Everything you need to know to start practicing yoga Comments Off on Everything you need to know to start practicing yoga 48,590

It’s not hard to find experienced yogis––Instagram and Twitter are filled with people who have mastered the craft. But yoga isn’t just for the social media stars. It’s a tradition founded in northern India that dates back 5,000 years and is viewed as a path to enlightenment in religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. In the United States alone, more than 20 million people practice yoga for reasons ranging from spiritual enlightenment to calorie burning.

 

But what if you’re a beginner? While looking at pictures of the pros may serve as inspiration and make you fall in love with the benefits of yoga, it won’t teach you what to do as a novice. Luckily for you, we have the perfect how-to guide that’ll help you dive right in. With the right combination of hard work and determination, you’ll become an expert in no time.

Decide which kind of yoga you want to practice. There are more than a dozen types of yoga, with the most popular paths including Vinyasa, Bikram, and Kundalini. Some styles of yoga are traditionally practiced outdoors, while others, like Bikram, are done in rooms heated to nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you’ve done some research and decided which style of yoga best fits your goals, you’ll have a better idea of how to proceed.

Buy the appropriate yoga gear. Fear not! Many sports expect you to invest hundreds of dollars before you even start, but yoga is not one of them. In fact, you may already own some of the things you need. Check your closet to see if you have comfortable, relaxed-fit clothing. You don’t want anything too tight or too loose. If not, you can stop at any clothing store and check their athletic section to pick up a new outfit. You’ll also want a yoga mat, which will help keep you in one spot and also reduce the risk of you slipping while trying out new poses.

Find a teacher, whether in-person or online. You can thank the convenience of the 21st century for this one––you can learn yoga without leaving your house. There are countless websites and YouTube channels devoted to helping beginners who want to learn basic poses, and many of them are completely free of charge. However, there are benefits to finding an in-person class. You’ll make friends with people who share the same interests and have the ability to receive constructive criticism from a teacher when you make mistakes. It’ll typically be more expensive than an online option, but you’ll reap the benefits.

Set realistic goals. An effective way to get good at anything is to have an idea of what you’re working toward. Perhaps you want to become more flexible, or maybe you hope to use yoga as a tool for relaxation or to decrease your level of stress. Regardless of your reasoning, it’s a good idea to specify where you want to be a month from now. Next, think about a six-month or year-long goal. Once you have long-term goals, all that’s left is creating a weekly schedule and forming a habit.

Once you complete our to-do list, nothing can stand in your path. We know you’ll succeed––happy stretching!

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3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over Comments Off on 3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over 201,275

Podcasts are the way of the future. Think radio shows but being able to listen whenever and wherever you want. The best part about podcasts is that there’s a niche for everyone. Whether you’re into finance or the Bachelor, we’ve got you covered on the 3 podcasts we can’t get over. 

Finance is Fun!: The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is the perfect mix of learning more about finances, different career paths and having fun. Each week Chelsea Fagan interviews a guest with an interesting job position. From Youtubers to publicists, you’re sure to feel like an insider after the episode. Chelsea pressures guests to reveal big financial numbers in their life. For some, it’s how much student debt their in while others discuss how much money they made off one Youtube video. If you’re interested in learning the finances behind different professions, check out this podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! 

True Crime Crazed: Crime Junkie

If your ideal documentary is on serial killers, then Crime Junkie is the podcast for you. Crime Junkie features two true crime enthusiasts telling stories about the missing, captured, and murdered. Each episode captivates its listeners with a thrilling narration of true-crime from around the world. There are over one hundred episodes to binge, so start listening today! Another true-crime themed podcast that you have to hear is Serial. Serial started the genre of the crime podcasts and is still a true-crime favorite. The hit podcast has three seasons. Each season the hosts investigate a murder case in real-time. With new evidence pilling up each episode, it’ll be hard to pull away from this intense series. 

The Bachelor Nation’s Favorites: The Viall Files

The Bachelor is the show that keeps on giving. Between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise, ABC produces a season full of love and drama – but mostly drama. Nick Viall, the bachelor in season 21, recaps each episode on his podcast The Viall Files. Bachelor Happy Hour is another amazing podcast where co-hosts and past Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrindives dive into each juicy episode. 

Podcasts are great for long car rides, getting ready in the morning, or winding down at night. There are thousands of podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you like. We hope you’ll love these podcasts just as much as us! 

How a simple detox can boost brainpower Comments Off on How a simple detox can boost brainpower 193,490

Girl drinking berry smoothie

 

You know that one person who’s always talking about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.

Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.

Girl hiking outside
Is a detox right for me?

Grow new brain cells

  • Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth.
  • As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. There are some great BDNF studies available online.

Enhance focus and concentration

  • Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
  • The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distractions. Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
  • Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.

Increase blood flow to the brain

  • Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
  • This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.

Boost mood and good vibes

  • High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine.
  • Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
  • Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
Girl hiking outside jumping
No more brain fog!

Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills

  • This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
  • Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets.
  • Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.

Improve brain-signaling

  • Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling.
  • It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.

Prevent mental illness

  • Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
  • Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
  • An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.

Prevent cellular breakdown

  • A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
  • Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.

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