Loving, Trusting, and Letting Go

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Lessons in Loving Yourself – A Guest Post from Dr. Debra Reble

Trusting yourself and letting go are two of the most important spiritual principles you can practice on the path to loving yourself. Trusting yourselves helps you release whatever emotional blocks keep you disconnected from your true being—such as fear, insecurity, and shame. Letting go allows you to peel away the hard shell of your ego so you can experience the divine essence that lies beneath. These principles are synergistic: the more you let go, the more you learn to trust yourself; and the more you trust yourself, the more you can let go.

Too often we brace ourselves for change instead of letting go and embracing change as an opportunity to love ourselves and spiritually grow. We fear that by letting go we will fall down the rabbit hole, lose everything, most of all ourselves. If we have defined ourselves by our job, roles, or relationships, we may feel untethered, unhinged, and question who we are and what we really want. We can kick and scream our way through these intense periods of self-discovery and healing. Better yet, we can love, trust, and let go, allowing these “Oh My God” moments to shift to “What’s next?” moments.

Trusting yourself requires more than taking deep breaths and saying positive mantras; it takes a conscious connection to our divine source. It’s like having an invisible safety net while walking on a high wire. Even though you may feel like you are operating without backup, your connection to a divine source is in fact your safety net. When you trust this connection, you realize that you are not alone because your divine source is always with you.

Don’t think that by staying on the sidelines, strapped inside your fluorescent orange life jacket, you are safe, and won’t have to jump into the water. No, the universe doesn’t let you off the hook that easy. What you actually must do is take that leap of trust into the unknown and live the life you have always imagined.

Trusting yourself begins with one small step in the direction of your dreams. It grows by taking a leap of faith whether it’s starting a new job or relationship, taking a challenging class, or traveling somewhere you’ve never been before. Above all, making conscious choices that help you feel safe, value your time and energies, and are self-honoring deepen your sense of trust and self-love.

Here are a few ways to Love, Trust, and Let Go:

  • Spend time alone in quiet reflection, whether meditating at your desk, sitting in a garden, looking out a window, or writing in a journal. Begin with five minutes at the beginning and end of each day, then gradually increase the time to allow your vulnerabilities to surface.
  • If you’ve been putting off creating a vision board or “Leap List”, there’s no time like the    present. Take some time and reflect on the areas that you need to let go into love and trust. Where do you want to take those leaps of trust in your relationships, career, health, or finances? What small steps can you make toward each new intention? Take one step.
  • Throughout the day, acknowledge yourself as a strong, loving, and confident person, connected to your divine source. Use the following mantras: I trust that everything always works out for my highest good. I am strong enough to handle any challenge that comes my way. I choose to embrace my vulnerabilities with all my heart.
  • Use “Bless and Release” as a daily mantra in your life. When any person or situation triggers negative emotions, bless them or the event for bringing this unhealed part of yourself into your conscious awareness. Release whatever has been unearthed for you so it doesn’t become a stuck place or energy block.
  • Notice when you feel unsettled, restless, or irritable. These are emotional cues for you that something is just below the surface of your conscious awareness and needs to be released. Sit, lie, or walk with any vulnerability or pain until it releases.
  • While sitting or walking, use your breath to assist you in letting go. Breathe in and look within with love of yourself, breathe out and look out to the world with love of others. Do this until our breath is rhythmic, and you feel calm and centered.

At this time of unprecedented global and personal transformation, you must love yourself and let go of more in your life than ever before. Trust that in letting go of one reality, you are opening the space to many new realities. This is the exquisite space of co-creation and positive no matter what it looks like at the time.

About Dr. Debra Reble

Dr. Debra Reble is the author of Being Love: How Loving Yourself Creates Ripples of Transformation in Your Relationships and the World now available. For a limited time, you’ll receive over 50 transformational gifts when you purchase a copy of Being Love. www.BeingLoveBook.com

Consciously merging her practical tools as a psychologist with her intuitive and spiritual gifts, Dr. Debra L. Reble empowers women to connect with their hearts and live authentically through her transformational Soul-Hearted LivingTM program. Debra is the author of Soul-Hearted Partnership: The Ultimate Experience of Love, Passion, and Intimacy, which garnered four book awards including the Eric Hoffer award. A frequent guest contributor to Aspire Magazine and other high-profile blogs, her words of wisdom are embraced by readers around the world. Her popular inspirational podcast, Soul-Hearted Living, airs on iTunes and other platforms and is dedicated to reconnecting women with their hearts.


Fun Facts About Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea – Buddha’s Herbs

I recently did a video for the lovely folks at Buddha’s Herbs on the benefits of Chamomile Tea, which I drink often.

They posted a comprehensive review of chamomile, along with all of its benefits and a few contraindications on their blog, This is why Chamomile Tea belongs in EVERY home!

The name “Chamomile” comes from the Greek word ‘Matricaria chamomilla‘ meaning ground apple. It’s the common name for several daisy-like plants that are commonly used to make herb infusions to serve various medicinal purposes. Popular uses of chamomile preparations include treating hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasm, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorder, and hemorrhoids.

Why do I love Buddha’s Herbs teas so much?

Their Organic Teas are made exclusively from homogeneous herbs cultivated, picked and processed under the strictest requirements for organic produce. These products meet the requirements of EU Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 and the Rules for Organic Farming. Plus, Buddha’s Herbs take great care to ensure that the tea packaging is also ecologically friendly; therefore no glue or metal elements are used while packing their Organic teas into filter bags.

Use code LYN20%OFF for 20% your Chamomile Tea order at Buddha’s Herbs.

 

Breathing

Breathing

Breathing in Pilates and everywhere else is crucial on many levels. Proper breathing helps everything!

Breathing comes up a lot in the Pilates studio. In fact, one of the first exercises we teach new clients is the Hundred, which involves a whole lot of breathing in flexion.

Yesterday I taught a workshop on Teaching Clients with Hernia and Diastasis Recti to a group of wonderfully talented and bright Pilates teachers (thank you Enja, Juan, Andy, Charlotte, Margaret, and Tricia!). When you are dealing with overstretched or torn abdominal muscles, the interplay of breathing, thorax pressure, and intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) becomes very important.

Here is the science behind how we approach breathing in Pilates, and why we inhale to start many Pilates exercises.

(featured image from Siyavula Education on Flickr)

Basic Breathing Mechanics

Breathing is necessary to bring fresh oxygen into our bloodstreams via the lungs. Our lungs are very lightweight, flexible, and porous, like a sponge. My dog loves to eat dried beef lung as a treat, and it is spongy in texture.

Air moves from high pressure to low pressure. The thorax is set up as a pressurized container. The lungs sit inside the ribs, which are jointed to move and have flexible intercostal muscles in between that allow for expansion and contraction. At the bottom of the thorax is the diaphragm muscle, which also helps regulate the pressure of the thorax by allowing for expansion of volume.

When you inhale, the diaphragm and intercostals contract and expand the thorax. This expansion of volume lowers the pressure in the chest cavity below the outside air pressure, allowing air to flow in through the airways (from high pressure to low pressure) and inflates the lungs.

When you exhale, the diaphragm and intercostals relax, the thorax gets smaller, and the decrease in volume of the cavity increases the pressure in the chest cavity above the outside air pressure. Air from the lungs (high pressure) then flows out of the airways to the outside air (low pressure).

Does Breathing Effect Abdominal Pressure?

Now, below the diaphragm is your abdominal cavity, which houses a majority of our crucial internal organs. The sides of the abdominal container are made up of several layers of abdominal muscles, starting at the deepest layer with the transverse abdominus that wraps from your lumbar spine all the way to the front, continuing with the internal and external obliques that wrap around, and finishing with the six-pack, the rectus abdominus that attaches your breastbone to your pubic bones. All of these muscles meet at the linea alba, the line down the center of your abdomen. The bottom of this abdominal container is the pelvic floor, made up of several muscles that work, in part, to hold up our internal organs, control our sphincters, and keep us continent.

In a basic view of breathing, it would seem obvious that inhaling, while lowering thorax pressure, would increase intra-abdominal pressure as the diaphragm drops down. This would totally be the case if we weren’t able to use our muscles, expanding our abdominal cavities and lowering our pelvic floors at the same time. It turns out that in normal, resting, supine breathing there is actually very little increase in IAP with inhalation. In fact, the increase in IAP comes during maximum voluntary breathing (like breathing in exercise, or any conscious breath work) at the moment that we start to exhale. Makes sense, right? That is the point where we need to use pressure to push out the air.

Maximum voluntary breathing was associated with marked changes in intra-gastric pressure which rose abruptly at the beginning of expiration and fell abruptly at the beginning of inspiration.

[Campbell, E. J. M., Green, J. H., (1953), The variations in intra-abdominal pressure and the activity of the abdominal muscles during breathing; a study in man. The Journal of Physiology, 122 doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1953.sp004999.]

What About those Hundreds?

Position also has an effect on IAP. Flexion increases IAP by impeding the ability of the abdominal wall to lengthen, overhead pressing increases IAP, moving limbs increases IAP, and lifting heavy objects increases IAP.

Looking at flexion, much of the basic and beginner healthy-body Pilates exercises involve flexion (hundred, half roll or roll up, rolling like a ball, spine stretch, etc.) and pulling navel to spine. So we place a healthy body into a position of increased IAP and then ask that body to navigate breathing and moving of limbs. In a healthy body this is useful work.

In a body that has weakness in the abdominal wall, asking for deep respiration while in flexion and moving limbs is almost impossible and frustrating for the clients, since they cannot properly expand and contract the area to build up pressure for the exhale – that is when you see the doming or popping up of the internal organs.

What exercises are safe and useful? Exercises that focus on deep breathing and stability.

Breathing in Pilates

Many exercises in Pilates start with an inhale or use an inhale to prepare – we inhale to press out for footwork or down for pumping, we inhale out on short box, inhale to start our backstroke, stomach massage, our neck pull….

This should make more sense now, since the moment of the most intense work and pressure in the abdominal cavity is at the beginning of the exhale. Joe Pilates has us inhaling until we are the point where we need maximum effort to get back, and that is where we utilize that pressure of the exhale! Brilliant!

Vintage pre-Pilates

The other imbalances in the body that will effect breathing are postural. Diane Lee has a fabulous article on this called, Butt-grippers, back-grippers and chest grippers – are you one?

What all of of these folks have in common is improper breathing caused by tension patterns. For them, restoring proper function starts small and deep. The hundred will not be helpful at the beginning!

What will be helpful are some pre-Pilates fundamentals, which Joseph Pilates taught to his most injured and damaged clients. I am teaching a workshop of the most useful ones next month, Saturday May 21, 2016 1-4pm, at Real Pilates Soho. Come join me for three hours of fun and learning. I promise that you will feel better for it, and your clients will love them!

Register for Vintage Pre-Pilates – Classical Fundamentals

While not all clients require pre-Pilates exercises, some definitely do. Somehow almost every “stretch” out there is currently being touted as a “pre-Pilates” exercise. I will teach vintage, classical fundamentals (including the TV – and I do mean Television and not the muscle – exercises) that will help your least-able clients understand better how to breathe and move in the actual beginning Pilates exercises. These also are safe exercises to give as homework!
*You must be a comprehensively trained instructor to register for this workshop.
 Cost: $150 without PMA CECs / $180 with 3 PMA CECs

Dosha Bars, GoMacro Bars, & A Pluggz Flash Sale

Dosha Bars

Dosha Bars, GoMacro Bars, & A Pluggz Flash Sale

Today I am spending my afternoon at Real Pilates new Soho studio, doing one of my favorite things – teaching other Pilates teachers about helping client with Hernia & Diastasis Recti. Awesomeness!

It is finally warm in NYC, so I will most likely wear my Pluggz fold ups, which are comfortable to teach in. And for a quick snack I will have some bars – Dosha Bars and GoMacro Bars are what I have in the house right now.

Dosha Bars

Dosha Bars

The lovely folks at Dosha Bar sent me a free sample pack to review. Dosha Bars are

100% Organic, Unsweetened Fruit & Seed Bar.  150 Calories per bar.  NO added flavoring, preservatives, fruit powders, lab-made protein powders, or fiber supplements.

The bars are basically a seed and grain blend with fruit. Note that while they say Unsweetened, each bar contains some kind of sweetener in a small amount (honey or brown rice syrup), plus lots of fruit sugars. If you are on a no sugar diet, I would avoid these.

That said, these are not bad. There are three flavors of Apple (Kapha), Cherry (Vata), and Blueberry (Pitta), of which I liked the Blueberry the best. The bars are a bit seedy for me, with lots of smaller seeds like sesame and chia. As someone who had a tooth pulled a few months ago and is awaiting an implant, small seeds are a huge pain.

As to the balancing effects of the bars, I didn’t notice a difference after just one.

Verdict? Committed yogis will love the concept, and if you don’t mind small seeds, this is a winner.

GoMacro Bars

GoMacro Bar

When GoMacro Bars contacted me regarding their new Ellie Goulding bar, I couldn’t say no. I have been hearing about how great these bars tasted, with lots of protein packed into a not-too-sweet, totally decadent, yummy bar. all GoMacro products: 100% plant-based, non-GMO, organic, Kosher and free of gluten, soy and dairy. I received one Ellie’s Bar, which contains Coconut, Almond Butter, and Chocolate Chips, and one Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.

These are some of the best protein bars I have ever tasted, and hubby agreed. The texture is great – smooth and not too grainy, and the flavor is spot on. Filling and totally great! Ellie Goulding started working with GoMacro because she is such a fan of the bars that it made sense.

When you purchase Ellie’s MacroBar, note that a portion of the proceeds go to support the homeless (Streets of London & Stand up for Kids). Plus there is a sweepstakes that you can enter (note the Golden Ticket in the image), where one lucky winner from the US and one from Canada will get to work out with Ellie and see her in concert!

“MacroBars have been my go-to snack after a workout and when I’m on tour. For the new bar, I wanted something that was sweet and a good-source of plant-based protein,” commented Goulding. “I am honored to help create a new product with a company that shares my values of healthy living and giving back.”

Verdict? Two big thumbs up on the GoMacro Bars! So yummy and can be a life saver for a busy Pilates teacher.

Pluggz Fold-Ups Flash Sale

Pluggz Fold Ups

I love my Pluggz Fold-ups! These travel-friendly grounding ballet flats are vegan, water-resistant, flexible, cute, comfortable, and come in their own little travel pouch. I have them in several colors, including matte black, glossy red, and teal! They are great shoes for the Pilates studio.

In addition to style and comfort, all Pluggz shoes have a black carbon plug in the sole that keeps your energy connected to the earth as if you were barefoot. Seriously, you will feel more grounded and energized in these shoes!

For today through midnight (4/23/16), all Pluggz fold-ups are $50 (reg. $89) when you use code EARTH at checkout. Hurry!

April Announcements

2016-04-18 00.10.35

April Announcements – Pilates for Back Pain eCourse 50% off Flash Sale & More!

April Announcements – April is the new March! When I was a little girl I learned that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but now it seems like that happens in April instead. I just wish I could get that phrase out of my head!

Pilates for Back Pain eCourse 50% off Flash Sale

So many of you (and your clients) suffer from back pain. I decided to put everything I know on the subject into this comprehensive Pilates eCourse – how to properly modify, do, and teach the entire Classical Pilates mat from pre-Pilates Fundamentals through the Advanced Mat in a spine-safe way. Complete Manual, Videos, and Audios for Five complete Pilates mat workouts plus extras!

For today only (Monday 4/18/16), buy this course for only $23.50 (50% off)

Add to Cart

 

Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop for Teachers

Saturday, April 23, 2016, 1-4pm at Real Pilates Soho, 333 Hudson Street, New York, NY

Training clients with hernia and diastasis recti requires a small shift in thinking and approach for many Pilates teachers. It is crucial at the beginning that these clients avoid increases in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), yet almost all beginning Pilates exercises involve working with just that. Luckily, it is easy to modify exercises and cue your clients to work in a way that helps.

In this workshop, I will share the successful modifications and techniques that have made me lower Manhattan’s most sought out classical Pilates specialist for people with diastasis recti and hernia. This 3 hour workshop includes anatomy, lecture, and practice on mat and apparatus.

You will leave with many, many tools to help your clients literally pull themselves together!

*You must be a Comprehensively trained Pilates instructor to register for this workshop.

Cost: $150 without PMA CECs / $180 with 3 PMA CECs

Register for Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop – April 23, 2016

Meet Juniper!

Back in January our wonderful old Smiley crossed over the rainbow bridge. Last weekend we went to Adoptapalooza in Union Square and this little nugget of love jumped into our arms and our hearts.

Juniper is a Thai Ridgeback mix who was rescued in Thailand from the illegal dog meat trade. We adopted her via Posh Pets in Westhampton. She is 4 years old and 28# – perfect NYC apartment size!

juni

Enjoy Spring and See You in the Studio!

Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop

Grays_Anatomy_image392

Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop for Teachers – April 23, 2016 1-4pm at Real Pilates Soho

Training clients with hernia and diastasis recti requires a small shift in thinking and approach for many Pilates teachers. It is crucial at the beginning that these clients avoid increases in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), yet almost all beginning Pilates exercises involve working with just that.
I am really excited about this one! It is my first workshop offering PMA CECs, and is subject matter that I love.

Register for Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop – April 23, 2016

What is a Hernia?

According to the NIH,

A hernia is a sac formed by the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). The sac comes through a hole or weak area in the strong layer of the belly wall that surrounds the muscle. This layer is called the fascia.

Basically, a hernia is an area where the intestines start to protrude through a weak area in the abdominal wall. Hernias are named for location (inguinal – groin, umbilical – belly button, hiatal – upper abdomen, femoral – upper thigh).

Hernias are caused by straining while abdominal pressure is increased – it can happen on the toilet, opening a window, or even lifting weights and/or doing abdominal exercises incorrectly.

What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti as defined by the NIH:

Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area.

Most diastasis recti is seen in pregnant women, where the muscle separates as the woman’s belly expands, but I have also seen it in men, and is also present in some infants.

Pilates Can Help IF It Is Taught Correctly

Luckily, it is easy to modify exercises and cue your clients to work in a way that helps.
In this workshop, I will share the successful modifications and techniques that have made me lower Manhattan’s most sought out classical Pilates specialist for people with diastasis recti and hernia. This 3 hour workshop includes anatomy, lecture, and practice on mat and apparatus.
You will leave with many, many tools to help your clients literally pull themselves together!
*You must be a Comprehensively trained Pilates instructor to register for this workshop.
Cost: $150 without PMA CECs / $180 with 3 PMA

Easy 5 Day Fast Diet

east 5 day fast

Easy 5 Day Fast may help you stay healthy long term

As my long-time readers know well, I am all about moderation. I tend to eschew fasts, meal replacements, and deprivation diets in favor of real food. So when I received an email from Weight Loss Buddy about their new Easy 5 Day Fast Diet, I was initially skeptical.

What About Fasting?

Recent studies at the University of Southern California first tested the “periodic fasting mimicking diet” on mice, and then moved on to a small group of 19 randomized people who tried the diet, and 18 participants who ate a normal diet. The experimental group ate a diet that was less than half of their normal caloric intake, and featured about 12% protein, 44% carbs, and 44% fat. They ate the diet for five days in a row each month, for three months straight. For the rest of the time, they ate whatever they wanted. Read more in Cell.

By the end of the three months, the participants had lower risk factors when it came to diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as well as aging in general, with no major side effects. The idea of the diet is to decrease a certain hormone in your body, IGF-I, which promotes aging and makes you more vulnerable to cancer. “It’s about reprogramming the body so it enters a slower aging mode, but also rejuvenating it through stem cell-based regeneration,” according to lead researcher Valter Longo. “It’s not a typical diet because it isn’t something you need to stay on.”

Once I read this, I accepted the free sample box!

The 5-Day Fast Diet

The folks at Weight Loss Buddy decided to make the The 5-Day Fast Diet easy, by choosing healthy snacks in a particular nutrition profile and packaging them into daily suggested servings – 1175 calories day 1 / 750 calories days 2 – 4. The snacks include miso soup, Kind bars, veggie chips, and apple sauce (you may substitute an apple if you prefer) and are all quite good. There are also packets of green drinks and different herbal teas to keep your mouth occupied. And a chocolate square every single day!

easy 5 day fast calories

Short Term Fast for Long Term Gains

To replicate the study, you could do this pretty painless fast over the course of three months. You would do the fast once a month for 5 days, eating whatever you like the rest of the time. You should see some weight loss, feel better, and your overall health numbers – cholesterol, sugar, etc. – should improve.

How often should you do this? Nobody is sure, but it seems reasonable to try this twice a year – 3 months with 5 day fast, 3 months off, 3 months with 5 day fast, 3 months off.

Will You Be Hungry?

Look, it’s a fast. You will be going from well over 2000 calories per day to under 1000. But the nice thing is that the snacks are chosen to give you enough fat and fiber to feel somewhat satiated. Plus, your food is spread out over the day along with the flavored herb tea to drink.

Here is a sample day:

Morning – mini Kind bar
Mid-morning snack – apple
Afternoon – pretzel crisps/wheat crackers/animal crackers/rice pops and almond butter
Mid-afternoon – super greens (mix with 8 or more ounces of water)
Evening – miso soup and kale chips
Late Evening – chocolate square

Note that even though this is all snack food, the snacks have been picked for fat, protein, and fiber content. No day contains too much salt or sugar (my concerns), and at least there is chocolate! Other than the crackers and pretzels, everything is gluten free, so if you can substitute a GF snack of the same nutritional value, go for it.

What Will This Cost?

Cost is not a big issue with the Easy 5 Day Fast. Each box, which contains all food for 5 days and a shaker bottle for the green drink, costs $99.95 with free shipping (and less if you order 2+ at once) – basically, less than $20 per day. You would spend at least that to buy these snacks at a retail store (especially the almond butter), plus you would have to spend the time doing that and parsing out the snacks.

Try it!

If you are looking to kick off a longer term weight loss program, or simply want to try a monthly fast protocol to get your cholesterol down with minimal effort, the easy 5 Day Fast Diet is for you.

Click the “Start Your Journey” button on the top right of the index page and you can order there. Note that none of the site’s Buy Now buttons work, and the product is unavailable on Amazon. Hopefully they will fix that soon!