Tag: yoga challenge

A look back at 2017 & What my #1 GOAL is for the New Year

A look back at 2017 & What my #1 GOAL is for the New Year

Hi guys! Apologies for the blog hiatus. Since the holidays, I’ve had trouble feeling a bit creative, which in turn means no exciting blog posts for ya! Though I consider myself to be a creative person, there are times when other things take priority and I just don’t feel inspired or motivated. Creativity is definitely an ebb and flow kind of thing for me. Some days I feel SO inspired, excited, and passionate and on other days, it’s just blah. But, hey, that’s life! Not every day is going to be perfect and that’s OK ☺

Anyway, I hope you all had a fabulous holiday break and had time to hang with friends and family. I know it was non-stop for me all break, so I definitely needed to hit the refresh button as soon as I got back into my daily routine. That being said…I am SO EXCITED for what 2018 has in store for me. For one, Justin and I are getting married (EEKK) on August 25th, 2018 – so I’d say that’s a pretty MAJOR thing to be amped about for 2018. But on top of that, I have so many exciting trips, friend reunions, and a CRAZY cool honeymoon that we’re in the middle of planning to Southeast Asia!

I have a gut feeling that 2018 is going to be a GREAT year. I’ll be honest, 2017 was an interesting year for me – a lot of change & was on a mission to find what excites me and “sets my soul on fire”. This certainly came with its challenges and I sure as hell hit a few low points. All that said, I’m so grateful for my experiences because I gained a wealth of new knowledge (and new friends)! Reflecting back on 2017, I think one big thing that was missing for me since graduating college nearly 5 years ago was continuing my path to grow, learn more, and fill a void. Granted I was learning new things at work…but they weren’t all in line with my passions. I have an itch to learn more and challenge myself, but in the world of health and wellness, because that has always been where my curiosity resigns.  So what’s my point in all of this? NEVER STOP LEARNING. I’m carrying this lust to learn over into 2018 and I challenge you to join me! Find something that excites you, maybe completely different than what your 8-5 looks like, and go after it.

It can be ANYTHING and it doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money or in some cases, it may be FREE. Here are some ideas on how I plan to either continue challenging myself or some things that are future goals (either for this year or 2019, 2020, and so on)…

  1. I would have to say that pursuing my 200HR yoga teacher training was one of my favorites. I had a fairly good, at-home practice going before I completed my intensive training, but it was more so for the physical benefits. At the time, I didn’t look at yoga as a spiritual or mental journey – it was purely a form of exercise, toning, and stretching for me. That being said, I was ready for a drastic change in my life and on the whim, applied to a 200HR intensive training in Mallorca, Spain. This was the BEST decision. I intuitively felt a want to get in touch with myself and a more spiritual practice…and this was the answer. Oh and PS you don’t need to be a yoga pro to complete your 200HR. Nor do you need to necessarily have the intention to go out and teach after your training. These are both common misconceptions about 200HR yoga teacher training. There is SO much more value that you get out of this magical journey. Learn more on my experience with my post from last year!
  2. Piggy backing off the above, I’m now in the middle (and nearing the end) of my training for CorePower Yoga Sculpt. I haven’t found a community I love as much as what I have at CPY. I also fell in love immediately with their sculpt class. I loved the high energy, the fun music, the strength training aspect, the heat, etc. I still have my at-home yoga practice, but I love switching it up with CPY sculpt classes. I also love that you can always pop into any class, whether it be sculpt or yoga, at any time of day and with so many options for locations in the city! Anyway, just like 200HR yoga training, ANYONE can sign up for the CPY sculpt training. And I’ll be honest; this style of teaching is way more challenging than what you may think from just attending a class. Don’t get me wrong, my 200HR yoga training was extremely challenging, but CPY sculpt training brings its new challenges – power of voice, music & beat matching to exercises, weight & strength training, having the whole class flow seamlessly, and of course making it both challenging and fun at the same time. Anyway, as you can tell, I have an appetite for fitness and sharing that with others in the community! This is my form of challenging myself and continuing my journey to learn more and get out of my comfort zone!
  3. Reading! Oh gosh there is so much I can say hear. In the past year, I’ve gotten WAY more into spirituality and self-care in so many forms. Learning more about yoga, meditation, forms of mindfulness, crystals, scents, oils, holistic self-care tricks, astrology, food freedom, manifestation, and oh the list could go on. There are SO MANY FREE resources online. Well & Good , Mind, Body, Green, and Chalkboard are always a few of my favorite go-to’s for catching up on the latest wellness trends. Then from there, I’ll usually go into a deeper dive on the topic elsewhere. I like that both sites “dumb” it down in a sense…aka making it relatable to a large audience. In addition to online resources, there are so many cool books out there, some of my faves being Gabby Bernstein and Kelly Leveque’s book.
  4. Listening! What do I mean by this? Podcasts. There is SO much to learn from a simple 1.5 hour episode…you just need to be listening to the right interview. I can’t even tell you how much knowledge I’ve gained from various podcasts I’ve listened to. I also have some of my fave podcast go-to’s and find it so exciting when I learn about a topic that I’ve never even heard about before, mostly because I trust the interviewer and their interviewee choices! The best part? There is literally a podcast out there for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. Seriously!! Any topic you’re interested in learning more about…there’s likely a podcast for it.
  5. Watch! Justin and I are serial documentary viewers. I LOVE them. I’ll be honest, it’s really hard for me to get through movies (I swear my attention span lasts for all of 30 minutes during any movie). But for some reason, documentaries are the ONLY ones that can hold my attention from start to end. There are so many interesting docs on netflix that are health & wellness focused. Additionally, I’ve been really into more life sciences, UFO’s (haha don’t judge me), nature, the universe, etc.! Also, another great resource for health & wellness focused documentaries is FoodMatters TV. You can subscribe for an online subscription and get so many free resources including documentaries, meditations, yoga pratices, guided courses, recipes, interviews, and more!
  6. Attending a workshop and/or conference. Another great way to learn is putting yourself out there and attending a local workshop or even a larger-scale conference. There’s so much value in attending things in person and meeting/interacting with like-minded people. I’m always scrolling through Eventbrite.com in the Boston area to see what events are going on locally – it’s a great resource for any city!
  7. Take an online course! In the next year or two, I plan on signing up for the integrative nutrition course or another course that is primarily focused on functional and/or holistic nutrition. This has ALWAYS been something I’ve wanted to do, just need to carve out the time. Seeing as 2018 is a busy year for me, I’m thinking I’ll tackle this one in 2019! But I wanted to share and keep it on the radar. Other online resources that I love is from FoodMattersTV and Mind, Body, Green!

Those are some of my pro tips on how you can continue to keep challenging yourself in the new year and never stop learning! Would love to hear any of your suggestions in the comments!

5 Yoga Moves to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

5 Yoga Moves to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Hello everyone!

For this weeks blog post I wanted to share with you some fairly simple yoga moves to help reduce anxiety, stress, worrisome, and so on! Trust me, you’re not alone. We all likely go through periods in our lives whether it’s personal or work related, where we’re feeling overwhelmed, helpless, unsure of ourselves, and so forth. There are so many natural remedies out there we can look to in order to help reduce the anxiety and stress we may experience from time to time. I myself have a strong type-A personality which leads me to put un-necessary added pressure on myself, which ultimately surfaces feelings of doubt, uncertainty and of course, can be the leading causes of my anxiety or stress I may experience.

As soon as I’m feeling any of these emotions bottled up, I now find myself naturally on the yoga mat – even if it’s for 10-15 minutes, to bring myself to the present moment, BREATHE, close my eyes, and truly feel myself and the stress go away as I flow through these poses. You only need just 10 minutes a day to incorporate these poses, whether it be first thing in the morning, mid-day, or just before going to bed. The last thing I want to call out is that no pose is PERFECT. We’re all at different levels, we all have various strengths and flexibility throughout the yoga practice. It’s important to not put to much pressure on whether your legs are straight or your back is perfectly curved – what’s important is to truly FEEL the stretch. Close your eyes and let your mind and body naturally connect. This feeling you will find is where yoga happens.

1) Dandasana – Staff Pose / Janu Sirsasana – Head to Knee pose

How to get into pose 1: Sit on the mat comfortably with your legs stretched out in front, flex the toes and try to keep your legs together. Place your hands by the sides of your hips and ensure your mounds of your hands are firmly grounded next to you. As you firmly press into the mat, you should automatically feel your spine elongate.

*This is a great post to begin with before moving into Janu Sirsasana (the next pose below).

How to move into pose 2: Firmly ground one leg long into the mat. From staff pose, bend one knee in and place your foot on the inner thigh of your opposite leg that is lengthened and grounded into the mat. It also helps to soften your belly, engage you butt, and then inhale up and lengthen your arms above your head. As you exhale, fall forward, placing your body over your lengthened leg. It’s OK to have a bend in your knees as you really want to feel this stretch lengthen your spine and stretch your lower back. It’s also helpful to use a strap as a variation!

Additional benefits: helps with digestion, relieves menstrual pain, calms the mind

2) Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose

How to get into this pose: You can feel free to begin from staff pose (as explained above). From here, ensure your butt is firmly grounded and you bring your heels to meet. This will help to ensure you’re externally rotating your hips and this activation will help to intensify the stretch. Continue to lengthen through the tailbone through to your spine and grip your hands around the feet. Feel free to bend forward for a variation of this stretch.

Additional benefits: improved circulation, alleviates menstrual pain, hip-opener

3) Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy Pose

How to get into this pose: This will feel like a mix between child’s pose and downward dog! Begin in table top by coming onto all fours. You’ll want to be sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and that your hips are inline with your knees. From here, you can begin to walk your hands out in front of you, keeping them lengthened. As you exhale further into the pose, you can begin to shift your hips back towards your heels. You should feel a nice stretch in your spine as you maintain a bit of a curve. Feel free to rest your head on a block or to the floor in front of you.

Additional Benefits: stretches spine and shoulders

4) Ustrasana – Camel Pose

How to get into this pose: **Before moving right into this pose, ensure you’ve properly stretched out your back with possible variations of baby cobra, upward facing dog, locust pose, or spinx!! This is important as the camel pose is a intense backbend stretch. To start, you’ll want to begin in a kneeling position, hip-width distance apart. Next place your hands on the inside part of your hips and push your chest open, while your shoulder blades then press towards one another (further expanding your chest open). From here, you can begin to gently lean your head backwards, but be careful of your neck, especially if you’ve had any injuries here! At this point, you can choose to move into a couple of variations as seen below. It tends to be easier with the blocks by your side or by curling your toes up to add extra length if you’re unable to move as deeply into the pose. Be careful not to hold this pose too long. Come up slowly and beware of dizziness and high blood pressure. You may choose to start with an easier variation and then move into a more challenging one on your second round.


Additional benefits: relives menstrual pain, eliminates constipation, increased stretch around neck, hips, butt, etc.!

5) Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall Pose (aka one of my FAVORITES)

How to get into this pose: First of all, this is easily my favorite pose to do. I love doing this while in bed right before I go to sleep. It’s such a calming pose and you can really feel the tingly benefits from it as it drains your lactic acid and circulates your blood. Before moving against the wall, you’ll want to think about your height/distance from the wall, your flexibility, and whether you’ll need any added support under your lower back for comfort. You don’t need to worry about being at a perfect 90 degree angle, just ensure you’re feeling comfortable with where your lower back and sit bones fall. This should NOT be a straining pose. You should be able to hold this pose between 5-10 minutes to soak up all of the amazing benefits. Try playing around with variations/different support using a blanket or a block, etc. Enjoy!

Additional benefits: insomnia, mild depression, headaches/migraines, digestive problems

Hopefully these moves help to reduce any of that stress and anxiety if practiced daily. Feel free to leave any comments, follow/message me on my instagram page @eatrunandallinbetween or email me at: pappascalli@gmail.com with any questions 🙂


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