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Wellness Wednesdays: 5 Amazing Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Apr. 30th 2014

We are thrilled to present the first post of our Wellness Wednesdays blog series! We have teamed up with experts in the health and wellness field to provide insight on various health topics and answer your most pressing questions. Today’s post is for all of you expecting and to-be expecting moms! We’ve brought in Amy Griffith the prenatal yoga guru to walk us through the heaping benefits of yoga during pregnancy + ENTER TO WIN Amy’s newest yoga DVD!

Meet Amy Griffith. 

Amy Griffith is a mother of 2. She is a Registered Yoga and Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor. Transitioning from a professional dance career to a yoga career was a natural shift for her. She is passionate about sharing her love of movement with others. Amy stars in her very own, “Active Prenatal Yoga” DVD. Learn more about Amy and her video at www.exercisingbalance.com.

Prenatal Yoga: Supporting You Through Pregnancy and Birth

When I was pregnant with my first child, I knew prenatal yoga would help me experience a healthier pregnancy. What I didn’t realize was how much it would support me throughout the labor and delivery that I desired. Attempting to describe all of the amazing benefits of prenatal yoga in one article is quite challenging, so I will share my Top 5 with you. If you choose to explore a regular yoga/prenatal yoga practice, you will soon discover that the lessons keep on coming. You never finish learning. How exciting is that!

ONE: Yoga during pregnancy can be strengthening, peaceful, balancing, energizing and empowering.

• Yes, pregnancy is a time when we slow down and modify our exercise. The lesson “it’s ok to slow down,” was heard loud and clear as my body changed and shifted daily! But I was surprised at how many of the foundational yoga poses I could still do even as my baby grew!

• In prenatal yoga we use props such as blocks, blankets, straps and bolsters. which offer support and comfort to each momma.

• Many of my students are pleasantly surprised at the strength and confidence they have when they move on their mat during pregnancy.

• Transitioning slowly between poses also keeps mom safe as her balance changes and joints begin to loosen with the release of the hormone relaxin.

• Remaining physically active not only helps to keep muscles toned, it can help to prevent gestational diabetes, improve circulation, regulate blood pressure and aid in digestion. So, enjoy those necessary naps, but make it a point to get up and move, even if it’s as simple as walking with a friend!

TWO: Many yoga poses can help to encourage baby to move into optimal position for birth.

• Any time we take “table top,” or hands and knees position, this can encourage baby to move to OA (occiput anterior) position. This means that the baby’s spine is towards the front of mom’s belly.

• Moving into downward facing dog or child’s pose, with the hips elevated, can encourage baby to shift into a head down position as well.

• Movement in general allows baby to continue to find the right position that they need as they grow within mom.

• The more comfortable a woman is moving on her mat, the more confident she will be moving throughout labor.

THREE: Prenatal yoga helps you recognize areas in your body where you hold tension.

• When we take an active pose, such as Warrior 2 or Chair Pose, we feel the muscles begin to “wake up.” This sensation is not always comfortable. It would be much easier to just back out of the pose. As long as your alignment of the pose is safe, there is no reason for you to escape here.

• This moment helps you recognize where you hold tension when you are in an uncomfortable situation. Maybe you clench your jaw, furrow your brow, or tighten your shoulders. We begin to recognize these triggers and release them.

• Holding an active pose for a few breaths, gives us the opportunity to notice these places of tension and we can allow them to become softened and relaxed.

• This exercise will carry mom through labor. When a contraction begins, she can feel her body completely relax, not holding onto any tension. When mom is relaxed and at peace, her body naturally manages each contraction allowing labor to progress.

• This was something I mentally and physically prepped myself for, for quite awhile. I knew I could “Let Go.” I just needed to keep reminding myself of this… daily.

FOUR: Your breath is a powerful tool, not just in pregnancy, but in life.

• When we are in a stressful situation and our adrenaline rises, our breathing becomes shortened and our heart races. Recognizing this heightened state within ourselves, we can take control, beginning with our breath.

• Notice, when you take a slow and steady breath in… then a slow, steady breath out… how much better you feel afterwards! It is almost an immediate shift.

• Our yoga practice connects movement with breath. We become so familiar with our breath and how it can help bring about calm, peace and reassurance in moments of stress or discomfort.

• Whether it is relaxing and deepening your breathing as you hold chair pose, or throughout the rise and fall of contractions, this simple, yet powerful tool can make a huge impact on your experience.

• Breathe in, breathe out, and Trust.

FIVE: Setting a positive intention is one of my favorite ways to help moms enjoy their journey through pregnancy.

• Selecting a word or short phrase that you come back to when doubt or concern creep in, can help to overcome them, enabling you to move forward with more positivity.

• My mantra, or positive intention, was the word “Trust.” I needed to remind myself to trust my body and trust my journey, even though it was unknown, throughout my entire pregnancy.

• Some other intentions a mom may choose is “I accept,” or “Let go.”

• We can incorporate this intention into our yoga practice, weaving it together with movement and breath. We believe what we tell ourselves, so why not tell yourself positive words daily throughout pregnancy?

• This time in our lives can really throw us off balance. Connecting to your positive intention on and off of your yoga mat can help bring you back to balance. There are many layers in prenatal yoga that come together to create an experience that is unique and special. Take the time to slow down, step onto your mat, move and breathe, and you will discover the intuitive knowledge you already possess. In prenatal yoga, we celebrate you, momma! We celebrate the perfect little life you are bringing into the world. There is no other gift as special.

If you are interested in developing your prenatal yoga practice and gaining more trust, please connect with us at www.exercisingbalance.com. My “Active Prenatal Yoga” DVD will guide you through these tips and so much more. I hope you will share a part of your journey into motherhood with us. All the best, amazing momma!

- Amy Griffith,  RYT, CPYT

ENTER TO WIN Amy’s Prenatal Yoga DVD! 

Want to contribute to Wellness Wednesdays? Learn more + send us a proposal!

Link to original:

Wellness Wednesdays: 5 Amazing Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

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Overnight Oats with Strawberry + Pistachio

Apr. 29th 2014

Who said oatmeal is a winter food?? These overnight soaked oats make a refreshing breakfast for the (hopefully) coming warm weather. The best part is they couldn’t be easier to make. Simply soak them overnight in the fridge, add your toppings of choice and dig in. We usually soak ours in almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk or even yogurt. It’s the perfect excuse to put your mason jars to use : )

Need some oatmeal for your overnight oats?? You’re in luck because we’re having a SALE this week… Hurry while supplies last!

Visit link: 

Overnight Oats with Strawberry + Pistachio

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Moving Sale + We’re Hiring!

Apr. 28th 2014

After four wonderful years in New York City, purely elizabeth is heading out west to Boulder, Colorado for some fresh air! In January, we started producing our products in Denver so we’re excited to have our whole operation in one location and to be Boulder locals : )

Join our team! We are hiring for two positions starting June 15th at our new offices in Boulder, CO.

Positions Available:
Sales + Marketing Coordinator
Marketing Intern

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Moving Sale + We’re Hiring!

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Sweet for Spring: 3 Seasonal Granola Combos

Apr. 23rd 2014

Start your mornings purely with these three spring recipes! What’s your favorite combo? With yogurt, almond milk, plain jane or sprinkled on top of your oatmeal? Share with us!

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Sweet for Spring: 3 Seasonal Granola Combos

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An Earth Day Giveaway!

Apr. 21st 2014

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, we’ve teamed up with some of our favorite eco-friendly companies for a sustainable swag bag GIVEAWAY!

With climate change worsening, now’s the time to make serious efforts towards reducing our carbon footprint, conserving resources and greening our cities. This year’s Earth Day focus is on helping cities around the world become more sustainable through improvements in efficiency, investments in renewable technology and regulation reform. Check out the Green Cities Campaign to learn how you can take action + support the cause in your city!

And because every little bit helps… we are giving away a sustainable swag bag stocked with reusable + toxin-free household essentials, so that you can ditch those plastic bags, water bottles and tupperware.

The Goods:

Klean Kanteen: Two Klean Kanteen Food Canisters + an 18oz Classic Steel Water Bottle in Acqua Sky.

Forget flimsy plastic tupperware with its leaks and spills–not to mention the chemicals that seep into your foods! Try these food canisters and you’ll never go back! They have an air tight seal and are made from high-quality 18/8 food-grade stainless steel–perfect for food since it won’t absorb flavors or odors. And the Classic Kanteen water bottle pretty much speaks for itself! It’s a must for keeping up with your daily water quotas and comes in an 18oz size–light enough to throw into your purse or bag. The kanteen water bottle is also made from the same high quality stainless steel–so you won’t have to worry about BPA or toxins.

BAGGU: A reusable BAGGU bag in Jade with Sea Horses.

BAGGU’s bags are constructed to minimize material waste, while ensuring high quality. These bags, made from 100% Rip-Stop Nylon, can carry up to 50lbs of groceries. Even the dyes used are environmentally responsible! The dyes are fully absorbed by the material so there won’t be any runoff into our rivers and streams. Say goodbye to plastic bags and hello to your trendy new (and machine washable) BAGGU!

+ BAGGU is hosting their own Earth Day sale with 20% off all standard BAGGUS on April 21st! Shop here + enter coupon code: EARTHDAY14 at checkout! 

Wild Mint Shop: A $10 Gift Card to Wild Mint Shop + a reusable Lunch Skins pouch (from the Wild Mint Site) to store your granola + snacks.

Meet your new go-to for the best non-toxic and eco-friendly products on the market! At Wild Mint, we are dedicated to providing the best non-toxic and eco-friendly products to help you build a healthier lifestyle and environment. We are continually learning, growing, and making sure we are as up-to-date as possible on research about harmful chemicals, new products, and green practices. We want to make change easier and hope to portray that no matter how big or small the changes you make in your life are, you are making a difference!

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An Earth Day Giveaway!

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Lemon Blueberry Crepes with a Lavender Syrup + Coconut Whipped Cream

Apr. 18th 2014

Forgo the usual pancakes and waffles this weekend and whip up a batch of these Lemon Blueberry Crepes! They taste even better than they look. We made them with a gluten-free crepe batter which you can make extra of and repurpose for a savory crepe as well, like these Curried Chickpea Crepes or these Sweet Pea and Ricotta Crepes. We topped ours with a Coconut Whipped Cream and a homemade Lavender Syrup : ) Happy brunching!

Excerpt from: 

Lemon Blueberry Crepes with a Lavender Syrup + Coconut Whipped Cream

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Purely Love For Spring.

Apr. 17th 2014

When we think of spring we think of gardening, flowers, pastels, rainy days, bird houses and farmers markets. With that in mind, we put together a roundup of all of the items on top of our spring wish list (i.e. wellies, a trendy watering can, aviator shades, a grocery tote etc.). Visit our Purely Spring Magazine for links to shop these fabulous items!

Plus, enter TODAY to win a giveaway for 2 DIY Organic Mushroom Kits + an AcquaFarm from Back to the Roots! Stay tuned for another giveaway in May from the shoe gurus over at Tieks!

Continue reading: 

Purely Love For Spring.

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A Gluten-Free Carrot Cake for Easter

Apr. 16th 2014

Incredibly moist with a toasted walnut crunch, this is a healthier spin on your classic carrot cake. We used low-glycemic coconut sugar for a sweetener, along with a gluten-free flour blend–so you can enjoy guilt-free! It’s frosted with a Coconut Whipped Cream, made simply from coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. You may want to make two loaves because this won’t last long : )

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A Gluten-Free Carrot Cake for Easter

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Giveaway: Mushroom Kits + a Fish Tank that Grows Plants

Apr. 14th 2014

One of our favorite segments in our Purely Magazines are the “Purely Loves” where we round up trendy items that we’re purely loving that season. Our latest Purely Love is very fitting for spring–gardening tools, wellys, sunglasses, florals, pastels, etc.

Two of the items that we’re REALLY excited about are these genius inventions from Back to the Roots. Inspired by the idea of turning waste into fresh, local food, Back to the Roots makes Organic Mushroom Kits and AcquaFarms that allow you to become urban farmers right out of your kitchen!

We’ve partnered with Back to the Roots to give you a chance to snag two (2) Mushroom Kits + an AcquaFarm of your own! The contest runs 4/14-4/18.

Back to the Roots:

Organic Mushroom Farm
– DIY – grow delicious oyster mushrooms at home
– Easy & Fun – just add water and harvest in 10 days!
– 100% recycled soil inside
– Recipes included – great for pastas, pizzas and soups
– Proudly grown in Michigan
– Certified 100% Organic

AquaFarm
– Self-cleaning fish tank that grows food
– Fish waste feeds the plants and plants clean the water
– Includes everything you need to get started (fish food & seeds too!)
– Made in USA

Check out the rest of our Purely Loves for spring + stay tuned for ANOTHER giveaway in May from our friends at Tieks!

Link:

Giveaway: Mushroom Kits + a Fish Tank that Grows Plants

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Insta Fun: #EatPurely

Apr. 11th 2014

As the weather gets warmer and winter becomes a thing of the past, our bodies naturally begin to crave lighter foods. Have you been transitioning your body to a lighter, cleaner diet? What are you some light spring foods that you’ve been enjoying?

Share with us! Post them on our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatpurely and we’ll repost our favorites. Just make sure to follow us on all of those medias first so we can see your posts.

Here are some of our favorite #eatpurely posts from the last few weeks:

More:

Insta Fun: #EatPurely

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