Morning Moves and an Awesome Fall Salad

Move every day. Six months from now you will thank yourself!

As the chill sets in and we snuggle on the couch in our baggy sweats and sweaters and begin to crave those calorie-high, but oh so good, comfort foods, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves.  Winter has a way of slowing us down, a hibernation of sorts can set in, and in many ways that is a good thing.   We all can use slow downtime. But to stay energized and engaged during these cold winter days and nights, and to feel mentally healthy and strong, moving our bodies every day and filling our bellies with greens is essential.

Morning Movement

Especially in the colder months, when I move from my warm and cozy bed and get my feet on the floor, I can feel the stiffness in my joints and muscles.  The cure – moving my body first thing in the morning.  I created this short yoga routine to work out kinks in the morning and set myself up for a “feel great” day.  So, take the challenge and let’s get our bodies moving first thing in the morning.

The Benefits

  • Get your metabolism moving and groovin’ to burn more calories more efficiently during the day
  • This morning yoga and stretch will improve your physical and mental energy throughout the day
  • Cultivating a morning routine sets you up with establishing a personal discipline and dedication to your self-care.  Note to self: “I MATTER!”
  • Studies are showing that a morning routine (7 am) is the best time to exercise and get better sleep that night.
  • Release that wake-up stiffness for a more easy and open day with your body.
  • Stretch the psoas and hamstrings, stabilize hip abductors, and engage the core to start your day and support releasing lower back tension and tightness
  • A positive beginning to your day sets the tone for an upbeat day

The Postures

This practice below will take you about 30-minutes with Savasana and 40-minutes if you add a 10-minute meditation at the end.

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Morning Movement Challenge

Movement is essential to learning.  Take the movement challenge and move with your students each day, first thing in the morning.  Try it for two weeks. Notice if you are seeing a difference in focus, concentration, or self-regulation.

Student Benefits

  • Enhanced self-esteem and self-awareness
  • Improved memory, attention, and learning (better grades)
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • A better sense of well-being
  • Heightened concentration
  • Better impulse control
  • Emotional regulation
  • Improved behavior
  • Improved balance, coordination, and posture
  • Developed fine motor skills
  • Improved visual-motor and visual perception
  • Supports students experiencing trauma

Teacher Benefits

  • A greater sense of efficacy
  • Less Stress
  • More self-composure
  • Fewer behavior challenges
  • Increased job satisfaction

Morning Mindful Movement Series

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The Science of Positivity: Gratitude and Kindness

I realize that life is not all cherries, sunny days, and apple pies. Life is a continuous cycle of highs and lows, times of joy and times of challenges, and then a whole lot of in-between. The emphasis here on positivity is not to suggest that we wear our rose-colored glasses and turn every moment into the most wonderful of events. Brene Brown has this beautiful phrase; “silver lining it.” Positivity is definitely not meant as a tool to silver line every dark cloud; it is not intended to replace our experience of yellow light or the more challenging emotions such as frustration, angst, loneliness, disappointment, hurt, distrust, anger, dissatisfaction, or fear. These emotions, although uncomfortable and not always easy to deal with, have a message

POSITIVITY = A + M + R

What positivity means to me is the ability for us to pause, to not react, to cultivate awareness. Positivity teaches us to look for the lesson and to choose where our attention is directed. We learn to notice who we are being with those around us, the choices we are making, and the actions we are taking. Are we building up or tearing down ourselves, our relations, and our communities? It is a lifestyle of self-awareness, a solution-oriented mindset, and self-responsibility.

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