It’s ALL about B A L A N C E

When I came home from Anastasia Gavalas‘ – who you may recognize from OHH’s One Healthy MomHamptons Wellness Week lecture, “Rebalance Your Family,” I felt more balanced instantly!

balanceAlthough I don’t have a family of my own yet, (though we are adding an addition in a few weeks…more to come on that!) better balance is definitely a goal of mine and Anastasia’s insight is valuable for anyone and everyone. I preach about balance a lot and clearly, I want to practice what I preach, so better balance is a huge goal of mine, in 2014 and beyond!

Practicing and attaining balance makes us happier and healthier human beings. Balance isn’t necessarily permanent, but the feeling of balance is one we can learn to continuously strive for. Whether we have two things to do or 39, it’s about our approach. It’s about US. If we don’t first work on ourselves, everything around us will feel unbalanced too.

When we feel balanced, everything is more doable, things naturally fall into place. We go with the tides instead of against them. We’re able to feel good about what we get done and not beat ourselves up for what can probably wait until tomorrow. We’re content and realistic, and in turn, more present and efficient. Sounds good, right? So, how do we get there?

One of Anastasia’s top tips, which I’ll share with you, takes just ten minutes a day, and makes a huge difference. Get up in the morning and ask yourself: What is most important for me to accomplish today and what will make me feel happy if I get it done? What do I need to do today that will allow me to go to bed tonight feeling content and balanced? What are my top priorities today?

I LOVE this strategy and I’m going to incorporate it into my morning routine starting TODAY. I see it as a combination of list-making and meditating, rolled into one (which is good for a busy person seeking balance!) It’s not about making a never-ending to-do list, it’s about weeding out the ‘stuff’ and surfacing the big priorities. It’s not about the number of checks on the list, it’s about accomplishing the tasks that will make us truly satisfied at the end of the day. Personally, I’m making to-do lists left and right. I have pads, post-its, and pens all over the house and a list of notes on my phone. Anastasia reminded me that it’s not about ALL of these tasks, big, small, immediate, future, etc. It’s about the top priorities that turn a busy day into an accomplished day, a successful day, a BALANCED day.

Maybe one day, what comes to mind is going to three meetings, making 10 phone calls, and writing two articles for work. Maybe another day, it’s just attending a long yoga class or spending the day with family, reconnecting with a friend, or taking a walk outside. Depending on what your mind, body, and soul really need to feel balanced, those things will make it to the top of the list. I love it, thanks Anastasia!

One Healthy Breakdown: Life really IS ALL about B A L A N C E.

What’s a Spirit Junkie Sati?!

Yesterday was one of those days. One of those life-altering days I’ll never forget. I spent the day with Gabby Bernstein and Patricia Moreno at The Surf Lodge for their second annual Spirit Junkie Sati (#spiritjunkiesati.) Amazingness. In the sun. On the bay. In Montauk. On a yoga mat. Making history.

photo 3Gabby kicked off the morning with Kundalini Kriyas – sets of exercises, with both physical and physiological meaning and purpose. Just hearing Gabby speak can put you at ease. Doing yoga with her, that’s a whole other story. Our first Kriya is meant to bust through blocks, to bust through what holds you back in life. Another Kriya strengthened the spine; as Gabby explained, a healthy spine is a healthy life.

photo 1Having been lucky enough to have gotten to know Gabby a bit and being halfway through May Cause Miracles, I was excited to learn what Kundalini Yoga is all about. As opposed to classic yoga, which is usually more individually up to interpretation, Kundalini yoga speaks to one purpose at a time. There is a Kriya for everything. I mean everything. Look it up. Try one. As Gabby says, expect miracles.

Then, Gabby had us do something amazingly effective. A tool I will definitely keep in my back pocket and use often. You should too. To wrap up our Kundalini hour, we “shook it out” and we shook it good. Sitting on our yoga mats, we shook our arms overhead for three + minutes. We shook all of the crap that holds us back, all of the negativity, all of the problems, the constant sadness on the news, the anger, the pain, the resentment…any of that heavy stuff that weighs us down…SHAKE IT OUT! Seriously, try it now. Standing or sitting cross legged, with your arms overhead, knowing you’re getting it all OUT. Shake all that stuff you don’t need right out the tips of your fingers. Shake furiously. Even yell a little if you want to or blast some really loud music if you want. Get it all out. And then breathe, regroup, and start fresh. Phew.

After about an hour of Kundalini, we broke for an amazing lunch thanks to Byron – The Surf Lodge’s Restaurant (which I must say has jumped to my top 10 list.) The food is fresher than fresh, simple, delicious, healthy, and even better, local! If you’re ever in or around Montauk, definitely stop in to Byron at The Surf Lodge for a meal. Just a heads up, if you’re there on a weekend, it’s packed…and I mean PACKED. Be prepared to relax on the bay and have a few drinks. If I were you, I’d make a day of it. In fact, I often do.

photo 5After a nice long lunch, Patricia (two words: ROCK STAR) graced the stage. From the moment she opened her mouth, the energy was astounding. Contagious. Mind-blowing. And pretty freaking awesome. She put us on the spot and I’m going to do the same to you: spend one minute (yes, 60 whole seconds) telling someone how great you are, the awesome things you do, how much you love your body and yourself, the obstacles you’ve overcome…Can you do it? Can you spend 60 seconds saying only good things about yourself? I couldn’t either. A minute of self-promotion is HARD. But, a minute of complaining would be easy as pie, right?! That’s her point, that’s what Patricia turns upside down: the fact that we’ve been trained to think and speak more negatively than positively, which often holds us back from pure bliss, greatness, and self-love. As Patricia said: “it’s inspiring to hear people thrive. Just like negative thought can make us negative people, positive thoughts can turn that right around. What thought has done, thought can undo.” Amen, sister. Think, say, and do better for yourself and better things will come. Really, they will. Gabby and Patricia said so.

Patricia invented IntenSati, an aerobic workout NEVER been done before. It’s dance, cardio, yoga, martial arts, intervals, oh and loud and proud affirmations all at the same time. No, you haven’t done something like this before. There is nothing like this workout. IntenSati is a workout for the mind just as much as the body. It’s a cleanse, a detox, an inspiration, an enlightening. There really are no words, just find a class and DO IT, trust me. And, if you come upon a future Spirit Junkie Sati lead by Patricia and Gabby, DO IT. Trust me. And if you stumble upon something that sounds cool that you kinda want to do, but aren’t sure what to expect, something the fearless version of you would do in a heartbeat, DO IT. Trust me.

photo 5One Healthy Breakdown: That’s Patricia’s awesome sweatshirt. Sunny and happy, just like our Spirit Junkie Sati. Oh, and I’m sore. Between Gabby’s 26 frog poses and Patricia’s powerful punches, my body hurts, I’m beyond exhausted, and I’m totally enlightened.photo 4