Better Yourself in the New Year

A new year is the perfect opportunity to take a fresh look at your life and re-evaluate what you’d like to accomplish – both physically and mentally – during the coming year.

From committing to healthier habits like eating better, drinking more water and sticking to a workout routine to discovering new ways to be your best self and giving up a bad habit or two, some simple tips and products can help you take action toward boosting your overall well-being and reaching your resolutions.

To find more tips and tricks for improving your life this year, visit eLivingToday.com.

Healthy Hydration

When considering a New Year’s resolution to drink more water, a commitment to drinking cleaner, healthier and great-tasting water is essential. Consider using the easy-to-install PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System to fill up a reusable water bottle, make smoothies, wash fruits and vegetables and more. It’s certified to reduce more than 70 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead – more than any other brand, according to NSF. Learn more at PUR.com.

Be Your Best Self

If you feel as though you aren’t truly who you want to be, or if you dream of a better life, now is the time to turn your dream into reality with “Best Self” by Mike Bayer. Chock-full of revealing quizzes and provocative questionnaires, the book can empower you to embrace your authenticity, acknowledge what is holding you back and help you break through to live a passionate life to the fullest. Find more information at CoachMikeBayer.com/Book.

Sized for a Snack

Put a plant-positive twist on new year’s resolutions by snacking on nutritious foods like Kale and Quinoa Bites from Yves Veggie Cuisine. Ideal for sharing with friends and family or as a quick snack, just pop in the oven for 10 minutes to enjoy a crispy, tasty bite that’s gluten-free, low in fat and a good source of fiber. With two superfoods joining forces, the bite-sized treat can help keep appetites at bay without sacrificing flavor. Find additional healthy snacking ideas at yvesveggie.com .

Sip a Protein-Packed Shake

One of the difficulties in healthy eating is getting great-tasting lean protein. For an easier nutritional choice, consider Premier Protein’s 11-ounce shakes, packed with lean protein ideal for breakfast on-the-go, an afternoon snack or a post-workout boost. They contain 30 grams of protein, 160 calories and 1 gram of sugar. Available in earth-first packaging, the shakes feature a resealable plant-based cap derived from sugarcane. Visit premierprotein.com for more information.

Fiber-Filled Flavor

For a protein- and fiber-rich snack low in sugar, Atkins Protein Wafer Crisps provide a light and crispy texture for a surprisingly filling treat. Whether it’s for a grab-and-go snack or afternoon pick-me-up, the wafer crisps boast 10-11 grams of protein, 4-5 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugar with three flavor profiles to choose from: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint and Lemon Vanilla. Find additional nutritious snacking options at Atkins.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
PUR

Harper Collins

Yves Veggie Cuisine

Premier Protein

Atkins

6 Tips for Seniors Getting Into Yoga  

Written by Karen Weeks, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Exercising can be done in any type of situation. Yoga, for example, is one that has many advantages. An article from Harvard Health Publishing showed that the benefits of yoga are profound. It can improve cardiovascular health, increase overall fitness, and promote a more mindful attitude. If you’re getting into yoga, here are a few tips to make it worthwhile.

Go Easy on Yourself

Regardless of your fitness level, yoga can be incorporated into your regular fitness routine. It can also be adjusted based on medical conditions you have. Don’t feel like you have to be able to do a backbend or even touch your toes. Instead, do what is the most comfortable for your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Talk with your doctor before you start a new program.

Focus on your breath

Yoga is all about the breath. Research has shown that trying different yoga breathing techniques can promote the anti-inflammatory benefits of yoga and help you get the most out of your exercise. As you breathe out, your muscles relax, which can help you with tougher poses. Focusing on your breath can also give you practice in meditation since yoga is a meditative act.

Add Stretching to Your Daily Routine

Stretching has a lot of benefits, especially if you do it regularly. You’ll ease tension in your muscles and body and become less stiff. As you work on stretching, take it slow, and don’t feel like you have to push your limits. Simply do what is comfortable and over time your flexibility will improve. Flexibility is a long journey, but it can help you prevent injury and increase mobility.

Take a Group Class for Seniors

Taking yoga in a group gives you a chance to bond with other people. You can also work closely with a trained teacher and increase the chances that your workout is a success. You’ll find a lot of people in similar situations and abilities as you. Working in a group can also help you stick to your commitment to exercise, as well as learn new methods or variations that you might not be able to find on your own. A class can help you find like-minded people who you can grow with.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation helps you focus on the present and pay attention to what’s going on with you and your body. If you deal with stress, this can help you calm yourself down and move forward. There are many different methods to practice mindfulness meditation. You can practice breathing techniques or listen to a guided meditation on an app. Start off small; five minutes is a good starting point, and then you can move onto practicing meditation for longer than that. Remember it’s called “practice” for a reason; you don’t have to be perfect.

Do It at home If You Can’t Go Out

If you are unable to leave the house, you can still do yoga at home. Yoga participants who practice at home have reported improved mindfulness, healthier BMIs, and improved overall well-being. You can find videos online to help you learn, or, if you’re lucky, a yoga instructor can come to your house to teach you. You can also have your caregiver do yoga with you or help you with some of the more difficult poses.

Yoga’s ability to help individuals manage stress and control chronic conditions is one reason it’s recommended by sources such as the Mayo Clinic. You’ll be able to enjoy increased mobility and develop a new hobby. Whether you do it at home or in a studio, yoga is for everyone.

New Wellness Travel Company Announces 2018 / 2019 Yoga Retreats

Sunny Side Up is First Travel Outfitter Focused on Wellness Retreats in Morocco

As wellness travel continues to surge in popularity, the focus of conventional wellness trips is going beyond the traditional and exploring new boundaries and horizons. Travel company Sunny Side Up is the first outfitter focused on wellness retreats in Morocco and offers spiritual, physical and mental journeys that go beyond the ordinary and bring out the extraordinary. By bringing together world-class yoga teachers with transformative cultural experiences, Sunny Side Up caters to a growing audience of wellness travelers that seek more than just yoga in their retreats and look for discovery and exploration.

Launched in February of 2018, Sunny Side Up crafts their wellness retreats based on a curated immersion into Moroccan culture. Whether it’s a boutique jazz festival in Tangiers or an artist-led graffiti workshop in Marrakech, the trips unveil the vibrant life and cultural fabric of Morocco through a different lens, while also allowing travelers to deepen and strengthen their yoga practice and disciplines. The team behind Sunny Side Up has been deeply involved with travel in Morocco since 2007 and has since developed a genuine friendship and understanding of the local community, fostering relationships with the on the ground creative forces that offer unique access to many hidden and lesser-known experiences.  Based in London, co-founders Nisma Benani and Charaf El Mansouri created Sunny Side Up to offer an authentic and purely wholesome way to experience Morocco. Nisma is a wellness warrior and certified yoga teacher and Charaf is passionate about culture which lends to a harmonious synergy of wellness and culture in all their trips.

Michael James Wong

Michael James Wong

Supported by some of the most revered wellness teachers in London, from Michael James Wong to Mona Lisa Godfrey and others, Sunny Side Up has just announced their lineup of wellness retreats starting in September of 2018 through May of 2019. Below is the just released schedule for 2018/2019:

Hotel Le Mirage · Tangiers, Morocco

Hotel Le Mirage · Tangiers, Morocco

Jazz x Yoga w/ Christian Coelho (September 19th – 23rd, 2018, Tangiers)

Joining from Rio de Janeiro, Christian Coelho will be leading this music-themed yoga adventure to the mystical town of Tangiers, its intimate jazz festival and its historic medina. Prepare for an unforgettable experience where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Pricing: £1320 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1720 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room)
  • Includes 4 nights at Le Mirage hotel, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Tangiers Int’l Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, Tanjazz Festival (Friday night), immersive medina tour in Old-Town, night out in the Casbah, 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners (includes ½ bottle wine per person), 3 lunches. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit https://sunnysideup.travel/ofjazzandjoy/.

Sufi Gnawa x Yoga with Christian Coelho (September 25th – 29th, 2018, Essaouira)

Brazil-based Christian Coelho will be leading this music-themed yoga adventure to the stunning Riad Baoussala on the outskirts of Essaouira, an ancient port town and home of the spiritual sufi Gnawa music.

  • Pricing: £1020 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room; shared twin room); £1210 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room; shared suite); £1490 private room
  • Includes 4 nights at Riad Baoussala, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Essaouira Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, hike down to a desert beach on the Atlantic Ocean, Tour of Historic Essaouira, Intro to Sufi-based Gnawa Music, 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners (includes ½ bottle wine per person), 3 lunches. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit https://sunnysideup.travel/essaouira/.

Art x Yoga with Mona Lisa Godfrey (November 17th – 21st, 2018, Marrakech)

Deepen your practice with Mona Lisa Godfrey in the magical city of Marrakech, one of Africa’s most creative cultural hubs. Meet some of the most creative local minds, practice yoga in beautiful settings, and unwind in the beautiful setting of our boutique hotel, The Source.

  • Pricing: Standard Room – £1120 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1420 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room); Suite – £1270 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1620 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room); Extra Large Suite – £1420 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1820 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room)
  • Includes 4 nights at La Source Hotel, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, meet the creatives leading the Marrakech art scene, Pottery Workshop with Bouchra Boudoua, exclusive immersion into a private artist residence, 4 breakfasts, 3 dinners (includes ½ bottle wine per person), Sunday dinner not included, 3 lunches. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit https://sunnysideup.travel/monamarrakech/.

Hiking x Yoga with Mona Lisa Godfrey (November 21st – 25th, 2018, Atlas Mountains)

From the breathtaking heights and sights of the Kasbah Bab Ourika, join Sunny Side Up for this very special yoga adventure led by Mona Lisa Godfrey to the heart of Morocco’s ancient Berber culture for an inspiring 4 nights of yoga, hiking, and meditation.

  • Pricing: Standard Room – £1260 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1710 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room); Suite – £1340 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1850 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room); Extra Large Suite – £1410 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £2010 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room)
  • Includes 4 nights at Kasbah Bab Ourika, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, 2 hikes through the Atlas Mountains, Hammam and massage, camel ride, 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners (includes ½ bottle wine per person), 3 lunches. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit https://sunnysideup.travel/monaatlas/.

Meditation & Yoga with Michael James Wong (May 26th – June 2nd, 2019, Marrakech & Atlas Mountains)

Join Michael James Wong in the magic of Morocco for a cultural adventure and an escape into the unknown. Start the journey with an immersion into the vibrant sights and sounds in the ancient city of Marrakech. With daily yoga classes & meditation, dive deep into the experience and have a great time doing it.

  • Pricing: £1490 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1949 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room)
  • Includes 5 nights at Kasbah Bab Ourika, 2 nights in a Marrakech Riad, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, Atlas Mountain hike, Marrakech Medina hustle challenge, wholesome Moroccan cooking class, 7 breakfasts, 6 dinners, 6 lunches, water and tea for all meals. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit https://sunnysideup.travel/michaeljameswong/
  • Interested travelers can reserve a spot for one of the above retreats with a small deposit of £350 which is fully refundable within 7 days. Email hello@ssulife.com or visit www.sunnysideup.travel for more information.

In an effort to give back to the local community, Sunny Side Up has partnered with Education for All (EFA) to help combat illiteracy with Moroccan women. In Morocco, 84% of women living in rural areas are illiterate. Very few girls from rural communities in Morocco get the opportunity of continuing their education after primary school. Every trip Sunny Side Up hosts funds one year of housing and education support for a girl from the Atlas Mountains. Through their partnership with Education for All (EFA), Sunny Side Up is able to provide a safe space, food and room and board close to schools, as well as tutor support to ensure all girls are able to complete their education. EFA builds and runs high-quality boarding houses for girls from 12–18. Everything is provided for free. They offer 3 nutritious meals a day, hot showers, beds, access to computers, study support via an international volunteer program and dedicated, local housemothers. The overall environment makes it easy for the girls to settle in and thrive in their studies. They see an average of 90% pass rate across all years and now have 50 EFA girls enrolled at the university.

In addition to offering set group wellness retreats, Sunny Side Up also can organize private trips and retreats for travelers. If a family getaway on the Atlantic Coast is of interest or a bachelorette party in Marrakech or a road trip to the Sahara Desert, Sunny Side Up can curate a custom-tailored trip showcasing the incredible experiences Morocco has to offer with their network including eco-lodges to the unsung heroes of Moroccan Cuisine and more. Sunny Side Up also handcrafts inspiring, hassle-free yoga retreats in Morocco. From coordinating transport and logistics, or booking activities, Sunny Side Up can handle all trip details and organize the perfect yoga retreats. From beautiful boutique hotels, off-the-beaten path experiences, authentic human interactions, and transformative experiences, Sunny Side Up can create the perfect yoga wellness retreat for yoga enthusiasts worldwide.

About Sunny Side Up

Launched in February of 2018 Sunny Side Up is the first travel company focused on wellness retreats in Morocco. By bringing together world-class yoga teachers with transformative cultural experiences, Sunny Side Up caters to a growing audience of wellness travelers that are looking for much more than just yoga in their retreats. From their headquarters in London, co-founders Nisma Benani & Charaf El Mansouri launched Sunny Side Up to offer an authentic, wholesome way to experience Morocco. They have been deeply involved in travel in Morocco since 2007 and have developed a genuine friendship and relationship with a local community of creative thinkers that offer unique access to the behind-the-scenes experiences curated by Sunny Side Up. They are supported by some of the most revered wellness teachers in London, from Michael J Wong to Mona Lisa Godfrey. www.sunnysideup.travel.

3 Things to Add to Your Summer Morning Routine

Getting a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning sounds amazing for the average person. However, the most successful people use those few extra minutes to get ahead of their peers. According to Naam Yoga Therapists, “adding a few things to your morning to-do list can change your day, week and in the end, your life.” See their tips below to make the most of your morning.

  1. Stretch: Even if only for 30 second holds, loosening up your muscles and opening your heart sets the stage for the rest of the day.
  2. Perform Shakti Naam Healing Pendulum Exercise:  The Shakti Naam Healing Pendulum Exercise bestows lifelong health benefits and is for everyone who desires a high quality of life. When practiced on a daily basis, this simple yet extraordinary practice ensures an enhanced state of health in every realm of the body, mind and spirit. The special movement of the arms used during the exercise is an expression of the great power that moves people onwards on the path of Life. It represents the awakening of the longing in the human soul for the Supreme. Raising the arms up from below symbolizes moving from the material world to the Divine World.
  3. Give Thanks: This doesn’t need to be long, but giving thanks has many positive benefits. Not only does it start your day with positivity, it opens you up to healthy, positive energy in the world.

“By taking just a couple minutes out of your morning and dedicating them to yourself, you will experience a happier, healthier and more productive lifestyle,” Naam Yoga Therapists explained. “After doing it for a few weeks, you will actually start looking forward to mornings!” Well, if that is the case, sign us up now for this morning routine!

To learn more about making the most of your mornings and being the best version of yourself, check out Dr. Levry’s newest book titled The Ultimate Secrets of Intimacy and Creation.

Hotel Ella Yoga & Mimosas

Presented by Hotel Ella + BFREE YOGA
Every Sunday @ 10:30am
Upcoming dates: June 19th & 26th

Treat yourself to some mindfulness and a mimosa this weekend. You’re invited to join Hotel Ella + BFREE YOGA for a summer-long series, Yoga & Mimosas, continuing this Sunday on the Hotel Ella veranda.

Tickets: $20/class
- 1-hour class by a BFREE YOGA instructor
- Complimentary valet parking
- A mimosa after class

BYOM bring your own mat
Sponsored by BFREE YOGA

Sukha Yoga Opens on South Lamar with Creative Classes, Retail Lounge and Teacher-Training Program

Great News!

Sukha Yoga (Sukha), an Austin-based yoga studio and destination offering creative classes, retail lounge and a teacher-training program, announced today that it has officially opened its doors for business at 2324 South Lamar Boulevard, 78704. Located adjacent to women’s clothing store, Headdress, Sukha’s 2,517 square- foot building consists of two yoga studios, a locker area and retail lounge. Complimentary parking is available for customers.

“Sukha is not just a studio – it is a destination. A place to move, dance, laugh, sing, cry, and most importantly, feel that you can be exactly who you are,” said co-owner and director, Erinn Lewis. “It brings soul, sweat and a therapeutic, heart-centered approach to clearing the mind, nourishing the body and carving out space to simply be in all of our humanity.”

The Yoga Studio

The Yoga Studio

Lewis is one of Austin’s most celebrated vinyasa flow and yin yoga instructors and has been teaching yoga for fifteen years. Her mission is to create transformative spaces for others to experience their own potential through public classes, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings, each infused with humanity and intuitive guidance. Lewis’ personal practice and teachings are inspired by her studies in Chinese medicine, ayurveda, trauma sensitive based mindfulness practices, Buddhism, yoga mythology and a love of poetry and music.

What makes Sukha Yoga unique?

“Sukha,” a Sanskrit and Pali word often interpreted to mean sweetness, bliss and ease, is illustrated with a number of uniquely sweet offerings for customers, including:

  •  Lotus FLOW™ and Lotus FLY™ classes: Sukha is the only yoga studio in Austin with instructors certified to teach nationally recognized Lotus FLOW™ and Lotus FLY™ classes. Through creative vinyasa sequencing, breath awareness and intuitive alignment, Lotus FLOW™ is a moving meditation that builds you up to set you free. Lotus FLY™ explores the fun and spirited sequences in Lotus FLOW™ packed with inversions and arm balances. These sought-after styles are growing increasingly popular in New York and San Francisco, but Sukha instructors, Leana Bloom and Jacquelynn St. Pierre, have brought this special offering to Austin.
Retail Lounge

Retail Lounge

  •  The Sukha retail lounge: Customers can purchase yoga apparel and accessories, lifestyle items, select food and beverages and various offerings from local artists, writers and photographers, from the Sukha retail lounge. Items for sale range from yoga mats to jewelry, candles to original photography; brands available include Lululemon Althetica, Manduka, Silver and Sage Jewelry, Atman Imports, Fit Fit Activewear, Ritual Union Alchemy, GrizzyLove, Purusha People, Anjali, Katasan, Synergy, Be Present, Nest Fragrances and more. Food and beverage options include JuiceLand juices and a weekly rotation of their fresh pre-packed meals and snacks, Kosmic Kombucha and coconut water. In addition, the Sukha retail lounge serves as a space that students and teachers can call their own. Sukha invites community members to use the area to meet a friend, sip a juice or grab a book from the coffee table and relax.
  • Sukha Flow 200-hour teacher training: Taking place May 9 through July 12, Lewis has designed a powerful program to transform instructors-to-be on and off the mat. Through asana, self-inquiry, group discussion and philosophy study, students will develop teaching skills that enrich personal practice and inspire spiritual life. Participants will work closely with a mentor and one another to create projects and teach in-studio community classes.

Sukha’s classes run Monday through Sunday, 8:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and include Sukha Flow, Sukha Slow Flow, Sukha Yin, Sukha Surrender, Sukha Glow, Lotus FLOW™ and Lotus FLY™. Designed to liberate your wild soul, Sukha Flow and Lotus FLOW™ are the two main styles of flow offered at Sukha Yoga. Full descriptions for each class can found at www.SukhaYogaAustin.com.

Leading these classes will be Sukha’s skilled instructors, all hand-selected for their passion, creativity and dedication to their craft, and include co-owner, Mark Herron; Jenn Wooten; Leana Bloom; Denise Deniger; Jacquelynn St. Pierre; Collette Hill; Angie Knight; Katie Volk; Erika Kluthe; Liz Vartinian; Angel Yamaguchi; Gustavo Padron and Jess Lynn O’Brien.

Sukha’s opening specials include:

  •      $30 for one week of unlimited yoga
  •      $50 for one month of unlimited yoga
  •      Founder’s pass: one full year of yoga for $990, includes one full year of yoga and 10 percent off retail items, workshops and trainings (only thirteen available). Offer ends April 1, 2015.

For more details on classes, pricing and approaching events visit www.SukhaYogaAustin.com.

10 Quintessentially Austin Things To Do This Summer That Are Totally Free

Beautiful Austin Skyline

As we celebrate All Things Summer with our current Issue of InFluential Magazine, we’re pleased others are thrilled about summer as well.

Arden Ward has published an awesome list in Culture Map that speaks to all of the free, yes you read it correctly, free things to do which are quintessentially Austin.  From a sunset atop Mount Bonnell to listening to music at Zilker Park, the choices are varied and pretty kewl.

Read Arden’s list of 10 Quintessentially Austin Things To Do This Summer That Are Totally Free and add a little spice to your summer.