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Get Your Glow On – Kamloops Yoga Boot Camp Workout

One of the best ways to feel good is to breathe deeply, get your blood flowing, and move your body in ways that make you feel strong and balanced.

On that note, here’s a Yoga Boot Camp workout you can do at home. It’s a great way to prepare your body for the next session of Kamloops Yoga Boot Camp too!

Remember to take full responsibility for your body, using any modifications that are appropriate and only doing what is safe for you at this time. If you don’t know an exercise, choose something different. These are exercises we use often in YBC.

Workout:

Stand tall and feel your feet on the earth. Take three, slow deep breaths and bring all of your awareness to the here and now. Set your intention and perhaps sing 3 oms to begin.

Warm Up: (30 sec each)
– Jog in place
– Jumping jacks or steam engines
– Butt kicks
– High knees
– Cross country skiers

Movement Prep or light stretching (3-5 min.)

Strength and Core:
– Lunges (15-20 each side)
– Forearm Plank (if possible, lift opposite leg and arm, alternate. 30-60 sec)
– Maria Press (Squat with bicep curl and shoulder press. 20-25 reps)
– Bicycle crunches (25 each side)
– Plank Rows ( 20 each side)

Cardio Blast:
– Jump squats (20)
– Mountain Climbers (20)
– Cross country skiers (20)
– Snowboarders (20)

Balance and Stability:
– High lunge to Warrior III (5 each side, slow and controlled)
– Warrior II (hold 30 sec each side)
– Tree Pose (30 sec each side)
– Side Plank (30 sec each side)

Repeat entire workout 2-3 times (or just start with one!)

Yoga Cool-Down:
– Stand tall, stretch triceps and shoulders/arms, breathing
– Standing forward bend, interlace hands behind for shoulder stretch
– Down Dog
– Lunge, arms up (hip flexors and quads)
– Runner’s lunge (hamstrings)
– Triangle or Side Angle (side stretch)
– Wide squat (inner thighs)
– Wide leg forward bend (hamstrings)
– Pigeon thigh stretch (or any quad stretch, even standing)
– Pigeon or Thread the Needle (hips)
– Supine twist
– Hamstring Hug
– Savasana (relax and breathe)

Be sure to stay hydrated and reward yourself with a high protein meal after.

And be kind with yourself! If you’ve found yourself hibernating this winter, remember to start back up on your fitness and yoga path with baby steps. One day at a time. 🙂

Yams, Kale and Lentils (Recipe)

I just wanted share a recipe that I love, and that my body really appreciates. I hope you like it!

Lentil Yam Yum (3 to 4 servings – takes 20 minutes)

Ingredients:

– 2 large yams or sweet potatoes

– 1 bunch kale

– 1 dry cup sprouted bean trio from cost-co, OR 2 packages of “Taste Adventure” Curry Lentil Soup from Nature’s Fare.

– Olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

If you’re using the organic sprouted bean trio from Cost-co, prepare that according to package instructions. Otherwise start by pealing and cutting yams into approx. 2cm cubes. Put these in a steamer, and let them cook for about 10 minutes, while you de-stem and chop up the kale. (If the stems are fresh, you can add kale stems and cook longer than the greens. If the kale is not super fresh, stems can be too chewy.) Add kale to steamer and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or so, until kale and yams are tender. If you’re using the Curried Lentil soup packages, prepare according to package instruction (takes only 5 minutes once water is boiled).

When I use the Cost-co sprouted bean trio mix I tend to add half a bouillon cube of veggie stock. Just a suggestion.

Serve into bowls (I like to mix the steamed goodies with the soup, but you can keep them separate if you want) and top with approx. 1 tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

This is one of my go-to feel-good meals. It’s a great source of plant based protein and fiber, plus kale is one of the most nutrition-packed vegetables you can eat. I find yams are not only super tasty, but are also excellent for the digestive system, and are high in vitamin B6 and potassium.

Eating the olive oil uncooked is a yummy and much healthier way to get the many benefits of olive oil. Olive oil loses its potency when cooked and is not ideal to use for cooking at high temperatures (it can go rancid when heated too high). Coconut oil, however, is a great oil for high temp cooking.

Because this meal includes root vegetables and legumes, and is served with liquid like a soup, it is grounding and an excellent dish to help your body adjust to the change in seasons.

Posted in Nutrition by Katrina Ariel | No Comments

Spicing up the Kamloops Yoga Fitness Boot Camp

Check out some of the great new (and revisited) things we’re doing next session in Yoga Boot Camp!

~ 80’s Day: Get out your leg warmers and neon, because we’re going to have tons of fun on Monday, September 23! I’ve already got a stellar new music playlist for this class.

~ Optional measurements: During the first and last week of camp you can come 15 min. early or stay after class to step on a scale and use a tape measure to get some physical feedback. It’s important to remember that these are only ONE form of measurements, and it’s WAY more important to keep track of how you feel in your body and the rest of your life.

~ Fit Tests: Each week you’ll have a chance to take note of how you’re doing in physical exercises. First week might be squats and high-knees, second week might be how long you can hold plank. The point is not to compete or judge, simply to show you that you’re getting stronger and increasing your stamina. It’s fun to see that in numbers!

~ YBC Scholarships: If you are a student or a teacher, you receive a 20% discount off the regular price. Also, there are two scholarship opportunities if funds are tight for you and you can trade some time for a 50% discount. Please email me for more info on the scholarship, or for payment info if you qualify for the student/teacher discount. (I have extended this discount to teachers because they are underpaid and SO important, helping to guide the next generation. Also, the scholarships are open to anyone needing financial assistance to make YBC happen.)

Click for more info and Register Today!

What else… Oh yes! Deandra, one of our YBC alumni and a fellow yoga instructor, will be adding her energy to the camp by demo-ing at the front of the class and assisting, which means you’ll receive even more support and individual instruction. Yeah!

If you haven’t already registered, there are still some spaces available and we would LOVE to share this fantastic program with you.

Posted in Camp News by Katrina Ariel | No Comments

Simplifying and Sweetening Your Relationship with Food

The following article was written by my friend and fellow yoga teacher, Deandra Tousignant. Deandra has had a personal and transformational journey in her relationship to food and body image. She and I have had long talks about these topics and others, which have shown me how much wisdom and perspective Deandra has to offer.

I hope you discover insight from her thoughts here and in articles to come, and find something you of value that can apply to your own life.

~ Katrina

Create Simplicity in Your Relationship with Food

Recently in yoga class Katrina focused on cultivating simplicity and spaciousness within our lives. This idea of creating simplicity can be applied to varying aspects of our lives, clearing the way for our limitless potential to manifest.

For me, simplifying my relationship with food has been one of the most empowering things I have done for myself.

I spent many years researching nutrition, only to become confused and overly restricted by the contradicting information. After realizing that my relationship with food had become so rigid that it was limiting my ability to feel comfortable and love who I am, I decided to let go of all the rules and look at food simply.

For me I found this simplicity by moving back to the basics. I invite you to think of food this way:

Food is energy, Prana (vital life force).

Yes, some sources are better quality than others, but ultimately you know what fuels your body best. For me, I know that when I eat a diet based on high quality protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, I feel the best.

However, at times for the pure joy of it I choose to eat things that don’t fall into those categories. But the shift in attitude comes from not being hard on yourself for food choices, but by mindfully treating every piece of food you put into your body as a gift.

And no matter what you choose to fuel your body with, it is important to slow down, and enjoy every bit of it. This shift in perspective towards seeing all food as energy helps to clear out the negative feelings and thoughts that can be associated with food choices.

I found that establishing a positive relationship with food in this way was a foundational piece in my transition to a healthier lifestyle. However, the idea of creating simplify in our relationship with food is helpful not only for those of us who struggle with body image issues and patterns of restrictive dieting, but for anyone who would like to move towards eating more mindfully.

Personally, I found by simplifying my relationship with food I was able to create more space in my life for acceptance and compassion.

If you’d like, try on this perspective and relationship with food today by looking at all the food you choose to eat as fuel for your magnificent and beautiful body! Slow down and enjoy every bite. It is amazing how much more you will get out of eating with just a small adjustment in perspective!

Namaste,

Deandra

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Posted in Nutrition by Katrina Ariel | No Comments

Kamloops Yoga Fitness Boot Camp Workout

So many great things happen when we get together in the mornings for Kamloops Yoga Boot Camp.

  • We smile at each other, starting the day with good company, and often there are some giggles throughout the class
  • There is time to set intention before we start, centering in and focusing on what is most important for you
  • Carrie and I lead a warm up that feels good and incorporates the best of yoga and fitness
  • There’s always a super-fun, dynamic, and different workout (unless it’s yoga day, and then it’s ALL yoga goodness!)
  • Each class is finished with yoga, so your body feels cared for and you integrate so many benefits of one power-packed hour

Here’s a workout we did last week… Be sure to listen to your body and modify as you need. Not sure what something is? Look below for ideas.

START: Begin with a few minutes to center in, breathe, feel grounded and set your intention.

Then, warm up in whatever way is best for your body.

Here’s the main workout:

Finish with a yoga cool-down. Be sure to stretch your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, glutes, chest, shoulders and remember to B R E A T H E.

Okay, so this workout might not make total sense to you yet. Here are some ideas to use it in your own home:

Find a length of lawn or sidewalk to do high knees, lunges, and sprints. Run around the block when it says run (or go for a longer run if you’d like).

Descriptions:

  • High knees is a bouncing march, or do steam engines crossing opposite elbow to knee as you walk
  • Standing rows uses weights. Good idea to do two weights in one hand if you can, supporting yourself in a lunge and resting one forearm on your front thigh as the other arm does a row (start your lawnmower action)
  • Twisting lunges – do a lunge, bending the back knee deep, and twist from your core keeping everything square to the front from the pelvis down. Use a weight or two in your hands to make it harder.
  • Wide push-ups are with hands AND feet wide.
  • Dips – find a bench or short wall. Sit down with your hands on the surface, fingers facing forwards. Then take your hips and legs away from the wall, bend and straighten your arms. Sort-of like reverse push-ups.
  • Lunge to Warrior III – do a lunge with a straight back leg, then shift your weight to stand on the front leg while lifting the back leg. Arms out or in front (pictured here).
  • Maria press is a wide squat with bicep curl and shoulder press. It used to be named after Arnold, but we changed it.
  • Rainbow planks – go from plank to side plank, to center plank, to side plank, and keep going!
  • Sprints – run as fast as you can (or walk/jog – whatever you can do) for a length of sidewalk or street. Walk back. Repeat.

If you want to do workouts like this with a great teacher and fantastic group, join us for the next session of Kamloops Yoga Boot Camp!

Have fun!

Gratitude to Nat Anfield for the photos (www.studiofive-o.com)

Super Sexy Ninja Training at Kamloops Yoga Fitness Boot Camp

Have you ever wanted to be a ninja?

Okay, maybe you’ve just thought it would be cool to have ninja-like reflexes, balance, core stability, flexibility and strength.

But the ninja element is only one part of what we’re talking about here. The other part is “Super-Sexy!”

Isn’t it fun to think of yourself as sexy?

Try it right now for a little self-esteem boosting fun!

 

Imagine yourself as strong and sexy (not that you aren’t already, but sometimes we forget to acknowledge it!)

What does it feel like for you? Really FEEL yourself as strong and sexy. Take a few deep breaths and get into it.

Do you get a little taller, a bit more sassy and confident?
Do you walk with more swagger or feel more bold and capable?

We all have our inner sexy. When you unleash yours combined with inner and outer strength, doesn’t it feel great?

 

At our women’s only Kamloops Yoga Fitness Boot Camp, we have days called “Super-Sexy Ninja Training.”

Sure, these days are really fun because you get to go at your own pace, doing the exercises in a dynamic circuit that makes time fly and gives you an awesome workout. But there’s more to it than that.

It’s about building your confidence too, so you can FEEL truly capable and, well, sexy!

I’m excited for the next session of Yoga Boot Camp, especially since we all have more motivation to get our sweat on, with swimsuit and shorts season here. To help, we’re bringing back these fun themed days to bring out the sassy and strong ninja in you! (No previous ninja experience necessary – don’t worry, we’ll guide you.)

Click here to register for camp!

Here’s to the super-sexy in YOU!

Okay, this girl is dressed as a Super-Sexy Ninja Turtle, but hey, costumes can be fun! In fact, that’s why there’s an optional costume day in Yoga Boot Camp. The more giggles, the better. 🙂

Extra points if you know which Ninja Turtle she is. Like and comment below to let me know which one! 🙂

Yoga, Fitness, Health and Happiness: What’s Your Vision?

I bet you have an idea of what your perfect life would look and feel like. You probably know what you want for your physical body, as well as how you want to feel emotionally and mentally. 

You might do yoga, work out, and eat healthy because of this idea you have of how you want to look and feel.

But how often do you bring this intention to mind and heart?

Do you set intention and bring your vision to life every day like we do in the Kamloops Yoga Fitness Boot Camp program?

If so, great!

If not, how about starting right now?

You’ve heard the classic (and very true) statement, “Thoughts become things,” right?

What thoughts are you choosing to think about yourself? How are you bringing your vision of health and happiness to life?

Visualization Tips for Health and Happiness:

1) Visualize every day. Just a few minutes will do. You don’t need more than five minutes, instead, make it a potent and short period of time.

2) Do what works for you. Some people see images in their mind, some work with words. Feelings are the most powerful, so be sure to FEEL what you’re creating as best you can.

3) Think about what you DO want, not what you DON’T want in your life. Whatever you focus on is what you create more fully in your life, so be sure to build your vision of health around the elements you are inviting, such as happiness, strength, flow, gratitude, and so on.

If there are things you don’t want in your life right now, willingly release them in your mind with a few deep breaths, then get on with thinking about what you do want to create as if it were already your experience.

4) Write it down. Start with the words “I AM,” and then paint the picture you are creating for your own vision of health and happiness. Once you have this intention in writing, post it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Like on your refrigerator or by your computer. Vision boards are great as well!

5) Take action! Even just a few baby steps every day add up to a collective effort over time. What will help you create your vision in reality? Can you do just 10 minutes of yoga every day? Can you incorporate some element of fitness into your daily routine? What about the way you eat – not just what you eat but the mindfulness you bring as well? Baby steps add up. Acknowledge every effort as worthwhile.

And every time you envision the life you want to live, you’ll be that much more likely to act in ways that align with that vision!

Happy manifesting!

P.S. How about starting right now? Just 2 minutes of focused thought in the direction of your dreams . . .

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Posted in Healthy Lifestyle by Katrina Ariel | No Comments

5 Tips for the Health of Your Bones

My mom has osteoporosis, so I’m very aware of how important it is to focus on the health of your skeletal system. I’m also super proud of my mother, who consistently works out with weights 3 times a week, as well as keeping up her cardio with swimming, and incorporating yoga with its multitude of benefits.

In the interest of helping you maintain and improve the health of your own bones, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1 – Start Early. Don’t wait until you’re older to focus on bone health. Do it now, no matter what your age. And if you are in your more experienced years, bring a deep respect to your bones by making their health one of your top priorities!

2 – Know that Your Bones are Alive! Often people think of bones as something static. No, they don’t grow like they did when you were a kid, but bones are absolutely living parts of your body. And they’re not just there to give your body a frame and protect organs like your heart and lungs—they also play a vital part in your overall health by producing red blood cells.

3 – Strength Training is Essential. Here’s what happens: when you work your muscles they require more circulation and oxygenated blood rushes in. This circulation also goes to your bones, as the muscles embrace your bones while you’re working them. When you work weight bearing exercises like we do in Yoga Boot Camp, you’re directly cultivating strong, healthy bones.

4 – Eat Yer Greens. Popeye had a thing or two right with his spinach power. Dark green veggies, especially dark green leafy vegetables, are packed with calcium and other minerals that support your overall health as well as specializing in healthy bones. There are so many ways to incorporate these foods into your diet. Other calcium rich foods include flax seed and oil, sesame seeds, tahini, brazil nuts and almonds.

5 – Do Yoga. You better believe yoga does the body good, bones too. Part of this is because many of the poses develop strength, but perhaps some not in the way you might think.

Did you know that balancing poses are excellent for your bones as they require your stabilizing muscles to work differently than many other exercises? And all that stretching not only creates more circulation (which is excellent in its own right) but also keeps all the tissues in your body more supple, so that you have better circulation to your bones.

Yoga also helps your endocrine system, so the glands and hormones are more balanced. This is important as osteoporosis and other concerns with bones often are related to hormone issues such as imbalanced thyroid. These are just a few reasons yoga can contribute to the health of your bones, as well as the rest of your body.

Okay, did you get all those tips?

How many are you already doing?

Did you get any ideas or inspiration from these tips that you’re going to integrate into your life? I hope so!

If you tend to do better with coaching, consider joining us for the Kamloops Yoga Fitness Boot Camp where we have a lot of fun bringing a wide variety of exercises and yoga together. You’ll not only get great support for healthy bones, but for the health of your entire body.

And there are tons of options offered, so whatever your fitness level we can help you find a safe and satisfying practice—whether that means you scale it way back or you want to go full-out!

Okay, one more tip: Love Your Bones. Actually tell your bones you love them. The cells and systems of your body SO appreciate it when you talk to them with kindness and gratitude.

Give it a try right now: just think or say out loud, “I love you bones! Thank you so much for supporting me. I’m so grateful for you!”

Might sound funny, but it’s powerful stuff.

 

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Posted in Fitness by Katrina Ariel | No Comments

Slim n’ Sexy Nutrition Tip #4

Nutrition Tip #4

Eat More Superfoods!

Superfoods are packed with healthy qualities, such as containing mega doses of anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids, detoxifying abilities, and so on.

Here’s a list of superfoods I eat often:

– Flax oil and flax seed: high in Omega 3’s
– Chlorella and Spirulina: densely packed with nutrition
– Seaweeds: excellent sources of minerals. I put kelp in my smoothies
– Sprouts: enzyme and protein rich. Inexpensive to grow yourself!
– Berries: high in antioxidants. I blend them in my protein smoothies
– Green Leafy Veggies: kale, lettuce, spinach and the like. So healthy!
– Alfalfa: sprouted or dried powder, an excellent nutrient rich food.
– Olive leaf powder: fights infections. I get mine from Suede Hills
– Stevia: natural sweetener that is actually good for you.
Get the green stuff from Suede Hills, not the white stuff as it’s over processed.
– Coconut Oil: the one saturated fat that is good for you
– Amaranth and Quinoa: protein and nutrient rich seeds used like grain
– Garlic: excellent immune boosting qualities
– Lemon: helps to alkalize your body, cleansing and high in Vit. C
– Hemp: I eat the hearts, but you can get oil too. One of the healthiest foods!

Here’s an example of a Green Smoothie where I’ve combined lots of superfoods into one meal:

1 cup pure water (warmed so the berries aren’t too cold)
1 cup frozen berries
4 big leaves of Romaine lettuce (or 3 handfuls of spinach)
1 banana
1 scoop Sun Warrior protein blend
1/2 tsp kelp powder
1 scoop supergreens product (I use “Perfect Food” by Garden of Life)
1 tbsp alfalfa powder
1 tsp olive leaf powder
1/2 tsp stevia

Blend and enjoy!

You don’t have to have all the ingredients I mentioned here, but it’s a potent drink if you do!

Another word of advice: if you are just making a switch to eating healthy, ease into it. If your body has quite a bit of cleansing to do, this smoothie might be TOO cleansing at once. You don’t need to eat all the superfoods at the same time. Just start integrating them into your diet, and increase the amount of healthy, whole foods while decreasing processed foods.

Slim n’ Sexy Nutrition Tips #2 and #3

One of my best friends, who gained quite a bit of weight during her pregnancy due to an injury, used this tip to go beyond her pre-pregnancy weight into a figure that she’s rightfully proud to show off in her bikini.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this babe rocked her big girl curves well. She’s beautiful no matter what. But I can tell by the way she talks how good she feels about slimming down.

And even if there is still a little extra there from being a mama, she’s done an incredible transformation and has a beautiful growing son to show for it!

Remember, these tips are suggestions for you to integrate as you see fit into your nutrition approach. Only you know what is best for your body. That said . . .

Nutrition Tips #2 (sugar bad) and #3 (fibre good)

Cut out sugar and UP your fibre.

Here’s the deal: When you eat foods that are high in sugar or simple carbohydrates (which break down as sugar), your body (using the hormone, insulin) stores those calories in your fat cells to get it out of your blood.

Sugar (again, this includes carbs like bread, cereal, pasta, white rice, and so on) makes us gain weight, and causes a hormonal reaction that makes it very difficult to get rid of it while there is sugar in your system.

Now, your brain and body do need sugar to function, but they want the sugars that break down naturally from whole foods such as whole grains, sweet vegetables (carrots, for example), and fruits in their whole form (not store-bought juices.)

For most of us, myself included, our diets involve far more sugar than the body wants or needs.

Solution: eat less sugar. See the list below for ideas.

By cutting out sugar and upping your fibre intake, you create the perfect environment for your body to shed extra pounds and get lean.

When your blood sugar is low, your body secretes glucagon, which is the opposite hormone from insulin. It basically tells your body that it needs all that sugar that was stored in the fat cells, which makes the fat cells shrink back down to their original (read tiny) size.

The Point: When your blood sugar levels are high your body does not burn fat calories, it stores calories in your fat cells. When your blood sugar levels are even from eating healthy foods that have low sugar content, your body turns on its super-star fat burning abilities.

Foods to Eat:

Healthy Proteins: lean, grass-fed (preferably organic) meat, fish, eggs, sprouts and legumes.

Lots of Fresh Veggies, especially: leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, radishes, sprouts, celery (celery is an excellent snack to help cut
down on calories, lower blood sugar and increase fibre.)

Fruits (but not too many due to sugar content): Apples, pears, berries, bananas, etc (if you’re trying to slim down, stick to one or two servings of fruit per day, no more.)

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds (again, if you’re trying to lose weight, go easy on these high-calorie foods)

Healthy Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, flax oil, olive oil, butter (coconut oil and butter can be heated, however flax should NOT be heated, and olive oil is much better fresh than heated – some oils go rancid when heated and some do not. I do all my cooking with coconut oil.)

Non-gluten Grains: Brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, etc.

If you want to eat dairy (and aren’t trying to lose weight), stick to high-fat dairy such as butter, non-sweetened yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Foods to Avoid:

Sugar, gluten, trans-fats (any label with “hydrogenated oil” is bad), artificial sweeteners, highly processed foods.

The more whole foods you eat, the more fibre you consume.

Fibre helps you control hunger (makes you feel full, yeah?) It also helps your elimination system to clear out, so you’re not carrying around extra weight in your intestines and colon.

One great way to increase fibre is to add ground flax seeds to your meal. This also helps you get more healthy fats into your system!

Posted in Nutrition by Casey | No Comments


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