First Thought Photo: Your Experiences Are Different From Others’

By Alicia Sparks

This post is part of the Your Body, Your Mind “First Thought Photo” series. The point of the series is simple: share your first thought upon seeing this photo. Of course, the rules are flexible :) Share your second, third, and fourth thoughts, too, if you want!

Happy Friday, sweet readers!

Even if you still have to work (like me), I hope you’re enjoying your summer vacations so far. Actually, as you read this, I’m either soaking up some sun on the beach or sipping rum from an umbrella drink. Or, maybe I’m out at a nice restaurant or cruising a strip from some tacky-yet-irresistible souvenirs.

Or, maybe I’m…

You get the point.

I could be doing anything, and still enjoying myself as much as the next person…who could be doing something completely different.

That’s the great thing about experiences — we all experience them differently.

When was the last time YOU took a trip, read a book, or even listened to a speech and took away from the experience something completely different than did someone else?



Best Yoga Music: 20 (Non-Traditional) Yoga Songs to Get Your Downward Dog On

By Alicia Sparks

I recently fell in love with Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band. My favorite yoga instructor plays them during every one of my favorite yoga classes, and eventually I started playing them at home while I practice (or work, or clean, or whatever — like I said, I fell in love with them!).

However, there are several other bands I like to listen to as I get my Chaturanga on, and…

…most of them are fairly…eh, I don’t want to say “commercial,” but they’re definitely more commonly heard on the radio than Sean Johnson.

So, given how easy it is to “discover” an old song and give it new purpose, I thought I’d share with you some of my best yoga music! Here are 15 artists I like to play while practicing yoga.

(I’ll even throw in a song or two to get you started ;) )

Continue reading… »



Help Raise Funds for The Bipolar Parenting Project!

By Alicia Sparks

money.jpg

NOTE: The following is a courtesy post for fellow Psych Central blogger Rebecca Moore. For more information about Rebecca, please visit her websites rebeccamoorestorms.com and the Bipolar Parenting Project.

Fellow Psych Central blogger Rebecca Moore, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder three years ago, has decided to turn her Bipolar Parenting Project into a non-profit organization.

Continue reading… »



Why My Boyfriend Told Me to “Just Go!”

By Alicia Sparks

I’m running a 5k tomorrow and I’m extremely nervous about it.

Maybe “nervous” isn’t the word. Maybe “anxious” is better.

So, I’m extremely anxious about it.

Continue reading… »



Monthly Meditation: Declare Your Independence

By Alicia Sparks

free-and-brave

This Friday, we’ll celebrate the Fourth of July here in America. The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, marks our country’s independence from Great Britain (or, the United Kingdom) back on July 4, 1776.

Imagine that! An entire country celebrating its independence from an entire other country. Wow!

Of course, it didn’t happen overnight. The United States of America fought hard for its freedom from England.

These days, we celebrate all that hard fighting and winning with fireworks, parades, barbecues, and other merriment.

If you live here in America, you enjoy that freedom — generally. That doesn’t mean you don’t suffer from other sorts of enslavement or dependence. Maybe it’s upon another person, an addiction, or a mental illness. Maybe it’s anxiety or depression, or financial insecurities.

We can be dependent upon so many things.

Spend some time this month and meditate on your dependence on — or independence from — things in your life, and then let us know, readers, what are YOU dependent on? What can YOU do to declare you independence? Or, what have you ALREADY DONE that could possibly help others?

Miss last month’s Monthly Meditation? Head over to Monthly Meditation: Surfing the Waves.



Shaking That Booty: 12 Great Quotes About Dancing

By Alicia Sparks

belly-dance

Happy Friday, dear readers!

Indeed, it’s a happy one for me, because as you read this I’m packing for my first Dave Matthews Band show of 2014.

(Or, depending on when you read this, I’m coming down from my DMB rush!)

When I ordered my tickets for this show, I went with regular lawn seating.

Over the years, I’ve had tickets in the lawn, I’ve had tickets for seats (some good seats, some not-so-good seats) and even tickets in the pit. However, I’ve found some of my favorite shows have been those during which I didn’t have seats.

Why?

Because I don’t like to sit during the shows.

I like to dance.

Continue reading… »



5 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

By Alicia Sparks

BeFunky_Summer_Loading.jpg

The Summer Solstice not only is the first day of summer, but it’s also the longest day of the year. After the Summer Solstice, the days start to get “shorter” (i.e. the amount of daylight we have starts to dwindle little by little).

This year, the Summer Solstice falls on this day, Saturday, June 21, 2014, which is extremely convenient for those of us who want to celebrate!

I’ll be attending another 108 Sun Salutations event like I did back during the Spring Equinox, only, this year we’ll be outside at my city’s gorgeous park – weather permitting – so we can really salute the sun accompanied by live music and refreshments.

I can’t wait!

However, not everyone can get to a Sun Salutation event – or is even interested in yoga – so I thought it’d be nice to come up with some other fun, healthy ways you can ring in the summer months!

Continue reading… »



Friday Funday: Which Yoga Pose Are You?

By Alicia Sparks

I’m sort of obsessed with those quizzes seemingly EVERYONE posts on Facebook (c’mon, you KNOW you’ve been guilty at least once), but when this one popped up I knew I HAD to share with my fellow yogis!

It’s Fitness Magazine‘s “Quiz: Which Yoga Post Are You?”, and it only takes a few moments to complete.

I’m not all that surprised at my result: Downward Facing Dog. It’s probably my favorite pose (aside from Savasana, of course, ha!) and one I with which I find myself always striving to challenge myself just a little more.

According to the quiz:

You’re a Downward Facing Dog because you’re very patient and devoted. You’re a grounded individual, but you continue to grow and evolve; you probably have a high self-awareness for which areas in your life need improvement.

Oh, boy. Am I ever!

So, go on! Take the quiz and let us know which yoga pose you are!



Monthly Meditation: Surfing the Waves

By Alicia Sparks

surf-waves

This post is part of Your Body, Your Mind’s “Monthly Meditation” series, designed to provide readers with an idea or thought to meditate on during the month.

June kicks off summer vacation and for many of us, that means a trip (or several, depending on where you live!) to the beach.

Ah, the beach. Most of us associate it with relaxation, rejuvenation, and maybe even some recreation — like surfing.

Author Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Wait, why would we want to stop the waves? Aren’t the part of the fun?

Continue reading… »



The Best Way to Hold Yourself Accountable: Get a Friend

By Alicia Sparks

accountable-horses.jpg

If it hadn’t been for one of my friends, I probably wouldn’t have made it to a yoga class last week.

Actually, I’m pretty sure I absolutely would not have made it.

It’s not that I didn’t want to go — the class is part of a series I’ve been waiting on for a while and so I really, really wanted to go — but for some reason I just couldn’t do it.

Continue reading… »



 
 

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