How To Actively Take A Compliment And REALLY Absorb It

Hi there gang, I hope you had a super weekend. I'm sending you some Monday Motivation hot off the press with one of my favorite wellness resources MindBodyGreen. 

Have you ever been given a compliment only to immediately deflect it with a self-deprecating rebuttal? [Read full article published at MindBodyGreen]

 Inspirational Addict Writer, Absorbing Compliments, Health and wellness, Yoga Instructor, Sonoma Mama, MindBodyGreen Contributor, Wife to Photographer Erik Almas

Thank you to all of you who shared your comments and honesty about giving and receiving compliments. I'd love to hear your thoughts and hope this article, loaded with tips will be useful on our journey together.

XOXO ANDREA

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how...

MEDITATING, ACCEPTING, MANIFESTING—WHO'S IN?

Hello hello, is this thing still on? It's been a beat... how are you guys all doing out there? Thank you for stopping by today. Grab a cup of tea, coffee, water or whatever you fancy and let's get to it.

 Wellness, Inspirational Addict Writer, Yoga Instructor, Sonoma Mama, World Traveler Wife with Erik Almas Photographer

Do you practice meditating, accepting and manifesting? What kind of energy you are putting out into the universe? Are you attached to outcomes constantly? Questioning, worrying and shaking your crystal ball trying to predict situations before they happen? Does this clutter up your happiness?

When you get still, can you release your resistance with accepting things as they are and move into a more mindful place? These are important questions I ask myself, not just once but consistently and especially during challenging moments. Let’s start manifesting from this opened awareness.

I have been on a bit of an unintentional hiatus from writing recently. Practicing acceptance was high on my list these past few months as I got derailed from my usual track.  I had to excuse myself while I was shooting a movie that wrapped the first week of June and from there rolled right into having tons of family and friends arrive in our hometown of Sonoma to celebrate our wedding which launched us to enjoying our baby girls first birthday! Yes you heard it… I am now a happily married woman to the most incredible man, Erik Almås and together, with great joy, we survived our first year of parenthood!

With an eager desire to get back into my groove, I jumped at the opportunity to join Deepak and Oprah for another 21 Day Meditation experience, “Energy of Attraction” that started July 23rd.  I hope you loved it as much as I did if you just finished doing it too. Boy has it been an energetic game changer for me lately.

Often the smallest shifts can make big differences and encourage us to graciously accept things as they are a little easier. Who loves a good reminder to check-in with yourself when you have a lot happening and you feel your attitude slipping into glass half empty mode? Take a deep breath and SMILE… we just created some awareness together.  

Life is incredible and I am surrounded by love and support so it's frustrating to sense my negativity internally and then give it more weight by vocalizing to anyone who is forced to listen. Do you ever annoy yourself in this way? I’m confident I’m not alone here because we are human. The good news is our awareness can propel us into a place of transformation. By quieting our minds and settling into some stillness we can release what’s not serving us with clarity and nurture what is, again and again. Let’s take some steps in the right direction.

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TIPS FOR MEDITATION

  • Where do you go to get quiet, connect with yourself and breathe? It can be a yoga class for me or early morning as I wake up and sometimes as I wind down for bed. It’s anywhere I can pause for 10-20 minutes and use a mantra or phrase to repeat internally and meditate. Challenge yourself to create a consistent form of meditation that speaks to you.
  • Try not to forcefully push the negative or limiting thoughts away but see them and say “hi there, I hear you” and as gently as a fluffy cloud passing by in the sky, release them. If using a visual of your choice helps, do it. I love putting them in a balloon that I release or feel a gentle breeze lift them off me and carry them away. Get creative and change it up.
  • Honor yourself with compassion as distractions and rumblings in your mind most likely find their way back in. Consider the importance of observing your thoughts to be far more effective than emptying your mind out. Make sense? Continue to repeat the process of deeply breathing accompanied by your choice of mantra, visualization or simply focusing on your breathe with non-judgmental acceptance.
  • Clarity will start to arrive no matter what form of meditation you create for yourself. The pause from your daily schedule is what will significantly affect your ability to connect to acceptance more gracefully and consistently. Present state of awareness is what we’re going for whether for you; that’s on a hike, in a gym or sitting somewhere quietly. Rejuvenating the mind is how we can let go of the overwhelming feelings and pressures that can get in our way of being calm on a regular basis.
  • Pay attention and notice how this calm state influences your reactive mind and your responses to the situations that might ordinarily get you really flustered. We all want to be as happy as we can be right? So if there’s a way to use our minds to assist in our moment to moment well being, I ask why wouldn't we all want to do what it takes to slow down the chatter in the mind we are inundated with from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep?
The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms
— Thich That Hanh

May I inspire you to check out the various styles of mediation at The Secrets Of Yoga for a wonderful and brief breakdown of each to explore.  

Additional Resources I Love

  • I will always be grateful for the Deepak and Oprah Free 21-Day Experiences they offer as it was the source that jump started my commitment several years ago and benefits my life greatly. I love the guided aspect and having an intention and mantra provided. I often re-listen to the opening talk for inspiration in teaching my yoga classes and at night to fall asleep peacefully. Going to the online library and choosing one for a family member or friend makes a great gift too! And it’s Deepak and Oprah, come-on:)
  • I’m a fan of Light Watkins who has a great book on Meditation titled, “Bliss More”, a TED Ex talk and fun interview on Mindbodygreen’s podcast. He is such a delightful human.
  • Mindsail is an emotional well-being App that I was honored to do the VOICE for the moodboosts component which you can access prior to subscribing. Two of my wonderful yoga clients developed this self-help vault giving you unique insights and tools to make better choices and live a happier more fulfilling life. 
  • I also have done an online course with Ziva Meditation as I deeply related to Emily Fletcher’s lifestyle which lead her to study and create ZivaMind. With mindfulness, meditation and manifesting being the structure, students get the tools to be at the top of their personal and professional game.

Yoga and meditation are incredible practices that have changed my life. They have looked a little different since I've become a new mom but I've not lost site of their importance or my commitment. I'm profoundly more gracious and accepting of all the things I don't get done and take time to reflect on all the things that I do, which is a freeing space to be in. The awareness you create with mindful exercises will expand your life whether you had that intention or not (but that intention is a good one). It's pretty great when it surprises you and suddenly you now know what to shift around to make them a priority for yourself. I trust they've been healing my soul and guiding me to a healthy lifestyle from the inside out for years now. It's an ever-evolving journey that thrills me as I jump on my mat over and over again and embrace the challenges of being able to sit quietly with myself. My passion for writing about it and sharing it with students as a certified instructor comes from what it's done for me. I will always encourage you to find the physical and mindful activities that make your spirit soar, that shake you up and make you feel alive. You will never be sorry for finding a way to incorporate them into your days regularly. Go get'm!  

 Happiness Blogger, Wellness Influencer, Healthy Sonoma Mama, Andrea Bogart Inspirational Addict, Yoga Instructor, Traveler Wife and Erik Almas Photography

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience with me and continuing to support Inspirational Addict. I look forward to writing and sharing so much and hope this was my kick back into consistency. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome here. Have a beautiful weekend! 

XOXO ANDREA

Love To All The Mamas On Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day Mama's. I hope you are showered with love today for how remarkable you are. Take time to thank yourself for all you do... and don't be afraid to get a little spoiled. 

 Andrea Bogart Blog Inspirational Addict Sonoma Mama Yoga Instructor Actress Health and Wellness Baby Girl Erik Almas Photography

It's my first official Mother's Day and it has me beaming as I look at my daughter and reflect on how beautiful creating a little human is. The experience of Motherhood is absolutely extraordinary isn't it? It comes with so many feelings & responsibilities that aren't always a walk in the park either so I love that there is an extra special day to celebrate how tremendous MOTHERHOOD is. Let's give it up to Woodrow Wilson for establishing this as National celebration more than 100 years ago. 

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above — The angels, whispering to one another, —Can find, among their burning terms of love — None so devotional as that of ‘Mother
— Edgar Allen Poe

Even if you aren't a mama, YOU were brought into the world by one and that is just another reason to pause and feel thanks. Cherishing my Mom for all that she has done for me and countless sacrifices she's made to make life a little sweeter is on-going. I can't even begin to explain how happy it makes me that she "finally" get's to see me as a mama. My babygirl will have an opportunity to experience how lovely she is—Grandmas are so very special. 

I say "finally" with grace. Beginning Motherhood at forty years old wouldn't have been what I ever imagined as I wrote in my dear diaries growing up. I see now how life's up's and down's placed me perfectly where I needed to be. Sometimes trusting the timing of your life can be so hard but also the most beautiful sense of contentment when you arrive. Today I'm still pinching myself in awe of the wonderful man I'm about to marry and with his help... I became a mom ten months ago. It's changed me forever in the best ways possible. 

 Andrea Bogart Blog Inspirational Addict Sonoma Mama Yoga Instructor Actress Health and Wellness Baby Girl Erik Almas Photography

I hope I can be an inspiration in leading a healthy, happy lifestyle for you and your family regardless of the age you get started. I offer my strength and courage to the women who think they've missed their window or have lost faith in finding that amazing partner to share in the journey of parenthood with you. If you know you are destined to be a mother, never loose site of that. And if you know you want to share that experience with someone else... believe they will find you. 

There was a time where I convinced myself I would be fine if I didn’t meet the right person to share my life with and get to have a family of my own. I was consumed with limiting beliefs and fear was highjacking the life I hoped for. I believe the shape that my life took once I really committed to yoga— which lead to healthier choices and a deeper sense of compassion for myself and others is what opened my heart to receive and give the love I have in my relationship today. As a parent I hope to continue to deepen these practices and create mindfulness in our home that everyone in our family will grow from. My life is bigger and fuller than I thought it could be. I'm wishing you all that and more.

 Andrea Bogart Blog Inspirational Addict Sonoma Mama Yoga Instructor Actress Health and Wellness Baby Girl Erik Almas Photography

I'm forever grateful for having a mother who instilled the values and belief's I want to pay forward with my daughter. I cherish all the mama's in my life who give endless support and advice and all the ones inspiring me from afar. I share in celebrating ALL OF YOU today! 

Thank you for stopping by. Comments and shared experiences are always welcome here... Happy Mother's Day wishes.

XO ANDREA

Mindful Parenting–I'm Curious, How About You?

Hi wonderful humans. I hope you're having a tremendous week. As a new mama I'm incredibly curious about mindful parenting, are you? I have no doubt that practicing mindfulness and mindful parenting have many differences but are equally influential when implemented in our home lives. It may be wishful thinking, but I pray for the day that all our education systems also include mindful practices into the curriculum. Wouldn't that be great for our children and our educators? 

 Inspirational Addict Writer Andrea Bogart Sonoma Mama Actress Health and Wellness Yoga Instructor 

From the time an infant is one month old they start to make facial expressions and possibly even mimic some of their parents gestures. These first years of a child’s life are crucial for setting up a strong foundation for learning, relationships and mental health. As we stick out our tongues, play patty-cake and comfort with hugs and kisses, we quickly learn how babies and children are prone to copying behaviors they see. As the various developmental stages take shape, involving them them with things like yoga and meditation can help them deeply bond, sleep better, grow stronger, relieve fussiness, learn self-regulation, increase body awareness and promote neuromuscular development… just to touch on a few. Parents creating this space for themselves propels curiosity. Our little ones’ abilities to absorb impressions are rapid and undeniable so I implore us to experiment as early as we can. Although much of our information is young and anecdotal, I'm intrigued that research is revealing trends and further investigation is being prompted on how effective meditation and mindful practices are for our youth.  

 Inspirational Addict Writer Andrea Bogart Sonoma Mama Actress Health and Wellness Yoga Instructor

In many cases when a woman becomes pregnant, a mindful yoga practice is being recommended by doctors encouraging them to maintain a calm, healthy pregnancy. Various stressors, if become constant, may negatively affect a growing fetus so it’s no surprise parents are interested in learning how to reduce unhealthy stress and use coping mechanisms, like meditation and yoga, to assist in stress management. Throughout my pregnancy I remained consistent with my meditation practice often using the Chopra Center meditations as a guide. I truly believe that even now with our baby girl only being ten months old she recognizes the voices and has an understanding that it’s a relaxing time not just for mommy and daddy but for her as well. I have found in my own struggles with being up several times a night to breastfeed that using an uplifting mantra helps me create inner peace, stay relaxed and I easily fall back asleep after she’s done feeding. I can’t help but hope this affects her positively as well. She too has been observing and involved with my yoga practice since the day she’s arrived. I’ve watched her press into downward dog long before she could even crawl. She loves to be involved, crawling all around my mat and watches as I breathe and move through postures. My positive experience leads me to believe that it’s beneficial to weave these practices in as early as you get to hear a heartbeat.

Children are showing signs of anxiety, restlessness and stress earlier and being diagnosed with things like ADHD before the age of six. Parents in-turn have a perpetual concern about children’s attention. We have an opportunity to shift concern into action by showing and teaching mindfulness early on. The amount of interest being displayed with your child in the action you are promoting will be your best guide. While there isn’t a distinct age said to begin teaching meditation it’s been recommended by experts to start off short and simple. Perhaps trying one min of meditation per year of age. After working with children in a theater camp, ages four and up, I was shocked and thrilled to see how many knew what yoga and meditation was and were able to lay quietly as we practiced meditation in savasana at the end of our yoga session all together. With that said it’s important to pay attention to your child’s nature and temperament so it may take some trial and error to find the structure that feels good.

There are a variety of creative ways to invite your children into a calming mindful space that can lead to an ongoing meditation practice. Mindfulness is not simply sitting perfectly still; music and movement often make ideal mindfulness entry points as well. Whether it be creating a special space in your home, using things like a candle flame to focus on, encouraging imagination with colors and visualizing or saying mantras with simple breathing exercises, allow your child to partake in the idea fun and help lead the way to mindfulness. We can watch them evolve into healthy adults by offering them simple tools now and most importantly, leading by example. Here are some wonderful resources I’ve explored with my youth yoga students and baby girl and simply love.

 Inspirational Addict Writer Andrea Bogart Sonoma Mama Actress Health and Wellness Yoga Instructor Baby Girl with Meddy Teddy Meditation Yoga Bear

Meddy Teddy is a 100% posable bear who practices yoga and meditation. Meddy can be a tool and a buddy as you bring awareness into how to sit or lay comfortably to meditate. His eyes are closed to remind us how to turn inward to ourselves as we find our breath to feel grounded and calm.

My Light Shines Bright is The Chopra Centers first guided meditation app for kids age 8-12. The 22 guided meditations are geared toward building confidence, encouraging good sleep, creativity, and deep connection.

Itsy Bitsy Yoga is a wonderful book by Helen Garabedian that introduces parents and babies to the many ways of bonding together and improving health. A delightful guide to introducing mindful techniques as early as birth.

Breathing Buddies Best-selling author Daniel Goleman shares such a sweet and simple way he observed children learning to use their breath and strengthen their focus in a classroom setting. After finding a comfortable place to stretch out they are to put their stuffed animal on their belly and count as they breathe in 1,2,3 and out 1,2,3, watching their toy move up and down.

I also weighed in on this topic with one of my favorite wellness platforms MindBodyGreen so please feel free to read more on kids and meditation there.  

Thank you guys for stopping by! Would love to hear from you especially if you have kids and have insight on what’s working and not working for you! Wishing us all the very best as we navigate our way into mindful parenting. 

XOXO ANDREA

 

5 Reasons To Get A Baby Turban By BluTaylor?

Hello hello! Happy Wednesday. What’s a Baby turban you ask? I was clueless until this precious gift arrived for our babe shortly after becoming a new family of three. 

So this one is for my mama’s and papa’s out there looking to wrap up their little bundle’s noggin in one of the sweetest head accessories we’ve found for our baby. Our ballet pink, vintage baby turban by BluTaylor was a gift from our friend Gaby that is seemingly loved by all, so I’m inclined to pay this forward. It’s practical, beyond cute and a noteworthy share.

We have been putting this on our sweetie-pie since she came home from the hospital. It’s incredibly soft, covers her sensitive little ears and now even at nine months old, isn’t tugging at it to pull it off constantly. It’s a gentle snug fit and gives Emerie a whole look, let me tell you! We can't seem to go out of the house wearing this without being stopped and someone asking "where is her head wrap from?" Aside from all that fun, I absolutely love what founder and designer, Katie and her brand stands for. She's another example of how life can give you unexpected tragedies and as personal healing blooms the desire to share that healing with others blooms even bigger. See BluTaylor about for more of her and her teams story.

5 Reasons To Get Yours Too

  1. Their Preemie Program is wonderful. You can submit for your own preemie or for a friend and BluTaylor donates a baby turban custom tailored by Kate— awesome right?
  2. BluTaylor head wraps are all handmade and the BLUE thread used in every one, regardless of the color or pattern, is to signify tailor-made HOPE.
  3. They are made of super soft fabrics in vintage, classic or limited editions that stay out of your babies eyes!
  4. Covering the head and precious ears with a gentle, snug fit makes for a great travel hat that babies won't tug off.
  5. The variety of colors and patters are trendy & fun and not just for our little one's— they make them for adults now too.
 Baby Almas BluTaylor Baby Turban Inspirational Addict Blogger Sonoma Mama Yoga Instructor Actress Andrea Bogart
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As we placed this special gift onto our little one’s head and took her out into the world… the compliments and questions from others inspired me to look a little deeper into BluTaylor. I’m so grateful I did. I appreciate and value a brand like this! Please enjoy my limited time discount code and share the love. They certainly make great gifts! Click the button below to take you to shopping and enter BLUTAYLOR+BOGART for your discount when you check out.

A big thanks to BluTaylor for such a lovely collaboration with me. Although the swooning over Em in her turbans can make us all blush, I'm a bigger fan of simply spreading the word about brands with heart, integrity and a missional purpose! Lot’s of love beaming out to all of you this week! Have a great one and thank you for stopping by.

XO ANDREA

Inspired To Help Our Planet?

Well hello and Happy Earth Day guys! Doesn't a day like today give us reason to celebrate by showing some appreciation and also ask ourselves, "what am I doing to help our planet?"

I can honestly say... I WISH I WAS DOING MORE! My efforts can be grander, wiser and more thoughtful for sure, how about yours? I'm not going to give a long winded blog about how we can all be more conscious or list my greatest tips on what I think that looks like. Instead I'm going to say HAPPY EARTH DAY and simply encourage us to all get a little more curious about what we can do.  

 Inspirational Addict Blogger, Health and Wellness enthusiast Sonoma Mama Yoga Instructor Andrea Bogart Actress Photographed By Erik Almas

A few years ago I lead a yoga event in Malibu and a beautiful yogi named, Goli Gabbay attended. After the yoga we all we're visiting and getting to vibe with like-minded souls. As I learned more about her, she gave me one simple suggestion that has stuck with me. She said "just tell waiters at restaurants you don't need a plastic straw and if you buy them for home use— stop." Visit Goli's website for more on the impact she's making and desires to uplift people, animals and the planet. I don't claim to know her well, but in the few times I've met her she left a feeling with me of wanting to do more, try harder and get interested in how I can make changes to support our planet. Our curiosities lead to actions and our actions lead to results. 

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little— Do what you can
— Sydney Smith
 Inspirational Addict Sonoma Mama Yoga Instructor Health and Wellness Enthusiast Andrea Bogart Actress Photographed by Erik Almas

I lead a health conscious lifestyle, I recycle, I support sustainable & eco friendly companies and products wherever I can and make a great effort to buy less plastic! I do have metal, reusable straws which I love and use a copper water bottle {USE ANDREA for a discount on yours}. That doesn't seem like enough when I read about the plastic pollution problems alone. What if we all just picked one thing we could change or stopped buying or using that would support global wellness... the difference we could make would be incredible! 

My favorite way to get excited about making change is to unplug and connect with nature... Hawaii was one place I spent time doing just that— simply appreciating our planet. We have to take better care of our home and together we can. 

We need the tonic of wildness—to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.
— Henry David Thoreau

Get out in nature today. Take a minute to look around, absorb it's beauty and remember we have a responsibility to nurture her with all we got! Happy Earth Day, have a wonderful week and THANK YOU for being a part of Inspirational Addict. 

XO ANDREA

Need Some BIG MAGIC In Your Life Too?

Hello there! I hope you're all having a great week... who could use a little BIG MAGIC in their life? And by "BIG MAGIC", I mean the #1 New York Times Bestseller by Elizabeth Gilbert. We are all creative beings and part of my wellness means keeping my creativity flowing. How about you? Taking time to write, design a good yoga flow, curate the perfect playlist, sing songs I make up with my baby girl... it's all creative. Think about how you can lean into your creativity, especially if it's your passion. Allow Gilbert to be a sensational guide. 

It’s not an easy job to wake up everyday and pride yourself with enough gusto to begin, continue or finish a project your investing your heart in. The struggle is real with resistance and writhing ourselves with angst often attaching unnecessary melodrama to our process of creating. Elizabeth Gilbert delightfully reassures us we are all creative beings that behold a treasure chest full of jewels and it's up to us to decide which of our precious stones will be revealed throughout life. With an honest perspective bedazzled in a no bullshit demeanor, I laughed out loud multiple times. Humbled from being able to relate, not only to her experiences, but the examples of many, recognizing my own patterns and behaviors that get in the way and can bring my process to a screeching halt. I have journals of children's literature ideas and stories written from 2009 to the present that sadly I’ve never pushed myself to execute further, until now. In 2012 I started writing the phrase, “start your blog,” regularly on to-do lists. After spending three years redundantly researching “how to start a blog,” I finally launched Inspirational Addict in 2015. I love writing more than ever and don’t make a dime from it… yet— and that doesn’t matter. Since recently becoming a new mom, I’m inspired to recommit to my children’s stories and work toward getting published. My sense of wonder and excitement has a stronger foundation since I got my hands on this lovely read, reinstating my passion for simply creating.

 Inspirational Addict Blogger, Lifestyle Health and Wellness, Sonoma Mama, Yoga Instructor, Actress photographed by Erik Almas

How many of you have ideas that you sit on for years and sometimes never follow through because of fear of rejection and self doubt? One of the best self-motivating tools I’ve acquired in my journey is curiosity, which Gilbert talks in-depth on. Curiosity gives us great insight to inspiration and tests how far we are willing to stretch ourselves into the unknown with acceptance of whatever results we end up with. This read, reminded us to, “for the love of God, create for the sake of creating”. It brings me great joy because let’s face it, with today’s social media platforms everyone seems to be a photographer, blogger, story teller etc. and comparing yourself by means of self-destruction rather than inspiration, will destroy your process for sure. We don’t need permission to be creative and authentic, we GET to be. So as “Big Magic” graciously honors the creator everyone, I’m along side Ms. Gilbert, encouraging us to listen and pay and attention as ideas guide us to places that ignite our souls and push forth with confidence into the things we love wholeheartedly.

If you snag the book on Amazon or check it out on Audible let me know how you like it! I love hearing from you guys... Cheers to being creative in however we choose to be! Happy Wellness Wednesday.

XO Andrea

Curious About Drinking Out Of A Copper Water Bottle?

How much do we LOVE drinking water? I hope you're having a great week and staying hydrated with clean & safe drinking water.  If you aren’t aware of the many benefits there are to increasing your water intake let me list a few to get you thinking….

  • Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue
  • Promotes Weight Loss
  • Flushes Out Toxins
  • Improves Skin Complexion
  • Maintains Regularity
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Natural Headache Remedy
  • Prevents Cramps & Sprains

So many great reasons right? Now let me get you thinking about how one type of bottle can naturally alkalize your drinking water and provide more health benefits by the vessel it’s in. Have you guys ever heard of a “copper water bottle?” I’ve been drinking out of one now for over a month and love it. The copper water bottle by Copperh2o is my Wellness Wednesday feature this week because they are doing great things I want to support! You can never smile too big about things you love!

 Health and Wellness Writer, Sonoma Mama, Yoga Instructor, Actress Andrea Bogart photographed with copperh2o by Erik Almas

I’m on-the-go A LOT and I always like to have a bottle of water with me to remind myself to drink throughout out the day. Habitually, I have been guilty of buying plastic alkalized water bottles for the past several years. It’s expensive and don’t even get me started about the amount of plastic that is polluting our oceans and creating major problems for our sacred Mother Earth. I’ve been conscious about this for awhile and I switched to glass water bottles as much as possible but now I have an even better solution! Please take a moment to hop on over to the COPPER WATER BOTTLE and snag some wonderful information about the benefits of drinking out of a 100% pure high-grade food-safe copper vessel. Don’t miss their Good Karma program noting that 15% of their profit goest to several non-profit organizations that work to supply clean drinking water in developing countries.

 Photo from Copperh2o

Photo from Copperh2o

my honest review

Not only am I stoked about the taste of water from this copper bottle, the gorgeous look, the no spill cap, easy to clean, benefits I'm receiving and good karma touch— I'm probably most excited that I'm reusing it regularly and no longer buying plastic bottles for my excessive intake of water! While I can't yet physically tell a difference from drinking out of my copper vessel as far as all it's benefits... I'm delighted to be a test case!  

Use the discount code ANDREA for 10% off your bottle.

Follow @copperh2o and hashtag #copperh2o #InspirationalAddict with your new bottle for us— I’d love to feature you! If you have already tried a copper water bottle, I'd love to hear your thoughts too. Thanks again for stopping by and catching some of my wellness Wednesday vibes. Have a wonderful rest of the week gang. 

XO ANDREA

Are You Close To Om? —Why I love Andrea Marcum

Happy Wednesday Lovelies! How’s your week going? Are you creating some space for mindfulness & self-care for your deserving soul? I love when things cross my path that remind me to take a break from our to-do lists, auto-pilot behaviors and just breathe into what’s happening right in this moment. The sun is shining bright today, the breeze blowing so subtly through my curtain and after a week of rain the evidence of Spring is everywhere. Deep breath in— deep breath out. How good does that feel?

 Inspirational Addict Lifestyle blogger, Healthy and Wellness, Yoga Instructor, Sonoma Mama photographed by Erik Almas

Have you ever been curious about how yoga could or does relate to your life? It doesn’t matter how long or short of a time you’ve been practicing, we will continuously be surprised at how much this practice reveals and supports where we are in our lives. The time spent on our mat can be a vehicle for transformation as life’s experiences take us up and down and to places unknown. The growth I continue to feel as a practitioner and a certified instructor doesn’t happen without the inspiration of others that I learn from.  If you don’t already know who Andrea Marcum is... you should. My yoga journey has been beautifully enriched as I show up on my mat again and again. Andrea is the witty & gracious guide sharing her gifts with me... and the world I may add.

 Yoga Instructor and Author Andrea Marcum with Andrea Bogart, Inspirational Addict Health and wellness Blogger in India, International Yoga Retreat photographed by Erik Almas

I found Andrea at Best You Studio years ago after moving to Miracle Mile in Los Angeles and searching best yoga instructor on yelp. I remember her asking me my name since I was new to class. We both chuckled after I said, “Andrea”. My intuition was clear. I had a sudden need to blurt out “you’re going to be my mentor" like a 5 year old proclaiming they’d just tied their own shoes for the first time. I felt a deeper connection to myself throughout that seventy-five minute class than I ever had before. I laughed out loud a handful of times, I wept like baby and when class ended I felt like something major just happened. I was a mess when I first landed in her class and it was a mucky ride for while but I always left feeling better than when I arrived.  The really juicy gunk started to become the best part and whether; I face planted trying bakasana (crow), sobbed my way through hip openers or realized the people pleasing, perfectionist in me needed to learn to just be, I was genuinely feeling more joy and happiness as I'd get in my car and drive home from class. The pull to keep going was profound and my commitment was one I was excited about. Andrea has a humorous way of leading us in a humbling dance with our minds and bodies utilizing the very essence of yoga to be one we explore on our mats and effortlessly immerse into our everyday lives. I’ve spent years practicing in a studio setting and traveling through India on an International Yoga retreat with her, I’m grateful for how much I get to absorb from this accomplished soul. She's been an integral part of why I was inspired to get certified and have been teaching for the past 6 years. 

Please allow this wise human to welcome you to your mat and embark on an adventure I assure you will not turn away from. I will warn you of her ab sequences as that may be the one time you want to take a bullet train off course— hang in there, everything has a purpose. You can find Marcum literally everywhere these days; Studio classes at YogaWorks in LA, Online Classes, Workshops and Retreats around the world AND may I encourage you to join her Om Community as you listen or read her newly published, absolutely fantastic book, “Close To Om”. I'm so thankful I can practice with her on-line since I've relocated to Sonoma. I miss her presence beyond belief but I don't have to miss her awesome classes. Whew! 

I have a signed copy from Andrea Marcum I'd be delighted to put in the hands of one of my sweet subscribers, so leave a comment to be entered in the drawing— Winner announced next Wednesday 4/4/18 at 5PM PT. 

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Andrea's passion, knowledge, humor and grace strut across pages throughout this book. I love that you can be a seasoned yogi or brand new and feel like you're right where you need to be with enjoying it. She threads the perfect amount of philosophy and creates an opportunity for you to jump on your mat with clarity. If you are even the slightest bit curious about yoga and how you can apply the practice to your life you would love this book. Her shared life experiences and stories invites us all in to be exactly who we are and appreciate how a consistent yoga practice can deeply connect you to a deeper sense of self... her wit will keep you laughing and humble. 

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing
— George Bernard Shaw

Thank you for stopping by gang and I hope you're liking Wellness Wednesdays... It's so fun to share things that I love and play a part major role in my happiness. I'll keep paying things forward and let me know what you're liking! I love hearing from you... don't forget to leave a comment so I know you're interested in winning an Andrea Marcum sighed copy of "Close To Om". 

XO ANDREA

Wellness Wednesday's Kick Off With MINDBODYGREEN

Hello and Happy Healthy Wednesday! Are you guys excited for Spring? I'm already soaking up the inspiration of natures wonders all around me... including the weeklong rain showers we're having in Sonoma. It's going to make everything so green and lush and I can't wait to see what is going to blossom from it all. Such a good reminder for how we too can bloom in new exciting ways! 

 Inspirational Addict Lifestyle Blogger, Health and Wellness Sonoma Mama, Yoga Instructor, Actress, Photographed by Erik Almas

Part of why I love writing and having a place to share is to pay forward things I have found helpful in life. I'm always inspired to offer little bits of knowledge that support my on-going journey to living a happy, healthy lifestyle with all of you. Our own curiosities are what keeps us all growing and learning as we go, right? In my own challenges to carve out space for writing as I navigate my way through being a new mama, I thought giving myself a weekly theme would create the consistency I crave to push out here. I'm motivated by Spring! What's inspiring you right now?

So thank you for joining me for Wellness Wednesdays. I'm going to be paying forward insightful tips, ideas, stories, people, brands, etc. that I love and encourage us to continue to lean into living with vitality and cultivate that healthy lifestyle we all desire. 

To kick this off in style I want to introduce you guys to MINDBODYGREEN, one of my favorite platforms full of useful articles, stories and more. They also recently launched their podcast with founder and CEO, Jason Wachob, and it's wonderful. I was introduced to the company by one of my dear friends as he recommended me for this incredible REVITALIZE retreat they hold once a year. I'm a subscriber and visit this site regularly. Being a new mama I have a lot of concerns about how to raise a healthy child and look for great resources I can trust. I love the change makers, innovators, healers, experts and wellness leaders they have sharing their knowledge. A broad range of topics are covered and if you want to get in a little deeper they even offer classes and trainings you can purchase. I love everything they are about. If you want your social feeds to have some great daily inspiration, tips and things that will put a smile on your face, I suggest you follow them everywhere! 

I recently wanted some more ideas and knowledge about what to feed my eight month old and  this lovely little article on Why What You Feed Your Kids Really Matters was such a great read. If you have kids or plan to... here is one to get you started. 

I hope you take a peek into Mindbodygreen and should you find anything useful I'll feel like my job was done here. I don't get to read as often as I used to so podcasts are my jam, make sure to check it out if that feels more doable! Thank you for popping by and I look forward to our Wednesdays and more. Any comments or feedback is always welcome here. Big Hugs, have a brilliant rest of your week. 

XO ANDREA

The Benefits Of Yoga For Children

Hi there lovelies! This may be one of my favorite topics and I'm thrilled to have collaborated with Marie Chantel's beautiful blog to share how yoga could be beneficial to your child. 

New mom, yoga practitioner and certified instructor, Andrea Bogart tells us why every child should have the opportunity to explore yoga, practice mindfulness and how it can make our world a better place to raise these wonderful little beings.
— Marie Chantal

Yoga for kids? What a lovely idea… if you haven’t already, may I inspire you to introduce the wonderful world of yoga and all its benefits to the children in your life? It’s never too early or too late to encourage a happy, healthy lifestyle for our youth.

Yoga practice gives way for a child’s imagination to be stimulated and explored in a multitude of fun ways. With the rising sun, we sweep the sky with our fingertips and swan dive to our toes. Just like a tree in the forest, we plant our roots and expand our branches. We can stand as tall as a mountain at its highest peak and lunge like a warrior to guard our heart. Friendly animals such as a frog, butterfly, giraffe, dog and cat are used to associate with simple postures. Imagine how relaxing it is to float away on a soft, fluffy cloud. Compelling storytelling and magic carpets, (aka yoga mats,) like the Chi Yoga Mat  can encourage a playful way to learn and serve as a road map on an adventurous journey; physically and mindfully.  

In today’s fast paced, over-stimulating, device reliant and genetically modified arena, the importance of personal connection, quieting the mind and embracing stillness aligned with self-love, acceptance and compassion is not just essential for adults but even more important for our kids. Yoga, by nature supports these things. Bringing the family together to create a bond and have some fun breathing, stretching and developing body awareness together, is connecting in a whole new way. A positive self image, cultivating peace and kindness, exploring balance, coordination, posture, strength and flexibility are among the many reasons to practice yoga at any age. Learning about mindfulness, including meditation and breathwork can help children manage their emotions with-in themselves, in their social interactions and inspire them to make better choices when given the opportunities. Children with ADHD have trouble dealing with some of the components of the human condition and are said to lack the mind/body connection, which yoga is made up of and strengthens. Aside from the skills already mentioned, yoga improves focus, attention span, relaxation and decreases stress and anxiety.

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This special practice can be a parents best friend and an optimal tool for children to learn to self-regulate by gaining an understanding of how they can control their ever-fluctuating energy levels. Imagine your child having the know how to check-in with themselves in a circumstance that feels overwhelming and be able to pause and say, ”mom, I need to sit quietly to take some breaths and calm myself” or you baring witness to their increased happiness and stress managing skills as a result of a consistent practice. Believe it, it’s happening and will continue to as yoga becomes more feasible for our youth. Developing this space for children is growing rapidly in schools and other mindful programs are being implemented as research around yoga for kids, shows the statistics of mental and physical health and performance improving. Thus supporting that these things serve as a valuable element nationwide in our schools curricula providing education of the whole child; mind, body and spirit.

This is a 5,000 year old spiritual practice derived from ancient India that means “union” which focuses on the harmony of mind and body and empowers a greater sense of self. Lending support in all cultural, racial and religious backgrounds, yoga teaches non-judgement and compassion for all beings. It’s an opportunity in a non-competitive environment to equip kids with skills that help them deal with the variety of lifestyle pressures they may be experiencing. Let’s face it, kids deal with a ton more pressure today than ever before, stemming from social media, academic, varied care-givers, broken-homes, multiple activities and more. To have an outlet such as yoga that can transform their ability to cultivate more peace, joy and love while improving physical health could be life changing for a child. As a new mama, yoga practitioner and certified instructor myself, I’d love to see every child have the opportunity to explore yoga and mindfulness practices and see if we can make our world a better place to raise these wonderful beings.

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Thank you for popping by and if you have a child practicing yoga and can speak to the benefits or would like to share anything relating to this topic we'd love to hear from you! It's already such a joy to see how observant our 7 month old is when we practice yoga with her near. I swear she's been pressing into downward dog before she could even crawl. She lights up when we play on the mat and connect in this way. I can't wait to keep sharing this beautiful practice as she grows up. I hope we continue to see more opportunities for our youth in this area. Make sure you hop over to Marie-Chantal and check out this article and much more.

xoxo Andrea

My Favorite Mindful Gifts

The joys of the holidays are bustling with shopping, entertaining, being merry and you're wondering what is something mindful I can give this year? I'm hear to help– I take great pleasure in paying forward things I love, so may I suggest a few from Andrea's Favorite Things

 Inspirational Addict Wellness Influencer Sonoma Mom Yoga Instructor Andrea Bogart and Erik Almas Photographer Travel In Norway

Seeking motivation and daily affirmations for setting intentions became increasingly prominent for me as I found great books like “Journey To The Heart.” The beautifully written, short stories that fill the pages of a 365 day enlightening experience is one I know I will do again in this lifetime. It’s not only a heartwarming cozy cup of goodness, the messages often propelled a focus point for me to pay forward with yoga clients and supported my soul searching quest to live my greatest-good. I felt more connected to myself and a deeper sense of compassion toward the world in which we live after a year spent dedicated to this read. 

 
                    Daily Affirmation Book

                   Daily Affirmation Book

 

 

I'm newly experimenting with Moleskins Smart Notebook as I love handwriting things down but for blogging I am always wishing some of those ideas and journal entries would magically appear in my notes or documents on my digital devices– and this does that. Tip; make sure to hold the pen correctly. I'm kind of a journal junky... ton's of creative inspiration and clarity come from writing regularly. Have fun doing it and take note what it does for you. 

 
                Moleskin Digital Notebook

               Moleskin Digital Notebook

 

I get asked quite a lot about the yoga mat I use. I spend a lot of time on it as a practitioner and instructor so a good mat is important to me. Whether you are practicing regularly or once in a while the Manduka PROLite is the one I refer the most. I have tried several yoga mats and some I like for certain reasons better than others but this mat is the overall win for me. It had me at non-toxic and sustainable engineering but lightweight, high-density cushion, and emission free manufacturing are all more perks of this fabulous mat. A lifetime guarantee certainly doesn't hurt either. You're also essentially encouraging yoga too which in my book is one of the best gifts ever!

 
             Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat

            Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat

 

The Giving Keys has been one of my favorite companies founded by my beautiful friend, Caitlin Crosby for years. With every purchase, you create employment opportunities for people transitioning out of homelessness, how cool is that? I was gifted my first key, BELIEVE by Caitlin and since then have acquired several more and love sharing this mindful brand. Rocking an empowering word for you and then paying a word forward to someone else in a cleverly cool way adds a mindful touch. Have fun exploring as they keep expanding. Journals just launched too!

 
                          The Giving Keys

                         The Giving Keys

 

As I gain tremendous curiosity about what we put into our bodies; what we put ON our bodies with lotions, make-up and a multitude of products is also of great concern. We have isles of products to choose from with an overly saturated market of toxic ingredients in them. I have been using cleaner products for years but as safer brands emerge, I'd love to give Beautycounter my heart, want to join me? I'm making new friends in Sonoma and the loveliest of women have recommended I explore the line catching my vibe. Jenna Maze, is a wonderful rep helping me sample before purchasing for myself and my babygirl. Check it out, read the story, peruse the Never List and try somethings out. The struggle sometimes is finding the safe stuff to look as good as the toxic stuff... Beauty Counter is hitting a home-run there for me. There is so much to choose from and amazing gift sets for great prices! And with a mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, I'm certainly a proud advocate. Click the photo to start shopping!

                  Beautycounter Products

                 Beautycounter Products

I could keep going but there's no need to overdue it, I'm attempting to more of a minimilist! Click the photos for the direct links. Have fun checking things out should they interest you or be the perfect gift for the special people in your life. If you have any questions or comments you can always leave them here. Happy Holidays and in the spirit of giving... may you all be wrapped up with blessings and love through this wonderful time of year. Thank you for stopping by!

XO ANDREA

 

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons To Practice Yoga

Why practice yoga? I have an abundance of reasons with a pot of gold at the end but let's just ease into this. 

Have you felt the benefits of this practice yet? It's no surprise to me that a Forbes article indicated in a 2016 study that the amount of people practicing yoga in the U.S. nearly doubled from 2012. Bringing it to 37 million, which is estimating that one out of ten people are practicing now. Yoga has been so impactful in my life that it's a bit of a mouth full to describe just how so. Several of my blogs have been inspired by this journey and my first post was about how consistently practicing lead me to becoming a certified instructor. I care deeply about this practice and all of it's tremendous benefits. It's a non negotiable for me... yoga will be in my life for as long as I live. Here's my top ten reasons why.

 Sonoma yoga instructor and wellness influencer Andrea Bogart settles with photographer finace, Erik Almas as a new mom and lifestyle blogger and actress 

Connection 

Yoga is the union of the mind, body and spirit. This ability to connect to a deeper sense of self arrives as you drop into your breath, begin to link it with movements and quiet the mind. The hope is that the discoveries you find as you explore the eight limbs of yoga will cultivate a joyful, non judgmental awareness in which you can use as a vehicle for transformation. This connection isn't only enriching for the self but in all your relationships if you want it to be.  It's a journey inward that guides you to connect with the present moment with compassion and acceptance.

Relieve Stress

There is loads of research that supports yoga reducing stress and anxiety in conjunction with elevating your mood and over-all sense of well-being. When we stretch the body, create a fluidity with our breath and movements we release stored toxins and calm the mind quite beautifully. Stress wears differently on all of us so my suggestion is to simply see for yourself.  As you begin to practice consistently you will start to see the benefits show up in your daily life. A heaviness you may have often felt before becomes lighter. As relaxation is practiced, a  calm nervous system encourages more balance in dealing with life's upsets and disappointments as you navigate toward joy and healing more readily. 

Ease Joint Pain

You gotta love when Doctors and Chiropractors are prescribing yoga for pain, which I'm delightfully hearing more and more. I'm a prime example with having had severe knee pain from being a former dancer/ gymnast and using yoga as rehab instead of surgery. It was pretty miraculous for me. This is not the case for everyone but worth a shot in my book. Combined with anti-inflammatory foods you may save yourself in a multitude of ways; Ie., medical bills, painful procedures with recovery times, being on prescription drugs. Increasing flexibility and strengthening muscles that support our joints are key components when practicing various styles of yoga.

Gain Strength

Many of the yoga postures are strengthening poses that tone your entire body. I've had some incredible athletes try yoga for the first time with me and express that it was the hardest thing they ever did. Don't let that scare you... there's a practice for everyone. It's a full body work out physically and spiritually. Power Yoga, Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga are three styles I'd recommend for someone wanting to focus on gaining muscle strength. Remember, strength comes in many forms as well.. it's not just about the tight core, killer triceps and buns of steel. As your awareness starts to inspire better life choices, it would be fair to say you've definitely strengthened your mind as well.

Great Workout

There are many styles of yoga with a variety of level's and intensity's and exploring them will help you land in a practice that's right for you. I was in the gym for years pounding the treadmill, using weight machines and not particularly enjoying myself at all. I was introduced to yoga in my late twenties switching gears, using it as my consistent form of exercise. I explored styles and levels and fell in love, quickly becoming addicted to the physical and mental challenges and happiness shift I was experiencing. At large, it seems everyone wants to maximize their time and efforts with quick results. I think of yoga as great work out for everything. With the right combination of style, instructor, level and commitment the benefits go far beyond the time spent on your mat and my top ten reasons.  

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Calming

Pranayama (control of breath) is the driving force of any style of yoga. Practicing this controlled breath connects us to our bodies and the present moment. Meditation (Dyhana) is one of the wonderful eight limbs of yoga I referred to earlier that quiets the mind and has been found to help reduce anxiety. Connecting to these vital elements increases your ability to relax, restore and revive. Day to day activities often leave us restless with mind-chatter and a yearning for a way minimize that. Finding balance and an understanding of your mind, body, spirit connection will invite more calm into your life. With a constant the need and/ or expectations to respond to things, this is one perk of the practice that can be detrimental to communicating positively and effectively. Savasana can be an out-of-body, calming experience... make sure you never miss out on that. 

Increase Flexibility

If I had a dollar for everyone who said "I can't do yoga, I'm not flexible", I'd be treating us all to fancy vacations regularly. My understanding and empathy with this is that, if you feel a lot of tightness or stiff areas in the body, yes postures will feel more challenging in the beginning. Anyone who has practiced at least three times with-in their first week I believe would tell you they felt better in some tight area of their body. I was always decently flexible due to my dance training but I've never felt flexibility combined with strength the way I do now from yoga. I've worked with several clients and watched their progress during a few short months and over the course of several years. There's no need to become gumby and some would advise that being overly flexible isn't smart for the long hall. However, I will cheer you on to consistently and mindfully practice asanas and stretch as it will lead to an increased range of motion and life long vitality.

Inspires Mindfulness

There is a lot of life we live just traveling through on auto pilot. The foundations of yoga teach us how to create more awareness and to be present. Hitting your mat regularly is likely to reveal more that you would expect and shift your ordinary responses into a place of thoughtful perspective and curiosity. I learned what a competitive perfectionist I was even in my yoga practice and how humbling it's been to let go of that. It's sort of like holding up a mirror to yourself and learning how to compassionately embrace every morsel of what you see and grow from it. Setting intentions, feeling gratitude, exploring the senses and taking in whatever arrives creates mindfulness that is transformative. 

Sleep Better 

Often reasons we don't sleep well are due to the worries, anxieties and constant information coming at us that is overstimulating. Exhaling is a release in the nervous system and postures relieve tension in the body thus often acting as a natural sleep remedy. Different styles of yoga, like Restorative or Hatha are slower paced and support better sleep than say an energizing power flow or hot yoga. If you suffer from insomnia you'd want to pay more attention to that and perhaps the time of day you practice. An evening gentle practice just might be the recipe for you to get your proper zzz's.

Brilliant for the Mind

It makes sense that yoga can sharpen the mind. With so much emphasis on the nine reasons above how could it not? Strengthening the immune system, central nervous system and deepening your focus are all tangible, physical health benefits. Neuroscience studies are reporting that our happy chemicals like serotonin and dopamine levels are increased in our logical and emotional brain when we practice sustained discipline in our mind/body (like hatha or vinyasa yoga). Yay for more feelings of relaxation and contentment. We all need more of that right?

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I'm a hopeful Inspirational Addict here and wishfully thinking, one of these reasons may be enough for you to give yoga a try or lock down that commitment to consistently practice. For the first time, I am discovering how difficult it can be to carve out space for self-care since having a baby so I get that it may take some strategy. Lucky for us with 37 million practicing we have several outlets to try to do it. Just like the various styles, there is something for everyone that could be your cup of tea; be it physically making a class, having a private instructor come to your home or lead you on-line, find an event near you or going on an amazing retreat.  I'm always here for you guys with questions or comments! Big hugs and thanks for popping by. 

xoxo Andrea

New Show, New Role in Zac And Mia

Is Andrea still acting? It's a heartfelt question I had to ask myself as well. A lot of years have been spent investing my heart and soul into a craft I'm incredibly passionate about. It's not an easy one to walk away from. So I haven't....

One of the most important keys to acting is curiosity. I am curious to the point of being nosy. What that means is you want to devour lives. You’re eager to put on their shoes and wear their clothes and have them become a part of you. All people contain mystery, and when you act, you want to plumb that mystery until everything is known to you
— Meryl Streep

Becoming a mamma and moving away from the daily grind of Hollywood to start a family doesn't necessarily put me in the running like it used to. With that being said, there are also more opportunities to self-tape and new content popping up all over digital media creating more work. I'm happy to report, I, along with a great team, am actively keeping in the mix on projects that make sense for me. While my real life role as a mamma gives me more to consider as things come my way, it's exciting, challenging and gives way for me to listen to my heart that much more. 

 Actress Andrea Bogart engaged to Photographer Erik Almas lands a recurring role on Zac & Mia a Go90, Awesomeness TV web series as Krista Phillips 

While I was pregnant with our baby girl last spring I shot a movie that immediately sold to LIFETIME. Shortly after that I was offered a recurring role on an Awesomeness TV web series titled Zac & Mia, (Go90 Production) which I joyously accepted. I had hoped I would work some while I was carrying around my mini in my tummy but you just never know. Getting offers and being excited about roles always gives me momentum and that yearning for more jobs. What fun it's been playing a mom to some young gorgeous teenagers. I guess life is preparing me a little bit for what's to come, I joke, but I also remember being a teen, yikes. 

After I read Zac & Mia (originally a book by A.J. Betts) I immediately said YES. It captured my heart quickly with two ordinary teenagers connecting during treatment for cancer. Too many people today are diagnosed with various forms; some caught early enough to treat and recover and others considered terminal. I think we all have a story of someone lost too soon to cancer. While the content of the show is heavy there's a lot of love and heart brought forth and some super talented millennial's bringing great work to the table. It's premiering this week 11/7 and already been issued a season 2. My role (Krista Phillips) as the somewhat displaced 34 year old mom to my 17 year old daughter (Anna Winters) is challenged by their dynamic relationship. I'm back to work in LA this week and delighted they have brought me on to recur this season as well. I hope you'll tune in, share it... become a subscriber and comment that you REALLY love my character (I'm kidding, unless you want to... thanks in advance, hee hee hee :)

Since I know wholeheartedly the majority of my amazing fan base began with my days playing the older girlfriend, Abby Haver, to Michael Corinthos (played by Chad Duell) on ABC's Emmy Award winning soap General Hospital, I always feel it necessary to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you as well... you genuinely have stuck by me in all my endeavors and continue to give so much support! 

I haven't had that many straight offers in my career but the one's I have, have turned out to be some of the best and become much more than I ever anticipated. Big bslessigs to say the least and I'm incredibly thankful to the powers whom decide to give me these opportunities. I'm a proud mamma to be back at it. Looking forward to working this month in LA and hope there is more to come. As long as Hollywood keeps calling... I'm enthusiastically picking up! 

Let me know what you think if you check out the show on-line... share it with your teens if you have them. Feel free to leave me a comment. Hope you enjoy and have a great week. Big Hugs

XO ANDREA

4 Mindful Ways To Invest In Yourself

When you think of mindfully investing in yourself what do you think of? Why is it important to do this for ourselves? Getting to the "why" does wonders for taking action... give it a try.

Nothing happens until YOU decide. Make a decision and watch your life move forward
— Oprah Winfrey

This can look different for all of us depending on what your priorities are and where you are hoping to find growth. Mindful investments in myself mean something a little different than investing in say; getting my hair highlighted because it makes me feel presentable or buying that pair of boots that suit me just right. You catch my drift here? So let's play with four ideas that help me over and over again. 

QUIETING THE MIND

Stopping our minds from the endless chatter of rapid thoughts firing all day long is difficult to do. As we create some awareness around it, think less about needing to stop it and more about slowing it down. Find a place that feels calming for you. Get comfortable and bring your attention to your breath. I have found this to be the most efficient way to unwind the mind. Having a consistent meditation practice is wonderful and while I encourage you to strive for that, there are many suitable forms. Simply taking time out of your day to be present and find stillness is essential to your wellbeing. I find a quiet mind when; I practice yoga or nursing my baby-girl, my dad does mowing the lawn, my mom, reading a book, my fiancé, Erik finds it when he runs. Explore some and trust that whatever you do to get quiet will lead to you doing it more as you discover it's many benefits.

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EAT NUTRITIONALLY

I have a pretty 80/20 rule with this. Once you really get in tune with how the food you eat makes you feel, you are a lot wiser with the choices you make. I love food and I've found so much joy in learning about how to make my own tasty, clean meals. I don't shame myself for indulging in things I really want to enjoy that may not be at the top of my healthy list either. I have found the less rules, restrictions and negative talk I have about my choices, the healthier I am. I'm personally dedicated to choosing organic for myself and our family whenever I can. That lead to removing all processed foods and addictive sugars out that have made it into our food and beverages far more than necessary. We can not rely on anyone but ourselves right now to take action when it comes to what we put into our bodies and our kids need our help. I have concern and care as I learn more about our food industry and all the hidden dangers that are detrimental to our overall health and quality of life. So many of our ailments; joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, stress, etc.... can be transformative and dramatically improved with proper food and balancing what makes the best sense for you. 

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JOURNALING

Isn't journaling wonderful? I implore you to write a little bit everyday. There's a great book called The Five Minute Journal I often gift to friends that is perfect place to start. If you're not a big writer, try an amazing app I've blogged about called Gratitude 365.  My daily journaling of three gratitudes has been consistent for a few years now and made a signifiant impact on my happiness and daily perspective. Meditating and then free writing can be incredibly theraputic and a great way to filter out fear and worry and transform it into positivity. If you happen to be a traveler like me, I love to write about places I've been and what those experiences have brought to my life. I'm newly experimenting with Moleskins Smart Notebook as I love handwriting things down but for blogging I am always wishing some of those ideas and journal entries would magically appear in my notes or documents on my digital devices– and this does that. I'm kind of a journal junky... ton's of creative inspiration and clarity come from writing regularly. Have fun doing it and take note what it does for you. 

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STRETCH YOUR BODY

I love moving my body so this is a natural one for me, but I realize not for everyone. I thank my mom who put me in dance at age three and I grew to love it. I've been actively stretching my entire life so far.  I don't know about you but as I age gracefully I want to maintain a nice range of motion in my body. Let's not confuse healthy stretching with the need to be abnormally flexible, that is not what I'm suggesting. When I see elderly men and women out walking, stretching in a park or showing up consistently in my yoga class, I'm inspired, knowing that's the kind of vibrancy I want to have. Both of my grandmothers were pretty active women and as they stopped moving regularly their quality of life declined significantly too, it pained my heart. Our activity level will naturally slow, muscle mass will weaken but stretching can help us reverse the aging process and improve our agility. I rarely miss a day of stretching but I noticed several things show back up while I was recovering from giving birth. That was a circumstance of slowing down I was going to honor but it was interesting that my joint pain in my knee I haven't felt in years came back, shoulders stiffened and tightness crept in. I started stretching my upper body again first and returned to my yoga practice after six weeks. The decline of mobility occurs when we become inactive. I was able to help my dad with suggesting some stretches I thought he should do daily at 68 years old and he does them everyday now and say's he feels such a difference. I'm a believer that even if you don't get in the fitness routine you'd like to, daily stretching is going to contribute to your overall wellness forever. 

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These four suggestions are not rocket science but sometimes we just need a little nudge to put investing in ourselves into actions... so consider this your nudge and a lovely reminder for myself I may add! Thank you for popping by and your suggestions, comments or perhaps your own experience are always welcome here. Enjoy the last few days of October...we are cruising through fall. 

 

xo Andrea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Evacuation Experience from The Sonoma Fires

I'm still in shock with what was a beautiful start to a day taking such a dramatic turn for the worst. Nothing could have prepared Northern California for the devastating fires that have swept the lands this past week. 

Let's Rewind

Last Sunday morning was a special one for me. While Cornerstone Sonoma offered to let me host my first yoga event in their Garden Barn and word had been spreading throughout the community, I was feeling the warm welcome from many. Kevin Paris, our talented musician soothed our senses playing his acoustic guitar as we flowed between utter bliss and joyful tears.

 Inspirational Addict wellness influencer Andrea Bogart leads yoga and live music event with Kevin Paris at Cornerstone Sonoma Garden Barn 

It was a great turn-out and everything went so smoothly. As one yogi commented after saying “I wish we had this every Sunday, it felt like going to church,” I was delighted. I took the feelings of a loving, supportive community home with me and couldn’t wait to start planning the next one. It was a beautiful day…

 Inspirational Addict wellness influencer Andrea Bogart leads yoga and live music event with Kevin Paris at Cornerstone Sonoma Garden Barn

Cut To The Evening

Later, back at home, the sun started to dip over the mountain and the weather took a shift. The wind howled and haunting sounds took me to bed. That jumpy feeling you get from watching scary movies swallowed me… Aaaaand BLACK OUT, suddenly we loose power. Candles are lit and there’s a quick shuffle around to find flash lights. I resettle myself, read our baby girl a few books (a little more for me than her I think) and tried to comfortably tuck in. We finally sleep. Just after 1:30AM I’m awakened by hearing our names being shouted outside the window with a flash of light peering past the curtains. Our neighbor, an Angel, waking us with the news that there is an entire hill side across the way is on fire and we should evacuate our home. She says to grab some things for a few nights and get out as fast as we can.  She gave us a meeting place if we needed support.

My heart pounds. I see our baby-girl sleeping so soundly and take some deep breaths. I can’t even begin to describe what kind of fear sets in knowing this is not just about our safety anymore, it’s about this little human you will do anything to protect. But I quickly decide fear is not an option. It’s; think fast, keep it together and get out safely.

Erik and I make a quick plan to get down from the mountain. We need to get our renters in our Airbnb evacuated and our neighbor there who manages our property whom we couldn’t reach by phone. The drive down was daunting for many reasons… I’m focused on the winding road as there are huge branches and debris down everywhere. I can see the entire ridge to the East on fire, it’s massive. This just got even more real. We divide and conquer, pounding on the doors and yelling to get everyone out and succeed. We headed to some friends just off the square to regroup and decide what’s next. It’s approximately 2:30AM and the usual quiet streets are packed with groups congregating in various areas clearly not sure what to do.

We spend the next hour+ taking in the situation, getting opinions of neighbors (a retired fire chief being one,) and mulling it over with all our friends who’ve met here. We are well aware the smoke is getting worse, we know we have to get our three month old out of this. Erik secures a hotel in about 45 minutes toward San Fransisco for us and we take off. Roads are closed on the way out but relatively clear. An hour later, now 5:30AM we are checking in and getting our wee one tucked back in safely. I won't take you through a play by play for the next seven days as all the details are unimportant. I will tell you that I’m grateful we got out when we did as it was the best decision for our newborn and her tiny developing lungs and I’m in awe of how amazing my love, Erik, is time and time again.

I share a part of this all with you today to express extreme gratitude and heartfelt condolences. The fires are not over but after we got confirmation today that our home survived the fires and our rental property did as well, we feel so incredibly blessed. When two of the larger burning fires became one by Wednesday and the winds kicked back up we really questioned what could happen as our homes sat in the middle of it all. We prayed and we asked everyone we knew to pray for us and all those in the midst of extreme duress. It has been an emotional roller-coaster of getting notifications that things are ok and then it would all change at a moments notice. One of our closest friends lost their home like so many have. The sadness you endure for others is real, the unknown of what your own reality may be is almost paralyzing. We spent our days being consumed by updates and news hanging onto any hopeful information that came our way. Having a newborn is a godsend. They keep you in good spirits because they sense what you're feeling. I started to really loose it multiple times and Em's little lower lip curled down and I could see she was going to loose it too... I did't want that. We sang and played and were able to take a lot of down moments and relish in the joy of having her. I practiced non-attachment daily knowing that having each other in the end was all we needed and the rest is replaceable. It's NOT EASY... you think about all that you'd loose and it hits you like a brick wall. I really love our home. I really love where we've settled to start our family life. I couldn't make that go away. I did however keep praying for the best. I visualized people returning to their homes and a strong community coming together to support the process of rebuilding. That will all continue. Sonoma Country and Napa County will need a lot of love in the coming years. 

Our firefighters and first responders are our hero's. The hours and effort it's taken to bring so many of them together to manage the unmanageable is unbelievable and deserving of so much support and praise. I know our family will be forever grateful for their courage and do whatever we can to join others in giving back. We have been overwhelmed with support from our families and new and old friends during this time. Erik, Em and I thank you so very much. Prayers are constant for so many of those who’ve lost everything and continue to struggle with the unknown fate of these fires. Stay strong and believe there are wonderful people all around who are coming together to support each other. 

If you've been affected by the fires please sign up for disaster relief assistance at www.disasterrelief.gov

I'll work on putting together a great list but here's a place to start if you'd like to donate https://www.youcaring.com/victimsevacueesandfirstrespondersforsonomafires-977708

Little Bit Of Our Story

We, like so many others hope to get to return home soon. All my love and blessings. 

xoxo Andrea

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NOTE: All Photos of Fires pulled from Internet resources-I take no credit and used just to show visually the Northern California Fires near Sonoma Valley of Oct. 2017.

My Younger Self Would Have Greatly Benefited From Mindfulness, How About Your's?

Is there an activity in your life today you would have greatly benefited from in your adolescences? What are some of the most essential things you'd share with your younger self in today's world?

For me that is answer is YES. Especially now that I'm a mom, it's got me thinking about my youth and how I can raise this little person to be a strong, compassionate and loving human.  A desire commonly shared in parenting, I have no doubt.  

If I knew how much yoga and meditation would have impacted my life for the better, you bet I would I have grabbed on to the practices sooner. I didn't get committed to either until my 30's. I was incredibly dedicated to being a dancer and tumbler as a young girl. With that came discipline, hard work, developing a passion, busy schedules, tons of joy... and let's not leave out anxiety, nervousness, failure and thoughts about never being good enough. Although these things help shape us at a young age, isn't it equally important to learn how to cope, manage and understand the more difficult emotions we encounter? It would be incredible to see more effort focused on acquiring self-help tools and practices and less on dramatic labels and prescriptions in my book. There is so much going on in the world today. We are more and more inundated with information coming at us, sharing our lives in a fantastical social-media manner, stripped of the simple things and horrified by devastation time and time again. Mindful practices continue to bring me back to gratitude and compassion and that always provides a shift into something great. 

While I am thankful for great parents who did a tremendous job guiding me, not everyone grows up with such direction and support. And even if you do, sometimes outside sources, pressures and the circles you fall into can have a negative impact. I know yoga and meditation would have only strengthen my mind, body and spirit connection, complimenting my active and competitive lifestyle all through my youth. We only have so much time for our extra circular activities outside school when we are younger, which is why I find it inspiring to see more and more school systems implementing yoga into their curriculum. It's truly more than just a physical practice when guided by skilled, trained, passionate instructors. Children are beginning to learn yoga and mindful practices in pre-school now. Some schools are using meditation during detention and evolving the mindset of troubled kids. Not to mention companies like Google, Apple, Time Warner, YAHOO and AOL offering meditation and wellness programs on-site for employees. How amazing is that? If we are continuously seeing the scientific benefits of mediation, yoga and mindful practices significantly making a difference in the work place, I sure hope we unite as a society and encourage more of this for our youth. The same goes for nutrition, but that's another blog. 

I share my enthusiasm for these things because of the exponential growth and transformation I've experienced from consistently practicing them for years. I am a mom now, I have a responsibility and desire to be a great one who's full of vitality. Helping our baby-girl see how important wellness is; mind, body and spirit is a gift I simply want to pay forward and educate her with early on. I believe that proper nutrition, the power in breath work, regular stretching and being able to sit with ourselves quietly, are a key elements that will encourage awareness of our health, continuous growth and expansion with-in. I'm excited to be a part of a wellness shift I feel happening in the U.S. and pray we as individuals care enough about our wellbeing and that of our families, we learn as much as we can so we can make wise choices.

 Sonoma Mom Inspirational Addict Blogger and wellness influencer Andrea Bogart with Daughter and Erik Almas Photography

If any of you are curious about meditation there are wonderful apps out there you can get started with. I personally love Deepak Chopra and Oprah's 21Day Meditation Experiences they offer several times a year for free. The next one, Making Every Moment Matter starts Oct. 30th if you want to join me? 

As a fun exercise, try writing a letter to your younger self sharing the lessons that have impacted you the most so far. This can be incredibly therapeutic and give you some clarity about what you really appreciate and serves you well today.

If you have great resources you love, share them with me. I'm all about creating community and helpful tips for one another! Have a beautiful week. 

XO ANDREA 

 

YOU Are The Solution To Not Giving Up

We've all set out to achieve something at one point or another right? Can you relate to the notion of setting your expectations a little too high or wanting those immediate results and getting impatient to the point you give up? I'm soooooo with you. Together, let's find some solutions.... so we DO NOT GIVE UP. 

 Inspirational Addict Andrea Bogart Get My Body Back Influencer of wellness with Erik Almas Photography

I looked at my bum in the mirror the other day, scowled, and out loud said "this isn't working." Then I counted the days I've been doing my focused booty and core work and it's been 19 days since I began a 90 day Get My Body Back challenge with The New Hollywood; which is dedicated to supporting socially conscious storytellers and changemaker's. "Ok, seriously Andrea... were you expecting your bum and tummy to take a new magnificent shape over night?" I tend to give myself a hard time, do you?  I appreciate that I work really hard, I'm super committed to things I'd like to achieve and yet I will forget regularly to give myself credit for what I am doing and rant about what I didn't do or what's not happening for me. It's a trap that sadly feels natural doesn't it? I do however have enough awareness to recognize this behavior, catch myself and shift perspective fairly quickly now... that, I am proud of. How do we get there?

I know I often refer to my yoga practice and how much it's changed my life... but there's great reason for that; IT HAS. The practice itself with great mentors helps me grasp the tools to tap into those perspective shifting abilities. Being an instructor allows me the privilege to diligently share the very things that I continue to grow from. Writing this blog is another self-motivating tool for me, among several resources I love. Perhaps, YOU are not a yoga instructor, or blogger or spiritual seeker, all of which is completely OK.  So I ask you to take inventory of your life style choices, the people you surround yourself with and where you are in your efforts to stay committed to the the experiences that encourage you to live your best life and PAY ATTENTION. 

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop
— Confucius

You are brave. You are on a journey that is forever shifting. It's a process to invite in the things that we embrace long enough to trust they are changing us. Often we keep going because we see, feel and indulge in the results... which is amazing, so keep doing that. When the results are slow coming or we can't see or feel a difference quite yet, are we courageous enough to simply trust and admire our efforts? Can that be enough to keep us motivated? Join me in saying a big "Hell Yes"! 

For all my GMBB5 members... keep on keep'n on, we made one heck of a long commitment to finish our year strong. We 100% got this! My booty and tummy will be patient... Determined by December is my mantra, you are welcome to borrow that too.   

Lot's of love to all of you as always... if you have anything for me leave a comment.

XO ANDREA 

 

MINDFULLY START YOUR DAY BEFORE YOUR FEET EVEN HIT THE FLOOR

Happy Soulful Sunday... are you ready to start your week off with a bang? I am, I hope you'll join me with some thoughtful intentions leading the way.

 Inspirational Addict Mindfully Start Your Day with Intentions

Are you set on auto pilot? How much of the first few minutes of your day are spent going through the motions without much awareness? Do you have multiple alarms set for waking up or reach for your phone and immediately start responding to things or possibly shower and brush your teeth with your eyes half open? All of which are things I've gotten caught up doing at various times in my life. Think of creating awareness as a gift to your soul... rather than inflicting any sort of shame on your behaviors. These are the places from which we grow.

I'm not quite sure where I picked up my actions from, but a while ago, my curiosity about how I started my day inspired me to make some changes. Upon waking, I sit up in bed and take three deep inhales and exhales linking my breath to a seated sun salutation. As I finish the third one with my hands at heart center, I set an intention. This is a way for me to mindfully start my day before my feet even hit the floor. This action rippled into more rituals (morning and night) that even with a newborn, I try to diligently make happen daily. 

 Inspirational Addict Mindfully Start Your Day with Awareness with photography by Erik Almas

My introduction to setting intentions came from a consistent yoga practice, which I love and incorporate into my own teachings today. I never had much thought around mindfully starting my day before yoga and it's a big part of why I am always curious about how to better myself. Prayer has been and will always be a part of my life but there is something different about setting intentions that feels purposeful. I can attest that you really don't make changes in your life that stick until you want to make changes and commit. 

To mindfully start your day with a morning routine you absolutely have to make one that's right for you. We all have different lifestyles and commitments. I suggest you doing something you may enjoy or be curious about trying for starters. I tend to stack things into what I'm already doing and find that helps me be consistent. For example, in addition to doing my three breaths which ground me and give me a little stretch as I set an intention, I also use my early morning breastfeeding sessions for meditation and doing my three daily gratitudes. I take down a glass of water first thing, which I set next to my bed the night before.  My man and I make a Vega One protein drink after we stretch for 10-15 minutes. These are all things I enjoy and yes, are challenging at times but have become more habitual now and if I miss doing something... I have that feeling that I didn't do part of what supports my productivity throughout my day. This is me... what's your morning look like for you? Believe me, it was different when I was single. It was even more different before my yoga practice began and with a beautiful, growing baby girl, I'm sure it will take a new shape again soon. Being open to the shifts and changes with your lifestyle is also a dynamic part of you being mindful. Trust in that. 

My talented fiancé, Erik Almas, and I wanted to shoot something together that we created. This was very much inspired by how I make great efforts to mindfully start my day... I hope what ever your morning looks like, you have an awareness around your actions and do at least one thing for yourself that feels, grounding, uplifting and provokes some joy that carries you throughout your day!

At the beginning of your day when you wake up; express your aspiration “May I practice three difficulties, may I see what I do. When it happens, may I do something different, and may that be a way of life for me.”
— Pema Chodron

Thank you for stopping by... I love hearing from you if you've got any fun morning rituals you want to share, let me hear them! 

XO Andrea