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 

 

Essential Insight To Postpartum And Bundles Of Health

Questions about postpartum? Well, let me introduce you to Bundles of Health who had some questions for me...

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

When a smart group of Northwestern University Students launches a platform supporting the holistic health of mom's reaches out and say's we'd like some of your input... I say "how can I help?" Considering I love to write and have so many thoughts on being a new mom I want to share, their questions only helped propel me into getting information out to all of you even quicker. 

Why is health and wellness important to you?

Without health and wellness we have to ask ourselves, “what kind of life are we living if this isn’t important to us as individuals?” I would encourage it to be important to EVERYONE. I could go on forever about this… but in short; As I learn more about how nutritional food plays such a significant role in our mind, body and spirit health I challenge us all to take a serious look at how we care for ourselves. As a society, I wish we had nutrition, yoga & meditation courses throughout our education systems starting in pre-school through master programs that reached even the medical field more significantly. My personal journey has been transformative as a growing interest in the wellness industry had me asking questions about my value in the quality of life I was experiencing. Several years ago I fell into the pool of many, who get caught waiting until something is wrong to make changes. A scare with an auto immune disorder developing gave me great insight to how I could be living a much healthier, happier life. Curiosity and passions have led me to educate myself through literature, documentaries, courses, podcasts and even using social media as a platform to take better care of myself. I then ask, how I can pay it all forward? I want to live a long and vibrant life and I have control over the food I eat, how active I remain and the lifestyle choices I make to support that longevity I'm striving for. I hope to inspire others to do the same. Finding the recipe that’s right for you with things like; organic healthy food, yoga, exercise you enjoy, meditation and sleep are vital to our health and wellness. These important, quality of life elements often are the first thing we neglect and do not prioritize because we are too busy working or taking care of everyone and everything but ourselves. When we are living in a time where we are likely to die from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, I pray we honor the things we have control over and do our very best to live an abundantly healthy life.

 
Photo by Erik Almaa

Photo by Erik Almaa

 

While pregnant, did you think about how you would take care of your health postpartum?

I went into my pregnancy feeling great! I planned to continue on with my mindful lifestyle and listen for any adjustments that this special time might call for. I absolutely thought about maintaining this postpartum, with the addition of allowing myself to fully heal before jumping back into how physically active I usually am. My biggest concern was my emotional health. In my case, two months prior to our due date, I moved after living the past 17 years with a flourishing career and wonderful friendships in Los Angeles to Sonoma, California to settle into a quieter life with my fiancé. Moving in general is challenging not to mention doing it seven months pregnant with your new home under renovations. Leaving friends and my career naturally had me wondering how I would handle it all as I became a new mom. I mentally prepared with mediation practices at the forefront, focusing on all of it being a positive experience and how greatly our family would benefit from this decision. I was equally excited about the change so it made visualizing myself in a wonderful new environment that much easier.  Daily gratitude about it all still serves my mind so well. 

Not knowing what kind of birth experience my story would turn out to be also took some preparation. By about 35 weeks I referred to resources of what types of things would help your recovery period and made sure to have them at home ready. We also hired a doula who was an amazing guide during birth and gave great insight to what kinds of things we could expect and how she’d assist with postpartum. There are plenty of articles you read that can be scary as well so I chose to be aware, but not slip into a place of worry and anxiety. Most importantly I made a commitment that I would be very open about how I'm feeling as bonding with our baby girl and my loving fiancé took over our lives.  I’d continue eating healthy meals and ask for support with all the specific self-care I would need.  As independent as I’ve been, I trust that if there’s ever a time to really ask for help this would be it... and I do. 

It takes a village to raise a kid. How has your village helped you through both pregnancy and as a new mom?

So much support is necessary during pregnancy and as you become a new Mom. Having a village is crucial. I’m blessed with an incredible man who has tremendous communication and has fully supported my ever-changing emotions during everything so far. If I was to itemize the things he’s done since we found out we were having a baby to make this time so joyful and easier on me, this blog would be really lengthy. He’s present and helpful every step of the way. The only thing he can’t do is breastfeed if that gives any indication to everything he does to help out. I know how lucky I am with him. Both sides of our parents have come to visit since our baby girl arrived and been incredible with respecting our time for bonding and taken on house chores, making meals and grocery store runs. They’ve allowed us to be completely hands on with our baby and let us guide them when it’s ok to take her for a walk or hold and play with her. We are so grateful for Emerie’s Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and all they do for us. The support and guidance from girlfriends has been a delight. From paying forward baby registries, sharing lists that helped them and girl talk about the entire process has kept me smiling and pointed in the right direction if I’ve had questions. Two of my very best friends just gave birth right before me and we’ve had a ball sharing stories, tips, photos and the miracle of becoming new moms all together. Erik, my fiancé, and I had decided we wanted to do as much as we could all on our own and that hiring Kate Coletti, our doula would be the only outside help we’d have until we felt we really needed more. Kate is special and having gained our trust and a natural comfort upon meeting her we knew she was aligned with our needs in the birthing process and postpartum. I think the most magical thing about having her expertise is how she helped the bond between Erik and grow even stronger before, during and after we welcomed our baby girl. Her guidance has created an overall wonderful experience for us especially as questions or concerns arrive.     

Photos by Kate Coletti

Photos by Kate Coletti

EssentialinsighttopostpartumandbundlesofhealthJPG

 What’s the hardest thing about being a new mom?

For me it’s not so much about being hard, as it’s just full of adjustments. There is joy beyond words in being a mom and holding a tiny life that you created with another human. I always hoped to be a mom and with a partner like Erik, it makes it even more amazing than I knew it could be. Some of the adjustments that are challenging me are things like; the posture my body has taken on breastfeeding 24/7… it’s a terrible slump, I’ve tweaked my neck, my back and shoulders are suffering and since I’m slowly getting back to my yoga and everything I’m used to doing, I feel stiff and tight, not normal for a yogi. As much as I love slowing down and relishing in just holding our baby, I have to remind myself I’m not juggling work like I was and to just enjoy being a mamma. I’m a creative being though so I crave keeping that flowing but it takes blocks of time to focus and that isn’t always possible right now. Learning to trust your instincts and not google search everything you may have doubts about is something that I struggled with right away and thankfully has really settled now. You spend so much time with this little person you do just naturally have all the instincts together that help guide each other. And everyone does say sleep is the hardest… It’s no joke, I could feel myself whimpering like a 5year old some nights not knowing how I could sit up in this terrible posture and breastfeed one more time, but you see their sweet little eyes and face just communicating to you they're hungry and then you do and I can fall back asleep pretty easily so I have that going for me. I’ve felt more rested than I thought I would but I thank Emerie for that, so far she’s been a pretty darn good sleeper for us and we are the queens of naps. 

Photo by Mike Byrne

Photo by Mike Byrne

How could you see Bundles of Health being beneficial to new moms and the people who care about them?

There are not a lot of companies out there that are focused on the postpartum aspect of how to help mamas holistically in these new roles and I love that about Bundles of Health. I can see how a lot of mom's may not care for themselves the way they'd like to or perhaps once did when a baby arrives, as it is incredibly hands on and the hours can just drift by with loosing site of even the simplest things, like drinking enough water. Having a place where healthy, mindful gift packages are put together to send to a mom in need or for a mamma to refer to is so wonderful. I bet most mamma's out there would trade a $75 bouquet of flowers sent to them for an organic salmon dinner or an at home massage or even a snack pack filled with nutrient rich products any day. Offering a virtual doula is another resourceful component that I can see many new moms using. Many like me, don't have family living nearby and that's difficult at times, when you wish they could be closer.  When asked, "what can we do" or "how can we help",  I would love to refer family and friends to a place like Bundles of Health just as I would like to choose things from there to send to the mamma's in my life I can't be with. The convenience of giving mom's the Add To Registry button is handy as well. You have some wonderful items already listed that I have used during my pregnancy and postpartum. I think you're on a roll and have a beautiful business that will flourish. 

Andreas Most Essential Postpartum List

Thank you for stopping by and a special thanks to Bundles Of Health for reaching out to me and having me share some of my story & tips with all of you. Please check out their site and support one of the mamma's in your life. If you have any questions or comments for me, bring it on... I love hearing from you guys! 

xo Andrea

HOW AWARE ARE WE?

Hi there lovelies, hope you're having a beautiful Sunday.

Photo By Erik Almas in Dubai

Photo By Erik Almas in Dubai

How aware are we I ask?  

We can be aware of the obvious things for sure; emotions we feel, our responsibilities, the routine of how we move through our days, food we eat, amount of exercise we get, what we tune-in to and tune-out, judgments we make on ourselves, energy we put out into the world… you get the idea. Do you ever wonder if you’re just going through the motions of life missing out on that deeper connection to your self-awareness? And even more importantly, how does your answer make you feel?

A few helpful questions to increase your awareness with the examples I listed above:

  1. Do you push away emotions or invited them in? 
  2. Are you enjoying or dreading your responsibilities?
  3. How present are you as you move through your day?
  4. Do you make food choices that support your health and goals?
  5. Is it important to you that you get daily physical exercise?
  6. What kind of environment are you creating for yourself? 
  7. Are you judging the choices you make with compassion or negative self talk?
  8. Would the people in your environment say you are kind, loving and joyful to be around?
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I truly believe, through our awareness it as just as easy to create wonderful, life changing habits as it is to fall into bad ones. It’s the desire to be aware that will dictate how much you enrich your life and strive for your greatest potential. We all want this don’t we? Take a moment to smile here and thank yourself for the awareness you have and trust that you are only going to expand and grow from here on out! 

Various circumstances and mainly excuses kept me from committing to a yoga practice many years ago and I wouldn’t have had a clue how to meditate. Sit still and be quiet, oh my... I couldn’t do that, that’s just weird unless I’m sleeping… would have been my inner monologue. When I landed in a yoga practice I loved, I began to lean-in to how I could expand my awareness and that uplifted me. Being a witness to the challenges I faced on my mat revealed the same challenges I had in life and I wanted to look at that. Yoga was becoming an emotional experience filled with vulnerability, happiness, resistance, letting go of ego, challenges, peace and a wonderful sense of increased awareness. Not to mention, keeping me in great shape. I fell deeply in love and made it a commitment I knew I had to share with others. 

There are days I’m extremely proud of my progress with being aware, present and connected and there are days I ignore my significant other as I create a social media post while I juggle car keys, grocery bags and getting the mail
— Andrea Bogart
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I love inspiring a mindful lifestyle in general and as a yoga instructor I have a responsibility to my students to encourage them to connect to their awareness.  My hope is that it propels each person to want to live a mindful life filled with happiness. Being an instructor doesn’t make me better, more self-aware or give me super powers but I see it as a beautiful gift that serves my life well and supports my core beliefs in the effort to practice what I share.  

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently
— Anthony Robbins

It's such a pleasure to sit and think and write about things I love and that helped me along the way. If it speaks to you in some way, comment or share something with me.... I love hearing from you guys. Have a blessed day filled with awareness! 

Mindful Tips For Travelers

So you're going to be traveling huh?

Photo by my gorgeous friend  Jade Tailor  who showed me around  Lynn Canyon

Photo by my gorgeous friend Jade Tailor who showed me around Lynn Canyon

As traveling is a big part of my life it's important for me to stick to somewhat of a routine, even when I'm put into situations where it can be disrupted. Perhaps I can relate this to most of my friends with children who say how important it is to keep their little one's on a schedule. Well, I need this too... how about you guys?

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear
— Buddha

There's no doubt that traveling can influence a major shift in our eating, physical exercise and mindful practices... but if we have some intentions as we wander into new territories we can certainly keep our selves in-check and possibly even shift perspective with how we indulge mind, body & spirit!

My pal  Rod McLean  snapped this for me as he showed me some sights at  Sea to Sky

My pal Rod McLean snapped this for me as he showed me some sights at Sea to Sky

I consider this yet to be another form of practice. How do we sustain mindfulness & productive days when we venture away from our daily environment? I'm a go-with-the-flow gal, but I'm realizing more and more, I'm effective with keeping my mind, body & spirit healthy when I stay committed to my practices that support this.  My most recent acting job landed me in Vancouver for almost two weeks, so it was important for me to feel my best and balance shooting days with exploring around the city a bit.

No matter where you're headed can I inspire you to take your courageous and curious mindset with you? Find what works for you and create a practice for yourself so regardless of where you are you have a few things you know will uplift you and inspire you to stay healthy. I've fallen in love with mindfulness as I travel. Between seeking out yoga studios, hikes, organic restaurants, peaceful areas for meditations, transit systems, socially connecting with friends and meeting locals... I'm excited to adapt and enjoy all that traveling can offer.  

Check out my quick (sped up) Get My Body Back #GMBB4 core series I did on the outdoor hotel patio as the sun was setting. As I incorporated this into my yoga flow, just being outside and in a different setting was energizing for my soul. 

A few stress relieving, mood boosting tips you can take anywhere: 

  1. Daily Gratitudes- I've explored writing them down, using my Gratitude 365 App, breathing them into my heart space as I meditate and mentally engaging with them to calm my mind as I want to drift into a peaceful sleep.
  2. Explore a new area- This can seem daunting when you don't know your way around, but let me encourage you to get out and walk, jog or bike. You learn the lay of the land and discover so much more than when you're in a car. Let yourself get lost... you'll find your way back. 
  3. Nutritionally take charge- Pack some of your favorite healthy snacks if you think they may not be accessible where you're headed. When options are slim you'll be happy you have them. Use Yelp to search healthy organic spots in your location. 
  4. Be Flexible- Accept that you will do your best but remain flexible as you trust yourself and the wisdom of your body, mind and heart to guide what feels right. This most definitely includes relaxing too!

A few of my favorite travel buddies are the magic bullet and vega protein packs. So even if I indulge in other areas I know that I can still get at least one healthy smoothie with vitamins and nutrients down the hatch each day. This saves me. My eko superlite manduka travel mat is another since it's light weight & foldable.

What are your travel tips with staying mindful? Do you have any for me? I love hearing from you guys.... feel free to comment and share if you read anything you like. Thanks for stopping by!

ACTIVE VIBES

With the ever-evolving world of fitness and fashion merging into one colorful conglomerate of patterns, styles and the latest must-haves, it's not just about tossing your oldest comfy t-shirt and sweatpants on anymore.  We've got more options than ever to sass up our style while we get fit. Why not find some inspiration as you create your vibe?  

Here are a few of my favorite things. Comfortable, sexy and fun. 

What's your vibes right now? 

You’ve always been beautiful. Now you’re just deciding to be healthier, fitter, faster and stronger. Remember that.
— unknown