MY 5 FAVORITE HEART OPENING YOGA POSES

MY 5 FAVORITE HEART OPENING YOGA POSES

Heart opening yoga poses are one of my favorite ways to challenge myself…to let shit go…to open myself physically, mentally, and emotionally to the pose, but also to whatever life is currently throwing at me. These experiences are another one of the MANY reasons why I love to practice. This practice is not just about being present on the mat, but also present in LIFE.

 

Have you noticed how heart opening poses are hard? How they change the way we breathe? How they force us out of our comfort zone? How they even make us agitated and discouraged? Raise your hand if you have experienced these frustrating moments…ME!

 

*My “oh crap I hate this pose” moment: When I raise myself up into wheel and I let out a grunt, the practice is kicking my butt and so is life. It feels like there is a elephant on my chest and everything feels heavy and the move well just flat out sucks. The first thing that comes to mind when I get up into wheel is I immediately want to come down. I want to thrown in the towel and just be done.

 

But have you also noticed, that when you allow yourself to LET GO…to breathe…to open yourself to the unknown…to be a little fearless…to take a chance…the heart opening pose allows you to fully OPEN and it all feels effortless.

 

*My “YES!!! FREAKING GO FOR IT pose” moment: Landing in Half Moon pose and feeling grounded, strong, open, and happy is yoga bliss. When I feel these things and all that other mooshy gooshy stuff, this pose is effortless and yes, just makes me SMILE.

 

Yes, these heart opening poses also require practice, strength, and balance, but they also offer much more than that and I hope you will be able to feel mental and emotional benefits someday soon.

 

In the meantime, here are my 5 favorite heart opening poses. Each one presents its own challenge to me in my practice. What I truly love about these poses is that there is ALWAYS room to grow in both the physical practice, but yes also the mental and emotional.

 

So let it go…Open your heart…Open your mind…Breathe…

 

CAMEL POSE

(click pose headings for step-by-step instructions)

WHEEL

WILD THING

UPWARD FACING DOG

HIGH LUNGE – CRESCENT VARIATION

What is your favorite heart opening yoga pose?

Do your heart opening yoga poses challenge you?


My name is Katie Uhran. I’m a fitness and lifestyle influencer who lives in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. I am passionate about running, yoga, writing, food, and inspiring others to live their happiest life inside and out. I share workouts, simple recipes, self-care tips, and a glimpse into my own personal journey. It’s real…It can get messy…and there will definitely be some ups and downs. But this is ME. This is my life and the beautiful mess that it is and I want you to join me. To live, learn, love, and ENJOY life to the fullest. 

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THE BRAVERY OF SETTING BOUNDARIES

THE BRAVERY OF SETTING BOUNDARIES

This is the fourth and final installment of the 2019 Mindful Communication Series. The Bravery of Setting Boundaries!  I know that I have challenged you all with some pretty tough topics in this series. I’ve asked you to dig deep and find the strength to apologize and to forgive when necessary.

How are you doing with finding the Power of Apology? Were you able to think of anyone to whom you need to apologize? If so, did you find it it in yourself to make sincere amends?

What about the other side of the coin? Forgiveness ? Did anyone come to mind towards whom you are harboring resentment? Were you able to find the Freedom in Forgiveness you can have through letting go of that resentment and forgiving them?

If you experienced either the Power of Apology and/ or the Freedom in Forgiveness I hope that you will share it with us in the comments! It will help encourage others to do the same.

If you did not, but are trying to, it’s okay. Both apology and forgiveness are processes. Keep trying. Keep digging deep and keep meditating on it. Reach out in the comments or the Empowered Through Peace Facebook group for the support and encouragement of others!

At the end of the Freedom in Forgiveness blog I cautioned that it is very important that forgiveness and boundaries go hand-in-hand. In this blog I am going to dive deeper into that topic.

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THE FREEDOM IN FORGIVENESS

THE FREEDOM IN FORGIVENESS

About a decade ago, when my marriage was on the rocks, a kind woman said to me, “I know it’s hard, but if you find forgiveness in your heart you will feel much better.” My immediate response was, “I’m not going to forgive him! He hasn’t said that he’s sorry!”

Spoiler Allert: We’re still married and going strong!

You see, the woman was correct. Finding forgiveness allowed me to be released from the stifling emotions of resentment and anger. Finding forgiveness helped me to realize that I can’t force my husband into saying or doing anything – particularly not apologizing. What I found is that when I gave up my anger, my resentment and my need to control his emotions and communication I allowed healing for both of us to begin.

And yes, we both ended-up apologizing. More importantly, we still do when necessary! 

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Join Me On A Journey to Being Empowered Through Peace

Join Me On A Journey to Being Empowered Through Peace

 

I want to encourage and inspire people to go deeper with their inner peace AND deeper with their inner strength!

 

Happy New Year!

2019 is going to be an AMAZING year! I am making BIG changes here at Peaceful Living Wellness!

And with these changes I am inviting you to JOIN ME on a journey to not only go deeper in finding peace and balance in your life, but also to build INNER STRENTH and CONFIDENCE on that foundation of peace!

Okay, okay, I know… lot’s of CAPS above 🙂 And honestly, I’m not trying to be annoying – LOL. It’s just that I am so excited about what’s going on here at PLW and how my team and I are going to be bringing you more peace, more joy, more balance, more inner strength and more overall EMPOWERMENT!

  (more…)

5 REASONS TO CELEBRATE EVERY DAY

5 REASONS TO CELEBRATE EVERY DAY


“Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you!

~ Amy Lee Mercree

Besides your birthday or anniversary, when was the last time you celebrated yourself? And then, even on your birthday, did you really celebrate yourself? Or did you underplay it and tell everyone, “thank you, but it’s not a big deal?”

I want you to close your eyes and go back to a time in your life, perhaps your childhood, where you were really excited about your birthday or another special occasion that was centered on you!

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Three Simple Steps to Eating Healthier During the Holidays

Three Simple Steps to Eating Healthier During the Holidays

The holidays are a great time for relaxing with family & friends and attending parties, tree decorating, and annual outings.

All of these activities typically include lots of food and drink that we don’t normally consume, which can wreak havoc on our body! 

How to Reduce Sugar

Sugar is the number one offender! But staying away from sweets at this time of year isn’t easy. We usually consume more sugar than normal, which means our bodies become more acidic than usual.

Did you know that studies show sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine? That means the more we eat, the more we want.

I could make simple recommendations like, “just say no” or “track your weight,” but I actually don’t believe in that type of guidance at the holidays or in everyday life.

When I was addicted to sugar, walking away from cookies and cake was near impossible! Over the years, I’ve found that to reduce the sugar cravings and make the holidays easier to navigate, there’s one thing we can all do: Bulk up on the healthier options at the beginning of the day so the body doesn’t crave the “bad” stuff nearly as much.

This strategy is called “crowding out.” It’s a term I learned when I trained for my health coaching certification. It means that instead of focusing on what you “can’t have,” focus on adding more nutritious foods—which will naturally “crowd out” the non-nutritious options.

Tweetable Waive off cravings for non-nutritious options by bulking up on healthy options early in the day. @staceycrew #healthyholidays

Planning Ahead

Whichever type of party or holiday activity you attend, be sure to plan ahead in terms of what you eat, especially on the day of the party.

Begin by cutting back or eliminating the carbonated drinks and drink more water .

Tweetable Pre-game for holiday parties by eating healthy and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. @staceycrew #healthyholidays

Pre-gaming with healthier options allows you to indulge guilt-free once you’re at the party.  Pre-gaming will also help you avoid the holiday food hangover and actually reduce temptations to overindulge.

Alcohol contains a lot of sugar. So drinking a cocktail is often-times the equivalent to eating a donut. Have one cocktail, glass of wine, or beer followed by a water to rehydrate.

Party Day Strategy

Here are your three strategies for allowing yourself to enjoy the holiday season:

  1. Pre-game with healthy options — On party day, skip the breakfast donuts, eat something hearty like a hard-boiled egg and some oatmeal instead. For lunch, eat a clean salad (add some meat or beans for protein) with an olive oil-based dressing (bottled ones contain a lot of sugar – read the label) and some healthy snacks in between. Go-to healthy snacks include an apple, carrots and hummus, and strawberries. If you’ll be heading to a party directly after work or in the early evening, consider stopping for a juice or a made-from-scratch-smoothie.
  2. Cut-back on carbonated drinks especially diet ones (yes!), are loaded with chemicals that create inflammation in the body and wreak havoc on our digestive tract. One 12-ounce can of diet coke contains 39 grams of sugar. The daily recommended maximum of added sugars per day for women is 25 grams and for men it’s 37.5 grams. So, one 12-ounce can (and most people are drinking 16-oz or 32-oz drinks) of diet coke and you’re already blown your daily sugar intake. Carbonated drinks are one of the main reasons people have trouble losing weight and can’t get rid of the spare tire.
  3. Increase your water intake Again, this is a go-to health booster. Most people are walking around dehydrated and don’t even know it. Better yet, start a warm lemon water routine each morning to lubricate your body’s internal systems. You’ll be amazed at the results by incorporating this one change into your morning routine.

So, choose one of the above and you’ll be way ahead of the game. Now go and enjoy the holiday season!

To get a jumpstart on the New Year, download my FREE 3-Day Jumpstart to eliminate sugar, gain more energy, and eat clean.

 

Stacey Crew is “The Kitchen Health Coach” based in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a Certified Wellness Coach & published Author, and owner of Stacey Crew Wellness. She helps individuals achieve their health goals through a 4-prong approach of understanding the individual’s wellness needs, educating on specific topics, empowering the individual to make informed decisions, and providing accountability—all in a supportive environment. Stacey is an Amazon best-selling author of The Organized Mom: Simplify Life for You & Baby One Step at a Time and author of the soon-to-be-released Nourish You! Transform You & Your Kitchen for Healthier Eating.

Connect with Stacey @staceycrew on Facebook and Twitter and @staceycrewwellness on Instagram.