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

How To Make Sleep A Priority In Your Life With Recommendations From Author, Arianna Huffington's Book "The Sleep Revolution"

Ahh the beauty of sleep and the not so beautiful reality of how little we get sometimes, right?

Photo By Erik Almas in Hotel Alma Barcelona, Spain.

Photo By Erik Almas in Hotel Alma Barcelona, Spain.

Is sleep a priority in your life? Author, Arianna Huffington, pointedly presents “We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis," in her book "THE SLEEP REVOLUTION: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time." 

As I opened up to my own awareness, it took a lifestyle shift to recognize how valuable sleeping seven to eight hours a night is for me. “I can function really well on just four to five hours of sleep,” used to be a coined phrase of mine. I don’t think I’m alone in this cultural way of thinking, as at large, society wears our lack of sleep as a badge of honor. I could give example after example where sleep was at the bottom of my priority list as I thought less sleep would give me more hours in the day to be creative and productive as I worked hard to fulfill my dreams. It did the very opposite. Emotional, irritable, decision fatigue, relationship turmoil, being unprepared, and running late were at the top of my list for lack of sleep affecting my days negatively. Does this sound like you? Making a commitment to sleep has kept me healthier, happier and more inspired than ever before. You can always make changes, remember that. 

TIP #1 IDENTIFY WHY SLEEP IS IMPORTANT TO YOU

Sit down for 10 minutes or more and journal why sleep is important to you and how you can make changes to ensure you get more of it. I love asking myself WHY. When you have a visual written down you gain clarity and are more likely to connect with doing what it takes to make it happen. For example: Sleep is important for my health. My immune system is stronger when I'm well rested giving me energy for my days and I rarely get sick. To maintain good health I need eight hours of sleep a night. 

TIP #2 CREATE A BED TIME RITUAL

Say "NO" to late night TV and power down your devices at least 30 minutes to one hour or more before heading to bed. Make a cup of tea and grab a book. Or maybe it's turning down the lights, reading a story to your kids and taking a bath. Whatever it is, let it be 20-30 minutes of winding down and shutting off the work and prepare yourself for a peaceful sleep. I'm a big fan of some romantic time with my honey, meditations, writing three gratitudes in my journal and singing or reading to our baby girl. I constantly struggle with doing things on my phone at night. Part of why I love that Arianna suggests we leave them out of the bedroom, so we are not tempted to be on them disrupting our bed time rituals. 

TIP #3 ALIGHN YOUR SLEEP WITH YOUR NATURAL BODY CLOCK

Even if your schedule is different daily or you can sleep in on the weekends... try to goto bed and wake up at similar times daily. Notice when you naturally get tired so you'll be less likely to toss and turn. Let your internal clock guide you, which helps with supporting the quality of your sleep. If you're interested in Ayurvedic sleep cycles you'll eat light, be in bed by 10PM and naturally wake up when you're well rested. When I do this, I almost always wake up right before my alarm.  

My fiancé and I just welcomed our newborn into the world so with compromise and support we hope to still be a well rested family. That may be laughable but we will strive for our best as we both understand we are better for ourselves, each other and supporting our work ethics and lifestyles when we have proper sleep. If you have yet to figure out a way to make sleep one of, if not the most important thing you can do for yourself…grab this book immediately and try the tips I've recommended. 

Whether you are a sound sleeper or you struggle catching a proper nights rest, this crucial element to our health and well being can easily fall into a place of neglect. Arianna takes us through multiple dimensions of our relationship to sleep from the time we are babies to adulthood. Her exploration of science reveals there are endless imposing disruptions that can lead us into a place of denial and disillusion about how much sleep plays a role in our overall health and happiness. As a holistic-wellness influencer, I appreciate her tackling the sleeping pill industry in hopes to encourage us all to create a sanctuary in our bedrooms, leaving our devices out of this space to embrace a bedtime routine that supports you falling into a mindful and well rested place of sleep not aided by the overuse of pills. I have found grace in night time rituals to wind down while I am still working on leaving devices out of our bedroom. This book takes you through several examples and habits we all have experienced or may still be experiencing. With personal examples, advice and investigative research it's a great read to open up your own awareness about your own sleep. Take back control of turning off the work and powering down and notice how you can transform your life one night at a time.  

Thank you for popping by... I've been reading and listening to so many books for years now, I'm excited to share one's that have really helped me make changes in my life for the better. I'm always up for a great read too, if you have any you want to toss my way, leave them in comments or subscribe and e-mail me. Have a beautiful week and make getting proper sleep a priority for yourself! 

xo Andrea