WYFamily Stories

Welcome to our WYFamily Stories!

Welcome Windsor Yoga Family yogis!  We are frequently asked additional questions about living a more wholesome lifestyle so we thought that we would share our "stories" from time to time.  We will host different people within the studio to share their information and opinions on yoga, holistic health, meditation, relationships, and everything about living the best life!

Please join us on this beautiful journey!
Three Breath Hug......and other mindfulness tools

Does your child (or yourself) have moments of emotional outbursts? I learned about the Three-Breath Hug from the book Breathe Mama Breathe and it has made a significant difference in how my daughter and I deal with our emotions. While hugging your child, take three deliberate, synchronized, deep breaths together. Drop your shoulders and relax any muscles that feel tight. Let go and feel the tension melt away. Teach the hug to your kids and your partner. Little ones love it and teenagers secretly do too. Use it as you say good-bye in the morning, when you recognize that your child could use a calming hug or just for the love of it. You never know when they will surprise you and offer a much needed three-breath hug to dear old mom. (Breathe Mama Breathe 5 Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms, Shonda Moralis, MSW, LSCW)

"When you hold a child in your arms, or hug your mother or husband, or your friend, if you breathe in and out three times, your happiness will be multiplied at least tenfold." -Thich Nhat Hanh

I am in no way a 'perfect parent' nor do I have a 'perfect child' but I do have some mindfulness techniques that I like to use with my daughter when she gets really frustrated......the 3 breath hug is usually our main 'go to' tool!  Sometimes when she recognizes that she is upset, she will even come give me a 3 breath hug and I soak up every second.

Mindful Moments
We also have an area in our rarely used formal dining room with two meditation cushions where we take Mindful Moments.  Some may call these a "time out" but I try to put a more positvie and solution based spin on it.  If my daughter is really upset or if she is acting inppropriately, we go calm our minds and bodies, together.  If she is overwhelming crying, screaming and emotional, we use a timer for 3 minutes (since she is 3 years old) and it gives her a specific timeframe to just visually and physically understand how long she should sit and calm down.  If she is in a calmer state, we often read the book  "Peaceful Piggy Meditates" which permanently resides with the bolsters.  It is an adorable simple book that shares morals about breath, being 'loving and kind to all beings', bravery, and enjoying simple things like 'raindrops racing down the window' that instantly provides a sense of calmness for her.  Some days, my daughter just wants to sit on the bolsters and read books and take breaths on her own as well.  I have found that this technique not only helps her calm down but it also keeps me more sane and not screaming back.....as much ;0)
Either way, as a discipline or as a daily healthy practice, I believe its good for her to express her feelings and find a positive and healthy way to manage her emotions. 

-Kati Thompson

Follow Kati @Namaste_Mamaste

Hot Yoga!
Have you ever wondered why our Heating Green hot yoga room is the best!?!?!? And how it can help you with your health and fitness goals!?!?

Why and How Infrared Works
Infrared or radiant heating is simply the transfer of heat from a warm object to a cooler object. The heat is a product of a completely safe spectrum of light that is invisible to our eyes.  Just as the sun heats us our products radiate sun-like warmth to indoor or outdoor spaces, floors, and furniture, rather than heating the air.  For example, our heating panels and REH CeramiCircuit heaters emit heat via long wave far infrared (FIR) energy, while our Infratech heaters produce a medium wave infrared using a quartz element to transfer heat.  These technologies amount to safe, clean, low-cost energy that’s friendly to people and to the environment.  By comparison, systems like forced air, baseboard, and wall heaters only heat the air. Because warm air rises in the presence of cooler air, the heated air can be easily sucked away by drafts or wind, and must be replaced frequently by more heated air in order to sustain ambient comfort. This all amounts to wasted energy and higher heating bills.

Infrared radiant heat also offers a variety of health benefits over traditional heating systems:
Reduces dust/emissions – Unlike forced air heating systems, our infrared radiant heating panels do not blow dust or allergens. They do not release any emissions, chemicals or pollutants and help keep the air in our studio clean and clear.
Therapeutic relief – Odds are you have experienced the soothing feeling of warm summer sun on your skin. Our heaters, like the sun, produce radiant heat waves which work to heat up water. Because the human body is made up of mostly water, this infrared heat transfers extremely effectively and can help gently increase blood circulation, rid the body of toxins and even provide pain relief.

Heating Green LLC  https://www.heatinggreen.com/
More information on The Incredible Healing Power of Infrared Saunas: https://goo.gl/4KWDcu

More information on Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications: https://goo.gl/mhkVtT

More information on how Saunas Improve Athletic Performance: https://goo.gl/4rdS7P
How To Start Yoga: 6 Tips to get you on the mat

I’ll never forget my first yoga class. I was an awkward, overweight 17-year-old with bad knees and worse self-esteem. A new hot studio had opened right by my high school, and a friend of mine and I decided to give it a shot. I remember walking into the balmy entryway and being greeted by a glistening, sculpted woman who could probably hold a plank longer than I could hold a train of thought. As we hid with our mats at the back of the room, I was already making excuses in my head about why I wouldn’t be able to come back- “I’d rather work out on my own.” “My degenerative menisci can’t handle this.” “These classes don’t fit with my schedule.” - not one of which being the truth: “I’m afraid of failing.”

But class started and I didn’t fail. I certainly didn’t belong on the cover of Yoga Journal, but I hung in there, following along with the verbal cues and watching the other students in the room as they twisted their bodies into beautiful shapes. When class ended, I signed up for an unlimited first month, willing myself to become stronger, healthier, and to be able to master some of the unreal poses that I saw in that first class.

When I walked into my first class, I never imagined that I’d be where I am today. I get questions and comments all the time about my yoga practice, often hearing “How do I even get started?” Here are some tips to get the ball rollin’ and have you yogin’ like there’s no tomorrow.

1. Find a Beginners Workshop
When you’re first starting out, there’s nothing quite as valuable as having a professional guide you through some basic poses. Beginners workshops are a great place to start because they take the time to break down each pose, getting into the nitty-gritty to create the best foundation to allow your practice to grow. Rather than baptism by fire and trying to keep up in a class with no prior knowledge, a workshop allows you to slow it down, ask questions, and really feel what each pose is supposed to feel like. And seriously, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Even your teacher was a newbie once, and they’re trained and equipped to answer any questions you may have about to keep you safe and excited to grow as a student.

2. Explore Different Classes, Styles, Studios, and Instructors
Don’t assume that because you disliked one yoga class at the YMCA in 2006 that yoga is not for you. Yoga comes in so many different styles, from flowing, high-energy vinyasa classes to restorative classes that take place entirely on the ground (and just about everything in between). Finding a good yoga fit is so essential in developing a strong practice; if you don’t feel comfortable with a studio, instructor, or class, it will impact your experience.

Like any good investment, it may take a little shopping around to weed out what you do and do not like. Some people prefer music during their classes while others prefer silence. Some like a 105* Bikram experience while some would rather practice in a calmer, cooler environment. The possibilities are nearly endless; take the time to explore and find what works best for you and your body.

3. Know What You Need
Now that you’re exploring every yoga studio in your town, make sure you come prepared for class. The last thing you want is something as simple as your outfit to throw you off the rails. Wear soft, movable clothing to stay comfortable during your practice. I prefer to wear a tighter top to avoid my pasty, pasty midsection making an appearance every time I forward fold (ProTip: when buying tops, do a couple poses that bring your head below your hips in the changing room. Downward Dog is a great tester to see how well a top will stay in place!) Whatever makes you comfortable, wear something that won’t prohibit you from bending forward, reaching your arms overhead, or lunging. Leave your shoes and socks at the door; there’s no need for them.

Most studios have mats to borrow or rent and props (such as blankets, blocks, and straps) to use. As you get further in your practice, it’s worth investing in a hardier mat that will stand the test of time. Use your beginner’s curiosity to explore different brands of mats, ask your instructors or even other yogis before or after class- most people love to talk about their preferred brands (so long as you don’t interrupt any meditation). Personally, I use The Mat from Lululemon and I really like it. It has a good grip that keeps me from slipping around during class. It’s definitely worth getting reviews from others or online before diving in- some mats are quite a bit more expensive than others and it’s crucial to your wallet and peace of mind to know what you’re getting ahead of time.

4. Scour the Internet
Be it from finances or scheduling, I understand that going to classes is not always the most accessible option for everyone. Luckily, we have unlimited access to tutorials and home practices via the power of the Internet. If you’r feeling overwhelmed with choices, Yoga with Adriene is an awesome starting point. She speaks to the postures really well to allow you to both watch and listen to find better alignment in your poses. She has a ton of different videos for everything from 5-Minute Morning Yoga to Power Yoga to Yoga for Heartbreak. Here’s her Yoga for Complete Beginners flow.

Just like in-person classes, tutorial videos all have their own lil somethin’ somethin’ to offer. If Adriene’s not your jam, simply try searching “Yoga for Beginners” in YouTube and see what you find!

5. Trust Yourself
Nobody knows your body like you do. It’s important, especially in the beginning, to listen to your body over your ego. If the teacher calls a pose that causes shooting pain, numbness, or tingling, back out of it right away. There’s no shame in asking for a modification to help you access the intended muscles while keeping yourself safe. Remember: there’s a difference between discomfort and pain. Feeling a deep stretch or shaky quads on a long hold are the good kind of discomfort where changes and strengthening start happening. Feeling stabbing, shooting, radiating or swelling point to a deeper problem and can lead to more serious injuries if ignored. Finding the balance is paramount in developing your safe, yet strong practice.

Note: If you have any injuries that may impair your practice, let your instructor know ahead of time so that they know how to best tend to your yoga needs.

6. Cut Yourself Some Slack!
As you start your yoga journey, remember that it’s a new endeavor. Try to remember the first time you drove a car- you didn’t just hop behind the wheel of your mom’s station wagon and drive across the country. Any time you work towards building a new skill, the first few or 100 times can be challenging and frustrating. But, with every new effort you make, the closer you get to mastering it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will be your strong, personal practice.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and yog!

Follow Molly @MoshaYoga

Ayurvedic way of eating

Have you ever had one too many cups of coffee and felt shaky as a result? Or maybe you ate a large plate of fried food and felt heavy, full & sleepy as afterward?

In the western world, we’re all fairly familiar with counting calories and carbs, with measuring out macros, and balancing protein & knowing how many grams of fat are in our food when it comes to dieting. But Ayurveda—often called yoga’s sister science—-teaches other ways of understanding how what we eat affects our bodies.

One Ayurvedic way of eating takes into account the energetic qualities the food gives you, called Gunas. In Ayurveda there are 3 Gunas—sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic.

When we eat too many fried foods or drink too much wine or alcohol, we feel tamasic—dull, heavy, lethargic or maybe even depressed. If we feel this way, it makes it difficult to have the energy to workout or be the kind of person we want to be! It also may influence us to crave energy, so we reach for foods that have rajasic qualities like coffee or sugar. This may seem to give us energy, but it’s generally not sustainable & tends to have less than healthy side effects in other ways.

So how do we find true, sustainable energy that allows us the energy to feel good, to move our bodies, to work, to sleep well? We try to eat in a sattvic way. Interested in learning how? Come try our Yogi Cleansing program!


Here is a taste of one of our featured recipes from our Yogi Cleansing program:
Sweet Potato “Toast” Topped with almond butter, toasted buckwheat and blueberries
*Two large baked sweet potatoes *Unsweetened almond butter *Toasted buckwheat (can be found in the bulk section of your natural foods store) *Blueberries (Frozen and heated are fine) *Pinch Cinnamon
Bake the sweet potatoes at night on a cookie sheet at 375 until they are firm, but soft enough to easily stick a fork in. Let them cool overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, slice and reheat them---if you have a toaster oven, that may be easiest. Then top with a generous slather of almond butter, sprinkle with cinnamon & toasted buckwheat, and toss blueberries over the top.

Keri Hanson

Follow Keri @WithLoveFromColorado