Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Caregiving - Yoga Flava Style | Self Care First

Photo taken early 1970's me (Robin Downes) and my Dad (Bill Downes)
The best advice I have received once I let people know that I needed to increase my role as caregiver for my Dad, was to make sure to take care of myself and to get as much help as I can.

Self Care First !

Never give from the depths of your well but from the overflow - Sufi

Put your own oxygen mask on first.

It has been delightful to utilize the tools I created (videos) to help me cope with stress.  I hope you still find them useful too.  Who else is a caregiver? Leave a comment below, on my FB page or email me robin@yogaflava.com  As always, sending positive vibes, Robin

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Celebrating 20 Years! Continue to join the journey.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Time To Align With Summer Solstice 2017 - Yoga Flava Style!

It's time to align with a new season, Summer officially starts on Wednesday, June 21st.  I love the feeling of being in sync with the sunrise on the summer solstice in Times Square.

Being in alignment with the different seasons and the patterns of nature, and by syncing with their rhythm, we too can tap into our own unique flow.

Doing this allows us to maximize our potential and helps to bring a sense of belonging into our world. Summer can be an exciting time to renew, grow, expand, change and refresh our being.

If we use this time wisely, we too can cultivate our own sense of abundance and possibility.

Here is one of my favorite Videos for Strong Summer Arms. Check it out and subscribe to Yoga Flava TV:

Here are 6 Ways To Prepare For The Perfect Yogic Summer !

1. Diet

Help out bodies transcend out of winter mode, by eating a healthy fresh balanced diet, which includes getting plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Drinking lots of water and herbal teas also help to give the body a boost. summer is the time to cleanse, so make the most of all the wonderful foods around at this time.

2. Breathe

Think of all the pollution and pollen in the air. By adopting an ancient yoga breathing technique known as Kabalbati we can cleanse the lungs physically, giving them a summer clean. Kabalbati is also said to help release old stuck emotions. After all, to allow in the new we need to make space by clearing out anything that doesn’t serve us. Method: sit up tall, crossing the legs at the shins or sit on a chair if you have knee problems. Remember to relax the face and jaw. Take a deep inhalation through the nostrils then, exhale starting a pumping action from below the navel. As you exhale you draw in the belly. If you are doing this right the inhalation will occur naturally as all you have to do is focus on the exhalation. Do this for a mental count of between15- 25 repetitions with the eyes closed and between each set take five slow deep breaths. Repeat several times and build up the time gradually.

3. Walking

Walking can also be used as an active meditation. Method: Try walking for twenty minutes either in nature or in a park if you live in a city. For the first ten minutes use all you senses as you move. Be very aware of how you are walking, feel each footstep, stand tall and ask yourself how the air smells, what does it tastes like? What does the ground feel like to touch, what noises do you hear and what can you see?
For the last ten minutes is more about going within. Use your breathing to help you with this. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly through the nose. Feel what it feels like to be within your own body, your own flesh and skin, and be as present to this as you can as you make your steps.
Walking is a good pastime to get new ideas for any projects or plans you have.
It can also help to journal your experiences.

4. Make a dream board

Method: Find all your old magazines, a large sheet of paper or card, some scissors and glue. Sit quietly and ask your higher self what you would really like out of life. Imagine yourself achieving this. Take your time. Try not to wish for just more money (if that is what you feel you are lacking) but rather tap into the feeling of what that would mean for you, e.g. a sense of being financially secure or perhaps freedom. Slowly enjoy the process as you find pictures that resonate. If you desire is to have a new relationship or job then again think of what that feels and means for you. A good idea is to put the board somewhere you can see it every morning so
that you can start to imagine the life you would like. It works well if you also remember to express gratitude for what you already have.

5. Yoga twists

Yoga twists detoxify the internal organs as well as giving the back and the abs a good stretch. Never do twists if you think you may be pregnant or have blood pressure problems.
Warm up with the breath exercise, followed by some sun salutations and then sit tall on a yoga mat.

Method for Marichyasana III
Sit up with the legs extended in front of you. Make sure the chest is lifted and if you find it hard to sit this way, then sit on a block. Bottom leg is straight and not collapsing inwards.

Bend the right leg and cross it over the extended left leg so the foot is on floor as close to the other leg as comfortable. Flex the extended foot and ground the body on the floor as you lengthen the spine upwards. Inhale and as you exhale bend the left elbow bringing the arm in front of the bent right thigh. Inhale and lengthen as you twist the torso to look over right shoulder. Make sure your neck is long so you are not sticking the chin out too much. Keeping this shape press the figure tips of the left hand to the floor with the arm extended behind you. With each breath feel as if the torso lengthens and with each exhalation you surrender a bit further into the pose. Then hold comfortably for five breaths. Come out gently and repeat on the other side.

6. Start a new hobby or join a new group

Nothing develops us more than trying something new. Stepping out of your comfort zone is great for personal development. It helps to build courage. If you are short of time perhaps free up some space by dropping something that no longer serves you. If you need a little inspiration see the website www.meetup.com for ideas.
Finding your natural rhythm can help you to feel renewed, refreshed and put a summer back into in your step. Enjoy!

 Read more Yoga Flava Articles:

Celebrating 20 Years! Continue to join the journey.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

5 Tips To Customize Your Holiday Body, Mind and Spirit With Yoga Flava!

Halloween is over, ration out the candy for your cheat days and customize your holiday body, mind and spirit: 2016 Holiday Ease with Yoga Flava.

Set your wellness intentions for the upcoming holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Get ready with a sense of "Holiday Ease" for those family and holiday party photo opportunities!

1. Keep, discard and / or create family and friend traditions.

Be honest, what is working for you, your family and friends?

2.  Plan and budget.

Where will you spend the holiday and with whom? 

3. Reflect

What can you reflect on from the past year with an attitude of gratitude?

Please share with me in the comment section and / or reflect for yourself in a journal.

In November, I celebrate 20 years of being a Yoga Instructor.  I will be celebrating by sharing posts on Throw back Thursdays that feature "Yoga Flava Family Focus: Betts Twins / Radha Ruiz (Raww Flava)"  and 20th Anniversary Yoga Flava.

4. New Year, New You (2017)

Who are you creating yourself to be in 2017?

5. Create a peaceful and joyful holiday season.

Take time to prepare and visualize the outcome you desire. Is there an outfit that you want to look your best in?  What body weight do you need to be.  Do you need to cultivate a calm persona?  Selfcare is essential to cultivating peace and joy.

Reach out for a FREE telephone consultation by emailing to schedule your phone appointment: robin@yogaflava.com

Sign up for your private / customized 2016 Fall into Holidays prep :

Yoga Flava HOLIDAY EASE Package:

Gift certificates available!  Feel free to reach out directly for your customized package: robin@yogaflava.com

I will be posting on the Yoga Flava Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Page.  Please like and share the posts.  If you have not done so already, please sign up for the Yoga Flava Newsletter
Thank you for sharing your practice with me.  Sending positive vibes...
Robin Downes
Yoga Flava

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Happy National Yoga Month - FREE YOGA CLASS

Happy National Yoga Month! During the month of September claim your free private Yoga Flava session @yogaflava with @robindownes Choose via Skype or the Yoga Flava Sanctuary on the upper west side in NYC. Email: robin@yogaflava.com Subject: Free Session. I look forward to practicing with you. 🙏🏾

Yes, I need to start planning for Fall, however, Fall does not officially start until September Thursday 22nd. Therefore, I’m going to be grateful for the month that I have left of summer in NYC first of all ... then pace myself with my plans for the Fall. I say all this to say that I found myself getting anxious for the Fall and neglecting the joy that is still to be found ... right now ... this summer. 
Countdown to Fall Fresh Start 2016... plan to take advantage of the remainder of the season. Consciously being in sync with the official change of season, which is a great time to cleanse your body, mind and spirit.
I will be posting everyday in September on the Yoga Flava Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Page.  Please like and share the posts.  If you have not done so already, please sign up for the Yoga Flava Newsletter

Thank you for sharing your practice with me.  Sending postivie vibes...
Robin Downes
Yoga Flava

Read more Yoga Flava Articles

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Vibrant Nation Experience

Shelly Zurek, Liz O'Donnell, Robin Downes, Zipporah Sandler
I am participating in a VIN (Vibrant Influencer Network) campaign. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Athleta and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. 
I have always had delightful experiences when visiting the community at Vibrant Nation. Vibrant Nation is the leading community of women 45+ - they really DO understand! I enjoy looking through the content and sharing my thoughts with the community.
I was very lucky to be selected to participate in a Vibrant Nation experience. It included shopping for athletic clothing for a yoga event with fellow bloggers, going to dinner, and then attending a yoga event!
During the Vibrant Nation experience, I was able to meet other bloggers from across the country.  How marvelous to enjoy the company and wisdom of mature likeminded women.
It was great to learn about other bloggers, as VN treated us to Zero Otto Nove, an Italian restaurant. We shared stories from our unique perspectives and engaged with our "vibrant" personalities.

Vibrant Nation's staff are sincerely tuned in to their audience and work diligently to inspire, empower and provide quality content. The content goes beyond their powerful online presence to intimate in-person settings.
Vibrant Nation treated myself and fellow bloggers with an outfit from Athleta so that we could feel well dressed for an aerial yoga event we were attending the next day. As you know, I teach yoga so I was very excited for this opportunity.  When I walked in the store, the shopping experience provided us with a personal connection to the Athleta brand quality customer service.
My first introduction to Athleta was during my participation in the Solstice In Times Square 2014: Athleta Mind Over Madness YogaThe volunteers got great outfits sponsored by Athleta and I would browse the Upper West Side, NYC Store.
The Athleta staff in the Flatiron, NYC store with the Yoga studio below, was very helpful.  Once they saw me selecting several items, they took the selections and set up a dressing room for me.  While in the dressing room, the staff kept checking on me and bringing me alternative sizes and styles to meet my specifications in an outfit.

Yes, I showed off my new tank top and legging from Athleta at the Solstice in Times Square event June 21, 2016.
I will definitely shop at Athleta again; they are the kind of athletic gear facility that makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. I recommend Athleta to my yoga students who are looking for quality clothing to practice in.
At the yoga event we were treated to a light breakfast while enjoying a meet and greet. The aerial yoga session was amazing and challenging; your muscles are really tested.  It was my first time trying it and it evoked my childhood gymnastics days and my 20-year yoga practice.  I surprised myself with the amount of strength I did have to pose for the awesome photo shot of me in an Aerial Yoga split!
 I am so grateful for the Vibrant Nation Network and highly recommend other bloggers to connect with likeminded women engaging this nation of empty nesters, midlife entrepreneurs, mothers of adult children, caregivers, and business leaders. VN is professionally run by a caring and dedicated staff.  VibrantNation.com is the leading online community for women over 45 – the place where they connect and support each other on issues unique to their stage of life, including fashion, beauty, family, work, relationships, health, fitness, money, and sex.  I look forward to continuing to contribute and grow with the Vibrant Nation Network.

I am participating in a VIN campaign. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Athelta and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

I am participating in a VIN campaign. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Athelta/Abbott and do not earn a commission or percent of sales