Squats Are For Mondays

In last week’s blog, I wrote about the importance of focusing on the feet and legs in your yoga practice. This week, we’ll learn how to do weighted squats in order to build a strong foundation for your exercise regimen.

Many yoga teachers shun weight lifting, and many weight lifters scoff at the idea of incorporating yoga into their exercise routine. I say everybody needs to relax and consider how different modalities can be beneficial regardless of their origins. If your goal is to hold Warrior II longer, then incorporate the squat to build leg strength. If you want to perform a full squat, then incorporate Warrior II to increase groin flexibility.
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5 Big Takeaways From 2015

2015 was a big, powerful year for myself and as a result for many of my students and private clients alike. I’m not saying that to brag but to highlight the main theme of “The Big Yogi”;
Inspire, Move and Transform. My perspective and teachings revolve around the principal of filling yourself up first in order to be of greater value and service to the community and the world. The power to make change starts with the ability to inspire yourself to move towards transformation. You have got to get clear on who you want to be and how you want your life to be, then you can take this energy and purpose outward and share it. This blog represents my takeaways and personal experience with these principals and teachings over the past year and is in the first person for this reason. I offer myself as a tool for you to reflect on your own big takeaways from 2015.
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How to Create Your Life’s Dreams: 3 Tips to Getting it Done.

Last week marked my completion of another 50 hour block of advanced yoga training; which I have been taking part in for the past year. I spent the week really getting to know my mind, including all of its little tricks and all the ways it tries to hide things from me. It was also an opportunity to evaluate the areas of my life that are working and uncover the aspects that aren’t.  Overall, the experience has created a desire to share some of my takeaways from the week, not only to put down on paper what I think I have learned, but also to inspire others to become happier and healthier through the process.

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A Calorie Is Not A Calorie

Yesterday, while chatting with a long term client about nutrition, we came to the controversial topic of whether or not the calories from fruit effect our bodies the same way the calories from grains do. Our conversation got me thinking and I’ve come to this stance: a calorie is not a calorie. Let me repeat that again, a calorie is not a calorie. Stop counting them, stop trying to understand them and stop rating your workouts by how many you burn. In fact, from here on out, forget you’ve ever even heard of calories. Calories aren’t worth your time. This may sound shocking, but I never count calories and neither do many others who understand nutrition. Without counting calories I hover at around 12% body fat (that’s far above average). One of my colleagues eats over 3,000 calories a day from fruit alone and maintains himself at 5% body fat (that’s professional athlete level)! He’s not concerned with his calorie intake either. There is a lack of understanding in the health and wellness world which tries to sell everyone on the ole “calorie in, calorie out” lie. The amount of calories in a banana effect you differently than the same calories in ice-cream because they are bio-nutritionally built differently. If this weren’t true then “calories in and calories out” would be correct and we could all maintain healthy body weights by limiting calories . If you’ve ever dieted before (and who hasn’t) you know this doesn’t work. So let’s take some time today and look at how calories effect us and how calories are not calories.

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Fad Foods and Diets

Fad foods and diets- we’ve all heard of them, we’ve all followed them and we’ve all found that many of them are, well, simply fads. With so much information and marketing out there around health and wellness, it is hard, if not nearly impossible to know what (or who) to listen to or follow. Depending on where the marketing dollars are coming from, that’s usually what we are told to eat and what society begins to follow. First it was milk mustaches, then complex carbohydrates, then low-fat foods (which can be argued to have created our current obesity epidemic) and now we hear gluten-free and bacon is all the rage. Whatever it is, it’s not working and is mostly a bunch of crap. Why do I say that? Simple. Two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese and our rate of preventable diseases is at an all time high. A shift must be made and it is not in the form of a “magic-bullet” or the newest fad.
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Detox to Retox!

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been hungover… It sucks, I know, we’ve all been there and the older we get, the more it hurts. Let’s be honest, part of living a modern lifestyle involves being healthy and active while the other half includes being social and drinking. We all work hard  and sometimes we need to blow off some steam. I’m not here to tell you to drink less, you’re a grown up, do what you want. I am here however to share my “extensive” field research in bars (yes, yoga teachers get just as drunk as the rest of us) and help you get over that Saturday morning hangover so you can get out there and take on your weekend like a champ. So here it is, The Big Yogi’s time-tested way to “Detox to Retox.”

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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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Albondigas-Lentil Soup

Today’s quick and easy recipe is loaded with protein, veggies and is paleo (well, almost).

For lunch, I wanted something to really fill me up after a good workout, so needed a wide range of nutrients in my meal. That means it needed to have a lot of protein, a good amount of carbohydrates and some healthy fats. After working out I’m big on eating a full meal, I find that this helps reduce muscle soreness the next day and helps my muscles grow lean and strong.

Here’s what you’ll need in order to make this meal which will last you 3-4 servings;

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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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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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