I often find myself loving the little things that add enjoyment and ease to my day and thinking how much you might love them too. So here are the things I've been jazzing on this past month.
See them, read them, try them, let me know what you think!
*I only tell you about quality products that I genuinely love and use myself. I don't receive payment from any companies mentioned here, but if I ever did I would let you know!
Vashistasana (or side plank) "is one of the most expressive and beautiful postures out there. It epitomizes carefree joy. No inhibitions, no agenda, just a huge burst of internal bliss and trust in yourself and all that surrounds you," says Yoga Journal editor Kathryn Budig.
I've been playing with side planks a lot in my classes this month, partly because of the strength it builds in the core, shoulders, and wrists, and largely because of how darn good it feels. When you first try it there's the initial frustration of sore wrists and saggy hips, but keep practising and you'll begin to gain stability and confidence.
Suspended on one hand and one foot, the rest of you flying, your chest and hips expanding open, there's a sense of strength, freedom, and joy. And when your schedule is crazy and to-do lists are coming out your ears, who doesn't need more of that??
"MORNING RITUAL" MEDITATION
Last month I talked about the Insight Timer app that has helped me develop a consistent meditation habit. This month I wanted to tell you about this particular track on the app, that's brought a heck of a lot more grace to so many of my days.
The guided meditation follows an arc, starting out with deep breathing to ground and center, then moves into intention setting, and finishes with steeping in gratitude.
The guide, Jason McGrice, is a meditation teacher based in Adelaide, Australia, and is the founder of The Meditation House. His voice is friendly and soothing, and the soundtrack mirrors the stages of the meditation.
I often get shivers as the gratitude washes through me. I couldn't think of a better way to start the day than this bit of magic.
In weigh lifting terms, a drop set is where you perform reps (repetitions of the exercise) using heavy weights, then immediately drop the weight lower and continue with more reps.
I love it because I get the best of both worlds: the heavy weight reps boost my confidence and really grow muscles, and the low weight reps where I can focus more on form. And by the end, it burns so good!
Drop sets save time! I've been finding drops sets so much more efficient than standard sets, as I can do just 3 exercises on one muscle group and walk out of the gym with the shakes knowing I'll be sore the next day.
When I get to the gym, I've been turning to Kris Gethin's 4 Weeks 2 Shred program from Bodybuilding.com for done-for-you workout plans. Have fun with it and let me know what you think!
I might actually be addicted to these. So damn good. I've tried all the flavours and these Dark Choc Fruit & Nut Bites are definitely the best!
Handmade in Australia's Byron Bay, they're great for satisfying a chocolate craving...just don't eat the whole bag!
CHILLI COCOA TEA by Higher Living
If I haaaaad to pick my favourite tea in the world (which would be a difficult task), this might be the one.
I've been a huge fan of licorice tea for years. I once described it to my best friend as "sunshine in a cup", to which she replied that I was a weirdo.
I first discovered the UK-based Higher Living teas while living in Manchester and fell in love. They just produce delicious, great quality teas. Lucky for me they're available in Australia too!
Combining sweet licorice, chilli spice, and a hint cocoa goodness, this tea does it all for me, summer, winter, all year long.