by Janice Lennard
I am convinced that there is a direct parallelism between spirituality and fitness. Indeed, the foundation and centeredness achieved through regularly practiced physical activity is attributed to the interlacing of spirituality throughout the entire experience of exercise.
The commonalities of spirituality and fitness include, but are not limited to:
Discipline, Commitment, Focus, Mindset, Lifestyle and The ability to say “no.”
The aforementioned list most certainly has room for improvement and modification, but don’t we also have room for improvement and modification? After all, our bodies are constantly changing, and we modify our actions and behaviors to accommodate the continuous changes we experience throughout our lives. It is through disciplined exercise and a spiritual mindset that change is embraced rather than feared. Continue reading
It’s common to feel distracted after a long day, but sometimes this can put your mind in a different place entirely when you’re trying to focus on relaxing your mind, body, and soul. Yoga and meditation have come a long way in recent years and with the help of some new technology, you may be able to get the most out of this time with yourself. The following tech can help you correct your posture, breathe, relax, and keep track of the progress you make while meditating and doing yoga. Continue reading
At breakfast this morning, my family was reflecting on our summer. “The highlight of summer so far,” my elder daughter, Tara (13 years old), said, “was attending the World Games for the Special Olympics.”
My family is incredibly blessed, and our summer has included concerts, Broadway shows, world travel, lots of good food, relaxation, Disneyland and many other highlights. As my younger daughter, Leela (11 years old), nodded enthusiastically, I was moved by what an extraordinary statement they were making.
We attended the Opening Ceremony of the World Games for Special Olympics last weekend. The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities that provides year-round training and competition for 4.4 Million athletes in 170 countries.
A few weeks ago while in Washington D.C. with my father, I attended a private dinner with Tim Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics. Tim was passionate and articulate about the event, as well as dispelling some of the assumptions even we had about people with intellectual disabilities. Tim is truly a humble champion for people with intellectual disabilities, and the Shriver family must be applauded for taking an event that his mother, Eunice Shriver, started over 40 years ago and making it into a global social movement that it is today. As written about in this NY Times piece, Special Olympics and The Burden of Happiness, there is a long way still to go. The World Games truly felt like a Utopian world, and the stark reality for many of these people is very different and one is reminded of the need to champion human rights for all. Continue reading
Read my intent on intent.com here!
In 2004, I traveled to India for the first time. During my month-long exploration, I found myself enchanted by the colors, spirituality, and rich cultural heritage of the country, and simultaneously shocked by the poverty, especially in the slums of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), my first destination.
I resolved to make a difference…
Then, on only my second day in India, I stumbled across The HOPE Foundation, an NGO founded by Maureen Forrest, an Irish woman who believes that her life “belongs to the whole community.” HOPE has many fantastic programs to help the most abandoned and destitute residents of Kolkata: Its street kids and slum dwellers. I visited their hospital, which serves the poorest of the poor; their free medical clinic located in the slums; a restaurant where HOPE residents learn to cook, serve, and run the business; the skill center where people with no employment opportunities can train in media and fashion; and two of the homes where street kids come to live and learn. Continue reading
My lifestyle is all about clean eating; enjoying fresh, whole and organic foods – not processed foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s about eating what makes you feel good. It’s not about eating bowls of kale every day because you’ve heard it’s good for you. And it’s not about being skinny. That’s not what being healthy is about. Being healthy IS about balance and happiness. I don’t put a label on myself; I’m not vegan or vegetarian or paleo. I eat what my body wants and what feels good, obviously steering clear of processed foods and incorporating lots of healthy fats in every meal along with protein and fiber. I eat clean because of my chronic health story and because my body reacts severely if I accidentally eat foods that don’t agree with me such as gluten, dairy, sugar and soy. When I removed these foods and starting eating organic, I felt amazing. It’s incredible what happens and how your perspective on life changes when you go through such a traumatic health experience alone. Eating clean can be very simple and it can be done with just a few minor changes. Continue reading
Why putting yourself first is the best choice for everyone.
We all experience moments when we feel torn between doing what we desire, and doing what we think is in the best interest of another. Sometimes we forget that those that love us also want what is best for us, and the best thing we can do is set the tone by making self-care a priority. Here’s what I mean…
I found myself in an interesting position this morning. I planned on taking a yoga class this morning, which I love and feel is an important component of my self-care on all levels. But last night my boyfriend and I got into an intense discussion, which left me feeling worried for him, wanting to care for him and make it all better. When I woke-up I found myself torn between my desire to go to class, and a thought that I should stay in bed and make sure he felt cared for.
It’s not as though an extra-long cuddle was in any way unappealing to me, yet I projected my mind a couple hours ahead, and could feel a nagging sense of disappointment that I didn’t stick to my plan to go to class. And not because I wanted to adhere to the plan, but because I could feel how badly my body wanted a led yoga session. Yet I still felt torn…and guilty. Continue reading
When summer comes along, and the warm sun and blue skies banish the gloom of winter back whence it came, it’s normal for us all to want to look our best. Everyone naturally puts on a few pounds in winter, between the claustrophobic confines causing our exercise routines to suffer, and the body’s natural storing of fat when cold weather rolls around.
Not only do we feel better physically and emotionally for putting the work into a summer exercise routine – our health and longevity benefit as well. Still, as the mercury rises in those thermometers, many of us fall short of our fitness goals, owing to how back breaking and tedious exercise can often be. Continue reading
Much like the ocean, the mind is a vast world inside of our bodies- we have yet to fully understand it’s depths or its full power. Scientists still seek to understand the full effects of nature versus nurture, the distant impacts of our family tree on our behavior or how exposure to artificial light is changing our sleep patterns. Mental health has been a huge subject in our world recently as all sorts of variables (diet, hormones, random acts of God, etc) collide in creating sometimes highly volatile moments of experience. We are getting used to words like “depression” or “bipolar disorder” because we’re finding countless more friend, family and colleagues who live with them. If no one comes to mind, it is reported that 14.8 million adults in the US are affected by depression in any given year.
So what do we do? Continue reading
Whether it’s the pressure of bathing suit season or all the beautiful tropical fruits out at the grocery store right now, we like to think of this as Smoothie Season! Strawberries, bananas and some ice cubes will get you there but why stop with the basics when the internet has so much more adventurous recipes to offer? Here are some of our favorite smoothies on the internet today! Continue reading