Strength and Flexibility

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I used to have this thought process of how you have to get one or the other “Strength or Flexibility” and what I have learned is that we choose the concept of “OR”. We each have access to gaining strength and flexibility but it is all in the process of which we go by.

Why is it important to gain both?

Strength

Strength is important to have to help support our joints and support our tendons and ligaments. When we walk, run, bike or do any form of physical activity it produces stress and stress must go somewhere. If our muscles are not strong enough to withstand the stress that is being placed on the body then the stress goes to our joints. Stress to the joints produces injuries to those areas. So strength is very vital in helping to build stronger bones and also to help decrease the amount of stress going to our joints.

Flexibility

Flexibility is important because it allows our body to go through its full range of motion. Think about it this way…If I am using my quad muscles (thigh muscle) and it is really tight then technically when I walk, run or do any form of exercise I am only using a certain percentage of that muscle. I am not using that muscle at it’s full capacity (100%). Why is this important?

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Two reasons

  1. If the muscle is only functioning at a 50% capacity then technically we are not using the muscle at its full capacity. So therefore we are not working the entire muscle which means that are performance is not at 100%
  2. The other concept is that if we are working at muscle at 50% capacity then we are earing down that muscle and never allowing that muscle to fully be stretched out therefore causing muscle strains and muscle pulls  img_3769

So how do you incorporate strength and flexibility?

As much time as you spend lifting you should spend the same amount of time engaging into some stretching.  Some tips on how to implement it into your daily  routine

  • Create a stretching regime
  • Stretch before and after a workout
  • Allow one day a week as your restoration day (recovery day) and spend that time really focusing on doing some deep stretching
  • Implement Yoga into your workouts (Yoga not only helps increase flexibility but it also allows you to balance out your muscles)

You will come to realize that the more you implement flexibility into your workouts the more your body will be able to recover from your intense workouts. The more that you will be able to bounce back the next day. You will also notice a decrease in soreness as well. So start to change your mindset around strength and flexibility. Don’t think of the two as an “or” but think of it is as “AndStrength AND Flexibility!

 

Soulful Yogi

40 Days to Personal Revolution

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So most of you who know me or follow me on Social Media know that I love meditation and YOGA. Well oddly enough over the past year I have been back and forth between crossfit, running, other fitness goals and focusing on Teacher Training. Well I really truly forgot the feeling of what I would get when I practice yoga until I went through Teacher Training. I also truly realize the rekindle love that I have with Yoga and all the benefits that it brings not only to my body but my mind and soul. So 4 years ago I did 40 days to personal revolution and I felt that it was time to rekindle the flame that is burning but begin to dim. So why 40 days?

So why Yoga and why 40 days?

Yoga for me is not about just the physical practice but the mental and spiritual practice. Yoga is about taking your body through various poses, breathing through those poses, expanding yourself, growing, powering your way into new opportunities. Well that pretty much describes life too. Going through ups and downs but it is through that journey that we grow into new opportunities and into a new POWER that lies within us.

Physical Practice

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I look at this through life itself. There will be times where life will seem and feel tough, physically draining and it will require you to use strength to battle your way through those tough times and you will want to quit, you will want to get out of that position, that pose, that time in your life. It will require inner strength and physical strength to get you through. The physical practice teaches you how to use your breath to allow sthira (strength) and suka (ease). It allows you to combine the two together not only in your physical practice but also in your daily life.

Mental and Spiritual Practice

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So when I first heard of meditation I was like ummmm yeah I can’t sit here for this amount of time being still and not doing anything. I had to train myself to be still. I soon learn that as I was practicing meditation it was helping with not only to sit still for a certain amount of time but it was teaching me how to breathe through yoga poses, how to breathe through life situations, how to simply just BE. It help me learn that sometimes you simply have to just BE STILL and breathe through certain situations. The more I began to be still and simply breathe the easier the pose or the craziness of my life became. The more I realize that whatever that challenge was in my life it didn’t have control over me, I actually had control over it. The state of consciousness allows me to not let the challenge take over my sense of being.

 

40 Days of YOGA

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So follow me on this journey of Personal Revolutions

What will my 40 days look like:

I have devoted to:

  1.  Practicing yoga everyday through various forms (slow flow, power flow, deep stretch, power beats)
  2. At least a minimum of 2 Home practices (really trying to build my home practice up)
  3. Meditation twice daily
  4. 1 day of deep stretch YOGA (home or at studio)
  5. Have fun, be playful, try on new poses

Follow and Feel free to JOIN me on this journey

IG: @iamsoulfulyogi

Soulful Yogi

 

 

 

Breaking the Chains

 

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When you think of breaking the chains I imagine being shackled together being in a rut, can’t release, can’t get away from. Breaking the chains can be something that is physically going on with you and also literally. So what do I mean when I say, “Breaking the Chains”? Breaking the Chains is all the expectations that we hold on ourselves. Often times we set such high bars and expectations for ourselves that we feel like we are in chains..we can’t seem to catch a break, we feel like we are less than because we didn’t complete that task. We feel as if we just will never break free from our past, from our mistakes, from our problems, from our current issues, from just life in general. We don’t have to continue to be shackled, we don’t have to continue to be chained….

BREAK THE CHAIN

 

  • Release the mindset that you have to be perfect

 

  • Release the mindset that everything has to work a certain way

 

  • Release the mindset that you have to do everything all on your own

 

  • Release the concept that you don’t need help or that asking for help will make you inferior.

 

These are the chains that we put on ourselves each and everyday that holds us back from achieving our goals and dreams. It’s these chains that we put on ourselves every morning before we walk out of the door.

  • We want to move forward

 

  • We want to move ahead

 

  • We want to fulfill that goal and dream but we feel we can not because we feel incapable of doing it

BUT

WE can but we must first break the chain that we have placed on our lives.

Stop feeling like life has to look a certain way, stop putting high expectations on yourself and start living. Start accepting each moment and each experience that comes in our lives as not a bad thing but as guide to help us achieve the goals that we are setting to achieve…but first you have to break the CHAINS!!!

Riding the Waves

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During my meditation on the other day I begin to really just focus on my breath on trying to just quiet my mind. My mind was everywhere, I just couldn’t keep still, I couldn’t just relax and breathe. I was letting the lost of a love one, the moving homes, the transitioning of my girls to a new school, the finances, the schoolwork, the lack of this, lack of that just overtake my mind. Then it hit me…Felicia why are you letting all of these things overpower you? Why are you letting the waves of life pull you under? Why are you letting the waves of life take you completely out of self. It dawned on me…Felicia life is like riding waves, sometimes we have to go back to shore to get our composure together. Sometimes we have to go back to shore to regroup, to refocus, to reset…And that is okay. So that is what I did…

I went to shore

I reset

I regrouped

I refocused my mind

So realize that despite what may be going on in your life….look at life as waves…Don’t let the wave overtake you….Ride the waves. If you fall down, get back up on the board….continue to ride…..continue to hold steady. If you have to go to shore realize that is okay but don’t just stay on the shore wishing you would have, could have, should have. Get back out on the waves of life…And keep riding, keep pushing, keep striving, keep staying afloat. Don’t let the wave take you out but you take control over that wave.

Savor the Moment

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Often times we get in the hustle and bustle of life and oddly enough my meditation today was all about stretching. At first I see these words and naturally think of stretching when you are trying to release a tight muscle or stretching because you don’t want to have any cramps or tightness in your body.

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But this is a different type of stretching but holds the same meaning. When we stretch our bodies or a muscle we are stretching to help release tension and we are holding that pose for an extending period of time. Often times after holding a stretch we feel a sense of relief, we feel like a new person, simply a new feeling.

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Well the kind of stretching I am referring to is different. This type of stretching deals with the moments in our lives.  As a society we have this on the go type feeling where we are always at a need to move, to go. But what if we stop for one moment and just stretched out the present moment, we live in the present state as long as we possibly can.

What would happen?

I’ll tell you what would happen we would experience things like no other, we would notice the beauty in that moment, it will allow us to cherish that moment. We would find peace and a sense of relief within that moment.

Why?

Because we are stretching out that moment, we are truly learning and embracing the present moment. This is the type of stretching that we need to do with our lives each and everyday. Take time out each day to release the habit of always on the go but get into the habit of embracing each present moment.

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Stretching out each present moment so that we can experience it fully, 100%. So the next time your mind is wanting to go so many miles per minute. Take a second and just stretch out the present moment. See what you see, feel what you feel, embrace everything that moment has to offer. Just as stretching will help release tension in your body physically it can do the same thing mentally. Mentally it can help relieve tension in your mind and allow you to truly wholeheartedly enjoy the moment. So I invite you to not only stretch physically but let’s practice stretching mentally.

 

 

Beyounique

Clean Up the Messes

Mess

 

The Mess

How many times have you gone home or in your office or looked at your desk and said, “Whew I need to clean up all this mess?” I know that I have plenty of times. So I may take a little at a time and begin to clean it up. But do we really clean it or do we just straighten it up so that it looks clean? That is how our lives are as well. Are we truly cleaning up the messes in our lives or are we just straightening things up just so that it appears that it is clean.

Don’t just Straighten up…Clean UP

Often times before we can truly grow or see growth in our lives we have to clean up the messes. I equate this to my spring cleaning that I am doing right now. It’s crazy how before you can truly get to the finish product the pile of crap and mess that is surrounded by you. That is how I life is…Often times in order to see that true growth sometimes we have messes that are still within ourselves, within our lives. I look at it like my girls sometimes I tell them to clean up their room and they will push all their clothes underneath their bed or they will put the clothes towards the back of the closet. That is similar with our lives….often times we think that everything is cleaned, everything is all good but we still have messes that we have swept under the bed, swept over into another corner. We must realize that in order to truly be at peace, truly be in that full growth we have to clean up all the messes that lies within our lives. When we finally tackle all the messes that is when true growth happens, that is when we can blossom, that is when we can truly walk in our true SELF. But in order to truly walk in your most Powerful SELF you have to clean up the messes first.

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Beyounique

 

Slow Down

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So often we get in a rush with our health and fitness journey. We want to tackle everything right now and be at that weight, that fitness level, that overall healthy lifestyle in one night. But we have to realize that it didn’t take one night to get in the position that we may be in right now.

Puzzle Pieces

Puzzle Pieces

I look at health and wellness like one big puzzle piece. If I was to give you a puzzle that was 150 pieces and laid it all on the floor and said here you go put this together and create. You would look at me like Ummmmm. That is how our health and fitness life is we want to tackle everything at once, we want to have all of our nutrition down, all of our exercise, all of our healthy behaviors exactly where it needs to be. But like the puzzle we have to take one piece of the puzzle at a time to get the completed puzzle. So take that same aspiration with your health and wellness goals. Tackle each step and each piece at a time. That is how you can create a routine which in the end will create a habit.

It’s not a destination, It’s a journey

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Another area of our healthy lifestyle journey is that we look at the entire experience as a destination. When you think about a destination you are going from Point A to Point B. You will do one or two things when you get to that destination. You will either stay there or you will go back. That is not what we want for our healthy lifestyle journey, we want it to be lifelong journey and not a destination. When we look at that then it is better to understand why it is important to take baby steps, to tackle each piece of the puzzle one at a time.

Stay Focus on Progression

The last aspect of this journey is staying focus on the progress you make each day. Slow down and enjoy the journey. Realize that is the small steps that help lead to the big change. Realize that every progress is a success. It doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be that big giant leap or step. Celebrate the small steps, the small accomplishments. When we change our mindset of the overall journey that is when we begin to truly enjoy the journey

Remember this journey isn’t easy, there will be days that you want to give up, there will be days you say why am I doing this? Realize that this is not just about accomplishing a goal but it is about creating a lifelong healthy lifestyle not only for you but for others to follow your footstep. Let’s help create a world full of healthiness through the steps that we take.

Join me and others this month as we tackle our nutrition and fitness..21 Day Detox and Shred Challenge. We are taking each day at a time and creating the life that we want to live.

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Beyounique

Shed the OLD….Invite the NEW

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So today being the first day of spring my meditation this morning was all about renewal. I love the change of seasons because it allows you to sit back and truly reflect on the old season and invite in the new season. This is what we have to do with our lives at times as well. Often times its important to take a moment and reflect on the past, reflect on the last season to truly determine where you want to go with the new season. What things do you want to get rid of? What things or people do you want to invite in? What aspirations are you seeking after? What new goals are you wanting to accomplish. In order to truly invite in the NEW with have to shed away the old…We have to let it go. Sometimes its hard but in order to grow you have to let go whatever may be holding you down. That can be a person, it can be fear, it can be doubt. Whatever it may be remember that a flower often times can not bloom unless it sheds away the bad, the old, the not so good. So take time today and reflect on what you want to invite in on this new season and what you want to shed away. Remember in order to invite Newness have to shed away the OLD.

 

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Beyounique

Strength in Self

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Often times in our journey whether it is the journey of fitness, journey of career or just overall journey of LIFE we count ourselves out before we even begin. We begin to second guess ourselves prior to even accomplishing that goal, dream, task or vision. We begin to create this assumption of what others may think or the assumption that we will not be great, we will not succeed. However, when we truly tap into our  self worth, self confidence our inner strength we begin to walk with Boldness in everything we do. We begin to walk with our heads held high realizing that no matter what may come of any situation that we have the courage and the strength knowing that we at least SHOWED UP, we at least believed in ourselves to do the impossible, we are doing the impossible, knowing that despite it all we are being who we are created to be and that is being a bold, powerful, authentic self. So despite what others may think or say continue to walk in boldness, continue to show up each and everyday in your beautiful authentic self. Why? Because when we decided to walk in that manner we become bolder, we do the impossible, we tap into our inner self, we tap into our GREATNESS, we begin to show our true STRENGTH in SELF.

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With love,

 

Beyounique

 

Check out Beyounique Women new Apparel line “Beyounique Strength”  @ www.beyouniquestrength.com

 

Exercise 4 Success

So I am constantly being asked,

Why do I exercise?

What keeps me motivated for exercise?

What do you do when life happens, how do you continue to exercise?

I was that person a long time ago where I developed the goal of exercising so that I could lose weight I wanted to be a certain size, I wanted to look a certain way but then exercise became more to me than that. I had to determine some key things in order to stick with exercise, to stay exercising. I had to look at exercise in a different way in order to exercise 4 success. I had to:

Determine “MY WHY”

When you find your WHY it helps keep you motivated, it helps keep you determined and focused. Why is that? because when I suffered an injury or when life just happened I had to go back and figure out why was I exercising, why did I want to lose weight, why did I want to complete a marathon. Then I realized that I was doing all of this because I wanted to feel better, I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to be able to enjoy life with my kids. So once I realized my WHY the days that I wasn’t motivated, the days I didn’t want to do the exercise I remembered my WHY. I remembered why I was doing all the things that I was doing. So you figure out your Why….What’s next?

Create a PLAN

I am constantly telling my clients and patients that without visual, written things we don’t see it. Out of sight, out of mind. When we take time out to truly write out our goals and plan then we are more apt to fulfill those things. So plan out what you are wanting to accomplish, how will you accomplish it, what will it look like, what is your schedule like.

Start from where you ARE

The biggest problem when tend to make is we look at what others are doing and we try to start where they are. We start too fast and we fail and then we give up. If you have never ran a day in your life then start by walking consistently and then build up from there. We can’t run before we walk, we can’t walk before we crawl. That’s just saying that you will get there but you must first start from where you are.

Take Small Steps

In starting from where you are realize that in order to get to that goal, dream or vision you must take small steps. Change doesn’t occur overnight, we didn’t get the way we are overnight it took time. So realize that this journey will take time it will not happen overnight. You must take small steps. It’s the small steps that lead to the Big Change. It’s not the big leaps that we make in our life that makes the difference it’s the small minute changes and steps that we make in our lives that lead to the big difference, big change.

Develop a Routine and a HABIT

So it’s great to create a plan but what is a plan if you don’t act on it or you don’t create that habitual routine. Habits are developed from doing a consistent routine. Things become habitual when we are constantly doing the same things in a certain routine or form. So in order to incorporate exercise into your daily activity you must create a routine that includes exercise in it.

Learn that It’s Not a DESTINATION its a JOURNEY

You must understand that living a healthy lifestyle in particularly exercising is not a destination its a journey. When we think about destination and we are trying to get to a destination. We drive from point A to point B and we get to our destination. Well once we are at our destination we either stay there for a little while or we go and then come back to our original point. With healthy lifestyle and exercising we have to realize that this is not just about getting to a destination we are striving to continue this lifelong journey. This journey of a healthy lifestyle, journey of being free from disease, journey of wanting to enjoy the one life we have without fear of not being able to enjoy it.

So ask me why do I exercise?

I exercise 4 success

I exercise because I am on this lifelong journey of healthy living

I exercise because I feel free to be

I exercise because I feel great after I exercise

I exercise so that I can be the best mother that I can be for my girls

More importantly I exercise for ME

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Exercise 4 Success

 

Beyounique