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Following our education about the conditions of the industrial meat processing centers, many of our concepts concerning which meats are acceptable to consume have been put to question. If you care at all about your health and or how the animals you are consuming have been treated your left to follow one of three guidelines when purchasing meat:
1. No fast food  
We cut fast food based on the premise that GMO Soy filler and bottom of the barrel meat is not good for our bodies. The best form of support for this position is realistic economic evaluation – specifically: “How can an entire chain of processing make money on my hamburger if I am buying it for 99 cents, and if they can, then what exactly am I buying?”
2. Look for the labels
Next, we decline animal products based on the conditions of how the animal was raised – here is where we encounter labels like certified organic, free range, kosher or humanely raised. Concerns over the presence of stress-induced hormones and cortisoid production in industrial slaughterhouses. There is also concern over GMO corn fed cattle, which are injected with antibiotics to combat inflammation and diseases spread by slaughterhouse conditions.
3. Go local with your meat
We only consume locally farm raised and slaughtered meat, wherein a person will only eat meat that is slaughtered by either themselves or their neighbors.

Here are some some things to consider:
Following Fukushima, we are becoming increasingly aware of the long term effects of radioactivity on our food supply. Evidence that the eco-systemic health of the Pacific Ocean has been compromised is widely available, which affects the diets of pescatarians in Japan, Canada, the United States, China, Mexico, South America, and Islands in the North and South Pacific. Pescatarians are people who decline to eat other forms of meat, but accept that fish eating is a useful dietary practice.
Fish is considered a lean meat, and is often full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which have been linked to critical brain functioning. For those of you who are looking for alternative sources for Omega-3’s, you might consider flax, chia, walnuts, rye, snap peas and spinach.
Airborn fallout radiation has spread across the United States
, and has deposited radioactive isotopes within land-based ecosystems. As radiation becomes more concentrated in creatures that eat higher on the food chain, meat and poultry across the US must be held in suspicion, as well as the eggs and dairy products that are produced by these animals. Lacto-ovo vegetarians must also be mindful of the geographical sources for the dairy that they eat, because strontium-90, which is called “Bone Seeker”, is a radioactive isotope that impersonates calcium when it is consumed.
Lacto-Ovo vegetarianism is a dietary practice that focuses on eating vegetables, but makes exceptions for eggs and dairy products. Some of the strongest arguments for eating these dairy products are the complete proteins present in animal products, the probiotics present in yogurt, the fats that are available in dairy products, and the B vitamins that are always associated with consumption of animal products.
Some accessible substitutes for complete proteins would be combinations of nuts and grains, or legumes and grains, such as beans and rice, or walnuts and whole wheat. The probiotics can be found in fermented vegetables and beverages such as kim chi, pickles, and homebrewed fermented teas, sodas and alcohol. Monounsaturated fats can be found in avocados, nuts and olives, and B vitamins can be found in nutritional yeast, or in liquid form at supplement stores.
Beyond Fukushima, there are many domestic US nuclear contamination sites, including Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, Hanford, Washington, and Carlsbad, New Mexico; these sites have already incurred accidents that continually affect the surrounding environment, and there are many other locations of nuclear reactors, test sites, missile silos, and storage facilities throughout the United States.

Knowledge is the first component of a responsible decision-making process.

If you, or someone you know, are going to continue to eat animal products, or animal by-products, the best option is to raise them yourself. If you are fortunate enough to have property, and you eat meat products, then you may be interested in raising chickens or ducks; fish or rabbits; you may even consider raising a goat for the purposes of creating milk, yogurt and cheese.
If you have done research and you are considering this route, you may want to send samples of you food to be tested for radiation. Seattle fishmongers are testing their fish, and have found them to be well below FDA standards for safe radiation levels, however, in response to Fukushima, the FDA increased the acceptable minimal level of radiation present in food – so use your own discretion.
If you do not have your own property, and insist on eating meat products, then it may be a good idea to purchase your food from local farmers markets, where you can discuss your concerns with the person who raised the animals, knows what they ate, where they are from, and how they were slaughtered. It may also be a good idea to determine whether or not you live near a site that has increased levels of radioactive contamination – The EPA has a site called “Radnet” that can help you make those determinations.

The post Dietary Considerations in the Age of GMOs and Nuclear Accidents appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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The health benefits of hot yoga are well established. An ideal augmentation to any athlete’s workout routine, breathing techniques coupled with body strengthening and flexibility promise an overall boost to your fitness. Yet, as we continue on this path of exercise and wellness, it is important to maintain a practice of caution.

Here are important tips you should follow to avoid injury during Hot Yoga


1. Set an intention before each practice.

An intention like having realistic expectations or not competing (with yourself or others) leads you through a practice with ease. Setting an intention provides a foundation for each practice that you can return to throughout. If you start to feel distracted or off course, you can check in with your intention and re-center.


2. Always remain present on the mat.

Hot yoga utilizes heat to loosen the joints and allow for greater flexibility. As the heat eases our joints, our increased range of flexibility may sometimes be deceiving. Remain present in each movement. This will keep you focused and less likely to injure yourself in deep poses.


3. Breathe.

Check in with your breath regularly. Breath is the easiest way to remain present and breathing into each posture helps deepen the stretch while opening the joints and muscles. Think of breath as a guide to your highest yogi potential.


4. Yoga is about listening to your own body.

Recognizing pain and honoring your body enough to back off will prevent injury. There is a line between power and force. Use your breath and your presence to be powerful in your pose without forcing your body beyond its capabilities.


5. Yoga instructors are here for you. Use them!

Instructors are always happy to offer assistance with adjustments, breath cues, and alternatives to any pose. Tell your instructor about any past injuries, and any concerns you may have. You can even tell them about things you want to work on.

Instructors love seeing their students progress in their individual practice and will go out of their way to help you do so.


Following these simple rules will help ensure you avoid injury on the mat and have a safe and gratifying Hot Yoga practice. Yoga should be fun and challenging. Remembering these tips will launch you off the mat and into your life with strength and energy, not pain.

The post Follow These 5 Rules to Avoid Injury During Hot Yoga appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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The best part about visiting new places is trying out the local cuisine. I find that food says a lot about a culture, but mostly I just really enjoy eating! When I try a new dish I expect there to be magic, I want to really feel the flavors of the food. Food should be pleasurable, it should bring out primal feelings in a person.

As with most people, I choose my meals based on mood. When I’m looking for excitement I’ll go with something more refreshing like Salmon Mango Tartare. When I want a good kick, I’ll make Dakdoritang, a spicy chicken dish from Korea. Then there are the days when you find yourself in an unbearable heat and you need a physical cooling down-that’s where Peruvian Ceviche comes in. Food has the ability to change your mood, your physical temperature, and your mindset. A potluck dinner can bring people of all different backgrounds together and a Sunday breakfast can create a lasting family tradition.

Here is a list (in no specific order) of 5 healthy dishes from around the world that will ignite your senses:

1. Salmon Mango Tartare

This healthy dish is a light, citrus filled summer dish; easy to make and delicious to eat.


  1. 2 cups fresh, raw, cubed salmon
  2. 2 cups cubed mango
  3. 1 cup diced kiwi
  4. Lemon zest (to taste)
  5. Salt&Pepper (to taste)
  6. A couple dashes of Tabasco sauce
  7. Fresh dill (to taste)
  8. Juice from 1 lemon


  1. Mix the salmon, mango, and kiwi together in a bowl. Add zest, salt&pepper, Tabasco, and dill. Store in fridge for about an hour (this step is not necessary, simply preference). Add the lemon juice right before serving. Enjoy!

For a more filling dish, add your favorite rice to the mix  (we suggest jasmine rice and poppy seeds). And if raw fish isn’t your thing, substitute the raw salmon for a cooked salmon filet. Still delicious and super healthy. Yum!


2. Peruvian Ceviche

Ceviche is a light dish that delivers a good punch-perfect for a hot day. The origins of Ceviche are much debated but in my opinion Peruvian Ceviche stands on it’s own as the best.


  1. 2lbs firm white fish, cubed
  2. 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  3. 1 dash of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper
  4. 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro
  5. 1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
  6. 10 limes, juice the limes and then put through a strainer to remove pulp
  7. 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  8. 1 dash fresh ginger, grated


  1. Salt the onion for 3-5 minutes. While waiting for the onion, mix all other ingredients. Rinse the onion and place on top of mixture. Store in the fridge for 2-4hrs. Mix everything together (lightly blend) and serve with a side of fresh salad or cold sweet potato slices.



3. Korean Dakdoritang

This is one of my favorite healthy dishes and, when done correctly, is not for the faint-hearted. Dakdoritang is spicy. It’s great for kicking a cold or a night out paired with Somak (Soju-a Korean alcohol, Makju-Beer). Here is the recipe –


  1. A mix of chicken pieces (breast, thigh, drumstick), about 2lbs
  2. 4 to 6 potatoes (whichever kind you prefer) , peeled and cubed
  3. 3 carrots, chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  5. 2 tablespoons gochujang (red chili pepper paste)
  6. 2 tablespoons guchugaro (red chili pepper flakes)
  7. 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  8. 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  9. 2 onions (white or green), chopped
  10. Salt&Pepper
  11. 1 tablespoon ginger, ground
  12. 2 cups of water


  1. Mix all ingredients except the onions into a pot or slow cooker. Cook on simmer for 30-40 minutes, until everything is cooked and the flavor starts to really come out. Add the onions for the last 5 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice.



4. Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is such a simple, healthy and tasty salad to make. Traditionally it is made with bulgur but I prefer to use couscous, the choice is yours!


  1. 1 cup uncooked couscous (or bulgur)
  2. 1 red onion, diced
  3. 3 cups of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  4. 1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  5. 1 cucumber, diced
  6. 3 tomatoes, diced
  7. 1 cup of raisins
  8. 1/4 cup of olive oil
  9. 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice


  1. Place uncooked couscous in a bowl and pour boiling water over it until it is covered. Set aside under a cloth for 15 minutes. Mix together all ingredients except the olive oil and lemon juice. Once the couscous is finished add to the vegetable mixture, add the olive oil and lemon juice. Place in the fridge until cool and dig in!



5. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

I love jerk chicken. ThisJamaican Jerk Chicken recipe from chef Paul Chung is my favorite to use when cooking at home, but remember, nothing can beat the real thing. So if you need an excuss to get to Jamaica, this is a good one.  This dish is super flavorful  but isn’t overwhelming, which is something I struggle with sometimes. I recommend making it a day before so that the meat can really soak up the spices.

  1. 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  2. 3 medium scallions, chopped
  3. 2 Scotch bonnet chiles, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  6. 1 tablespoon allspice berries, coarsely ground
  7. 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  9. 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 cup soy sauce
  12. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  13. Two 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered


  1. In a food processor or a Vitamix blender, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, pepper, thyme, nutmeg and salt; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before proceeding.
  2. Light a grill. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. (Cover the grill for a smokier flavor.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.



All of these dishes ignite a sense or a feeling within that changes you, maybe not forever, but a least for one meal. If you’ve enjoyed these recipes and would like to find more of the same type I highly recommend Fresh Happy Tasty: An Adventure in 100 Recipes, by Jane Coxwell. The recipes are fun, simple and tasty.

*Note-When making the following dishes at home feel free to improvise. Yes, cooking is a science, but I feel it’s more a science based on intuition and pleasure. Have fun with it!

The post 5 Healthy Dishes From Around The World to Ignite Your Senses appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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When it comes to product reviews, we don’t mess around. All of the items we review are put through the ringer of everyday use. You can trust that our reviews are non-biased and completely honest. Full-disclosure: we don’t publish negative reviews. If a product doesn’t live up to our standards, we won’t promote it. Everyone has their opinion, this is ours – let’s get started.

In this product review video, we check out the Towel-Infused Yoga Mat from 2nd Wind. We will also share the top things to look for if you’re on the market for a towel-infused mat.

2nd Wind Health offers a small collection of high-quality yoga mats and yoga props. To us, this brand brings quality over quantity.

The Towel-Infused Yoga Mat is one of the three main types of yoga mats from 2nd Wind’s yoga mat collection.

Towel yoga mats originated from the need to have a yoga mat and towel for a hot yoga or sweaty yoga class. In essence, towel yoga mats are a yoga mat and yoga mat towel in one.

This eliminates your need to carry a yoga mat and towel to class and also stays in place more than placing a towel over your mat that can shift during your practice.

Yogis like to use a yoga mat towel in hot yoga or any format that makes them sweat because towels offer better grip and traction when you’re sweaty.

We Review the Towel-Infused Yoga Mat by 2nd Wind

Review of the Towel-Infused Yoga Mat From 2nd Wind - YogiApproved - YouTube


What Makes 2nd Wind’s Towel-Infused Yoga Mat Unique?

This towel-infused yoga mat is machine washable, which makes cleaning a breeze! And if you’re sweating a lot on your mat, you do want to make sure that you’re washing it regularly. Just be sure to wash this mat on the gentle cycle (and always air dry).

Another perk of this towel-infused mat is that it’s made with antimicrobial material that’s also odor repelling. A unique feature of these mats is that all of the prints are limited-edition with many beautiful designs to choose from.

This mat is great for hot yogis and any yogi that tends to sweat a lot during their practice because the microfiber material gets grippier as you sweat. You can also spray it with water where your hands and feet go for optimal grip.

Other Details to Know About 2nd Wind’s Towel-Infused Yoga Mat

The microfiber material can also be the draw-back on the Towel-Infused Mat because if you don’t tend to sweat a lot, this mat does not offer the best grip.

That’s why this mat is great for hot yoga but not ideal for other forms of yoga (except for a gentle, more restorative practice with predominantly seated and supine poses).

This yoga mat is on the thinner side at 3mm thick. If you like lightweight mats, then that’s a great feature, but if you’re wanting a thicker mat, you’ll probably want to look into other options.

The towel is actually baked into the natural rubber base (meaning there are no glue or toxins), and the materials in this mat are eco-friendly and biodegradable. The designs are all made from water-based inks.

What to Look for If You’re On the Market for a Towel Mat

Since towel-infused yoga mats are ideal for hot yoga (which means you’ll be sweating a lot on the mat), make sure any towel mat you’re interested in is machine washable for easy cleaning. And if you’re going to be sweating a lot on your towel mat, look for one with antimicrobial and odor-repelling materials.

You also want to look for a towel mat that’s made with sustainable, eco-friendly materials to avoid glue or other toxins in the mat.

Finally, since towel mats are not as versatile in the types of yoga you can practice, you want to find one with a lower price point.

The Verdict On This Towel-Infused Yoga Mat From 2nd Wind

While a towel-infused mat is not our first choice when it comes to all types of yoga mats on the market, we know that certain yogis love towel mats.

If you’re looking for a towel-infused yoga mat, this particular mat checks all the boxes: odor-repelling and antimicrobial material, machine washable, biodegradable and eco-friendly (plus the bonus of unique limited-edition prints).

For these reasons, this mat is 100% YogiApproved. If you want to learn more about this brand, you can check out 2nd Wind here.

Have any questions or comments about this product review or brand? Reach out in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to our YogiApproved YouTube channel so you can stay up to date on all of our latest videos!

The post We Review the Towel-Infused Yoga Mat From 2nd Wind (Product Review Video) appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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Summer fitness trends merge the most popular summer workouts with current fitness trends, and we’ve gathered the top trending workouts of summer 2019.

Getting (and staying) motivated to work out during the hot summer months can be a challenge for many of us.

If you’re struggling to find the time and energy to stay fit, there are some fun new fitness trends you can try this season. And, the best part is you don’t even feel like you’re working out!

The secret to keeping your exercise game strong? Mix things up. Exercise is not a one-size-fits all approach, so you want to find the workout that’s best for you this season.

These Are the Top 6 Summer Fitness Trends of 2019:

Check out these six trending summer workouts. Which one is calling to you??

1. Online Streaming

Online streaming classes are great if you’re traveling this summer, or busy having fun in the sun when you’d normally go to a regular class or the gym. There’s no room for excuses when you can workout from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you’re into Pilates, yoga classes, or HIIT, many instructors offer live, interactive online classes and there’s usually a free trial period so you can see which platform is the right fit.

Did you know YogiApproved has an online yoga and fitness class app called YA Classes? You can download the YA Classes app and take your practice on the go. Access classes from your computer, tablet, phone and TV. Try a free class today.

2. Resistance Bands

Rock out with the band this summer! Perfect for the busy traveler or working parent on-the-go, resistance bands are portable, travel-size fitness gear that be used anywhere.

Not only are resistance bands lightweight and easy to pack, they provide an effective full-body workout. Ranging from back and chest to lower body exercises, this multipurpose equipment will help enhance your flexibility, increase your strength and burn calories.

On your next trip, stretch and strengthen on the go with your resistance band and these 9 Yoga Poses You Can Do On the Airplane


3. Peloton

Image: Peloton

This season it’s all about the Peloton bike. With a variety of live and on-demand classes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The in-depth ride metrics help you track your progress and compete in real⁠ ⁠time with everyone who has taken the ride live and on-demand.

You can also enjoy a group workout from the convenience of your home and bike with a community who will inspire you to perform at your best.

4. Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training has become a popular summer fitness trend for its convenience and effectiveness. No fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships required. This type of workout is simple because it’s using only your body in moves like push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, etc to create resistance and build full-body strength.

When it comes to building your strength, this type of training is a great place to start and brings you back to the basics. It’s also an easy type of workout you can do in your hotel room, and on your own schedule which often fluctuates and changes during the summer months.

Check out these 6 Exercises for a Full Body Workout at Home

5. Dance-Inspired Cardio

If you’re looking for a calorie-burning good time, you’ll definitely want to try dance-inspired cardio. For 45 minutes to an hour, you can lose yourself in the pleasure of movement and reap all the benefits of cardio in the process.

Don’t worry if you can’t move your hips like Shakira (most of us can’t!). There are classes for all skill levels and musical preferences whether you prefer the more established Zumba or want to blend dance, yoga and plyometrics with Buti Yoga.

Get your groove on and try dance cardio workouts at 305 Fitness, BollyX, or if you can’t make it to a class in person, try this 30-minute Tribal Cardio Dance class on YA Classes.


6. Mirror

Image: Mirror

What if you could turn your living room into a group fitness class? Mirror is perfect for people who love classes, but have a busy schedule and looking for a fun way to stay fit. There’s an instructor to push you and you can train live with others to get that motivational group workout experience.

Whether you’re into cardio, strength training, yoga, barre or boxing, Mirror has a workout to meet your fitness goals.

Which Summer Workout Fitness Trend Is Your Favorite?

During the summer months, many of us have vacation and relaxation on the brain. While it can be challenging to maintain healthy habits, there are many fitness trends that are fun yet effective.

Try these summer workouts to stay on top of your health – your mind and body will thank you!

Which summer fitness trend are you most interested in? Any summer workouts you love that didn’t make the list? Please share in the comments below – we love hearing from you!

The post These Are the Top 6 Summer Fitness Trends of 2019 appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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Positive thinking is a powerful tool for a positive mindset, and curling up with a good book is one of life’s simple, comforting pleasures. If said book helps you reprogram your mind and free your limiting thoughts – big bonus points!

All of us go through our days allowing certain thoughts to swirl around our brains – and many times, they’re negatives ones. Rarely if ever do we give much thought to this mental record we keep playing on repeat.

While positive thinking can certainly help begin the shift away from negative to more empowering thoughts, reprogramming your mind is the way to stay empowered.

And before we realize it, these negative recurring thoughts can become the status quo, doing serious damage to our happiness, stress levels, and productivity.

While positive thinking can certainly help begin the shift away from negative to more empowering thoughts, reprogramming your mind is the way to stay empowered.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: This Is Why You Need Positive Affirmations

Read on for a list of empowering books that will help you reprogram your thinking for a more positive, empowered life.

Here Are 7 Mindset Books to Reprogram Your Mind and Empower Your Thinking:

We each possess the power to reprogram our thinking and flip these thoughts into more empowering ones, and these mindset books that can help us do so.

All of these titles go way beyond positive quotes and feel-good advice by helping you reprogram your mindset for the long-haul. Our lives are a direct reflection of our inner thoughts, stories, and mindset, so here are five titles to get you started that won’t just collect dust on the shelf.

1. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by John Williams

We all feel stressed out and overwhelmed from time to time, but are you feeling like a slave to your negative, stressed AF thoughts 24/7?

Using mindfulness tactics and meditation, deep breathing, and other “decluttering” techniques, Declutter Your Mind uses science-backed actions to teach you how to declutter your mind and reprogram it for the long haul so you can live your best life.


2. Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love by Melissa Ambrosini

We all have our inner mean girl – the one telling you you’re not pretty enough, smart enough, enough enough – whatever is keeping you down or “in Fear Town” as Ambrosini calls it in her book Mastering Your Mean Girl.

You can’t reprogram your mind without addressing your inner mean girl – it’s all one in the same, actually. This book unpacks the ways we keep ourselves stuck and fearful and breaks down how to remember what you’re capable of, so you can tell your mean girl byyyyye and get unstuck.

3. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop

If straight-talking self-help without any of the fluff is your style, then Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life is your book. Bishop doesn’t sugarcoat his message of self-empowerment and how to unleash your own greatness and happiness.

He gives you tools to rewrite and flip the script on negative self-thinking and unhappiness of all kinds, from in your job, relationships, health – you name it. If you’re feeling trapped in your own excuses and crappy mindset and are ready to rewrite it, this is your slap in the face to do so.

4. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Geared toward the creative type, Big Magic will shake you up and throw your motivation – and inspiration – into overdrive, regardless of what you do.

It’s impossible to read this New York Times Best Seller and not be incredibly inspired to reach and even surpass your goals – especially ones you’ve maybe been talking yourself out of . . .

Elizabeth Gilbert tells us all that it is our responsibility to live as fully as possible, and this book will help us uncover the “strange jewels” that reside in us all.

5. The Secret by Rhonda Bryne

The Law of Attraction is the tenant that acts as the backbone for so many other books and philosophies, and once you understand it, many would argue it’s the ultimate mind-reprogrammer.

The Secret is the OG guide that breaks it all down. You’ll learn how the Law of Attraction can change everything from your relationships, health, and finances, and how the “secret” has been tapped into throughout history with inspiring results.
Once you understand the secret, and how your thoughts literally attract and thus create your reality, you’ll never think about anything quite the same again.

Learn These 7 Law of Attraction Hacks That Will Change Your Life Forever

6. The 10 X Rule by Grant Cardone

In The 10 X Rule, Grant Cardone breaks down how to reprogram your business mind. This book will help you dust off your dreams, stop running in circles, and reprogram your brain to “defy the normal mediocrity” many people settle into.

This amazing read pushes us to reprogram out mindsets and actions to magnify the amount of momentum we’re putting toward achieving our career goals.

7. Learn. Grow. Shift by Ashton August

Learn. Grow. Shift. is designed as a daily workbook companion to help you move past limiting beliefs and step into your power with simple, approachable and fun daily exercises and assignments to help you learn new things, grow in areas of your life, and positively shift your mindset.
You’ll practice empowering mudras, basic yoga poses, guided meditations, mirror affirmations and even a burning ceremony to help you let go of limiting beliefs and emerge with confidence, self-love, and awareness of what you want and how you’re going to get there.


Reprogram Your Mind With These Motivational Mindset Books

Ready to level up in your life? Consider this library your manual for making the first mindset shift that could set off a domino effect of far-reaching changes.

After all, if you want to change your life, you gotta change your mind first. And “someday” ain’t a day of the week. Crack into one of these mindset books tonight!

The post Go Beyond Positive Thinking: Reprogram Your Mind With These 7 Books appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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When you kick animal products to the curb, your diet stands to lose a lot of saturated fat, cholesterol, and icky antibiotics and hormones. Not to mention, you embrace a more compassionate and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

One thing you don’t say goodbye to? Flavor and delicious taste! Exhibit A: This chickpea salad recipe.

It’s true. This chickpea-based “chicken” salad is about to be your new favorite lunch. It’s dangerously addictive. But with wholesome, plant-based, fiber and protein-packed ingredients, that’s not really a bad thing!

This chickpea-based “chicken” salad is about to be your new favorite lunch.

Chickpeas are extremely versatile whether you toss them on top of a salad, mash them into a sandwich wrap, or use them as the base for blondies (yep, they can be dessert).

Want more yummy vegan dessert hacks? Try this: Avocados and Brownies Just Had a Baby! You’ve Gotta Try This Vegan Brownie Recipe (Paleo-Friendly)

And chickpeas pack a healthy punch! Just one cup has 10 grams of plant-based protein, eight grams of fiber, very little in the way of fat, plus a host of micronutrients like folate, riboflavin, Vitamin C, manganese, and more!

Thanks to chickpeas being so full of soluble fiber, they’re a heart-healthy food, and also a slow-digesting carb, which can improve colon health and insulin sensitivity.


Here’s Your Deliciously Healthy Vegan Chickpea Salad Recipe:

If you need the ideal lunch to make ahead of time and enjoy at your desk, on a picnic, or on the go, this is it. You can keep a container of it in the fridge and slap into quick, packable sandwiches, wraps, or serve with a crudité plate and dip veggies into it.

You get the idea – it’s versatile AF!

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 heaping tablespoons pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons (or a little less, depending on your preference) vegan mayo OR ½ ripe avocado, mashed
  • 2 stalks organic celery, diced
  • 1 dash turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Drain and rinse chickpeas thoroughly, and add to a large bowl. Mash with the back of a fork or a potato masher.

Add mayo or avocado, celery, pickle relish, and spices. Then, combine until blended. Taste and adjust seasoning as you need. Add additional relish, mayo, or pepper for extra kick.

Looking for more recipes with chickpeas? Try this Vegan, Gluten-Free Curried Chickpea Wrap Recipe for Healthy Eating On the Go

Make This Vegan Chickpea Salad Recipe for a Quick and Delicious Meal Anytime!

Enjoy this delicious new lunch for your workdays, picnics, and beach days. And maybe even by the spoonful – because you will totally want to.

If you’re looking for other high-protein, plant-based foods to add to your diet, look no further! Here is A Vegan’s Guide to Protein: 20 Protein-Dense Foods You Should Add to Your Diet

The post This Vegan Chickpea “Chicken” Salad Is About to Be Your New Favorite Lunch (Recipe) appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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Let’s talk about Ayurveda doshas. There are three main doshas, or constitutions, that we are made up of – according to Ayurveda. You may have heard of these doshas already: vata, pita, and kapha.

In this article, we will discuss what it means to have a vata dosha so you can start feeling more focused, grounded, and healthy.

First, let’s start with a brief background on Ayurveda and the Ayurvedic doshas.

The History and Science Behind Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old, alternative holistic Indian practice that combines an intentional diet and lifestyle to achieve a harmonious balance within the mind, body, and spirit.

In Sanskrit Ayurveda means “the science of life.” Think of it as a guideline for us to make healthy lifestyle choices that are in tune with nature.

What makes Ayurveda so appealing to yogis is that it’s intuitive and ever-changing based on your season of life. Anyone can enjoy making healthy lifestyle shifts guided by these Ayurvedic beliefs. So, what does this mean for you?

Ayurveda means “the science of life.” Think of it as a guideline for us to make healthy lifestyle choices that are in tune with nature.

To start, it’s important to understand your Ayurvedic constitution.

The Ayurvedic constitution represents the five elements including earth, air, water, fire, and space that form the traits for your ayurvedic profile. While everyone has different concentrations of these traits, they fall into three major forces, or doshas, known as vata, pita and kapha.


Ayurveda Doshas: How Do You Determine Your Personal Dosha?

Why do you want to understand your dosha? Understanding your Ayurvedic constitution will help you choose the right foods, workouts, and types of self-care best suited for your needs.

What Is Your Dosha? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About These Ayurvedic Mind-Body Types

What Does It Mean to Be a Vata Dosha?

The main qualities of vata are dry, light, sensitive, flighty, creative, and distracted. These characteristics can show up in both your emotional and physical body. Each of us holds a combination of three traits.

A pitta dosha carries “fire” or heat energy, kapha represents water and earth, a sense of “heaviness,” and vata represents air or wind energy. Vata is one of the most important of the three because a vata imbalance can lead to an imbalance in other doshas as well.

Anything involving movement requires healthy vata energy. In addition to exercise, this includes chewing, nerve impulses, breathing, muscle movements, thinking, elimination, peristalsis, or menstruation. As a whole, vata energy is important for sending the proper messages to the brain (that’s a pretty big deal).

Vata is one of the most important of the three because a vata imbalance can lead to an imbalance in other doshas as well.

A vata body type is naturally thin, quick-moving, has smaller eyes, and skin that tends to be dry. It’s often hard for vatas to “sit still” when there’s so much to do!

A healthy vata has high energy and strong creative gifts for things like writing, art, and music. Vatas also tend to be intuitive, empathic, and highly sensitive. Sound like anyone you know?

Emotionally, someone with a predominantly vata dosha also tends to worry, be anxiety-prone, restlessness, quick-thinking, and forgetful. Their sleep is light and full of creative, flying, or running dreams.

When someone with this constitution becomes imbalanced, it can cause things like aches, lack of sleep, anxiety, constipation, and concentration problems. Our mental health, like our physical health, is vital. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain this balance.


Vata Imbalance: What Does It Mean?

When we experience stress or ingest toxins, it creates a surge of vata energy that can quickly throw us off balance. Imbalances in our bodies can lead to chronic conditions, or even simply “not feeling well.”

However, there are natural, simple ways to counteract excess vata energy in the body when you start to notice symptoms of anxiety, dryness, and irregularity in your digestion or menstrual cycles.

Creating balance in Ayurveda involves certain behaviors, eating foods, or creating routines that have opposing energies to each specific dosha.

If you’re experiencing excess vata, you’ll want to do more things in your life or eat more foods that will “pacify” or lower that vata energy. In this case, like attracts like, so you don’t want to eat foods that increase vata any further.

Again, think dry, wind, and air . . . (Do you know someone you can describe as “spacey” or “airy?” That’s what we’re talking about here).

When you start to feel like you are “all over the place” or are feeling ungrounded, there are several things you can do to calm your systems and feel like yourself again.


How to Balance Your Vata Dosha With Food

You can “pacify” your extra vata energy with calming, soothing and warming foods and activities. Since vata tends to be dry (causing dry skin and constipation), think about eating foods that are wet, oily, and heavy.

Incorporate it into your diet by adding organic sesame or olive oil to your meals and cook with clarified butter or ghee and be sure to drink room-temperature to warm liquids all year round, especially in winter months.
Heavier foods like soups and stews filled with healthy vegetables and high-quality oils will counteract the flighty energy of vata. Aim for creamy soups, clean animal proteins like fish and eggs, grounding root vegetables like sweet potatoes and parsnips and hearty whole grains.
Avoid light and dry foods like pretzels, raisins, popcorn, and cold, raw salads. That’s not to say that cooling, cleansing salads and vegetables aren’t full of nutrients, but their cold, raw energy can exacerbate vata energy and actually slow digestion further.

Curious about a diet that supports Ayurvedic doshas? Here’s How to Eat for Your Dosha + Which Foods You Should Avoid

How to Balance Your Vata Dosha With Movement and Self-Care

Resist overexerting yourself as a vata. Pilates and yoga poses that are steady, grounding, and restorative are ideal. Also, try walking barefoot on the earth (on sand, dirt, whatever – this is known as earthing) and take in some quality time in nature.

Earthing: How This Practice Connects Your Mind and Body

Naps, resting and reading outside, going for walks, and getting a massage are very healthy and realistic activities that can help you relax. Remember to focus on energies that oppose the dry, airy, and tense energy of excess vata.

Vatas thrive on a consistent routine! Eating mindfully, keeping a regular daily schedule like going to bed and waking up around the same time each day, and prioritizing meditation all support a vata routine.

It’s helpful to dress warmly and always have a sweater or scarf with you so that you’re comfortable. You can also apply sesame or almond oil right onto your skin for a hydrating, soothing, self-massage. This will lead to a grounded, balanced vata who can then focus her creative energies on something other than overthinking and panicking.

What Is the Best Meditation For Your Dosha? Take the Quiz to Find Out!

Embrace Your Free-Flowing Energy as a Vata Dosha

Vata doshas can get a bad reputation for being flighty, distracted, and “all over the place,” but this isn’t the case 100 percent of the time. No one wants to feel unfocused and unreliable.

Embrace your energetic spirit while being self-aware and prepared to counteract any vata imbalances that come up.

Always listen to your body, and acknowledge how you feel. As you become more self-aware, you can apply these natural suggestions to ease any discomfort that comes from excess vata in your body and bring yourself back to Earth as a free-flowing, confident creative.

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

The post How to Embrace Your Vata Dosha and Feel Grounded AF appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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Have you been plagued by anxiety? Trouble sleeping lately? Maybe it’s that constant nagging neck and shoulder pain. Have you been thinking about massage but just can’t seem to justify it?

Then there is good news. The benefits of massage therapy run so much deeper than just “a relaxing day at the spa.” As a healing modality, massage provides long-term benefits that reach beyond your time on the table.

There are the obvious benefits of massage. Massage therapy reduces stress and relaxes your muscles. But what are the more subtle side effects? How can incorporating massage therapy into your self-care routine bring more balance to body and mind?

Never gotten a massage? You need Massage Therapy 101: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go

Here Are 7 Lesser Known Benefits of Massage Therapy:

You know you feel better when you go. Sometimes you have more energy and other times you are finally ready for a good night’s sleep. But why? What is happening on the inner landscape of the body when you get a massage?

Read on for seven benefits of massage therapy that you might not know.


1. Massage Therapy Helps Reduce Anxiety and Depression

The two often go hand-in-hand with stress. And stress can be an unavoidable piece of our day-to-day lives.

Massage can help reduce cortisol (the hormone produced in response to stress). When cortisol levels decline, serotonin levels can rise. Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical that helps to regulate mood, anxiety, sleep, and depression.

Struggle with anxiety? Try these 10 Instant Stress Busters You Can Turn to When Stress Strikes (According to Science)

2. Massage Therapy Helps Improve Sleep

Who doesn’t want that? As cortisol levels decrease and serotonin increases, the hormonal balance is more conducive to improved sleep patterns.

Couple that with the pain reduction and relaxation you get from massage and you’ll be catching your Z’s in no time.

Have Trouble Sleeping? Practice These 4 Yoga Poses For Insomnia

3. Massage Therapy Can Improve Immune Function

There are times when it feels like everyone around you is coughing and sneezing. You take your Vitamin C and zinc, and try to get plenty of rest. But you still feel like you are constantly fighting a cold.

Massage stimulates the production of white blood cells which are a key factor in fighting infection. The lymphatic system, which helps to flush toxins and waste from the body, is stimulated by the manual compression of massage therapy.

4. Massage Therapy Can Decrease High Blood Pressure

There are many causes of high blood pressure. But often stress, lifestyle, and diet are the contributing factors. Often an indicator of heart disease, high blood pressure can be a serious condition.

Luckily, though, the benefits of massage therapy can help even this serious threat. Studies have shown a marked decrease in blood pressure for participants receiving massage.

5. Reduces Chronic Pain

The effects of chronic pain are real. And often debilitating. It is estimated that Americans miss 149 million days of work each year due to low back pain alone.

Massage has been shown to aid in pain management. Think of your natural response when you hit your head. You rub the spot to ease the pain. Massage helps reduce the discomfort of chronic pain.

Suffer from chronic pain? Here’s How to Use a Massage Ball to Relieve Back Pain (Video Tutorial)

6. Alleviates Digestive Discomfort

The National Institutes of Health estimate that 70 million people suffer from some type of digestive disorder. Food sensitivities, IBS, and acid reflux are just a few of the issues that contribute to daily discomfort.

While there are a variety of causes, and it can be different for each person, there does seem to be a common thread: Stress. It may not be the primary cause of digestive trouble but it can certainly make it worse. The stress reduction you get from massage can also signal the gut to settle down.

As massage also helps flush toxins from your body, it promotes more efficient digestion. This means your body doesn’t have to work as hard to process food and use nutrients.

Need digestive help? Here’s How to Improve Your Digestion Using Essential Oils


7. Increases Range of Motion

Having trouble touching your toes? Tight, stiff muscles can limit range of motion both at the belly of the muscle and at the joints.

Massage can elongate the muscles, allowing for more flexibility and mobility. It provides length in the muscle tissue which can release the tension in the tendons as well.

Need help with your range of motion? Practice Flexibility and Mobility on YA Classes

The Benefits of Massage Therapy Are Plentiful!

Massage therapy is an incredibly beneficial complementary therapy. It can provide relief from a variety of physical, mental, and emotional conditions.

For best results, try adding massage into your regular self-care routine.

As with any alternative therapy it is advised that you consult your healthcare provider before seeking treatment.

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

The post 7 Lesser Known Benefits of Massage Therapy (As If You Needed More Reasons to Get a Massage) appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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Relationships are the most significant and challenging experience we encounter in this thing called life. Yet, they are also the most rewarding.

Every aspect of life revolves around relationships.

When I say “relationship,” I do not just mean with a romantic partner (if we have one). We have relationships with our friends, coworkers and our boss, with mentors or teachers, and even our neighbors.

Relationships have a significant impact on how we experience life, whether or not we are successful, and how much pain or joy we experience in our lifetime.

As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Beyond food, water and shelter, connection is one of our critical needs for survival. Some hundreds and thousands of years ago, in tribal communities, we needed connection to others to literally stay alive.

If you didn’t connect with others, you’d die. Still to this day, according to an article by the National Academy of Sciences, your length of life depends largely on how deep and valuable your relationships are. Your relationships also affect how healthy you are!

Connection is so vital to how we feel every single day. It impacts where we spend our time, what our hobbies and passions are, even what foods we eat! Connection is the root that runs through the center of our lives.

We all want to connect – we want to have an impact on others and receive the same in return. And we all want to THRIVE in all of our relationships. But the HOW might not be so easy . . .

It All Begins With the Most Important Relationship In Your Life . . .

The most important relationship – the one that is so easily and often neglected, sometimes misunderstood, or even completely devoid of – is the relationship that we have with ourselves.

Yes, that’s right! The relationship with yourself.

You might be wondering, “Relationship with yourself? What does THAT even mean?!” Great question!

“The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.” -Toni Collette

Having a relationship with yourself – or more importantly, cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself – is the single most important thing you will do in your life. And a healthy relationship with yourself revolves around self-love.

Self-love is crucial. But what exactly does that mean? As Toni Collette has said, “The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.”


Here’s How to Cultivate a Supportive, Healthy Relationship With YourSELF:

In order to thrive in any relationship you have in life, you must first have a healthy relationship with yourself. If you love yourself, you’re able to give your best to your other relationships, and as a result – they will thrive. Yet without that key foundation, the rest of your relationships will suffer.

It all starts with building a love for yourself, creating self-care practices, cultivating self-love, and honoring yourself and your needs.

Hit the Reset Button With These 7 Self-Care Rituals to Refresh and Revitalize Mind + Body

This can involve a number of things including journaling, getting outside, taking a yoga class, or just having some quiet time alone and saying “no” to something or someone that doesn’t support you. That’s right full-fledged practices to just love yourself.

Practice Exercising Your NO Muscle and Set Healthy Boundaries for Yourself

These five are some of the most effective practices that I recommend to my clients to build a healthy relationship with yourself:

1. Slow Down!

Tune into yourself daily to check how you feel. What emotions or thoughts may be arising? Feel into that, breathe into it, and just observe.

I find setting a reminder in my phone to check in allows me to take a moment to stop what I am doing, and simply observe how I feel.

2. Create a Mantra

Think of a word or phrase that allows you to connect with your highest self, your inner truth, your being. This mantra could be “I am love” or “I love myself for exactly who I am today.”

Find something that resonates with you and speak that to yourself aloud or in your mind throughout the day. Creating a repetitive practice of doing this will slowly shift how you feel about yourself, just from how you speak to yourself. Love yourself with your words!

Need some good mantra ideas? These 5 Morning Mantras Will Transform Your Day

3. Detox

When this word gets thrown around instantly our minds go to booze. While that is certainly a great way to cultivate self-love, I’m referring to doing a digital detox.

We all spend a lot of time on screens, and few will argue that it’s not the best use of our time (particularly when it comes to hours of pointless scrolling).

Take a day per week (or if that’s too much, an hour a day) where you put the phone on silent (or even better OFF) and just BE in the present moment. Take notice of what’s around you, how you feel, the subtle beauty offered in each precious moment, and the magnificence in what surrounds you!

Too Much Screen Time? Go Unplugged With a Digital Cleanse – Here’s How In 6 Simple Steps

4. Meditate

By far, meditation is one of the most powerful tools that we have access to at any moment to tap into self-love. Take time each day to meditate, even if you only have five minutes!

Pay attention to your breath. The breath will guide you to how you are thinking and what you are feeling. Just observe.

Thoughts become things! Rewrite your thoughts. Lovingly speak kindly to yourself if something comes up that feels harmful to how you feel. That is a great way to feel into what you may feel about yourself.

Need some guidance? Practice this Guided Pranayama and Mindfulness Meditation for a Calm and Peaceful Mind (Video)

5. Write

I find journaling to be one of most incredible ways to release. We have thousands of thoughts that run through our minds and letting them out, pen to paper, is a very soothing and cathartic release.

You can think of a word to write about, or even better, just let the thoughts flow straight out with no limitations!


Why Having a Healthy Relationship With Yourself Is the Most Important Relationship

The most rewarding practice is taking time to be alone. Solo. No distractions, no objectives, no phone, no people. Simply being alone. This creates an inner foundation that becomes unbreakable.

That way, when things don’t go our way, we come back to what we have established and solidified within: Our inner self-love and appreciation for every part of ourselves.

Psychology Today states that, “Your relationship with yourself is arguably the most important relationship in life. Self-relationship is the foundation of everything else – even altruism.”

To elaborate, creating and establishing a healthy relationship with yourself is critical to development, not only in your formative years, but also as we move into adulthood.

When establishing a solid foundation, you allow yourself to develop not only better habits for self-care and self-awareness, but also how you interact with those around you in all areas of your life.


The Takeaway on the Power of Self-Love and Having a Healthy Relationship With Yourself

Here is a deeply challenging question for you to consider: If you were to remove your partner, your job, or those possessions you so love, how would you feel?

Not feeling so great? Use These 5 Practical Tips to Work Through Codependency Issues (Oh Hey Self-Love)

This is a great form of measurement to gauge whether your relationship with yourself is strong enough. And whether the love you have for yourself and the deep connection you have from within can carry you through life’s challenges and allow for healthy relationships with others.

The rippling effect of how you feel about yourself spreads far and wide to everyone you have encounters with. It is perfectly okay to be selfish in this way.

Do you love yourself? These 3 Signs Prove You’re Having a Self-Love Evolution

If you were to remove your partner, your job, or those possessions you so love, how would you feel?

What are you doing daily to learn to love you, or love yourself even more, so that you can show up as your best self for YOU and for others?

At the end of the day, only you are responsible for your happiness and for living your best life. The more you hone in on your authentic self, through love and care, healthy boundaries, and good habits, the more rewarding your life will be. And the better you’ll be able to relate with others.

So go out there and love yourself!

Would you like a little extra help with crafting a better relationship to self and others? Book a FREE coaching consultation with me and we can discuss ways that I can help.


5 Habits That Will Transform Your Life by Matt Shakir
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The post The Secret to Cultivating Healthy Relationships That THRIVE: This Life Coach Tells All appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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