POW # 11 (Mindfulness, Jump Squats and Connection)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health

Firstly, thank you to Brit & Amanda for asking me to do a guest post on their blog. I absolutely love the idea of the 3 P’s and I’m so excited to be able to share three P’s that resonate with me this week. Here goes …

PRESENCE : Mindfulness

We all know how hard it is to be truly present in the moment. As a working mom, this is especially difficult, but so important. But kids or no kids, what I believe really helps is meditation. Meditation can recharge us, as well as get us back to centre. I know you might be thinking it’s crazy to try and find time to sit in silence, but start with just 5 minutes a day and work your way up each week. If you commit to even a short amount of time, you will find that meditation helps to reconnect you to your inner self and will help you be more grounded, less stressed and more PRESENT.

There are three types of meditation including guided meditation (lead by a series of vocal prompts); mantra meditation (mental or verbal repetition of a phrase or affirmation); and relaxation (imagining each area of your body relaxing and listening to your breathing). Whatever you choose, the benefits of meditation are endless and improving your presence in the moment is just one of them!

Suggested apps:

Insight Timer and Headspace

PHYSICAL : Jump Squats

Movement keeps our blood flowing and ultimately, it keeps us alive! This week I encourage you to challenge yourself to move a little more than you usually do. Try that new fitness class. Go for a run or a walk outside. Stretch. Stretch a little more. Recruit a friend. This week just MOVE.

5 Benefits To Movement

1. Improve your metabolism and control weight

2. Boost your energy levels

3. Support heart health

4. Improve your sleep

5. Better your mood

Suggested move of the week:

Jump Squats. They work your whole body and can be done just about anywhere. Here’s how you do them:

• Stand with the feet shoulder width apart.

• Squat down as if you were performing a normal squat.

• Engage your core and jump in the air explosively.

• On landing lower the body back into the squat position and that is one rep.

• Be careful to land with control and if there is any pain in knees stop immediately.

PEOPLE Awareness & Connection

If there is one ‘P’ that you should remember from this post, I hope it’s this one. With our busy schedules and the madness of social media, it can be easy to lose that human connection. Instead of walking into the gym with head down and mid text, put your phone away and get eye contact with people. Say hello and engage those around you. This real human interaction is so key to a healthy state of mind. We learn from each other that an Instagram post can never replace a face-to-face conversation. This week focus on PEOPLE – family, friends or even strangers at your local coffee shop.

Did you know?

There are studies that have shown that a lack of social connections was associated with a significantly increased risk for inflammation, becoming overweight, and even developing high blood pressure.

For more information you can find Trisha at notummymommy.com 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit

P.O.W # 9 (Power, Passion, Purpose)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health!

Greetings Leaders and Healers from around this beautiful planet,
My name is Anthony Cheam and I am so honoured to write a blog post for a dear friend and colleague of mine, Brit Mcquarrie.
To go along with the theme of Brit and Amandas “3 P’s” I am going to share something from my upcoming book, soon to be released in the summer, YOU 2.0. The basis of YOU 2.0 teaches a multi-dimensional approach to upgrading human software and hardware – mind, body and spirit. The YOU 2.0 system upgrade is powered by what I call the P³ Performance System – Claim Your POWER, Clarify Your PURPOSE, Cultivate Your PASSION!
POWER – Claim Your POWER!
The easiest, most effective and fastest way to claim your power is to utilize the power of your physiology. Your body consists of one hundred trillion cells all working in total harmony with one another and you don’t have to consciously get involved in any of it. Imagine if you could utilize the gift of all that power. Well…you can!
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is what I call power breathing. Power breathing is simply deep diaphragmatic breathing where you engage and turn on your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for disposing of any garbage that is lurking around in your body. The problem is that the lymphatic system needs to be activated by deep diaphragmatic breathing. How often are you deeply breathing throughout your day? Unless you exercise at high intensities you are not activating your lymphatic system regularly, therefore, toxins may be slowly taking over your body. The more toxins and pollutants the less energy and power you will have. The more you cleanse your body through high intense exercise or power breathing the greater your lymphatic system will dispose of unwanted material.
How do you do this? Easy. Close your eyes. Stand up. Spread your legs and stand tall with your shoulders back.Take a deep breath in through your nose. Make sure you can hear the air going in. When you can no longer take in any more air immediately breathe out through your mouth. Again, make sure you can hear the out-breath. Do this at least 5x. Once you have a rhythm, increase the speed of your in-breath and out-breath until you are almost hyper-ventilating. Keep your eyes closed while you do this so you don’t feel too light-headed. This should only take 30-60 seconds. You won’t believe how great you will feel.
Do this at least twice a day or anytime you need a charge. It’s a great substitute for coffee or caffeine stimulants.
Claim your power!
PASSION – Clarify Your PURPOSE!
One of the best ways to clarify your purpose or reason or “why” for living or being on this planet is to start by “not-making-it-about-you,” but rather, making it about something bigger than you. And, that means helping others, serving the greater good, contributing your gifts, talents and capacities to make a difference in the world. Wherever you are and whomever you are, you have been blessed with life. I heard once, “God’s gift to you was ‘life.’ What you do with your life is your gift to God.” 
Make sure your reasons or purpose for life is about service. I know life can get tough, tragic and hard. But, it’s not the wounds of life that define you, but what you do with yours wounds. Some of the most beautiful things have been created and discovered out of major failures, disappointments and seemingly impossible odds. Is it not through pressure and extreme heat that a diamond is formed? Is it not through torrential storms and wind that a tree gets firmer and its roots go deeper? Is it not through struggle and pain that a human is strengthened and his or her character revealed and sculpted?
There is a Chinese proverb that states, “A diamond cannot be polished without friction nor man perfected without trials.”
Make your purpose greater than any circumstance or suffering in your life.
Clarify your purpose!
PURPOSE – Cultivate Your PASSION!
Cultivate your passion simply means doing what you love. I remember hearing a study that concluded that a whopping 80% of people hate their job.
Here’s something to ponder: Do more of what you love, less of what you tolerate, and none of what you hate.
What do you truly love to do? Are you doing what you are passionate about in life? Is there something that you have always wanted to do but have kicked it to the curb because of distractions or life circumstance?
One of my original mentors told me this: “Doing what you love not only brings more years to your life, but more life to your years.”
Life is too short to be doing the things you hate. There is one thing to be working three jobs to support your four children even though you may hate your job. Yes, those circumstances do certainly exist, and I honour and applaud your courage if you are doing this. However, even these unique and powerful individuals know that at some level they are doing this because the purpose of doing it is to put food on the table and provide a roof over their loved ones heads, and that in itself gives them meaning and a sense of love and gratitude for their job.
If you are doing something because you believe you are forced to, then, at the very least, bring more love to what you do. Don’t wait for things to bring you more joy and love, be the source of more joy and love that you bring to the things in your life. That’s the fundamental shift that makes the difference.
If that doesn’t help, then be bold, make the decision to leave and live life on your terms, according to the music that your heart hears. Go ahead, march to your own drum beat.
If it’s a book that your heart is telling you to write, then write it; if it means adopting a child from Africa, then pursue it. Whatever it is, listen to your intuition and the whispers of your heart. Trust it.
Cultivate your passion.
 
To your continued upgrade and evolution!
 
Anthony

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

P.O.W # 8 (Box jumps, Borage oil and Anthony Cheam)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

PHYSICAL: Box Jumps 

We absolutely love box jumps! We all need speed to bring our strength to new levels and box jumps are the quickest way to get explosive, express power and practice landing softly (sound landing mechanics take a lot of core strength, which is great because its easy to forget about keeping our core activated throughout workouts)

Things to be aware of while completing a box jump

  • Feet are flat while landing.
  • Knees stay neutral (they are not pointing out too much or buckling in)
  • Core is engaged.
  • Shoulders back and chest up.
  • When landing on the box, extend the knees and thrust the hips forward.
  • Eyes are always looking forward or up. You never want to be looking down because thats the direction you will go in.
  • Step back down off the box one foot at a time.

We know box jumps can be intimidating, so try practicing first by placing an object on the floor in front of you and jumping over it, tucking your knees in close to your chest. Once you’ve mastered this you should have no problem taking on the box jump!

              

POTION : Borage Oil (GLA oil) 

Borage oil is a natural substance that provides high levels of the fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a strong anti-inflammatory found in certain plant oils.

While gamma-linolenic acid is derived from extracts drawn from the seeds of plants like borage (Borago officinalis) and evening primrose, it’s not found in high amounts in the human diet. Therefore, taking a supplement is the way to go.

Borage oil is one of the most popular natural anti-inflammatory supplements because it has one of the highest amounts of GLA of all seed oils, a total of 23%! Whereas, Primrose only has 9% .

Benefits of using GLA Oil

  • PMS symptoms (I did notice less breast tenderness and skin breakouts but still felt cramping.)

       Bone loss and osteoporosis

  • ADHD Symptoms
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Ongoing Fatigue (I have felt less fatigued)
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Dealing with Stress
  • Managing Diabetes

I have been using Borage Oil (GLA Oil) now for three weeks and I absolutely love it. Some call it a facial in a bottle and I believe it! Stay tuned for future updates.

PERSON : Anthony Cheam (Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Motivational Speaker)

I have known Anthony since I was 14 years old, thats 14 years! When I was 18 he started to train me. However, through working with Anthony I gained so much more than just a fit body. I was inspired, motivated and driven to be a better version of myself every single day. I couldn’t wait for our sessions together because I would always leave with more knowledge than what I came with. He shaped part of the individual that I am today. He is one of the reasons why I became a personal trainer and why I wanted to work with others to help them to be better versions of themselves.

Since I’ve known Anthony he has gone on to write two books, give a TED talk, hosts numerous teaching events about how to be the best version of YOU and SO much more.

Stay tuned for a guest POW from Anthony soon!

You can find all that Anthony does at:

http://anthonycheam.com/

  (Anthonys Book)

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

P.O.W #6 Yin yoga, Algae and Wayne Dyer

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”


PHYSICAL: Yin Yoga 

Yin Yoga is great for all levels. A perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga (hatha, vinyasa)  that emphasize internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

When practicing yin yoga we have the opportunity to tap into our parasympathetic nervous system (our rest and digest system) through pranayama (breathing) A slow, deep, even breath will create a relaxed nervous system, allowing for a calm mind

Initially this style of yoga may seem boring, passive, or soft but yin practice can actually be quite challenging due to the long duration of the poses. We can remain in the postures anywhere from one to twenty minutes! However 3-4 minutes is the go to hold times in most classes, unless you are extremely advanced.

You need to experience yin yoga for yourself to truly see what it is all about.

Namaste 

POTIONS Algae

Benefits of Chlorella

Chlorella is one of the most ancient food plants known on earth. Chlorella floats on the water’s surface soaking up sunshine and converting it into green energy power cells all day long.

Chlorella contains the highest concentration of chlorophyll (a potent green pigment) of any plant on earth.

Chlorella intake has a positive effect on blood cholesterol, blood sugar, appetite control and also has the power to remove toxins from the body.

Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina is another ancient superfood plant containing an impressive 70% protein content!

Spirulina is also a natural source of minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Spirulina contains high levels of B12 and plant-based protein, making it especially perfect for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Spirulina intake reduces blood cholesterol and inflammation.

Spirulina also removes accumulated toxins in the body.

PERSON: Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer has been someone Ive looked up to for years now. Reading his books on self improvement have motivated and inspired and I hope they can do the same for you!

“My purpose is to help people look at themselves and begin to shift their concepts,” he said. “Remember, we are not our country, our race, or religion. We are eternal spirits. Seeing ourselves as spiritual beings without label is a way to transform the world and reach a sacred place for all of humanity.”

Dyer was affectionately called the “father of motivation” by his fans.

His main message was “that every person has the potential to live an extraordinary life. What’s more, it’s possible for every person to manifest their deepest desires—if they honour their inner divinity and consciously choose to live from their “Highest Self.”

How are your going to live your most extraordinary life?

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

Finding Balance and reaching our goals

Pulse Pump Prana is all about BALANCE and we truly want to live up to that this year.

It’s easy to get caught up in doing the same active thing day after day. I spend most of my days training people so when I have an extra hour to myself I hit the gym and try new workouts that I can use with my clients.

However, lately my muscles have been feeling a little stiff and I believe its my bodies way of telling me to slow down and add a little yin to my very yang lifestyle.

Both Amanda and myself have made a promise to ourselves and one another (because it’s always great to have someone other than yourself to be accountable to) that we are going to commit to more yoga and meditation this year and now we are telling you.

A fantastic way to commit to something is investing. It’s great to be emotionally invested but once you are financially invested you are more likely to achieve your goals. Sure, a yoga membership or a gym membership can get a little pricey but let us remind you that you are investing in YOU. Health is Wealth people!

It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take hard work and consistency but we know we can do it and we know YOU can do it too.

Here is what we want from you – a little challenge. We would love for you to share your goals for this year with us. Share your weekly progress, monthly progress and so on… Take a photo or video and send it our way so we can repost it. You will not only be inspiring us but you will be inspiring others who are following along with this challenge.

Heres we want from you:

  • Follow us on Instagram @pulse.pump.prana
  • show us your progress and how you find balance by tagging us in your photos
  • hastag #PPPbalance

We’re in this crazy life together, so lets make 2017 the best year yet!

*Also, don’t forget to come check out our Pulse Pump Prana class at Whole Life Balance on king west!

 

Meditation Made Easy

Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind 

listen and absorb “- Pythagoras

How often is it that we are truly silent, not just verbally but mentally? That we can sit, walk or just be at peace with our mind that is free of chatter. Unfortunately, not often enough.

For some reason, there is this myth that meditation can only be done by sitting cross legged on a pillow with our eyes closed for hours. Sure, meditation can be this but it’s not only this. Meditation can be going for a walk in nature, observing the trees, the flowers or the earth beneath our feet. Meditation is acknowledging and recognizing our thoughts and then allowing them to pass.

To be able to feel like we are one with nature is an amazing feeling and definitely a form of meditation. In this moment we are the tress, the flowers and the earth beneath our feet. What a feeling to know that we are one with nature! When we begin to understand the bigger picture and realize that we are part of something so much larger than ourselves, the sooner the confusion will start to disappear and guidance will start to appear.

It’s been estimated that the average person has 60 thousand separate thoughts each day, the same thoughts day in and day out! As Wayne Dyer says “This pattern reinforces our cultural belief that all gaps in conversation (silence) need to be filled quickly. For many, silence represents an embarrassment and a social defect. Therefore, we learn to jump in to fill these spaces, whether or not our filler has any substance.”

So, instead of trying to fill these gaps, be still and comfortable with it. Practice noticing your in and out breaths all throughout the day; during meetings, conversations and dinners. Listen rather than waiting to reply. Spend sometime outside and observe your thoughts, acknowledge them, recognize and release them. If you practice this, eventually you will have less thoughts, chatter and clutter to distract you. You can train your brain like a muscle and you will be able to still your mind much easier as you keep up the practice and adapt it as a daily routine.

How to for beginners

1. Next time you find yourself outside take a minute to really immerse yourself in the present moment.

2. Begin to notice all that surrounds you, the trees, the flowers, and even the cars passing by.

3. Take a few long deep inhales and exhales.

3. If thoughts start to flood your mind, allow them to and then let them pass.

4. Focus your mind on your breath and the beauty that surrounds you.

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Living without Fear

Big changes are scary. We’re not in control. We’re jumping into the unknown. We’re breaking foreign ground. In times like these, we will often cling onto certain relationships or situations that we feel we can control, where we think we’re holding the reigns. This makes things much more comfortable but comfort doesn’t bring happiness. Comfort brings stagnation. Comfort often means settling.

This human experience we are having can be confusing as f@*$! I know first hand, when I’m going through changes I tend to become an extremist. I feel like I need to live a certain way all the time fitting into this perfect little box, but who created this box? I did. We just need to be ourselves. Our truest most authentic selves and that can be even scarier. You might ask “Who am I really? and are people going to like the real me?”

We are always evolving and growing. This changing that we do is actually really beautiful. It’s the journey we go through when on our way to bigger and better things that can be without-a-doubt terrifying, but so worth it!

Here is the problem – we are afraid to fail and we are afraid of rejection. Actually, it’s our ego that’s afraid. So often we look for an escape but we’re too afraid to leave our current situation and leap into the unknown. Maybe we hold onto that relationship that isn’t good for us or we turn a vice into a addiction due to fear holding us back. Our ego will probably mess with us, convincing ourselves to stay where it’s safe. If we don’t take that leap sure, we can’t fail but there is also no chance for us to potentially succeed if we did. Why would we avoid potential success? Because of potential failure and failure is the worst thing that can happen, right? Wrong! Failure is a lesson. Failure is where we get back up and do it a little bit better than we did it before by learning and growing from our mistakes.

I don’t know about you but I want to wake up every morning feeling pretty damn amazing. Some decisions I’ve made in the past have had me waking up feeling anxious, upset, angry or guilty. I knew in my gut what I should have done but I did the opposite because it felt good in the moment. However, we’re all human. We’re not always going to make the right decisions the first time. We’re going to make mistakes and we’re sure as hell not always going to listen to our gut or even to our soul. It’s called trial and error. Its called living.

What it all comes down to is finding the courage to listen to that little voice inside and being true to ourselves. So let’s try and be the best versions of ourselves EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and when we aren’t feeling so great, well, sometimes we just need that day to not feel so great!

Whatever we are feeling, we just have to learn to love and live in harmony with it.

Be you.

Be authentic.

Peace and Love,

Brit

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