you questioning how yoga could help with weight loss and transforming your body, but bear with us. There are multiple research studies focusing on the health benefits of yoga and they include things such as encouraging weight loss and reducing obesity, decrease in risk of heart disease, relief from chronic pain and fighting fatigue. Although yoga may look like a bunch of stretching, there are multiple forms of yoga, each one with a targeted benefit. Hatha is perfect for beginners as it focuses on form, balance and flexibility, creating a great foundation on which to build. If you’re looking to drop pounds, check out a vinyasa class. Bikram, or hot yoga, is a great way to increase your flexibility since the heat loosens your muscles. Yoga will increase your health while transforming your body into a toned, lean body.

Tabata Interval Training
Interval training is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to quickly transform your body and with good reason. Research on Tabata Interval Training suggests that completing a round of these quick bursts of cardio with brief rest periods can make your body burn calories for up to 36 hours after you complete the workout! Maybe the best part of Tabata is that it takes only four minutes. Tabata consists of doing 20 seconds of intense cardio exercises followed by a 10 second rest period before moving on to the next burst of cardio. Keep your workout interesting by switching up the cardio exercises you do every so often.

Pilates

Pilates (The Plank)
Pilates is not the same as yoga, though there are some principles that are similar such as the focus on form, flexibility and breathing. Performing a Pilates routine requires concentration and engages your entire body from the core. The plank is one of the greatest exercises you can do for you waistline no matter how much you may hate the exercise when you first begin. Planks are better for your waist than traditional sit-ups or crunches because they utilize muscles deep in your stomach that have the most impact on your musculoskeletal health. There are plenty of variations to the plank that keep the exercise challenging. In addition to switching the plank you perform, you gradually add time to the length of your plank. For instance, beginners may want to start at 10 to 15 seconds and move to 20 to 30 seconds the following week.

The only workouts that will transform your body are the ones that you actually do consistently, so it may take a bit of trial and error before you find a workout that makes you excited about making changes in your body. Keep a positive attitude and trust that your body will transform if you remain dedicated to the change.