P.O.W # 13 Acro Yoga, Activated Charcoal, Cacao Ceremonies

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health

PHYSICAL: Acro Yoga 

This Past week Brit and I taught our beloved PULSE PUMP PRANA workout in Negril, Jamaica at the TMRW TDAY Culture fest. It was an amazing week filled with yoga, fitness, meditation, health talks, music, dancing, food and beautiful Jamaican sunshine. One of our highlights was learning Acro Yoga from The Acro Buddahs (Miranda and Ryan from Toronto). Not surprisingly, Arco Yoga combines acrobatics and yoga. Brit and I both had our significant others accompany us on the trip which was something we all looked forward to. After our first session with the Acro Buddhas, we were hooked and continued our practice on the beach each day. We learned a lot from helping each other as couples while spotting and were pushed to take our trust as partners to a new level. The “Base” (the person on the bottom) has to keep the “Flyer” in alignment and feeling safe. Sometimes we get turned around, up side down and maneuvered all over so it’s immensely important to keep communication up all the times. If not.. you may fall but we sometimes need to fall to find our boundaries and limitations. The frustration that comes along with many failed attempts can have you and your partner feeling impatient and annoyed (so hilarious looking at the bickering in some of our video footage!) However, when you achieve a flow with your partner it feels so incredible and harmonious, as if you’re talking through your bodies on another plane. The sense of accomplishment as a couple is extremely rewarding.  You feel you can achieve anything together.  You learn how to communicate better, without playing the blame game since this practice is never solely one persons issue/fault alone.

Miranda and Ryan were fantastic teachers and their passion for teaching this practice together and spreading the knowledge they have to others was clear. Even on their “off time” they were helping us out and teaching us more! One thing we will for sure take from this practice as a couple (among many, many other take-aways ) is a question Miranda and Ryan advised us to ask our partner during our practice which was “What Can I Give You?” What a powerful question. It diverts your potential frustration and veers one away from saying “you’re not doing this, you’re not doing that” or  “I need this, I feel that”  to “How Can I make this better/easier for you?” If both partners ask and respond to this question you make so much progress. Understanding that we both need different things to be successful but also need each others support 100% . These are not just Acro Yoga lessons, these are relationship and life lessons! The bonding, trust, communication and exhilaration all wrapped up into one beautiful and present yoga practice. Together as one. They say Yoga comes from the word “Unity” and I think this yoga practice unifies a couple together more than anything I’ve seen.

Thank you Acro Buddha’s!

 They will be having a Acro Yoga Work shops on the following dates at:

LULULEMON – THE ATTIC
318 Queen Street West, Toronto

May 25th 5:30pm – 7:00pm
June 24th 12:30pm – 2:30pm
June25th 11:00am – 2:00pm

and join them at the EMERGE FESTIVAL in Laurentian Valley, Ontario from

Friendship and trust bonding exercise
 Miranda and Ryan teaching
Miranda and Ryan shooting with the sunset
Our daily practice!

POTIONS: Activated Charcoal

Also, while in Jamaica we had the pleasure of listening to a few talks held by David Wolfe. David is nutritionist from a family of medical doctors who focuses on super foods, raw foods and the worlds most powerful supplements coming from nature. He gives many talks at events, retreats, expos and schools around the world. He was also a guest lecturer during our studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) , where brit and I studied in 2014.  One key take-away from David was that Activated Charcoal is likely the most important supplement there is and should be taken daily!

 

Dr.Axe writes “Activated charcoal is a potent natural treatment used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them. It’s made from a variety of sources, but when used for natural healing, it’s important to select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources.

One of the most popular activated charcoal uses is for the safe and effective treatment of poisoning and drug overdoses. It’s used in emergency trauma centres across the world. In addition, it’s used to reduce bloating and gas, lower cholesterol, treat bile flow problems safely during pregnancy, and even prevent hangovers.” Read more 

We like to make a charcoal lemonade after or in-between alcoholic drinks, when we have stomach/digestive issues (cheat weekend anyone?) or when we feel we need more detoxification due to walking or biking around in a big, air-polluted city ( still love you Toronto!). We also like making a mask or peel with charcoal.  Mix with bentonite clay for a mask or gelatin for a peel to pull out toxins and impurities from the skin!

Charcoal lemonade recipe:

Serves 2

  1. 2 lemons squeezed
  2. 2 cups of filtered water or chilled black/green or rooibos tea
  3. 2 tea spoons of activated coconut charcoal
  4. 2 table spoons of sweetener = honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar. If using stevia just 1 teaspoon since it’s hyper sweet! 🙂
  5. Pinch of himalayan salt
  6. Blend and enjoy!

 

POSTIVE THOUGHT: Setting Intentions 

Another event we attended at TMRW TDAY was a Cacao Ceremony. If you’ve never heard of one of these, listen up! It includes loads of hot chocolate, great music and friendly vibes.. Need we say more? Not to mention setting an intention with each sip or bite of the wondrous cultivated bean.

An article by the-numinous.com writes :

WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY, AND WHEN DO PEOPLE SEEK THIS MEDICINE OUT? 
“A cacao ceremony is an opportunity to connect to yourself and open your heart. Because of cacao’s ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your heart chakra, it aids in any transformational shift you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space. Whatever your path, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao allows you to the insight and awareness to move towards that goal.”

CACAO IS ASSOCIATED WITH UNIVERSAL LOVE – WHY IS THIS? IS THIS WHY WE GIFT CHOCOLATE TO OUR LOVERS?
Due to certain active ingredients that help release ‘feel good’ emotions, cacao is considered a heart opener. Creating feelings of emotional intimacy and pleasure, it has long been considered a luxurious delicacy, especially with the addition of sugar and spices to suit modern palates. Without realizing, we still get to enjoy a small fraction of it’s potential when we eat cacao in a regular chocolate bar. And yes, this is why it has become associated with romantic gestures and pleasurable indulgence! ” Read more here!

 As we sat and learned a bit about the history of the cacao plant, cacao fruits and the bean, we drank a delicious mix of raw cacao, coconut milk. lucuma ( a natural sweetener) and sea salt. We then set our intentions for the night, for the week or even the year. Eating or drinking cacao has some energizing effects so these ceremonies are done without any alcohol or stimulants involved, but you’d be surprised how much fun you can still have without them which is in it’s self, another powerful lesson. After, we danced to live music, watched a beautiful performance by the Acro Buddahs and laughed with old and new friends.  
We don’t know about you but we freaking love chocolate.. and the darker, the better.  The darker you eat, the more minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, healthy fats and less sugar it will contain. We started at 50 0r 60% then worked our way up and now that seems too sweet! Brit and I are big fans of 90% Swiss chocolate and sometimes we dip them in nut butters for the most delectable snack. Now we’ll surely set an intention each time we have our beloved chocolate, which by the way is already a daily ritual! 
Ways to add more cacao love into your life:
  • Add 100% Cacao powder to your morning coffees for a homemade mocha
  • Sprinkle Cacao Nibs ( crushed cocoa beans) on to your yogurt/ smoothie bowls
  • Make energy balls or or trail mix with nuts and cut up dark chocolate/nibs
or make this 1 min mug cake!
Serves 1
  1. Using one standard coffee mug:
  2. Melt 2 pieces of dark chocolate (20 grams) or 1 table spoon of cacao 
  3. add 1 table spoon of butter or coconut oil
  4. 1 table spoon of maple syrup
  5. 1 table spoon of nut butter 
  6. mix that well 
  7. add 1 egg
  8. stir well 
  9. then Microwave for 1 min 20 seconds
  10. Set your intentions and enjoy! 

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

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

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

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!