“Won’t you come celebrate with me, that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed…” ~ Lucille Clifton
So this weekend I had the privilege of attending a beautiful yoga mini-retreat event entitled Starshine & Clay: A place for Women of Color to be led by one of my favorite yoga teachers and mentor Octavia Raheem at her Atlanta-based studio Sacred Chill West... It’s hard to believe that I’ve been sitting under the teachings of my beautiful yoga soulsister since 2013, from studio classes to yoga festivals, and each time its always an amazingly soulful and radiant experience…
With all that has transpired good and bad, positive and negative over the course of my 2017, this was a much needed pre-holiday season detox and refresher experience in preparation for the newness of 2018. I experienced an amazing yin yoga and meditation practice with yoga nidra, and set my intentions for the holiday season as well as my plans for the upcoming year. I met so many amazing women and enjoyed a delicious fellowship dinner with them after the yoga practice compliments of catering from Atlanta-based vegan chef Jamila Crawford Pecou of EarthCandyArts.
The pictures below are of the many delicious, vegan culinary creations listed in the menu above…
After a very nourishing night of a mindfully healing practice and delicious soul nourishing vegan cuisine, I can truly say that I am on my way to creating space in my heart and mind for the positive changes and exciting adventures that this holiday season and the start of 2018 have in store for me….
Its time to relax…release…and let go of 2017 and anything negative that may have happened this year, and to begin speaking intentionally to ourselves and others as humans and as women.
So until next time, continue to speak your truth, creating the kind of life that’s nourishing to your life as well as the lives of others, remembering this one truth, each day telling yourself …that “I AM love”…and that “LOVE is art” and a work of ART is surely what we are, “somewhere on the bridge between Starshine & Clay” (Lucille Clifton).
So until next time, just Breathe ….relax…release…and let go!
~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~ and this is CANDICE MARIA’S FIT LIFE ~
Kind of self- explanatory. You know the old adage, if you “don’t use it, you lose it”? Well daily mindful movement is no exception. The same as skipping out on strength and resistance training causes loss of muscle mass, strength, and a slower metabolism. Not moving at all, or living a sedentary lifestyle causes even more drastic health problems over time. In the book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Simple Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death — and Exercise Alone Won’t, Dr. Joan Vernikos, a former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, presents a comprehensive scientific explanation for why Americans are so unhealthy. Numerous medical studies have proven that sitting too much shortens lifespan, even in people who exercise regularly, but what’s the reason? Dr. Vernikos explains in the following video:
So even if you are not a “gym” person, mindful movement everyday, whether its taking frequent mobility breaks at work, especially if you have a desk job like yours truly (insert side eye #thestruggleisreal); stretching or doing yoga frequently throughout the day, or whatever small movements you can do outside of walking to and from your car at the start and end of your workday, or going to the gym before and/or after work, is beneficial to your general health and well-being.
So during your mindful mobility yoga practice today, think about creative ways to add more movement into your daily routine!
Again, if you are keeping a journal during this journey, you may also want to jot these ideas down for future reference.
Mindful Mobility WOD
Today as you did yesterday, you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and at least 1 Round (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after or even during your other resistance training or athletic activities today.
Meatless Meal of the Day (MOD)
Today’s featured Meatless MOD is Candied Walnut Quinoa from the Trifecta Nutrition System organic meal delivery Vegan/Vegetarian meal plan
Extra virgin olive oil*
Grade B maple syrup*
Nutrition Facts (The Macros):
Serving Size: ~ 160 grams
This concludes Day 5 of 31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October Challenge…see you on Day 6.
Take the keys and drive into your future, don’t sit back and wait for others to give you permission
Today’s mindful minute reflective thought relates to taking charge of what happens to you in life and the choices you make for yourself. Getting and staying fit is a lifelong journey and a choice or decision you have to make, you don’t need anyone else’s permission to do it. So hop into the driver’s seat of your life and make the necessary choices today that will allow you to lead a happy and healthy life tomorrow.
During your mindful mobility yoga practice today, consider the unhealthy habits that you need to change in your life, and make a mental note of how you can change each one. Don’t expect to change everything at once, but choose one task at a time and address it one day at a time and before long you will be well on your way to making healthy lifestyle choices that will carry you into the years to come.
Again, if you are keeping a journal during this journey, the outcomes of this exercise may be something you also want to jot down for future reference.
Mindful Mobility WOD
Today as you did yesterday, you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and at least 1 Round (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after your other resistance training or athletic activities today.
Meatless Meal of the Day (MOD)
Today’s featured Meatless MOD is one of my personal Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl Mash-ups (ie.throw it all in a bowl and “mash” it up)
20g rolled oats
3 to 4 ounces Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk or filtered water (personal preference)
Half scoop (20g) Garden of Life Raw Fit plant-based protein powder
As simple as it seems, today’s mindful minute reflective thought is to “Pray every day!” No matter your spiritual or religious beliefs, at the end of the day, in some form there is some type of prayer. Prayer in its most basic definition is “an earnest hope or wish,” and in most spiritual belief and value systems this earnest hope or wish is made as “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” So in your mindful mobility time, as you work through your yoga practice, take time to reflect on that earnest hope or wish, or make that solemn request for help or expression of thanks or gratitude that most commonly burdens your heart and release it through your mindful mobility practice and daily thoughts. Also, it would be a good idea to journal or write down the outcomes of your daily Mindful Minute practice time.
Mindful Mobility WOD
Today you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and 1 Round of Sun Salutation A as prehab before or after your other resistance training or athletic activities each day.
Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar, are traditionally performed in the morning to greet the new day, however you can practice at anytime that’s convenient for your workout schedule each day. The sequence of 8 postures can be a complete practice in itself, or can prepare you for a longer asana (yoga posture) or fitness routine. Sun Salutes are often performed in sets of 5, but if you are new to the practice it’s wise to begin with 1, 2,or 3 sets or rounds until you get better acquainted with the practice. Each time you flow through this sequence, synchronize your breath (inhale – upward movements, exhale -downward movements) with the movements of your body. The following link from Yoga Journal provides step by step how to perform each pose of Sun Salutation
Welcome to the October Challenge: #31DaysofMindfulness and #MeatlessOctober! This challenge is a collaborative project to promote the implementation of mindful self-care practices and health conscious nutritional choices.
So what exactly is Mindfulness you ask? In its simplest definition it is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”
During this challenge you will be challenged to become more aware or conscious of three things: 1) your daily mood and state of mind, 2) how you treat your body physically, and 3) what you feed your body nutritionally.
Beginning with the ‘Mindful Minute’. This “Mental WOD” is designed to be a self-reflective moment in the course of your day to promote positive self-talk, daily inspiration, and inner peace in the chaos of your day to day life. Each daily reflective thought is very personal in nature as they come straight from the heart of yours truly. So get your heart strings ready for a reflective journey into the source of your daily moods, attitudes, and thoughts towards yourself and the world around you. Challenge yourself to incorporate these reflective thoughts into your daily mindful mobility yoga practice to help you focus your intentions for the workout and the journey ahead.
Mindful Mobility WOD
The next component of the challenge day involves mindful movement with the mindful mobility WOD. In this part of the challenge, we will embark on a daily flexibility and mobility journey to promote daily physical self-care using a basic yoga sequence to help you cultivate a routine flexibility conditioning practice.
Why yoga? There are numerous health benefits to a regular yoga practice outside of general flexibility and improved mobility. The following link from Yoga Journal outlines a long list of about 38 Health Benefits of a regular yoga practice.
Prehab vs Rehab. Practicing prehabilitation helps to prevent the need for rehabilitation from injuries caused by not being mindful of your body’s imbalances. Prehab, as defined by National Institute of Health, is used by doctors to prepare a patient for the inactivity associated with post surgical procedures. However, prehabilitation (prehab) goes much further than that and into everyday life. Many physical therapists and athletic trainers use prehab as part of a daily program to help prevent nagging injuries in clients that are caused by physical imbalances as well as the larger ones that can be caused by athletic injuries and require surgery.
Cultivating a consistent personal prehab self-care routine can help to prevent injuries by allowing you to discover and focus on correcting your body’s imbalances. In general a good prehab program consists of warming-up, stretching to full range of motion such as in a regular yoga practice, a cardiovascular component like walking or swimming, and a resistance training component mixed with functional movements that relate to everyday life. All in all regular yoga and flexibility/mobility practices are an important key component to any personal prehab program.
Meatless Meal of the Day (MOD)
Why Meatless you may also ask? Studies have shown that a plant-based diet has many benefits to an individual’s overall well-being and the only two commonly associated risks with a plant-based diet are inadequate protein intake, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, both of which can be remedied with proper protein, vitamin, and mineral supplementation, such as through products from Garden of Life brand, which provide organic, raw, certified vegan and gluten free protein, vitamin, and mineral supplements. So don’t let the ‘risk’ of missing protein and nutrients scare you from this journey.
Each day will feature a Meatless Meal of the Day (MOD) idea to try at home if you like getting creative in the kitchen. I personally due to my hectic work-life schedule order my meatless meals from a meal delivery service called Trifecta Nutrition , just choose the Vegan or Vegetarian meal plan depending on how meatless you are ready to be.
As you know there are differences between Vegan and Vegetarian, as well as differing forms of Vegetarianism. Veganism omits everything from animals, the meat of animals and their products (eggs, milk, cheese, etc.) True vegetarianism is similar to veganism, however, there are variations and exceptions that some use for individual reasons and preferences, such as ovo-vegetarianism which allows for the consumption of eggs, lacto-vegetarianism, which allows for the consumption of milk and dairy products, and pescatarianism which allows for the consumption of fish and seafood.
So whatever route you choose to take in this Meatless October journey, choose what works best for your personal health goals and overall well-being. The goal here is to make health conscious and physically nourishing decisions about the foods you choose to consume on a daily basis.
So welcome to #31DaysofMindfulness and #MeatlessOctober I look forward to enjoying this nourishing journey with all of you!
See you all for Day 1….until then ~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~