Category Archives: Exercise

2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom

Kapha Seasonal Bloom graphic. An Ayurvedic guide to late winter and spring health

Woohoo! 2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom is ready for ya! Download your copy today to enjoy and learn all about kapha dosha, kapha people, and kapha season.

Those of you who live in cold climates could not be happier to see kapha enter in! Tulip and daffodil leaves start poking up through the snow, limey green buds pop up on the trees, snow and rain does this lovely dance which makes…slush. Ha! But it’s good! Nature is thawing and creation is happening. The brisk, bitter, and dry cold from vata season begins to soften and mellow to welcome the life and freshness of spring.

We begin daydreaming about vacation and are excited to plan some R&R. Our bodies crave warmth as we eye up the sundresses and flip flops at Target — and maybe smell the sunscreen just for fun! Inspiration to buy new stuff and throw out half of the uninspiring things that we currently own does not feel like an impulse as much as it feels like a necessity. We have an overall sense of renewal, creation, and happiness. And finally, we might feel like slowing down to enjoy the ride a bit more and maybe take the long way home. Sauntering never felt so good. YAY! Kapha is here!

Imbalancing for KAPHA: Yogurt, ice cream, cheeses, heavy comfort foods, fried foods, red meat, fish, salts, sugars. A sedentary lifestyle. Having too much stuff. Eating large portions late in the evening. Carrying old, negative emotions, grief or sadness.

Balancing for KAPHA: Vegetarian or vegan diet, apples, pears, berries, lentils and dahls, brothy and spicy soups, barley, rice, rice noodles. Zumba or dance class with a buddy. Clear out cluttered spaces. Saying no. Expressing your desires. Release old emotions that don’t serve you. Skip dinner at least once a week. Citrus scents. Bright colored clothes. Get outside once a day and walk. Uplifting beauty, such as a vase of flowers.

For so much more on kapha dosha and kapha season, enjoy the free download of the 2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom. And! If it has served you, share it!! It takes a village to share Ayurveda (it really does! Way back 5,000 years ago, they did the same!) in an effort for ALL of us to live abetter. So, if you benefited from it, do me a favor and share this with 3 people, especially your beloved kaphas.

Kapha Seasonal Bloom inside spreads

2017 Vata Seasonal Bloom

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Download Blue Button

I’m EXCITED for you to have these Vata Freebies!
You get Vata Season Webinar + Vata Seasonal Bloom (14-page health guide)!

Let’s talk about vata + the weekend for a sec.
Computers make us feel anxious, so why don’t you print Seasonal Bloom and read it by the fireplace or in your favorite chair. Print is more balancing than the screen, plus it is so lovely you will want it in your hands.
*inhale* *exhale*

We live in a HIGHLY imbalanced vata world with things like computers, smart phones, traffic, and social media. We get anxiety over what we think we should be doing and who we think we should be. *breathe* You are perfectly aligned on your path. You are already doin’ it. The world is just moving faster than ever (hyper-vata) and you can feel that zippy energy, which can create an internal panic.

Let’s slow it down and use this weekend to disconnect from all that stuff.

Find a pumpkin. Cook a meal. Sink into a long bath. Free flow on a bike ride. Catch views from your favorite hike (even if it’s urban). Bust out your paints. Go to the high school football game. Say hello to the yarn basket. Savor a magazine. Power walk with your favorite person. {insert your ideas here}

Let’s bring it down. You are perfectly as you should be, perfectly on your path.
You don’t need to move faster, just trust and slow it down.
*inhale* *exhale*

BIG LOVE! (it’s not you, it’s just vata!)

 

 

Pitta Seasonal Bloom 2016

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Pitta season is in full swing — it’s SUMMER time! Summer means sun, summer rain, sweat, swimming pools, popsicles, watermelon, bare feet, vacation, sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and…go find shade! There is so much to look forward to and I’m excited to share my Pitta Seasonal Bloom download with you!

Why is seasonal balance important in Ayurveda? Remember our Ayurvedic foundation, “like increases like.” Which means when the elements/doshas are dominant in us AND in nature, they can overflow and create imbalance in us. When we are imbalanced we start to feel like crud and if we feel like crud for too long, eventually we will notice physical ailments in our bodies or minds. SO! The goal in Ayurveda is to avoid feeling like crud and live optimally by staying in harmony with nature instead of working against it.

Pitta seasonal bloom has loads of diet & lifestyle tips for your mind, body and spirit. Here’s to a happy and healthy summer! *clink!*

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IN YOUR ELEMENTS is here!

IN YOUR ELEMENTS IS HERE! 

 

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EEEYAAAH!!!!! THE BOOK IS DONE!

Who’s going to hold hands and jump up and down with me?! Who’s coming over to my house? Where are you people when I NEED you!? ;) You guys, after 1 1/2 years, my Ayurvedic book is COMPLETE! READY FOR THE WORLD! *high kick* *clap hands* *shake booty*

BUY IT HERE.

In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life is a vibrant mix of Ayurvedic wisdom, humor and practicality all rolled into one book. In Your Elements was created for those of us who believe in the power of the individual and that true health stems from within.

My lovely book walks you through fundamental Ayurvedic foundations and includes over 70 questions, exercises and oodles of tips to help you along the journey. The whole book is a customized look at your life including, your daily routine, dosha quiz, menus, recipes, home therapies, exercise recommendations and more! As a bonus, Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic practitioners will LOVE this book for their classes and clients, respectively.

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So Monica B, what’s next?
We are going to have a proper launch party webinar in October with yours truly as the host. I’ll do a little chat, we will have book give-aways, I’ll answer any questions and we will have a PAR-TAY together online. That is coming SOON so keep your peepers out and be ready to “woohoo!” Oh! And if you have not signed up for my newsletter yet, definitely do that.

For now, go buy the book! Love it up. Share with friends. There will be SO MUCH MORE very soon! XOXOX! Monica B

 

Seasonal Bloom: Kapha

kapha_2013_iconHAPPY Kapha Season! Kapha season goes from late winter through spring, and the time is now! If you have already read the seasonal bloom in the past, maybe take another look! And then pass it along to a friend :)

NEW inside this one, I created a kapha playlist! That’s right, music to shake your booty to while spring cleaning. Nothing better to get a kapha moving than some great tunes! *shake it!*

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE KAPHA SEASONAL BLOOM HERE

I also ask that in return for reading, absorbing and hopefully loving the information, that you share this with at least three of your friends or family. We ALL need more Ayurveda in our lives. It’s my passion, it’s my life’s work and I am grateful I can share this with you. Please share with more people so my reach gets larger!

Ayurvedic Football?

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Okay before you think I’ve lost my Ayurvedic marbles, let me explain. A LOT of people love football and when football season begins, they feel like all is right in the world because their team is back on the field. It’s true and it seems so silly, but I am one of them. Don’t judge! I can like football and be Ayurvedic and here’s why :) It’s part of mine and so many others’ lives! So, since Ayurveda is all about LIFE, then maybe football is a little Ayurvedic (I’m totally ready for all the comments of people who think I’ve lost it), hey?

Hear me out. When football season starts, sooooo many people have a renewed sense of community. You feel it when hollering at the TV with your friends or high-fiving strangers in the stands. This “community” feeling (and sometimes you even get goosebumps!) come from our first chakra. The first chakra is our root or “tribe” chakra, which gives us a sense of home and common ground. Our root chakra is the chakra that says “you belong here.” Heck we might even say being a football fan for our favorite team is “part of our roots.” We are rooted in this as a routine or way of living based on those surrounding us. That’s what the first chakra does–it unites us. When we are little kids, we view our family, maybe our church, our graduating class or even yoga class as being our “tribe.”  A great example is when we sing the national anthem! Everybody knows it, everybody puts their hand on their heart, and everybody sings. It’s the space we consider home and includes others who feel the same thing. Make sense?

Sports fans all have the game in common. Often we see people hugging in the stands, clapping, screaming, jumping up and down…they don’t even know each other! The game unites us, giving us an excuse to get together with a common goal in mind. And no matter what differences we have, for that moment while the game is on, we are all one. Together all as one, we sing the chants, clap our hands, boo the referees, cheer with excitement, and share disappointment if our team loses. We are not independent, we are together.

See? I’m not that nutcakes. But you tell me, do you think this connection through sport is Ayurvedic? Maybe not football exactly (although more of those guys are doing yoga and some are even vegan!), but I have to admit, the ever-famous Lambeau Leap is the epitome of using our first chakra :) Packer fan or not, there’s something awesome that happens when we watch good ol’ LeRoy receive hugs and “atta boy” pats from the hometown fans. So good, so home. What are your thoughts?

10 and 10

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Last week my boss, Susie, came to San Francisco to work with myself and my team. One of the busiest, hardest working people I know, she’s also an awesome teacher, a positive coach, and tireless cheerleader. She’s a mom and wifey too. In an after-work dinner convo, I turned into her Ayurvedic counselor (cause I am) and suggested that she take more time for herself because she gives so much out! We started yapping about time (or lack of), momhood, work priorities and we both griped that we didn’t have enough time to exercise as much as we would like. It bummed us out because we love to do it, but our time is so limited (jee, sound familiar to anyone else?). I have a couple DVDs that I do, but only a couple times a week, not daily.

She said, “There were two times I can think of when I was in really good shape. One, was right before my wedding (when I trained her and taught fitness classes in our office – ha!) and the other, was years back when I just did 10 minutes of cardio a day. Just 10 minutes…and I ate less too.”

Inspired, this weekend I took my dog Blossom on a quick run instead of a walk. And by quick run, it was 10 minutes. Her doggie face was happily panting and I actually had some sweat beads on my nose. I told Susie on Monday that I did 10 minutes of cardio the past two days, and would she like to join me on my crusade to cardio? She accepted, but then she threw in 10 push ups too. Dang it! Overachiever. Ok fine, so 10 minutes and 10 pushups a day.

I have to say, I LOVE IT! It’s not hard AND it gives me a warm up in case I have to sprint to the train! The point of all this is, take baby steps, but CONSISTENT baby steps toward your goal. If all I can muster is 10 minutes and 10 pushups, then I’m going to do it. Without fail, daily. The other thing that is helpful is to have a buddy. We know that when we have a buddy, we are more likely to be accountable for new habits we are trying to form. So now we send IM chats at work, “10 and 10! Done!” or “10! and I still have to do 1o.” or “I did 10 sets of squats 10 times and sometimes held my daughter…does that count for cardio?” To which I responded, “Yes and you will probably not be able to walk tomorrow (overachiever.)” ;)

What do you think about our little crusade to cardio? Do you have any mini crusades you can take on? We would all love to hear your creative ideas to life-enhancement! xo

An Ayurvedic Interview on Well + Good

Happy Friday! Recently I had an Ayurvedic interview for Well + Good NYC, on which workouts are best for your dosha(s). Lisa was super duper and many many thanks to her for getting the great word out about Ayurveda and how we can loop it into our modern lives. Yay! Check out the interview here. And in case you missed them, I have a couple other posts on exercise for your dosha and what to do when you are a vata craving exercise (because vatas need to slooooow down). Be healthy, live according to YOU, and have a super weekend! xoxo.

Got Ta Keep on Movin’

In a previous post on exercise for your dosha, I stress how important it is to get up and move our bodies, daily. This could not be truer, especially for our sweet, sweet, kaphas. Remember in Ayurveda, like increases like. So, kapha-type people + kapha season = wetness, heaviness, stickiness, chilliness, cloudiness, and an overall feeling of wanting to stay sedentary.

The cure to release kaphas of these qualities is to use the opposite qualities for balance (dry, light, warm, clear, movement). I often advise to my kapha clients that the number one thing they need to do to feel better is move! Sweat! Walk those legs! Dance that tush! Swing those arms! It’s tough to get a kapha person to move but once they do, they will feel glorious! Their happy-go-lucky selves get their glow back. They will glisten. Moving the body increases heat, improves circulation, releases stagnation, and gives agni (digestive fire) a well needed boost. A good sweat releases excess water, salt, and toxins. And if it’s fun enough, kaphas will want to do it over and over again. So the key is, make your moving fun. Grab a buddy and keep it enjoyable. That said, don’t get so caught up in conversation with your buddy that you end up meandering instead of power walking (I know you).

Below I’ve provided some necessary inspiration. And if it speaks to you, shake that booty and fling your arms like a Solid Gold Dancer (does it look like there are batons flying around in the background?! Ha!). Get movin, kaphas! xoxo.

I’m a vata craving exercise!

I got this great question from one of my lovely readers and I thought it was important enough to share with all of you. Below is his question and below that is my answer.

I am quite disappointed to finally realize I am a vata. I get sick whenever I train more than 3-4 days a week. What can a vata do if their passion is exercise? Even now at 40 I have re-discovered road cycling and like to get out for 40-60km. I find the runners high addictive and being out in beauty almost meditative. I feel alive out there yet the cold wind whistling by my ears….I can tell it’s not good for my dosha. Seems a little cruel that it is ultimately not good for me? Perhaps I am being immature about it. Any suggestions? Maybe overcompensate when home with nice warm slippers, quiet night etc.?

AH! Thank you so much for your question. It’s a beautiful question because…pittas often crave really spicy foods (not good for them) and kaphas really crave to be mostly sedentary and often cannot kick a sweet tooth to save their lives (both not good for them).

In a nutshell, when our dosha is imbalanced, we crave imbalancing habits. So, vatas will crave more intense exercise if their vata is increased. I don’t know if you can relate, but it feels like constant motion…and the only thing that satisfies that craving of motion is more motion. Do you ever feel like that? That said, there is a balance. You can still do nice cardio exercise, but I would suggest you balance that with yoga a couple times a week. That will help. Also, make sure your food is very grounding, warm and well oiled. I might even suggest trying a week or two of “feet on the ground” exercises (elliptical trainer, stationary bike, power walking, yoga, pilates, weight lifting) instead of having too much “air” under your feet. See if that urge to keep moving calms down.

Overall, an awesome question. I feel like I need to address this on a larger level because you are not the only one to ask this. Don’t be disappointed you are a vata…vatas are wonderful. Please remember to embrace you. Namasté, Monica

Exercise for your Dosha

Exercise for your dosha

This weekend I felt super sluggish . But the thing is I wasn’t just tired, I was kinda…lifeless (I know my body enough to tell the difference). It was time to combat the sluggies by moving my body.

I did a nice 30 minute session of ballet legs, pushups, tricep dips and booty exercises. After all that, I got in a great sweat and ended feeling awesome!! My friends, for those of you who feel consistently sluggish, you HAVE to start moving your body!! You really have to. I don’t kid. I promise this is the key way to get energized. We are not meant to sit for hours on end in front of a computer or tv – it’s just not natural! Since we are little beings of nature so we need to move, sweat, and tone our bodies. It’s great for keeping disease and sickness away (immunity booster) and it tones all the tissues of the body. Food and exercise are the building blocks that keep us healthy. So if we’re only doing one of those things right, we are only half way. That said, I know it can be frustrating when you know you need to do some sort of exercise, but you’re not sure exactly what is best for you. But that’s what I’m here for!

Since Ayurveda is individualized, each dosha does better with certain exercises. If the word dosha is foreign to you, definitely take the dosha quiz. That will help determine what makes you tick.

Exercises for vata.

Vatas, you need to slow down. Slooooooooooow dooooooowwwwwn. Okay, even slower. ;) Because vata is so wiggly, windy, scattered, and variable, they need to stay steady, grounded, and intentional. I always like to think that if vata has both feet on the ground, that’s a pretty good exercise for vata (unless balancing in tree pose or warrior 3). Seriously, the more vata can stay still and move with intention the better.

Vatas need a nice balance of strength and flexibility. Weights/strength training, yoga, pilates, ballet-inspired and bar classes (not the kind with martinis!) would be great. Anything too cardio intensive will increase the already swift motion in their mind-body and will stiffen muscles and joints. The key for vatas is to sloooooow dooowwwwnnn…xoxo.

Exercises for pitta.

Pittas, you need to cool down and destress. The thing about pittas is that they are naturally muscular and pretty good athletes so they actually seek out physical activity. They really like the physicality of exercise so a pitta doesn’t need a whole lot of motivation to get moving. However, they need to stay cool and stay away from anything too competitive, stressful, or too hot. {Speaking of stress, stress can take away from pittas motivation to exercise. If a pitta person is stressed at work, they will put exercise lowest on their priority list because they have to achieve, achieve, achieve at their jobs first. This is not balance.}

Pittas will do best with a combo of cardio (they love to sweat), like cycling or swimming and a consistent yoga practice is very helpful to destress. Cool air and cool water will make pitta feel like they’ve had an awesome workout but will not overheat them. Pittas should NOT exercise in the sun or do bikram yoga!

Exercises for kapha.

Kaphas, you need to move and sweat. Kaphas are the most sluggish of the three doshas and getting a move on will help them feel SO alive and energized! They tend to be on the lazy side, so kaphas can easily get in a rut…and stay there. It’s not easy to get a kapha to move, but by putting on some good music and grabbing a good buddy, kapha will feel happy and full of gusto! You’ve probably guessed, but cardio is best for kapha. Cardio can range from run-walking, power walking, elliptical trainer, or anything aerobic. They need to move because they tend to be heavy in both body and mind. Moving the physical body will help lighten both of these.

Kaphas should not lift heavy weights (they are already very strong and don’t need denser muscle tissue, nor will they stick to a regimen if it makes them too sore/uncomfortable) and even some yoga is too slow for them. The hardest part for kapha is to stick with it, but this is exactly what they need. Even if they do 20 minutes a day of power walking in your neighborhood, that is awesome!! Just do that. You will feel fantastic in no time!! But please, get moving!

Monica B’s Top 10 for 2010!

Happy New Year! And Happy NEW Decade! So, have you come up with a resolution yet? I always go back and forth on whether or not I like resolutions. I feel like we should be mindful of our health every day all year long, so why only focus only at the beginning of each year? Then again we have to start somewhere, right? We are constantly evolving and if the resolution is simple enough to adopt as a life-long habit, then I say do it!

As we know Ayurveda has an individualized focus, recognizing each one of us as a special combination of space, air, fire, water, and earth. However, there are some basic rules that apply to everyone too. In my lectures and in my healing practice, it is usually the most simple things that I tell people to hold on to.

Below I have listed my top 10, most helpful and most easy changes. Choose ONE (just one, only one, no matter how badly you want to do three) and try it for a week or a month. See how you feel. The reason why I say choose one is because often my clients want to change five or six different things and they end up failing because they can’t stick to them. Pick ONE and do it well. If you get ONE down pat and it becomes a habit, add another. This is how we slowly make changes and adopt new healthy habits. Perfect health does not come overnight (nor does ill-health, fyi!), but if we work at it slowly, we will make HUGE strides. I promise!

And if you try one, let me know how it goes. I would love to hear your success stories. Go get em!! Rah!

Monica’s Top 10 for 2010

1. Do not resist your urges | Resisting urges reverses our natural flow. Don’t hold your pee, a sneeze or your hurt feelings. Let it out!
2. Eat a light dinner | Lose weight, wake up energized, reduce toxins, think clearer
3. Bed by 10:00pm | Don’t wait for your 2nd wind, it’s against nature’s clock
4. Write a gratitude list once a day
5. Omit ice water | hampers digestion, counterintuitive for good circulation, shocks the body
6. Wait to feel real hunger before eating | Sip herbal or ginger tea if you are not sure
7. Stoke your agni! | malfunctioning agni is responsible for 90% of all disease
8. Walk 20-30 minutes a day | Without fail, just put on your shoes and do it
9. So Hum meditation for 5 minutes a day
10. Do Kapalbhati 5-10 minutes in the morning before breakfast | good for weight loss, energizing start to your day, mental clarity, spirit clarity, creativity, and it’s a cardio work out!

Kapalbhati Pranayam

Kapawhat?! Kapal-bah tee. It’s a breathing exercise (pranayam) that is literally translated to “glowing” or “shining” skull. Dude, it’s the BEST because it purifies the mind by forcefully ridding all toxins. The breathing itself is a series of forceful exhalations one after the other while never intentionally inhaling. The body will automatically inhale for us – we don’t need to worry about it.

We have all heard of laughter being the best medicine. Kapalbhati works the same way. Think about laughing, “ha-ha-ha.” The whole time it’s exhale-exhale-exhale. During laughter and kapalbhati we are exhaling and ridding the body of toxins, while bringing in a lot of fresh oxygen. Ok lemme tell ya more, it gets better!

Benefits of kapalbhati:

Totally purifying.
Good for weight loss. It’s a cardio work out.
10 minutes of kapalbhati is equal to 1 hour of cardio workout, like running. No kidding! But you have to work up to it just like regular cardio.
Strengthens Respiratory System. Strengthening lungs, lung capacity, purifies nasal passage, and removes blockages in the chest.
Strengthens & stimulates Digestive System. Remember, “We are what we digest” so we need to digest food properly. This will help!
Stimulates Circulatory System.Gets the blood to all parts of the body by opening channels and promoting circulation.
Purges us of all negativity. Mind, body, spirit
Helps to overcome stress, depression and negative emotions.
Gives mental clarity.
Helps bring higher awareness as it removes blockages and focuses our mind on pure and right intention

Ready to try it?! Ok, I have included a video so that you can see how it’s done.

Kapalbhati Demo

You can also follow instructions below:
1. Do this daily in the morning if you can, before breakfast (2 hours if after meal. You will get a cramp otherwise. Trust me.)
2. Start with a count of 20-30, then rest. See how you feel. This is very individual depending on your cardiovascular condition, so take it easy if you haven’t done exercise in a while. Or if that was a piece of cake, then try for 45 seconds or one minute.
3. Sit with legs crossed in a lotus-like position or if in a chair, both feet on the ground
4. Spine straight, chest open, like a string is going from your butt up through the top of your head and holding you straight
5. Using on the the diaphragm, inhale while ballooning the belly
6. Start! Forcefully exhale, using the diaphragm and count, 1-2-3-4-5 (you will automatically inhale, but focus on the exhale)
7. Take a rest when you are tired and repeat 3x. Even with just 2 minutes of this a day, you will notice the benefits.

If you try this and notice a difference, please share! I know I benefit greatly from it – just mental clarity, less crabbiness, I get a LOT more done during the day, and I take things more in stride. I hope this helps you discover more clarity and brings a nice sheen to your brilliant skull :)

Take a walk

Take a brisk walk every day to enjoy one of the best exercises for the body! Not only for the reasons we already know (gets heart rate up, helps break a sweat, lowers blood pressure, etc), but it also strengthens the large intestines and helps with constipation :)

Also in Ayurveda, it is taught that exercise should be just to the point of breaking a sweat on our forehead, nose and armpits. Then stop. Is that the best news you’ve heard all day?!