5 Top Yoga Poses to Build Strength

A weak body can neither get any work done nor has a strong immune system. Eating healthy only solve the problem partially. A regular yoga practice can go a long way in making the body strong and flexible.

Boat Pose

You need a strong core to do the Boat pose and the asana strengthens your core further. Sit on the ground by putting the hands on both the sides of your buttocks. Now sit on the buttock by leaning towards the back and stretch your legs out in the front. Lift your legs up at an angle of 45 degrees to the ground. Keep your spine straight and the lower abdomen flat. Raise your hands up to the knee such that they are parallel to the ground.

The Boat pose tightens and strengthens the core muscles of the abdomen and back as well as hip flexors. It also improves prostate, kidneys, thyroid, and intestine health.

Goddess Pose

The Goddess Pose enhances both strength and stamina. It allows the muscles to be stretched and toned.

Stand in mountain pose, and focus on your breathing. Keep your feet apart and sideways. Bend your knees and lower your hips up to the height of your knees. Keep your arms at shoulder height in the namaskar mudra such that your fingertips are pointing upwards. Maintain this position for 30 seconds. Repeat.

Bridge Pose

This yoga pose stretches the neck, chest, spine, and hips. It boosts blood circulation by strengthening back, buttocks, and hamstrings. The bridge pose reduces stress and depression, and improves lungs, thyroid and abdominal organs’ health. Lie down and bend the knees. Then try raising your buttocks so that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your body now makes a bridge-like pose. Maintain this pose for 30 seconds or more.

Triangle Pose

The Triangle Pose enhances strength and flexibility by working the legs, hips, muscles around the knee, ankle joints, hamstrings, calves, chest, shoulders, and spine.

Stand straight with your legs apart in a triangular shape. Bend on the right side and try to touch the right foot with right hand while keeping the other one raised upwards. Repeat on the other side.

Plough Pose

The Plough pose stretches the muscles in your lower back and neck. It also facilitates the release of stress and tension.

Lie down facing to the sky. Stretch your arms wide on your sides. Slowly lift your legs overhead and then place them on the back of your head. Lift your back so that your feet can move farther away from your head. Your hands and the stretched shoulder blades will support your upper back.

To learn more about private yoga training and group fitness classes, get in touch with the leading stress coach in San Francisco, California, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

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

4 Tips to Maintain your Mindfulness Practice

You feel a burst of enthusiasm and motivation after a mindfulness session or when you first learn to practice mindfulness. Unfortunately, this motivation wanes over time as other things catch up. Maybe you had an unusually busy day at work or maybe your kids are screaming for attention.

Life can be demanding, and whenever your mindfulness practice gets derailed, you simply need to set an intention to begin again the next day.

To maintain your mindfulness practice, all you need is mindfulness!

Accept

Rather than ignoring or shying away from your irregular mindfulness practice, open fully to this fact. Accept that you are facing difficulty with motivation. Explore the physical sensations, mental thoughts and emotions that arise when you think or try to practice. This can turn your difficulties into your mindfulness practice, exploring hurdles and giving yourself space to respond.

Non-Judgement and Compassion

Mindfulness practice should not become something that gives you a hard time. To avoid judging your struggle with motivation, recognize that motivation levels may rise and fall. Realize that you are only human and not striving for perfection. Cut yourself some slack.

Beginner’s Mind

A beginner’s mind is essential for mindfulness, but it may need additional motivation to practice. Perhaps something is inhibiting your practice. Approach this with a beginner’s mind to rejuvenate your mindfulness practice.

Seek Support

Open up to what has changed or what is missing. Group support may play a key role in helping to maintain interest in the mindfulness practice. The structure, support and teaching offered in a group could make all the difference to your practice.

To learn more about meditation techniques for anxiety and mindfulness, get in touch with the leading stress coach in San Francisco, California, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

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

5 Yoga Poses to Manage and Prevent Stress and Tension

How do you de-stress? Wine, ice-cream, crystals? Do you look for external solutions like so many others?

Fortunately, Yoga works from within. It allows you to relieve stress and tension in both mind and body while making you more resilient to prevent it in the future.

Here are a few yoga poses that have an incredible ability to rid you of stress.

Eagle Pose

This yoga pose makes you focus on a single point, which is a great way to manage stress. It can also help to relax your body by loosening the muscles of the shoulders and hips, where tension usually accumulates.

Standing Forward Fold

This pose can calm a busy mind, restore balance in your nervous system, and promote calm and peace. In terms of energy, it balances the sacral chakra of the body which prevents fluctuating and excessive emotional energy.

Child’s Pose

When we’re exhausted all the time, our adrenal glands go into overdrive, causing burnout. Child’s Pose soothes the adrenals, and practicing it regularly can calm your mind.

Thunderbolt Pose

This pose has an excellent calming effect on the body and mind. It is also excellent for the digestive system, so if you experience acidity and incontinence due to stress, this pose can be a great help. The thunderbolt pose can also help you sleep better, releasing any stress you may have accumulated during the day.

Reclined Bound Angle Pose

This pose can help you release stress and tension through the hips, inner thighs, and groin. It allows you to surrender to the moment and let go.

To learn more about mindfulness meditation and yoga classes, get in touch with the leading stress coach online in San Francisco, California, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

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

6 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

The Big Yogi, You Are Not Your Pain

Anxiety can exhaust you physically as well as mentally. Thankfully, you can reduce your anxiety and stress with simple mindfulness practices.

Mindfulness refers to being in the present moment and paying attention to things we normally rush through.

Here are 6 simple ways to be mindful to relieve anxiety and calm your mind.

Doodle

Doodle for a couple of minutes every day. It will give your mind a break. You can buy inexpensive adult coloring books too.

Walk

Being outdoors can reduce anxiety. As you walk, observe the sounds around you, feel the breeze against your skin, and the smells. Leave your phone at home, if possible and spend the time focusing on your senses and your environment.

Look at the Sky

Look up at the sky every time you move out. Whether it is the vast blue expanse during the day or the stars at night, pause, take a few deep breaths and look up at the stars.

Brew

Make a cup of tea for yourself while focusing on each step. Observe how the water swirls when it boils and the smell of the tea leaves. Notice the steam rise from the cup and feel the warmth of the cup against your hand.

Do one thing at a time

Before you begin a task, set a timer and give that task your full attention. Multitasking can easily wear you out.

Use household chores as breaks

Relax into the moment. Hum a fav tune while doing the dishes or breathe deeply while you wait for the microwave timer to stop.

To learn more about mindfulness meditation and yoga classes, get in touch with the leading stress coach online in San Francisco, California, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

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

Guide to Employee Mental Health: Resources for Mindfulness at Work

Guide to Employee Mental Health

Work is an important component of life. Studies indicate that it can also be a grueling aspect that can have a profound negative impact on mental health. Work overload, long hours, and relentlessly hectic environments can lead to anxiety, depression, and other stress-related mental health issues. Because of this, it’s important for employers to promote strategies that create healthier work environments and encourage a positive work-life balance. The following resources can help accomplish this.

man-smiling-at-work

The Role of Mindfulness

It’s easy to be so concerned with what’s happening next that what’s happening now gets lost in the shuffle. This seems particularly true in this age of social media and handheld technology, which facilitate constant, nagging intrusions and demands for attention. However, studies indicate that mindfulness strategies designed to get people to focus on the present can reduce stress in the workplace and can have positive ramifications outside of the office.

Keeping Office Pets

Studies indicate pet ownership can promote a greater sense of mental health. This data has made offices more receptive to having pets in an office setting. While this does require the creation of several rules to promote a symbiotic work environment, allowing employees to bring their pets to work could increase production and lower stress.

profeesionals-with-coffee

Taking Mental Health Breaks

Americans are practically conditioned to work at a persistent rate. While this may seem to be the way to get ahead in the corporate world, studies indicate putting too many hours into work and ignoring a proper work-life balance can actually do more harm than good, particularly when it comes to mental health. Taking a reasonable number of mental health breaks from work, on the other hand, can leave a person ready to take care of business in a relaxed, rejuvenated fashion.

Turning Off the Tech

While cell phones and handheld devices have revolutionized communications, they are also responsible for the unfortunate reality that many people are now constantly connected to work. This perpetual link to the corporate world can be a prime mover behind an employee’s mental health degradation. That’s why the simple act of “unplugging” from these devices can do wonders for reducing work-related anxiety and stress.

The Need for Sleep

Increased anxiety and decreased productivity can be two key signs that an employee is experiencing mental health problems, and they can also point to a lack of sleep. Unsurprisingly, studies show that a distinct correlation exists between the two issues. A lack of sleep can lead to problems at work and, conversely, overwork can cause insomnia or sleep disruption. Good sleep habits and work-life balance can potentially lead to improvements in the well-being of workers.

 

What Employers Can Do to Help

Employers can have an immediate impact on the mental health of their employees. Since studies indicate a correlation between improved employee mental health and better productivity, keeping workers in a good state of mind is more likely to boost profitability than keeping them at their desks for extended periods. Fortunately, there are several steps employers can take to encourage their staff to take better care of their mental health.

Outlets for Outreach

Unfortunately, there are times when improving employee mental health isn’t as simple as allowing pets in the office or encouraging the occasional day off. In these cases, the causes of an employee’s struggles may need referral to an outside source. This is why having an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for a worker to reach out to can be a key component to an overall wellness strategy.

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

How to Walk Mindfully?

Did you know you can practice mindfulness while walking?

A walking meditation is a simple practice for developing awareness in the body, mind and spirit. When we walk, we often go into an autopilot mode. However, this 10-step walking meditation will help you stay mindful, calm and relaxed.

  1. Find a space to walk. It could be outdoors, or even inside a hallway or a room.
  2. Pause before you begin and focus your awareness into your body. Feel the sensation of your feet as they touch the ground.
  3. Gently, take one deep breath. With your eyes open, walk at a natural pace or a little slower than your normal pace.
  4. Pay attention to the sensations in the soles of the feet with each step.
  5. Observe the changes in pressure, texture and sensation.
  6. Be aware of where you’re going but keep your attention with the feeling on the soles of the feet.
  7. If your mind wanders away, gently bring your focus back to your feet.
  8. As you continue walking, expand your attention to what you can see. Notice the various colors, shapes, movements and light and shade around you.
  9. Now further expand your attention to the sounds around you, without judging whether they are pleasant or unpleasant.
  10. In the final moments, bring your awareness back to the physical sensations on the soles of the feet.

When you’re ready to finish, pause once again. Take one deep, mindful breath. Carry on with the rest of your day.

To learn more about meditation techniques for anxiety, get in touch with the leading stress coach online in San Francisco, California, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

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

The 3 Tenets of Mindfulness

Whether you are wondering about what mindfulness is or you have just begun, these 5 principles of mindfulness will help you create a strong stable foundation for your mindfulness practice.

Non-judgmental

In mindfulness, we aim to be an impartial observer of experiences. When you start paying attention to your thoughts, you may be surprised to notice how often we judge things, people and situations. This happens so quickly and spontaneously that being judgmental becomes automatic. Such a persistent unyielding flow of judgmental thoughts prevents us from being at peace with ourselves.

Mindfulness involves becoming aware of this habit and not judging or labeling but simply witnessing our judging thoughts as simply thoughts, without taking them seriously.

Patience

The wise know the significance of patience – to let things occur naturally, in their own time. With patience, your mindfulness practice will improve automatically. There is no finish line. You are simply present, in the moment and fully engaged with whatever is unfolding in the here and now.

Beginner’s Mind

Our thinking and beliefs often prevent us from seeing ‘what is’. If you find yourself tuning someone out while they are talking, it is because you are sure you know better, then you know what it means. When you are sure you’re ‘Right’, you’re not paying attention to their words rather forming your argument.

On the other hand, a beginner’s mind is open and willing to experience everything as it is. Listen with an open mind without any expectations of what it should be like.

Life is happening in the ‘Now and Here’. The practice of mindfulness brings your awareness to the present moment, whether you are walking, eating meditating or doing some chores. This silences the inner chatter, making the mind becomes still and calm.

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

3 Integrative Techniques for Mindfulness Based Stress Management

If you want to maintain long-lasting well-being, you need to effectively manage daily stress. While there are many ways to combat stress, integrative techniques for mindfulness-based stress management, focus on solutions that have lasting effects.

Integrative techniques of mindfulness-based stress reduction include –

Mindfulness Meditation

Being in the present moment is skill that can be acquired and the benefits are extremely beneficial. The most important thing is to master focusing on what is happening right now, rather than the past or the future. This helps to eliminate a majority of the daily stress and anxiety, and gives you the power to transform self from within rather than waiting for circumstances to change.

Nutrition

Integrative Mindfulness-based stress management is incomplete without nourishing the body with a nutritionally dense diet. You can learn to enjoy a largely plant-based diet to promote physical well-being. A healthy diet and healthy body will prepare your body to be resilient despite any emotional or environmental stress. Being mindfulness also helps you identify and overcome triggers that lead to emotional eating.

Yoga

Yoga postures are like meditation in motion. It keeps you relaxed yet alert and calms the mind. The postures help to release any built-up stress and relax the body and mind.

These three things work as the holy trinity of lasting health and well-being.

To learn more about mindfulness at work, get in touch with the leading stress coach online in San Francisco, California, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

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

3 Amazing Tips for Managing Stress

Stress and anxiety have become one of the biggest causes of missed work days. Multitasking, struggling with deadlines, no work-home boundaries can make anyone feel overwhelmed.

Fortunately, mindfulness can help you to manage stressful situations and maintain overall well-being so you are less moved by daily stress.

Mindfulness is not a single tool but a way of life. When you learn to be mindful and live in the present moment, you observe your feelings and thoughts without judgment, do not feel stressed. Mindfulness meditation, yoga and breathing exercises are all ways of practicing mindfulness.

Since your physical and mental well-being is affected by how you think and feel, becoming more mindful can help you manage them and cope with situations better.

When you practice mindfulness on a regular basis, it can have a great positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Here are some extremely effective tips.

Mindful Eating

Paying attention to what and how you eat will not only help you enjoy your food better but also prevent overeating. Better eating means better nutrition and better ability to manage stress.

Mindful Walking

Mindful walking involves paying attention to how you walk, your posture and gait, each step and how it feels when your feet touch the ground. Going for a mindful walk can help to calm the mind and gain perspective and insight. You can go for a mindful walk even during the lunch break at work.

Mindful Waiting

You can be mindful even when you are waiting for a meeting or when you are in an elevator or whenever you are stressed. Focus on your breathing. You would observe that the breath tends to become more rhythmic as you observe it. This can help the body to relax and the mind to become calmer.

To learn more about mindfulness at work, get in touch with the leading stress coach online in San Francisco, California, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

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

3 Incredible Meditation Techniques for Anxiety

Practicing mindfulness is one of the easiest and most effective way to manage stress and anxiety. Here are 3 incredible meditation techniques that help you slow down your mind, get rid of negativity, relax the body and obtain freedom from worries.

Float Above

Simply sit in silence and visualize yourself floating above the issue causing anxiety or the conflict. It allows you to look at the issue from above and gives you a much wider perspective. In most cases, people realize the futility of worrying or getting anxious about it.

Awareness

Sit comfortably in a quiet area and focus inward. Notice your breathing pattern without trying to change it. If you notice your attention wandering, bring your attention back to your breath. Focusing on your breath tends to deepen the breath and as the breath deepens, the body relaxes and the mind becomes calmer.

Acknowledge your Thoughts

As you meditate, anxious and negative thoughts may pop up. Do not suppress these thoughts but acknowledge them. Practicing observation of uncomfortable thoughts helps you stop reacting to them. With time, your anxiety decreases and you experience more inner peace.

Whenever you finish a meditation, take time to come out of your meditation gradually. Do not rush. Slowly stretch your body and take time to reflect on your practice.

To learn more about stress and anxiety management training, get in touch with the leading life coach in San Francisco, California, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

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