Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Mental and physical benefits of yoga

Benefits of Yoga

I am often amazed that with most people, including myself, the yoga practice bliss doesn’t reach our faces…a smile might be going on in the body, but we fail to let it express through our most vocal parts of our body – our head and our hearts. When did we stop expressing truth? Even when asked in a yoga class – allow the corners of your mouth to turn up, 1 in 10 will do so (sometimes with an uncomfortable giggle), and when asked to tweak the pose to make it feel delicious, the same ratio of people will let that deliciousness rise to their faces!

Maybe are we taking our yoga asana practice too seriously? Yoga speaks of “chitta vritti nirodha” – stilling the fluctuations of the mind which is serious business, but it never says lose your joy – in fact, yoga is the path to bliss – and we can have this still mind; a still mind doesn’t mean a flatline life. So I invite you to be open enough to let that wellspring of energy move from the earth up to your faces! In spring, this energy is in huge abundance so plug in and play!

In a yoga practise, every time we choose not to do a pose because we don’t have the confidence or believe we aren’t ready or can’t, we set up a sub-conscious (behaviour taught reality) paradigm of lack of confidence in ourselves, of a deep-seated distrust in our bodies, which will persist into your eternity. The easier mindset to work with is the one where you do the pose, despite your internal dialogue, and whether you do it well or just get one toe closer, just taking the steps to doing it is what keeps your mental liberation and faith in the power of yourself! Only we can emancipate ourselves!

I am really excited about a few things we are offering at Indie Yoga coming up.

To view our class schedule – click here

Namaste (all that is joyful in me, bows to and honors all that is pure joy in you!)
Meet you on the mat!
In-joy, Kerry

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Simple ways to get rid of your belly fat

Reduce your belly Fat

According to research, most adults are not happy about their abdominal tone and strive to have a flatter stomach or lose stomach fat altogether. At any time, this number is either increasing or decreasing but never stagnant. Everyone has some belly fat, even those people lucky to have flat abs. Don’t stress, this is normal, but too much fat can affect your health in ways that other fat doesn’t.

Not only is belly fat unflattering, but it is also linked to many healthy issues like bloating, heartburn, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many others. Our bodies start to gain weight in our midsection when our cortisol levels spike. One of the main culprits of this is stress which cause our besides to secrete high levels of cortisol. Cortisol breaks down lean muscle and hold onto fat storage in our abdominal section of our bodies.

If you want to lose your belly fat and reduce the build up of cortisol secretion, you need spend more time each day burning your fat than storing it and over time you will get rid of it forever. The good news is losing belly fat is not as difficult as you would think.

Here are few suggestion and tips I have put together and I urge you to try incorporate a few of these into your daily lives:

  • Eat more protein – You burn more calories from protein as compared to carbs.
  • Read labels on the foods you buy – Avoid any food that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Get off your ass – rather do exercise standing instead of sitting.
  • Increase your high-fibre intake – High fibre can be considered good carbs. They help to bulk up the space in your stomach and makes your feel full.
  • Get rid of large dinner plates – Eat your meals off smaller plates. Even if you fill your plate, you will be eating less.
  • Mix up your exercises – When you exercise try to mix up sets between lower body and upper body.
  • Embrace the yard work and chores – View any type of physical activity as a way to burn fat and condition your body like mowing the lawn or cleaning the floors.
  • Increase your water intake – Try drink at lest 10 cups of water a day. When you feel you need a snack between meals, reach for a bottle of H2O.
  • Snack on low-calorie food – For snacks try eating dill pickles, celery, or baby carrots.
  • Set yourself challenges – Set yourself personal goals and try break your record. Try run or walk farther in the same amount of time.
  • Cut our those carbs – Cutting out carbs from your diet has been proven to help drop those extra pounds.
  • Ask for substitutions at a restaurant – When eating out substitute your side dishes of pasta, potatoes, fries, for vegetables.
  • Try interval and fartlek training – Try mix up your running with periods of fast and slow intervals with changes in direction. The force of changing momentum and direction will boost fat burning.
  • Spoil yourself once a week – Reward yourself with a meal and break your diet at least once a week for all your hard work.
  • Make sure to get enough sleep – Try to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep.
  • Change your salad dressing – Research has shown that acidic foods like vinegar and lemon help to burn body fat and increase carb combustion.
  • Never skip meals – When you skip meals your body goes into a catabolic and breaks down muscle tissue while conserving fat.
  • Don’t be a couch potato – Switch off that TV and spend more time outdoors and on your feet or in the gym.
  • Start doing weight training – For this lazy people out there, you will not believe what a 10 minute workout three times a week can do.
  • Avoid those potatoes – Stop eating any form of potatoes, either mashed or baked, including fresh fries and potato chips.
  • Monitor your portion sizes – Be aware of the portion sizes you eat. You don’t have to eat everything o your plate. You can always take home a doggy bag.
  • Buy a scale – Weigh yourself at least twice a day. Don’t stress about the numbers but at least keep track of the general range of what you weigh.
  • Brush your teeth after each meal – Research in Japan has shown that the fresh minty flavor makes you less likely to snack between meals.
  • Never skip breakfast – We have always heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast helps to regulate our insulin levels and hunger.
  • Enjoy your snack between meals – Snacking between meals will avoid that ravenous feeling and avoid the over eating at luck and dinner.
  • Track your calories – Download a fitness app and track your daily calorie intake. Most apps also monitor the steps you take daily and amount of calories you lose.
  • Try sprint intervals – Try mixing up your exercise with all out sprints with brief periods of rest. This is one of the most effective forms of cardio for fat loss.
  • Shop for one – Avoid buying those large family style bags and packs of food.
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Are you sabotaging your weight loss goals?

Weight Loss tips

Are you eating healthy, exercising, taking your vitamins and supplements but when you stand on the scale, you don’t seem to be losing any weight and reaching your goals you have set for yourself?

You are being diligent and tracking the calories of every meal and snack you take in and monitoring the calories you lose while exercising, but the weight is not coming off. Do not think you are doing something wrong or think there is an issue with your genetics. Probably, it is you who is hindering your weight loss without even knowing it.

Here are few tips and advice on how you can be sabotaging your weight loss goals and how to fix the problem.

Make sure you are not over eating – Don’t get confused between eating healthy foods and achieving your health and fitness goals. Just because you think you are eating healthy does mean you can eat endless amounts of food with consequences. For example, eating fruit is healthy for you, however, eating too much can hinder your wonder your goals. What you need to do is make sure that the calories you take in are less than the calories you are losing. Keep track of the foods you eat and check the portion sizes. There are many apps that can help to track you calories and exercise.

Avoid all the little bites of food – Try to avoid the little bite and tasting of good while you are cooking, walking past the kitchen, making lunch for kids, or the coffee-room at work. Most of the time you don’t know you are doing this and they are not beneficial at all. Remember every bite has calories.

Are you drinking enough water – This might sound like a simple question and minor issue , but it is a very big one. Thirst and hunger re often confused with each other. When your stomach growls you might think it is hunger but, in fact, it is thirst. You know when you have finished that delicious meal and feel like you want a little more. Instead of reaching for a snack or dessert, rather have a glass of water. This will also help with you to digest your food. Water also helps with several bodily processes including nutrient absorption, energy expenditure, and fat loss. Try drink at least 8 cups of water a day and more if you are exercising . Carry a bottle of water around with you and constantly refill.

Is your fitness tracker accurate – Fitness trackers watches are all the rage today and they do work if used correctly. People use the trackers as a lifeline and believe every piece of data. However, technology is not perfect. Even though you can get some very insightful dat from trackers, there is plenty that they cannot tell you. So if you go for run for 30 minute and your tracker tells you have lost 300 calories, don’t think you can go out and eat 300 calories of extra food.

Make sure you are eating enough – Don’t think that if you starve your body you will lose weight. Your body is like a vehicle and needs fuel to function. Skimping on meals only means that your body is not getting the correct nutrients to run efficiently. Starving yourself only tells your body to hold on to the food you do eat. Try eat at least 3 balanced meals a day with a mid-morning and afternoon snack to keep metabolism running high.

Avoid temptations and buying trigger foods – If you know that is you buy a slab of chocolate it will entice you eat, then simply don’t buy it and avoid the temptation. Instead, you should buy and keep healthy foods around you and food that you will eat. Save the treats for special occasions.

Monitor your sleep patterns – Make sure that you are getting enough sleep because the lack of sleep can cause a myriad of problems in your life, from poor work quality all the way to serious health conditions. When it comes to your health, make sure you are getting enough hours of sleep. In most cases when you are feeling tired you will make incorrect food choices, drag through your workouts, and effect your cortisol levels which will result in your belly fat to accumulate. Try sticking to a routine and go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Try get at least 8 hours of sleep.

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Why should you do a Yoga workshop?

Indie Yoga LOGOWhy should you do a Yoga workshop?

Simply, because you will learn something. It may be what was intended, or completely by accident, but you WILL learn. You will learn something physical or philosophical. You will learn something abstract or personal. You will learn and grow.

Our classes and workshops will give you the benefit of the doubt, the benefit of new found freedom in your body, the benefit of tools to work with in your regular practice that will develop exponentially.

You will learn something for your body, your mind, and your Spirit. You will learn as much as you are prepared to PULL from the experience.

Whether you are a beginner, first timer, lifetime practitioner, seasoned or new teacher, or the reincarnation of Shiva himself, there is something for everyone! The idea of a “Masterclass”, is that you get to learn some of the tools that you can then master for yourself and develop into your own practice.

We will have fun, we will learn, we will share.

Indie Yoga Workshop
If you are yoga teacher, or serious yoga practitioner you can really improve your teaching and or practice by coming along. With this type of practice that we can:

– improve flexibility without feeling intense stretch
– improve strength without feeling tense or stressed
– become more relaxed without needing to be completely passive
– improve energy levels without having to breathe more than normal
– promoting circulation without needing to make your heart beat faster
– improve the intelligence of your bodies cells without having to over-think
– satiate your appetite and feel nourished without having to eat
– feel rested and rejuvenated without having had to sleep

To view more information about our classes click here

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Healthy snacks to eat at your work desk

Healthy Snack

Most of us love the occasional snack while sitting at our desks at work. But for those of you whose jobs involve little movement, sugary and salty food always are the quick way out and easiest to snack on.

Most of us will automatically reach for a chocolate, doughnuts, or a bag of chips. In the interest of your health, rather reach for sweet potato stuffed with tuna which has a great balance of protein, nutrients and fat.

Whatever you decide to snack on, try make sure that it is a good healthy meal filled with adequate proteins, fats and fiber. The ideal snack should not exceed 200 calories. Remember that not all snack will contain a combinations of all, but try choose a snack that fits in with the rest of your daily diet.

Most of all, stay clear of those snack that will give you a sugar rush like chocolate, doughnuts, or cookies. All that these types of food do is increase your insulin output and instruct your kidneys to hold onto sodium. These type of food will give a short-term boost but after a few hours you will come crashing down. You are far better off with a well-balanced mini snack and keep your blood sugar level steady and improve your overall health and nutrition.

Here are some good, well-balanced nutritious snacks to eat when that hunger craving hits you:

  • Almonds
  • Baked sweet potato with tuna
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe and pineapple chunks
  • Celery and carrot with hummus
  • Clementines
  • Cucumber with low fat cheese
  • Dried apples
  • Dried mango
  • Edamame bean
  • Granola Bar
  • Greek yogurt
  • Half an avocado
  • Hard-Boiled Egg
  • Hot tea
  • Olives
  • Organic Pretzels
  • Organic string cheese
  • Peanut butter and apple
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Raisins
  • Raw broccoli with hummus
  • Raw sliced peppers with hummus
  • Rice Cake with almond butter
  • Roasted Unsalted Pistachios
  • Tomato slices with buffalo cheese and olive oil
  • Trail mix
  • Wasabi Peas
  • Whole Wheat Dry Cereal
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