Stretching: The Key to Your Athletic Potential

Flexibility is the most important component of fitness. Yet, it is the most neglected. Stretching is now your new best friend.

My yoga practice began as a form of torture. My hips, hamstrings and back were weak and tight from nearly 20 years of playing sports and a decade of lifting weights without stretching. I was immobile and injury-prone. A few years ago, I realized why I stuck with yoga through the discomfort: I was benefiting from increasing my flexibility.

As an athlete, I frequently had heard that if I could not touch my toes, I was not reaching my highest athletic ability. I knew this was true, but I did not know to what extent.
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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

How to Manage Stress: Drop Your Expectations to The Floor

How to manage stress? Drop your expectations and assumptions to the floor, period

Expectations and assumptions are natural functions of the human mind and can exist at a deep and  unconscious level. They prepare and inform us how to act and can protect us from emotional pain, they serve a function. Expectations and assumptions however, are core contributors to our unhappiness and prevent us from living in the present moment.

Think back to a minute ago before you started reading this blog; when you read the title, what did you expect to find, what did you assume it would be about? That answer is different for all of us, so take a moment and see if you can recall your initial thoughts that came to mind.

Maybe you thought to yourself “I expect this to be good or I expect this to be bad.” Or maybe you assumed that this blog would only be related to yoga and not applicable if you don’t have a yoga practice.  Are any of these thoughts right or wrong? I do not know the answer, but neither do any of us until we actually experience this article, event or moment first hand.

I can hear you saying already “But it’s good to have expectations about things, we should expect things to be good and avoid things we expect to be bad.”

Well, I have some advice for you, drop your expectations.

Throw them out the damn window.

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Sitting: The New Smoking

Did you know that the average American worker now spends more time sitting each day than they do standing?  The effects are evident. 2/3 of our population is overweight or obese, stress and preventable diseases are at an all-time high and for the first time in U.S. history, our children face the chance of being less healthy than their previous generation.

Sitting has been called by some the new “smoking” and here’s why:

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Carrot-Ginger Chicken Soup a la Trader Joe’s

Today’s culinary adventure was inspired by the left over groceries from last week’s Trader Joe’s run. It was one of those days when you look in the fridge and wonder what you can throw together before everything goes bad. I have the  tendency to spend $100 on groceries and then let half, if not more go bad and to waste. It’s frustrating, especially with food prices these days, but sometimes I just get to lazy to cook and opt for a quick chicken salad or burrito bowl after a long day of work. Sound familiar? I know the food in my fridge is healthier for me and that cooking for myself is one of the best health habits one can create, but I honestly just don’t enjoy cooking. So knowing this about myself, I try to create quick hacks to make sure I eat my groceries and cook more often than not. For me, this comes down to being efficient with food prep and cooking times. Here’s how I hack my food prep time…

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Yoga for Strength: Improve Your Yoga Practice Through Weight-Lifting

To create your ultimate body and unlock your yoga practice, it’s time to start lifting weights. When it comes to yoga for strength, yoga and weight lifting are a match made in heaven. They are the ultimate compliments for improved improve body composition, increased strength and flexibility and decreased pain.

I have been lifting weights since I was a teen. But, as I got more into yoga, I began to move away from weight training. I simply couldn’t figure out a way to combine the two that made sense. A few years ago however, I began to put the puzzle together.

What I eventually formulated is the topic of today’s blog: how to combine yoga and weight training for maximum results and strength.
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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.

Yogis Don’t Eat Tacos I: The Social Rules of Yoga

In last week’s blog Yoga: Expectations and Assumptions I discussed our mind’s tendency to set preconceived notions around future events or people and how doing so dilutes our experiences and pulls us out of the present moment.  Today, I’d like to go further into assumptions around a modern yoga practice.  Many years ago my friend Brian and I would go to yoga class together then head out to Newport Beach for “Taco Tuesday”.  At the time we were new to yoga and to the preconceived notions of how a yoga practitioner should eat, behave and live.  We didn’t see anything wrong with going to yoga then eating tacos and having some beers (and I still don’t). The apparent hypocrisy to some didn’t even cross our minds until one of our serious yogi friends said: “What the heck are you guys doing, yogis don’t eat tacos!”

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Nick Palladino teaches students and clients how to reduce stress, to increase happiness and to elevate health through yoga, wellness coaching and strength training.