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

 

How To Challenge Yourself Mind, Body & Spirit With Get My Body Back (GMBB5)

Hello amazing humans! I'm inspired to share the official Invitation to the GET MY BODY BACK 5 Elective by "The New Hollywood" (TNH) starting September 12th through December 11th! This is my third year participating and second year supporting you as one of the expert leaders. I’m motivated knowing I’ll get to encourage you along the way, just as I need you encouraging me.

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Do you wish you got more sleep, spent less time on your phone, drank more water, started a meditation practice, took walks frequently, ate healthier meals, carved out space just for you or engaged in more mindful activities with friends or loved ones... to suggest a few? HERE IS YOUR YOUR CHANCE, WITH A COMMUNITY SUPPORTING YOU! We all learn from accountably. Receiving and giving support with my TNH Members has changed my life for the better. There's a drive to continue to grow and pay that energy forward in a variety of ways. For #GMBB5 we put our money where our mouths are, involving a beautiful charity aspect. Ready to be truthful with yourself? You get your money back if you successfully complete your challenge and if not… it goes to a charity. It’s a win win in our book but we absolutely want to see you succeed in your challenge. Choose something, anything, big or small that you believe will create a healthier, happier lifestyle for YOU– let's do this!

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

Listen, I’m a new mama as of July and as a daily yoga practitioner, taking a break to let my body heal has been difficult and now that I’m cleared to get back at it, things hurt more than usual… which tells me how important it is to keep moving and stretching as we safely can. Not to take away from how valuable it is to listen to your body and rest as well. It’s been more important for me to relish in baby time and I have appreciated the break. Bonding with her is just the best. My life style has shifted so much recently, this years participation will be a new sort of challenge for me. As a member and leader with the TNH elective I will commit to 10 minutes alternating booty & core work daily and I will post an Inspirational Addict blog every Sunday to warm your soul on your journey! I’m excited to get my body back into shape post-baby and writing for my blog is such a passion and super challenging with a newborn, so I love the idea of committing to these things. Often we set goals that are just too much, too unrealistic and fail and then beat ourselves up about it. So take a beat to think about what will serve you well in this challenge mind, body & spirit, don't over do it, and get excited about committing to what you choose. That is how, together, we will create changes... hopefully some that stick with us long after our 90 days. 

Click the link below for complete details and join us for the challenge. The “I want to sign up” button is waiting for you there.

http://www.thenewhollywood.org/getmybodyback5.html

The New Hollywood Women’s Goal Group Inc. is a philanthropic women’s goal group and 501c3 non-profit. TNH wants to inspire everyone to Rise Higher, Shine Brighter and Give Back! The four pillars of our organization are: goals, support, education and charity. Join our movement, on line community and quarterly newsletter by signing our pledge page
— The New Hollywood

Thank you guys for visiting me here. I love sharing things that I hope we can connect on and keep each other inspired about life. Sending you all lot's of love and laughs always. If you have any questions or comments... share away! I love hearing from you.

XOXO 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

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 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 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

 

LEAN INTO A GREAT PLAYLIST & FEEL SOMETHING

Who doesn't love a solid playlist that can make you sing along, burst into dance or get lost in lyrics that connect you to something powerful?

Photos by  David Heisler

Photos by David Heisler

Music has a way of transcending our spirit in many different directions. What a lovely vice to use to explore movement, emotions, connection, talent, events, workouts... I mean you name it, music has a an on going relationship with each and everyone one of us in some capacity.

Growing up a dancer and being a lover of movement I've never had a problem getting up to shake my booty around to some good jams, get caught up car dancing or bust out Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar karaoke style. Five years ago when I dove into teaching yoga I knew music would be a well curated part of what I wanted to offer my students with their preferences in mind. I felt music have a way of connecting me to a deeper sense of self as I hit the mat and wanted to share that with others. I get asked a lot after class about my playlists, requests to screenshot them or questions about who sang what song and I love it. I'm excited to share my playlists on Spotify with all of you as well, should that interest you! If you have a FaceBook account it's free. 

Just another daily joy that felt share worthy. Music; my love for it and willingness to share playlists I take a lot of time to make... It's become a hobby I truly enjoy and discover so many new artists and great songs in doing so. Select your mood button today... and listen to something that suits that! I implore you to FEEL SOMETHING. 

Check out my latest playlist filled with some music I'm loving at the moment titled FEELsomething on Spotify. 

Who is your favorite artist at the moment? Sharing is caring and I'm always up for some great suggestions... anything special you'd like to hear if you were in a yoga class? Thank you for stopping by. I always love hearing from you!

XO ANDREA

BECOME A DARK CHOCOLATE LOVER, WHY YOU ASK?

Hi... do you love chocolate? Or sweets? When you have one sweet treat do you want more and more? Is it hard to cut back on sugar? Let's chat, cause you are not alone!

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest

Now I did not put those photos there for you to start salivating over, although I'd agree my mouth is kinda getting watery... which is all good. 

Let me share with you a little vulnerability and how dark chocolate has come to the rescue. Not so many years ago as I cut way back on drinking alcohol, I unintentionally replaced that with a full blown sugar addiction. As I started peeling back some layers it became apparent I had been using both of those things to mask feelings that ultimately I needed to face and work through. So in my quest to heal which began with changing my diet completely and having that calling to jump on my yoga mat regularly, I discovered dark chocolate along the way. Make no misunderstanding, dark chocolate was not my healer to life's issues but it did become a healthy alternative to the overload of processed sugars I used to consume, like in the photos above. 

                                                                                           Be patient with yourself if you have some unmasking to do.... it's a process 

                                                                                           Be patient with yourself if you have some unmasking to do.... it's a process 

I'd like to think of my dark chocolate consumption now as a Daily Joy. Do I still have a cookie, bowl of ice cream or a piece of birthday cake... absolutely, I would never completely deny myself of life's greatest little delights. But that is a once-in-a-while joy not an everyday joy like it once was treading on. Becoming gluten free has been one of the best things for me and due to reactions in my body that immediately tell me processed sugary, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, wheat containing goodies hate me... it's been a blessing to my overall health. 

It was all sort of a process I went through but as I started really nourishing my body with organic food regularly the sugar cravings lessoned. I often was depriving myself of necessary nutrients that would usually keep your blood sugar balanced and by mid-day I'd essentially plummet into hypoglycemia and suddenly my body would scream for something and it was always sugar that I reached for. Makes sense doesn't it? I needed a nutritionists help to figure this all out but once I realized what I was doing to my own health, I had to get into a better routine. No exceptions. 

Dear Body,
I love you, I accept you, I see you. I promise to cherish you all the days of my life
— Unknown
Photo By  John Hong

Photo By John Hong

As I disciplined myself, I also acknowledged the joys of balance. I honored that I was not going to cut out sweets completely, that would just be rude to do to myself. As dark chocolate entered my life I started trying different forms of it and cacao percentages. Some days I'd have a square and other days an entire bar but by keeping one in my cabinet regularly it's helped me not have has much over all.  My tastebuds have grown to love it and I feel darn good about consuming it, in moderation. No apologies. 

Buying quality dark chocolate with high cocao content is actually quite nutritious. Besides one of the best reasons; IT MAKES YOU HAPPY, there's a plethora of research out there that will have you swooning over it soon enough. So if you've suffered from the sugar binges like myself,  may I inspire you to put down the processed junk and dive into exploring some dark chocolate that will satisfy your sweet tooth.  In combination with nutritious, organic meals you'll be on a path to healthier living– YOU got this!

A few of my favorites:

If I've not convinced you yet check out this great article on Huffington post I found as I wanted to do a little more research for myself... 9 Reasons You Should Eat Dark Chocolate

Well this turned out to be another really fun little bit to share with you all. If it resonates with you or you can relate and want to share, leave me a comment or feel free to e-mail me and by all means if you have a treat you'd like to share, hook a sister up!  Just remember every choice we make can be the start of something bigger and wiser for our over all good. I say hail to the dark chocolate and become a lover. 

XO Andrea

 

BATHING YOURSELF IN LOVE...

Who doesn't love to run a hot bath and slip into some bubbles once in a while? This is not just for the ladies, gentlemen... if you've neglected to treat yourself to this form of relaxation, what are you waiting for?  Come one, come all, fill the tub and set up for the mood you're in.  You can create any kind of environment you want here. A hot tea and a good book with the window cracked, let the fresh air blow in. Or how about dimming the lights, fire up a few candles and sip a glass of wine with some calming classical music, maybe you can talk your partner into washing your back?  What if you put on some fun tunes, let the kids grab their water toys and add some extra suds for them to splash around for a bit?  Bath time can be such a lovely way to unwind and settle-in to some self love and create space for that necessary unplugging time.

When a cozy tub presents itself in a lovely hotel room you can bet I will find time to enjoy it... you ready to go to a few of them with me?

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

As all the leaves have been beautifully changing through fall & winter and the cold is sweeping over LA I'm reminded of my time in Amsterdam where we landed at The Dylan for a few days. It's by far one of the cutest, hippest and comfiest places I've stayed. I looked for the seven dwarfs for a moment, the vaulted wood-beam ceilings reminded me of the cottage from "Snow White." Quaint with so much personality and a to-die for deep, ceramic encased tub perched delicately in front the autumn colored trees dancing in the view from the window.  I slipped in with an aroma therapy candle lit, read a few chapters of "Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks" before drifting into a day dream, feeling the crisp air gently brush over my face. Wonderment ensues.

Next tub stop is The Grand Ferdinand Hotel in Vienna, Austria. A sexy stand-alone, white-porcelain, antique claw foot tub. This one claimed my attention with a glass of wine, bubbles and some music.  What a delightful way to warm up after an afternoon in the cold exploring with my man while he was on location shooting. Relaxing ensues.

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Well hello there from down under... we've now arrived at a private island in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef exclusively hosting the One&Only Hayman Island Luxury Resort, Australia. This modern soaker complete with glowing ground effects was plenty spacious for two. It blatantly invited us to fill it to the brim,  stretch out and unwind.... so that's exactly what we did. Romance ensues.

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Last stop for this tub tour is The Battery, San Fransisco. Let's face it, I fell in love with this entire bathroom. Another gorgeous, stand-alone acrylic haven accented with the handy caddy for setting your cup of tea and book on. Why haven't I thought of using that before? After rising before the sun to shoot a job in the chilly SF morning temps... I couldn't wait to kick off the heels and return to this space. I pressed play with one of my Deepak Oprah Guided Meditations, set the phone on the caddy and felt my mind and body settle into this delicious present moment.  Mindfulness ensues.

If you guys ever venture to any of these places, I hope you take up my suggestion to find some time to soothe your soul a bit in this fashion. These hotels are all worthy of more then just tub talk but that will be another post! At some point we all need a Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman bath tub moment singing your favorite song, allowing yourself to just feel, embracing the very simple idea of a darn good bath. You deserve it.

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DETOX SOAK: 20 min max

  • Mix up 1 cup of baking soda, 2 cups of epsom salt  (Tree Hut) and 10 drops of some mood enhancing, certified organic, therapeutic essential oils (Doterra). I love wild orange, lemon, peppermint for invigorating and for relaxing I combine lavender & bergamot. 
  • Moisturize yourself after with some organic coconut oil to rehydrate your skin
  • Consult your doctor if you're pregnant before bathing in oils or have any other concerns to your health.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you have any great soaking tips for me, send them my way in comments. Any great hotels with amazing bathtubs you've experienced are welcome to please. Make time for you... you won't regret it, ever. 

XO ANDREA

BLISSFULLY ENGAGED & INSPIRED

Well, what can I say... I've been dreaming of the day I'd fall in love with the man I felt certain I'd get to grow old with. I've watched Father of the Bride more times than I'll admit, noted the song, When You Say Nothing At All and a few others as potential wedding tunes and looked forward to the day my Dad could walk me down the isle. We all enjoy a good love story don't we? Here is a little piece of mine....

Photo By  Tania Soderman

As a woman in my 30's, may I give recognition to an old English phrase from 1892 extolling the virtue of patience, "All things come to those who wait" often used as "Good things come to those who wait" [Wikipedia], both of which I'm fond of and have always found inspiring. I know we can all attest, one's romantic life isn't just rose petals and dreamy moments but I believe when you allow yourself to be open, get clear on who you are and trust the timing of your life— when the good arrives, you are ready and it will light you up and fill you with love and gratitude beyond measure. 

Photo by  Tania Soderman

I was pretty certain after a short time, Erik was the one. So aligned as we'd share our hopes and dreams. It became evident we both were excited about getting married, starting a family,  continue to support and challenge each other and look forward to the years of growing wiser and older through it all.  Even after countless conversations, laughs and smiles about looking forward to doing all these things .. nothing prepared me for the emotional moment he surprised me with popping the question, "Andrea Bogart, will you be my wife"? A blubbering and ecstatic "yes of course I'll be your wife" came out of me. 

Our families; my mom and dad, his mom and grandpa, all were in Sonoma for a few days overlapping one another's travels for Thanksgiving and we were so excited to have them meet and visit our Sonoma home. We enjoyed a wonderful weekend together and planned to continue to relax, walk, shop, eat and hang together on Monday.  Our families came up with a few reasons why they couldn't go on our favorite hike with us mid-morning. Not thinking anything of it we took off to quickly do it on our own. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, I was in my usual Aloyoga attire and Erik in sweats... we were off! The hike takes us about 45 minutes usually and sits in the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains of Sonoma Valley. We often stop and take some yoga photos and I force Erik to do some Instagram stories with me and we repeatedly talk about how much we love the variety of what nature showcases on this hike. The sky above is a perfect blue with powdery white clouds, the water is flowing through the creek from all the rain, giant mushrooms are sprouting along the path, I'm snapping photos of clover patches & yellow leaves the size of my face, the sun is glistening upon the dewy ground and red berry trees dazzle against the lush shades of green. My soul is soothed. 

 At the half-way point is an adorable, little pond we always stop at. As we neared it this day, I see an old wooden canoe. Blonde as blonde can be I say, "what the heck is a canoe doing here"? Erik says "come on, let's take it out". I reply with a concerned "honey, we can't just take out someones canoe". I notice a pep in Eriks step and as he spins around with a huge smile on his face. Walking closer, I now recognize it's the vintage canoe we shot a piece for our wine launching Stories By The Glass recently and in it laid one gorgeous white rose.  I'm feeling so many things at once; confusion, oh my gosh what's he doing, overjoyed, emotional, shaky, madly in love, nervous, excited, how did he manage all this... lot's of rapid thoughts. He takes my hands we climb in and paddle out. The water calms, I suddenly feel so at peace looking into the eyes of this amazing man. Loving words are exchanged. A stunning ring is placed on my finger. Tears of joy have filled our eyes. I want to leap into his arms but the wobbly canoe advises otherwise. We laugh and enjoy it.  We're Engaged! 

Photo By  Tania Soderman
Photo By Tania Soderman

Photo By Tania Soderman

Photo By  Tania Soderman

Glowing with happiness, Erik informs me our wonderful and talented friend Tania Soderman is hiding in the bushes taking photos, along with the three hardworking gentlemen it took to get the canoe there and Howard the canoe owner.  As we got out to finish the hike and they all emerged from the forrest. I was astounded at the help and generosity he had from several friends to pull this off. And now we are to finish the hike and head home to an intimate engagement party that's waiting for us, Erik explains! What!!!? Am I in a romance novel?

I see my family and his, dressed up waiting for us on the patio that's lined with gorgeous roses everywhere. As I hug him again I'm completely flooded with emotions and I spread that joyous, messy cry to our families. Continuing in, there are dozens of white roses showcasing our beautiful home, additional smiles and congratulations from some close friends that have joined and one of our favorite Sonoma restaurants, The Girl And The Fig is catering. It's all so touching and special. I pull myself together with a quick shower and change out of my yoga attire and into something more suitable and enjoy celebrating all together over an incredible meal and champagne toasts! 

This has been one of the most special times of my life. As my loving brother says, "sis, you've found someone that really shows and expresses how much you mean to him and that's awesome". I cherish how blessed I am to have someone like Erik and I will strive to always make him feel that, as always he does me. I've gotten choked up over and over again writing this. His grandpa asked if it felt different now. I think the most exciting difference for me is calling each other fiancé out loud... it's so fun and exciting to hear it and say it. I love it! Not to mention the rush of love we've felt pouring in from all of our friends, families and those supporting the next steps in our journey is incredible. 

Everyone helped so much and played a part and pulling this surprise off and I'm incredibly thankful. A special thank you to Howard, for so graciously gifting us that canoe. It's magnificent & we have such a special connection to now. And Erik... there is a lifetime of love that awaits us and I'm so very happy to share it with you. 

Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star
— E.E. Cummings

I hope love inspires you everyday in some way. Let it guide your heart to wondrous places and share it with the world. Thank you for stopping by and if you have a favorite love quote or song or story you want to share in the comments, please do! I enjoy our little Inspirational Addict community and hope it grows and grows! 

5 Mindful Tips For Maintaining Your Vibrant Energy This Holiday Season

Hello there, hope you're having a wonderful, Soulful Sunday!  

Photo by Erik Almas in Amsterdam

Photo by Erik Almas in Amsterdam

November and December are often the months that become the most challenging to carve out time for our mindful activities and physical exercise. We are inundated with social gatherings, cooking, travel plans, shopping, wrapping gifts, kids programs, entertaining guests and all the extra holiday prepping.  For many, it's a time of stress and letting go of those mindful choices we've been so diligent with. We can and should allow the holidays to be a time of enjoyment with family and friends but doesn't have to be a time of loosing our health. So let's make a plan for maintaining our vibrant energy this holiday season, are you with me? 

Photo By Erik Almas in Vienna

Photo By Erik Almas in Vienna

Making some commitments to yourself is a great place to start. Decide how you want to feel during the holidays. Set an uplifting, positive intention for yourself and refer to it in those moments of challenge. For example, "I'm thankful for the abundance of love and healthy choices that support me this holiday season". Try these 5 mindful, energizing tips I've found to be helpful.

Tip #1 Hydrate Right: 

Drinking approximately eight, 8-oz glasses of water each day. Proper hydration is beneficial for so many things; glowing skin, digestion, fatigue from dehydration, to name a few. Carry a water bottle with you all day and pay attention to the water you drink. Purified and alkalized can be more replenishing. I also fill up a glass of water before I go to bed and drink it as soon as I wake up, one glass down. Whoop Whoop water is good!

Tip #2 Shop Mindfully For You and Your Family:

You'll reach for healthy snacks and prepare more conscious meals when you have healthy food to choose from. When the cookie jar is out... it's hard for the whole family to keep their paws off. Try having a fruit bowl out instead. In today's market of GMO's and an abundance of sugars put unnecessarily in our food, it's never been more important to read the ingredients. Help you and your family eat healthy and buy organic whenever you can. We the consumer can have a huge impact in the food industry through what we buy and don't buy.  You got this. 

Tip #3 Schedule Your Physical Exercise:

When your calendar reads; go to the store, kids holiday program, dentist appointment... add walk for 30 minutes, stretch my limbs or some physical exercise you know you enjoy to that calendar too. Involve a friend or the family, buddy systems make it even better. Move your body at least 3 days a week. Even more if you are regularly active. Seeing it scheduled in your daily calendar is so helpful. Remember how great you feel after and stay committed. You're awesome.

Tip #4 Delight In Saying No:

The holidays are filled with a lot of offerings which can lead to over-indulging and over-committing. Invitations galore, another glass of wine, desert buffets, spiked eggnog and more. Create some awareness for yourself and try not to be neurotic about it, find the joy in moderation. Say no to the invitations you truly don't mind missing or have time for and use your will-power when the food and drinks are offered repeatedly. You're so gracefully strong!

Tip #5 Get OutDoors: 

There is nothing better than stepping outside to smile at the sun and breathe in some fresh air. No matter where you are, can you be the one who says, "let's go outside, toss the ball around, go for a stroll, play in the leaves, build a snow-man, explore a new area"? Of course you can. You'll also be tapping into that child-like energy that always feels uplifting. Get back into your body with some deep breaths and let nature boost your mood and calm you down all at the same time. How fun are you?

Photo By Erik Almas in Norway

Photo By Erik Almas in Norway

How do you guys feel? I hope some of these tips are things you find manageable and helpful through the holidays. I love hearing from you so reach out anytime. Let me know what's working and what's not, I'm here for you! I wish you a healthy and happy kick-off to the holiday season. 

To enjoy good health, to bring happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him
— Buddha

 

 

 

HAPPY HEALTHY HALLOWEEN

Ohh it's that wonderful time of year with pumpkin flavored everything and Halloween spirit is alive. Shall we grab a light jacket and take a morning stroll to stumble upon the changing colors and leaves falling? Let's do it...

Snap by my niece  Camryn

Snap by my niece Camryn

It's a perfect time to prepare our minds and bodies for the Holidays by keeping on track with our physical activity and healthy choices. The temptations of sugary Halloween treats and over indulging are real. Willpower can become our best pal during these times of vulnerability. We all have it but it shows up in different ways at various times for each of us. Can you trust that you're so in-tune with your willpower that you know the difference between letting yourself have a balanced life and slipping completely off track? Of course you can!

Awareness is our guide to inner strength rising to the surface through thoughtful perspective and choices that inspire us. So what keeps you motivated?

Other people can be awesome motivators as well as powerful quotes, personal mantras, underdog stories, fitness activities you love and let's not forget the power of just being YOU! Lead the way. I always say someone has to be the inspiration so why not let that person be YOU.

SELF TIPS

  • Set intentions that support your goals
  • Create an environment that's uplifting and supportive
  • Maintain your healthy rituals and explore adding in something new

SOCIAL TIPS

  • As you partake in social gatherings, suggest an activity to do all together
  • Bring a healthy snack you can enjoy and others may appreciate too
  • Create space for non-judging, fun conversations connecting with others
Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

Our inner self is affected by our outer environment. As we approach November listen to what that calls for.  I'm a believer in the mind, body, spirit all working together to maintain your best, healthy self! When we can sit quietly and listen intently, our core beliefs will guide us. At the end of the day take time slip into That fall festive feeling by sipping on hot tea, getting cozy under a blanket with a good book and enjoy the people you love.  Share what helps you with others, let your willpower be a vehicle for spreading some inspiration. 

Give yourself a Happy Healthy Halloween treat....

May I encourage those who are interested in starting or maintaining a meditation practice to register for Oprah & Deepak's 21-Day Meditation Experience: Creating Peace from the Inside Out starting Oct. 31, 2016? It's a lovely, FREE way to grow into being able to sit with ourselves. 

Thank you for stopping by. If you have any comments please leave them... I love hearing from you.

Helpful contributors on this blog were my awesome nieces, Anna (14) and Camryn (11)

HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE?

Happy Soulful Sunday... May I ask you "How deep is your love?" 

I peeled myself out of my 5PM jet lag slumber yesterday to head to my 3rd quarter meeting with the tremendous women of The New Hollywood and boy am I glad I did. As a lot of LOVE and enthusiasm is shared in this group our mission is to encourage each other to Rise Higher, Shine Brighter and Give Back. The reminders of self-love came through in several inspiring ways, so today I feel inclined to take a minute to connect with all of you on this. 

Photo by  Erik Almas  

Photo by Erik Almas 

Self-love is wildly talked about all over the place. Although it's something universally discussed and we bloggers can give all the tips we want, it's delicately personal isn't it? What self-love looks like for me may look completely different for you. Take a minute though, grab a pen and paper and ask yourself:

  1. What is self-love?
  2. What does it mean to me?
  3. How can I put energy toward this daily? 
  4. What are the results I can envision for committing to these acts of self-love?

I'm hoping this exercise will get you started. If you're someone that's lacking awareness around something you would even refer to self-love, that's ok too. Think of creating rituals, from your rituals you will expand and begin to widen your scope and naturally make space for more self-love over time. When you sit with yourself and write these things down you can identify what this will look like for you. How nice would that feel? Keep your paper, heck post it on your mirror as a quick reference. Stay connected to your self-love.

4 Tips To Creating Self-Love

  1. Seek joy- think of something that makes you smile, what gives you an endorphin uplift, what makes you laugh.
  2. Know that your body is worthy of unconditional love- thank your body parts for all they do, appreciate what you've been given, nurture your body mindfully.
  3. Find your happy place- sit quietly anywhere and just be, feel the air surrounding you, hear whatever noises are present, smell the scent before you, feel it's simplicity. 

Depending on your generation and musical preference take a listen to "How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gee's or Calvin Harris and grab a dancing partner or even a fan to blow your hair and you'll be smiling and feeling lovely in no time, just imagine you asking yourself the lyrics.... and let the good self-loving roll! 

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world
— Lucille Ball

Let me know how this goes gang. Remember it's a practice, a practice so worthy of doing. I love hearing from you. 

Stepping Away

The work is piled high, deadlines are hanging over our heads, we’re begging for more hours in the day to attend to our priorities, we’re not sleeping enough, we don’t have time for play or nurturing ourselves… does this sound like you? Take a deep breath in and let all the air out please. Feel better?

I love when someone in my tribe says to me, “take some time for yourself Andrea.” So here I am on our Soulful Sunday to pay that forward and remind YOU to celebrate YOURSELF as much as you do your work and daily demands. In fact when relaxing and nurturing yourself becomes part of your daily demands you should feel really darn proud, even if it’s just stepping away from all of your responsibilities for 15 minutes. It’s so important. Pay attention to who your tribe is too, as we are all transmitters and receivers. An environment filled with love, compassion, support and encouragement will serve everyone best when it’s happening in both directions.  

I’m traveling again right now accompanying my man, Erik Almas, at the Xposure International Photo Festival in the UAE and it’s incredible. I’m getting more free time than usual but Erik has had a taxing schedule and work is pouring in more than ever. He is so good to me when I’m slammed and feeling overwhelmed and always reminds me to take time to listen to what I need and honor it. It’s my turn to see if I can inspire him to stick to his mindful rituals and encourage some fun in the mix of the busied days.

Today Erik and I woke up to catch a sunrise and shoot a little together. We cherish the early hours that often are filled with magic and when the alarm goes off 30 min prior to sunrise it's a good time for us to visualize that magic. He has a ton on his plate so I know sleeping in would have been more appealing and yet we made the choice to get up and go. The sunrise was stunning. We laughed as we heard a boat of partiers still going strong and I dropped into my few little stretches so we could start snapping some yoga shots. The morning came with gorgeous colors illuminating the water which carried us blissfully into breakfast. The ocean was so enticing we then had to get paddle boards and take a cruise. All of this by 10AM and man did it feel great. We both could have spent the entire morning working away but we know how important it is to make time for some fun, creativity and quality time together too.

iphone snap by Erik Almas

iphone snap by Erik Almas

Whether you’re married, in a relationship or single, having a give and take with support will only make all your relationships stronger. As you encourage and inspire others, allow others to encourage and inspire you. Get in touch with being receptive and motivating, be open and giving with it all. 

So next time you sense a friend or loved one getting a bit bogged down, can you be the motivator and offer a change up in action for a bit? Suggestions don’t have to be big and elaborate, think small and simple. My goals partner I check-in with for our weekly focus always includes something like; take a walk with hubby and the kids. It can be as easy as that. 

Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud
— Maya Angelou

Thanks for popping by you amazing souls. 

 

 

Tips To Keeping Our Mind, Body & Soul In Check

How many times do we get too busy, hit a slump or get off track with our physical and mental health? Do you find that this happens most when we actually need it most? If you answered YES... keep reading for inspiration. Believe me, I'm with you.  

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

We often end up coming down on ourselves when we don't fulfill the expectations we've set. So let's ask ourselves what are the most important things we want to keep in check with? This can change of course. In this moment, get focused on some nonnegotiable's for yourself. Try to establish a time to do this at the beginning of each week. Make it your Mind, Body, Soul little checklist!  

Can you connect to the emotions  and visualize how you feel when you stay committed? Breathe into that for a few moments. Does it make you smile, are you uplifted, do you feel better? These are the things you want to keep in-check with when the excuses want to high jack your motivation. 

A few of mine are; 

  1. Moving my body daily
  2. Put healthy organic food into my belly
  3. Quiet my mind with gratitude
  4. Getting enough sleep

I continue to learn that no matter what, when I do these things I am going to feel better and even if my list of what I hoped to get done falls dramatically short, I can still be compassionate toward myself. And that definitely leads me to be more compassionate towards others as well. So take this for a test drive. Next time that voice is saying "I don't want to," pause and visualize the sensations of the result of how you feel when you follow through with whatever your mindful actions are and see if that helps propel you into action rather than excuses.  Make choices with acceptance and awareness, not punishment and guilt. You'll find yourself following through with your mind, body, soul priorities more and more.

Are you facing some challenges? Let me know if any of these quick tips help? I love hearing from you guys!  

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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!

Do you know about Mom.Me & Family Fest?

Calling all Mommies & Daddies and Parent Wannabes.... 

I'm thrilled to announce a partnership with Mom.Me, a company truly aligned with my lifestyle blog. Get ready to enjoy  Family Fest | Fall 2016 event Oct. 15, 2016 in Malibu. Copy and click my special discount code for $10 off ticket prices: FF2016AndreaBogart Take a cruise around their site for tons of great resources. Family Fest will be a day filled with activities, products, pampering, food + drinks and so much more. 

Photos by  Erik Almas  and Me

Photos by Erik Almas and Me

I personally fall into the category of the parent wannabe. As I prepare for that chapter in my life, I love connecting with my friends already walking in those shoes and I know this amazing group of Club Momme members will only inspire me to learn more about the fun and support you have by being involved.  My passion for working with children has been steadfast and when I come across a great company providing a beautiful way for families to connect with stories, issues, advice, resolutions and more... I want my viewers to know about it. 

Check out Club Momme if you want to become a member for more specials and giveaways. 

Discount Code: FF2016AndreaBogart

Discount Code: FF2016AndreaBogart

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Hiking with my best friend Kari and her baby girl

Hiking with my best friend Kari and her baby girl

Don't forget to join in the fun OCTOBER 15 for FAMILY FEST | FALL 2016 by Mom.Me & Club Momme. Make sure to visit one of my favorite Inspiring pals Chris Pan, founder of MyIntent and have fun choosing your intention word to put on a bracelet or necklace! 

Enjoy a day of unplugging and hanging out together. If you're already a Club Momme member please leave me a comment below about what you love, let's get our other friends excited to join the community.

For continued Inspiration become a subscriber with me... I love hearing from you guys, always feel free to share, comment and inspire me in return. Thanks for stopping by!

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!

Inspired To Finish The Year Out Strong?

Happy Monday! Are you inspired to finish the year strong & healthy? Last call to join the 4th annual “Get My Body Back” by @TNHWomen. As one of your leaders watch for some INSPIRATION every Sunday right here, to soothe your sassy soul! 

Together, we're going to create more awareness and propel forward... MIND BODY & SPIRIT.

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

You're ready, push through that resistance! Shout it out, write it down, share it with a friend, comment here, I'd love it... what's one thing you want to change in your life that you know you'll benefit from? 

When you get honest with yourself, accept where you are and believe in your undeniable courage & strength to grow... You WILL be a better YOU! 

You're UN-STOP-A-BULL... Yes, you see how I did that? I hope you're smiling, let's have some fun. 

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas