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Oh Hey Self-Care! This Simple DIY Lavender Sugar Scrub Recipe Will Melt Away Your Woes

Self-care is a wonderful way to honor your body and tap into your reserves of inner calm.

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A mindful time-out (such as the DIY lavender sugar scrub practice described below) nurtures your mind, body, and spirit, and offers a sense of renewal.

A homemade sugar scrub can transform your day by brightening your mood and relieving tension. This quick and easy-to-make DIY scrub is an excellent self-care practice to incorporate into your weekly routine.


Self-massage is a wonderful way to tune into your body and show yourself some love. And a homemade sugar scrub is perfect for just that.

This DIY lavender sugar scrub is a gentle exfoliator that can be used on your face and body. The calming scrub leaves your skin soft and smooth and the lavender scent will leave you feeling blissfully relaxed.

A simple practice like this proves that self-care does not need to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive.

Check out the recipe and the full article on YogiApproved

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Use These 4 Restorative Yoga Poses for Immediate Stress Relief

When we are at ease in body and mind, we feel open, expansive, and grounded. We are able to show up for ourselves, others, and our work fully, and we are our best selves.

However, when we experience stress, we tend to feel scattered, uncomfortable, and unsettled. The physical manifestation of stress might express as inconsistent and short breaths, tightness in the body, and tension in the face.

Stress is a mindset that we adopt (either consciously or unconsciously) in response to a given situation. More often than not, stress is an unsupportive addition to our daily lives.

Restorative Yoga is an antidote to the harm caused by stress, offering an opportunity to step back and reset the mind and body. A restorative practice offers a reprieve from stress that allows us to reframe our approach toward external stressors.

 
It can feel counterintuitive to take a time-out from our day when we feel pressed for time or burdened by an approaching event or deadline. Perhaps the very reason we feel stressed is because we feel short on time.

However, there can be value in taking a few minutes to change the channel in our minds and slow the pace of our inner dialogue. By taking the time to reassess, we might recognize the stress we carry to be unnecessary, and we can address the role of stress as an obstacle to our end goals.
 

Use These 4 Restorative Yoga Poses as Your Go-To Yoga for Stress Relief:

The Restorative Yoga poses below offer a holistic approach to stress relief. Restorative Yoga can imbue our lives with a fresh perspective, introspection, and a broader understanding of our response – a stark contrast to the narrow-minded thought pattern imprinted by stress.

Taking a moment to pause and break the cycle of tension can do wonders for your day, offering ease in the body, mind, and breath. The next time you need to recenter, give one or all of the poses below a try.
 
Props You Will Need: 4 blocks, 2 blankets, 1 bolster, optional eye pillow.
 
If you do not have the yoga props listed, please feel free to supplement with items found around your home. Firm pillows and/or a couch cushion can be a great substitute for the yoga props used in the poses listed below.

1. Restorative Twist

This Restorative Twist is a wonderful way to quiet the mind and gather grounding energy. Support under your belly offers a soothing effect, which alleviates feelings of worry and strain.

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Let’s try it:

  • Place two blocks on your mat, the first block on its lowest height and the second block on the second height

  • Lay your bolster over the two blocks so you create a slope with the bottom edge of the bolster touching the floor

  • Snuggle your right hip at the base of the bolster with your knees bent to the left and your hands framing your props

  • Keep your navel as close to center as possible and lie down so the front of your body is supported by the bolster

  • Tuck your arms underneath the bolster and between the blocks

  • Your head can turn toward or away from your knees. Choose whichever option feels best for you neck

  • Enjoy each side for up to five minutes

Check out the other poses and the full article on YogiApproved

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30 Minute Vinyasa Practice

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30 Minute Vinyasa Practice

Hi yogis!

Join me for this 30 minute Vinyasa Yoga Flow. This practice is catered towards yogis with a regular practice. However, those working on building strength can enjoy this video by taking breaks when needed. Enjoy and please reach out if you have any questions!

xoJenny

Have you Subscribed to the Urban Om Yoga YouTube channel yet? Stay up to date with free yoga and meditation videos when you subscribe. Check it out 

Photo: Kristin Wolford

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Yoga Corner

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The best part of yoga practice is when you are truly tuned into your time on the mat. Having the best yoga mat and props makes it all that much easier to drop into that place where typical distractions disappear.

For this reason I have created a list of my favorite yoga props on Amazon.com. I have been using these products for years and I highly recommend all the products on my list.

You will also find a reading list for your yoga library with some of my favorite books, should you be interested in deepening your yoga practice off the mat.

Check out the link below and please let me know if you have any questions!

xoJenny

 

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Feeling the heat? Keep it Cool with this Pranayama

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Sitali Pranayama is a breathing exercise, perfect for finding balance during summer. This cooling breath is a quick and easy to way to both beat the heat and calm the mind.

This pranayama is said to not only remove excess heat from the body, but it also keeps the mind and emotions cool, calm and in check during fiery Pitta season. 

Sitali Pranayama is practiced with a rolled tongue. If you are not able to roll your tongue, instead gently place the tip of your tongue to the top two teeth.

Let’s try it:

1. Find a comfortable seat. A great option is to sit cross legged on a pillow, blanket or bolster. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

2. Start with a body scan, checking in from the top of the head and moving down the body. Notice how you are feeling physically, mentally, & emotionally. Take note of any areas which show signs of excess heat.

3. Once you feel ready to begin the breathing technique, roll your tongue. Breath in through the mouth with your tongue rolled. When you are ready to exhale, close the mouth and breath out through the nose.

4. Continue this for about 8-10 rounds, doing your best to keep the in and out breaths equal in length.

5. Allow the breath to resume a natural rhythm, breathing in and out through the nose. Take a few minutes to sit in meditation and take note of any cooling sensations.

*As with all pranayamas, if at any point you feel lightheaded, come back to a normal breath rhythm and continue again as you feel ready.

Sitali Pranayama is a wonderful way to stay balanced and cool all summer long. Give this breathing exercise a try the next time you need to keep your cool.

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Beat the Heat with this Easy Smoothie Pop Recipe

Berry Good Smoothie & Smoothie Pops

Berry Good Smoothie & Smoothie Pops

It has been hot, hot, hot in NYC making it officially smoothie season. I'm a big fan of my morning smoothie and I am always trying new combinations. Smoothies are a great, quick breakfast, packed with nutrients and protein. Sometimes I make more than I can drink and have found the perfect way to make good use of the extras- Smoothie Pops!

Super easy, healthy, and refreshing these popsicles are a wonderful all natural, cooling treat. 

Below are two of my go-to recipes. Give one or both a try but feel free to try your own combinations and get creative!

If you have a smoothie recipe you love, please share in the comments below :)

 

Berry Good Smoothie:

1 1/2 cup frozen berries

2 frozen bananas

2 scoops vegan vanilla protein powder

2 cups almond milk

 

Oh My Greenness

Oh My Greenness Smoothie Pops

Oh My Greenness Smoothie Pops

1 cup frozen mango

1 frozen banana

2 cups almond milk

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 tsp. spirulina (this gives the smoothie it's beautiful green color. I promise you can't taste it!)

Combine ingredients of the smoothie of your choice. Blend until smooth. Fill a glass with your smoothie. 

Pour the remainder into popsicle molds and freeze. Freeze for 2-3 hours.

Bon appetit and stay cool, yogis! 

xoJenny
 

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Over Night Oats- Never Skip Breakfast again!

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Over Night Oats- Never Skip Breakfast again!

today's oat creation: pear, oats, almond milk & organic PB

today's oat creation: pear, oats, almond milk & organic PB

This month at Urban Om we are focusing on making our mornings as beautiful as possible. One way to embrace your inner early bird is to do a bit of planning the evening before so your morning can be as seamless as possible.

One of my favorite preparations for an early morning is over nights oats. These yummy oats take just minutes to prepare and are perfect for a healthy grab and go breakfast. 

My recipe changes depending on what I have in my fridge and what I am craving but check out the basic formula below.

The basic overnight oats recipe:

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup fruit

1 tbs nut butter (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar the evening before enjoying. Throw a lid on the jar & give it a little shake. Store in the fridge and voila! - you have a yummy, healthy breakfast waiting for you in the morning.

Feel free to get creative! Add cinnamon, agave and/or chia seeds. I love nut butter so I always add a scoop to my oat creations :) Give this recipe a try and comment below with your favorite overnight oat combinations.

Wishing you happy mornings, Yogis!

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legs up the wall: the cure-all yoga pose

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legs up the wall: the cure-all yoga pose

Legs up the wall is sometimes know as the cure-all yoga pose. It boasts healing benefits for ailments ranging from anxiety to headaches to insomnia, making it a go-to yoga pose for just about anything.

I practice this pose almost every day as I find it to be a brilliant way to rest my legs after running around the city all day. It is also a wonderful way to find a bit of energy when you feel like you could use a boost.

Check out the video below for a rejuvenating, relaxing 5 minute restorative practice. This video includes a short and sweet meditation followed by legs up the wall with optional variations. You can practice this sequence any time of day, but it is especially helpful as an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening wind-down at the end of a busy day. I hope you enjoy this powerful healing pose as much as I do!

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wishing you a bright new year!

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wishing you a bright new year!

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As we bid farewell to 2017 and say hello to 2018, I would love to share with you a practice I have found to be a powerful way to ring in the new year.

A few years ago, I started the tradition of closing out the year by listing all the positive aspects of the past year. No matter how big or small the event, the accomplishment, the blessing, I sit with my journal and list all the beauty that has entered my life. This has proved to be both a wonderful way to reflect on the past year as well as a way to embrace a positive perspective for the year to come. 

Not only does this practice frame the closing year in a positive light but it is very telling as to what IS working in our lives and how we can grow the positive aspects of our lives rather than being overly focused on what we need to change, uproot and shed. 

I encourage you to give this exercise a shot for a happy and positive transition into 2018.

Wishing you and your family a bright and happy New Year!

Much love,
Jenny

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Easy Maple Brussel Sprouts

Easy Maple Brussel Sprouts

your local farmers market is a great place to pick up locally grown brussels sprouts.

your local farmers market is a great place to pick up locally grown brussels sprouts.

Looking for a healthy dish to bring to Thanksgiving dinner? This easy brussels sprouts recipe is a great way to incorporate some greens into your holiday menu. Nutrient rich brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants as well as high in vitamin C and fiber. A natural sweetener, maple syrup will keep your blood sugar steady (no sugar crash!) Walnuts add some healthy fat and protein. This dish is a healthy addition to any meal :)

Head to your local farmers market this week to pick up these awesome veggies and some local maple syrup. Check out the recipe below!

My favorite fall recipe- nutritious & delicious!

My favorite fall recipe- nutritious & delicious!

 

Easy Maple Brussels Sprouts
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 cups brussels spouts, halved
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbs Maple syrup (the real stuff, if possible!)

Step One:
Sauté olive oil, salt and brussel sprouts in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until tender (about 10 minutes)


Step Two:
Add walnuts and maple syrup. Sauté for one more minute. Remove from heat and serve warm. 

Bon Appetite!