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 Give The Gift Of Being Present

Have you ever wondered how to be more present? We hear it all the time, we potentially think we are and yet so easily our minds wander, our attention bounces to the past or future and suddenly we're missing out on what's happening right in front of us; here and now. 

Wellness Influencer, happiness blogger, Sonoma New Mamma, yoga Instructor Andrea Bogart with Photographer fiancé Erik Almas get present.

Thanksgiving just kicked the holiday season into high gear and I'm thinking about how to give myself the gift of being more present in all that I do... are you ready to join me? I know we will benefit from this awareness and I can assure you the people and situations you interact with will appreciate it too. With a million ways to be distracted today... being present is a GIFT to rapture in. 

There are so many examples throughout the day where I am deeply connected to the present moment and others where auto pilot is taking me through the motions and I'm not present at all. Does this sound like you too? Of course this is natural but my gosh, doesn't it feel good to catch yourself and breathe into that realization and just be in the moment? It's a practice. Like with most things, if we take the time to practice this, we get good and this particularly should feel simple rather than like a task.  We will always have distractions, interruptions and a multitude of things that can cause worry but if we truly work on being present we can alleviate the external emotions often attached to these deterrents.

tips

Check-in with your moment to moment awareness in some of these areas;

  • Making dinner... cooking can be such an enjoyable process, tasting & sipping
  • Driving... see your surroundings notice the trees, a house you love
  • Playing with your kids... I'm not sure there's anything better than this one
  • Doorways... what space did you just enter, why are you there, who is there
  • Social Media... how much time is spent here, whats your purpose
  • Spouse or partner... daily wrap up with significant other, yummy intimacy
  • Work environment... offering support in a meeting, for a co-worker
  • Daily schedule... smooth sailing or over committing, smiling throughout your day
The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers
— Thich Nhat Hanh

My Key Helpers

  • Yoga– making time for this regularly is a game changer for my ability to be more present. Dropping into my breath, linking the mind, body, spirit connection activates your awareness and focus on the here and now. There is often a sense of release I feel from anything that's been bothering me. The eight limbs that are explored in yoga have a way of sneaking into your everyday life offering more lasting vitality. 
  • Meditation– learning to be aware of your mind, quieting down all the chatter and disconnecting from the complexity of the world can bring you to such simplicity and stillness. I've replaced a ton of waiting times with meditation and it's incredible how different my energy is about the circumstances. (Examples; pumping breast milk, casting rooms, Dr. offices, dentist visits, airplanes) 
  • Digitally disconnecting– unplugging or powering down from our digital accessories for specified times is essential today. The phone is probably one of the biggest distractions to date, we rely on it for everything and often feel lost without it. Leaving it at home, turning it off,  putting it in another room, are all great ways to NOT let it rob delicious present moments away from you. 

My favorite part about all this is that it is actually pretty basic when you think about being present. It doesn't mean it doesn't come without it's challenges... but I believe it's the world in which we live with an unbelievable amount of stimulation that has altered are senses of how important it is to just BE. I heard on a Tim Ferriss podcast recently, "remember we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS," I love that. Find gratitude in everything that you do, appreciate the smallest of tasks, seek joy moment to moment and feel how amazing anything can be. Remember it's a practice. Each step is a step with grace and wonderment. 

Thank you guys for dropping in! Cheers to the happiest holiday season and being more present in all we do! You are always welcome to leave a comment or tips for me... we're in this together. 

xoxo 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! 

THAILAND YOGA RETREAT ANYONE?

THAILAND YOGA RETREAT ANYONE? 

I'm so excited to announce that one of my favorite humans, Jake Ferree, is hosting the Ultimate Yoga Retreat in Thailand and I am honored to be a guest teacher throughout the experience in May, 2017. I have been taking class with Jake for five + years now and not only is he a tremendous yogi who I learn so much from, he's become a wonderful friend so dear to my heart. When Jake asked me if I'd like to join him for this opportunity I lit up... he sort of has this effect on me anytime we get to be near one another. Needless to say, I'm more than delighted we will get to share our deep love for teaching with those of you who'd like to join us for this magical week. There are only a few spaces left so act fast. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out. We'll see you in Thailand! 

THE SANCTUARY
MAY 21-MAY 28TH 2017
HAD TIEN BAY, KO PHANGAN

Yoga allows you to find inner peace that is not ruffled and ruled by the endless struggles of life
— B.K.S Iyengar
                      www.JakeFerree.com                                          www.AndreaBogartYoga.com

                     www.JakeFerree.com                                        www.AndreaBogartYoga.com

Click here for all the details about your Ultimate week of Yoga in Beautiful Thailand with Jake and Andrea! 

Thank you for stopping by as always! Have a beautiful, mindful and inspiring day! Leave me a comment if you've been to Thailand or have any thing you'd like to share? 


If you're sassy and you know it, take advantage of my Carbon38 Ambassador Discount for $50 off your first purchase.

We Are Never Too Old

Hello lovelies— Have you ever asked yourself, "how old do I feel?"  And if so, on a fairly consistent basis, would you say it is younger or older than you actually are? If the answer was older don't get discouraged here... we're just going create some awareness and maybe even shift our perspective if necessary.

In recent years, as my birthday rolls around I continue to ask Mom & Dad, "are you absolutely sure you had me in when you say you did... I'm feeling like I should see my birth certificate?" The smiles beam through the receiving end of that call. I'm proud to say I feel younger than I am.  I know for sure it wouldn't be this way if I didn't re-arrange my lifestyle about seven years ago and make my health and wellness a priority I'm committed to.  

As I climb up into an old oak tree, I'm reminded of my youth and how many trees like this I've climbed over the years to play and see things from a different view. Comparably, this is how I look at my current age; playful & from a different view. 

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

After an inspiring chat with my one of my best friends last week about her turning another year older and how she too can't believe our actual age (we cringe) because our physical age feels much younger (we laugh), I got excited to write about this. She is one of my most adventurous and brave girlfriends who nurtures her health and wellness and challenges herself to great heights as that once a year event continues to strike. We wrapped up our talk with love and laughter as I wished her a Happy Birthday and the best of luck on a climb she was headed for. She just completed it Friday with her husband, who is equally motivating and sent me a breathtaking photo. Here's an example of her great heights...

Andrea sporting an Inspirational Addict tank ( Namastamy ) + awesome hubby, Matthew Edler 

Andrea sporting an Inspirational Addict tank (Namastamy) + awesome hubby, Matthew Edler 

We did it! 8,844ft Half Dome summit in Yosemite! 18 miles with 4,800ft of elevation gain, whew, my feet hurt! Thank you to my hubby, Matthew Edler, for enduring the pain with me to celebrate my birthday
— Andrea Link Edler

I read an article awhile back on Medical Daily that caught my attention about your biological age being different from your chronological age. Naturally, I want to know!  Well, I'm thrilled to report after a series of questions answered truthfully, I'm 12 again? WHAAAAT? Now that's just a little young but I'll take it. Want to find out your Biological Age? Leave me a comment if you do it. Remember, fun + awareness. 

I share all of this because creating a consistent yoga practice, adding clean organic food into my daily eating habits and quieting my mind with a mediation practice has changed my life. Physically, I don't suffer from severe joint pain any more. I'm stronger and more flexible than when I was 18 years old and a professional dancer. I rarely get sick. I honor where I'm at each day when I get on my mat. I treat all of this as a practice which gives me the freedom to enjoy the journey and accept all the imperfections in the process. So when a best friends says she feels young and vibrant I get to graciously say, "I'm so happy for you, me too".  I wish this for everyone. As we navigate our way through the food industry, explore exercise we enjoy, expand in our minds and create the life we want to feel our best in, can I inspire you to NOT let your chronological number be something that stops you?  If you're telling yourself you feel old, you're too tired, you won't see a difference with your efforts... that is potentially all true. So stop that. Shift your perspective, replace excuses with actions that support you and embrace all the power you have even in your thoughts to be thriving, visualizing yourself doing all the things you want to be doing. It's never too late to get curious and make changes about how to live a better, healthier YOU. I'm proud of you already! 

This 96 year old Yoga Instructor, Tao Porchon-Lynch has some wonderful, uplifting advice for us.

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Tao Porchon-Lynch

I'm going for it 

I'm going for it 

Tune into your body and you will experience it. Stagnant muscles cause stagnant minds.
— Tao Porchon-Lynch

I'm inspired by so much and so many. Thank you for supporting me in my journey to share stories and connect with all of you. Any comments and questions are always encouraged and welcome!

Happy Memorial Day

Expand your heart and send out love and gratitude as we honor all of our leading men and women who have fought for our country and lost their lives in battle. We celebrate your bravery, courage and for the unwavering support you've given the U.S.. May our love and prayers give healing to the victims family's. 

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In case you didn't know....

"Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was initiated to honor the soldiers for the Union and Confederate armies who died during the American Civil War.

Celebrations honoring Civil War heroes started the year after the war ended. The establishment of a public holiday was meant to unify the celebration as a national day of remembrance instead of a holiday celebrated separately by the Union and Confederate states. By the late 19th century, the holiday became known as Memorial Day and was expanded to include the deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday.

The original national celebration of Decoration Day took place on 30 May 1868. When Memorial Day became a federal holiday, it was given the floating date of the last Monday in May. Since many companies close for the holiday, Memorial Day weekend is three days long for most people. It is the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season that lasts until the first Monday in September, which is Labor Day." For more about Memorial Day and other Public Holidays see PublicHolidays.US

I'm so happy to see how yoga and meditation has become a healing practice for many of our veterans needing forms of rehabilitation and support. If you have any interest in volunteering your services or donating, check out a few companies doing tremendous work below and click the link for more information on how you can get involved. 

Give Back Yoga Foundation

What are your Memorial Day plans? BBQ, travel, relax, family, friends... whatever you decide, enjoy your long weekend and be safe! Thanks again, as always for stopping by Inspirational Addict.