APRÈS

Après Sessions embrace embodied and progressive practices. Holistic Health. Train Your Brain. Find Your Freedom.

 

What’s next?  SESSION IT

 

Our holistic approach to optimal health and performance empowers you to discover your true potential.

 

Everything we do is about finding your freedom.

 

Why “Après”? Because “after” coaching, you will find your line.   

 

Inspired by riding mountains and surfing oceans, Après Coaching Sessions are a nod to the discipline and diligence necessary to master these epic environments, the freedom found in doing so, and the reward of post-excursion celebrations known as après-ski. Après Sessions, on and off the mountain, are holistic meaning an integrated whole experience.

 

Holistic health coaching considers the whole human system to spearhead what we find in the state of “flow” resulting in optimal performance and wellness in all realms of life.

 

Joni Madere - Teach. Coach. Consult.

 

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Filtering by Tag: stress

Superfoods That Make You Go “Ahhhhhhh”

Go-To Feel-Good Superfood List from 2015

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Turns out this list of feel-ggod superfoods from 2015 still rings true today. Once again, we can always count on plants as feel-good superfoods.

Since stress is the ultimate cause of dis-ease attributing to anxiety and depression, plus manifesting as countless physical ailments, here is a super list of superfoods to de-stress.

Plants, plus other gifts of the earth, not only appear in the Top 3, but also show up down the line in the form of teas, mushrooms, and other adaptogenic herbs.

1. Leafy Greens. Plant foods like Swiss chard and spinach are rich in magnesium, the natural “chill pill” which helps regulate the brain-adrenal gland axis.

2. Avocado. Super fruit. Great for brain health and anxiety. Contain potassium which lowers blood pressure. B Vitamins and monounsaturated fats needed for neurotransmitter and brain health.

3. Asparagus. Sulfur-rich. Contains the special B vitamin, folic acid. Low levels of folic acid, linked to neurotransmitter impairment, can lead to anxiety. Plus potassium which lowers blood pressure.

4. Foods with Tryptophan. Turkey and other poultry. Veggie options include pumpkin, potato, walnuts, cauliflower, cucumber, mushrooms, leafy greens and tomatoes. Tryptophan, one of the nine essential amino acids, is what makes us sleepy after Thanksgiving Dinner. Precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps you to feel calm. Tryptophan in the form of meat shows support of reduced anxiety disorders. Go eco as much as possible: organic; free range, grass and vegetarian fed, no GMOs, only the good stuff for your body and brain and loved ones.

5. Fatty Meat. Inflammation is one consideration when it comes to brain health and anxiety. Omega-3 fats have been shown to decrease anxiety. Omega-rich foods like wild salmon, sardines, grass-fed beef, and venison can help decrease inflammation and help cortisol and adrenaline from spiking. Go eco as much as possible: organic; free range, grass and vegetarian fed, no GMOs, only the good stuff for your body and brain and loved ones.

6. Raw Cacao. The healing benefits of cacao are miraculous. It can improve your memory, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity and create loads of energy.

Contains four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries and 119 times more than bananas. This makes it effective in fighting free radicals which cause cancer, helping to boost immunity and preventing disease at large.

Raw cacao also has the mood booster, anandamide or the "bliss molecule," helping create feelings of utopia. Additionally, phenethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins and other pleasure chemicals making it an aphrodisiac. Its chemicals also help balance mood swings, making it supportive of hormone imbalance from PMS. What’s not to love?

7. Chamomile Tea. Sip on this natural anti-anxiety medicine for its natural calming effect. This soothing, mild tea was shown to significantly decrease anxiety symptoms in just a few weeks! Recommended: organic and sustainable offerings.

8. Rooibos Tea. Rooibos, or African red bush tea, is a delicious way to bring a natural calm to your day. Researchers are looking into its effect on cortisol as it seems to have a balancing effect on this main stress hormone. Recommended: organic and sustainable offerings.

9. Full-Fat Kefir. In functional medicine, the gut is considered the "second brain" because it's home to 95% of your "feel good" hormone, serotonin. With more than 100 million neurons, your gut's health is essential to manage anxiety.

Bacterial imbalances in your gut can alter brain chemistry, and kefir, an ancient fermented dairy drink, might just be the most powerful probiotic ever. It also has fat soluble vitamins A, D and K2, all important for brain health. There are plenty of other options in the way of probiotics. Session It

10. Adaptogenic Herbs. The term adaptogen refers to plant-based compounds that promote ‘balance” within a biochemical pathway. Adrenal adaptogens, as a de-stress example, are commonly used to support both underactive as well as overactive adrenal gland activity. Think of adaptogens as balancing your system in the same way the thermostat balances the temperature in your home. They are both gentle and powerfully effective. Best way to employ them is to consult our functional medicine doctor to be sure you are consuming exactly what your body and brain need. No two human biocomputers are alike and what works for a pro athlete may not work for you. Contact us today.

11. Mushrooms. Healing mushrooms are one of the most natural and accessible types of medicine on the planet. The reason they are so effective when taken for medicinal purposes is because humans share 30-50% of the DNA found in mushrooms. They are an excellent source of Vitamin D which in deficiency is linked to much dis-ease from heart disease to depression. Test drive the following:
     Lion’s Mane – a prized neuro-regenerative supplement. Aids brain fog while boosting cognitive function. Calming.
     Cordyceps – increase stamina, endurance, and act as a gentle stimulant, increasing energy, reducing fatigue.
     Reishi – numerous benefits, but reishi fight mood disorders. Natural anxiety remedy. Help heal adrenal fatigue leading to increased energy. Mood booster.

We love to eat, so if we can de-stress, sleep well, let go of anxiety and feel good in the process, all the better. These superfoods will make you go “Ahhhhhhh”. Questions? Session It

Adrenal Fatigue

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As mentioned, we can eat all the kale in the world yet remain far from well. Stress is actually the ultimate cause of dis-ease in our society. Tough to detect, adrenal fatigue is one of many forms of dis-ease due to stress.

Types of Stress:

1. Physical Stress – accidents, injuries, falls, traumas, poor posture

2. Chemical Stress – from poor nutrition, smoking, drinking alcohol to toxic chemicals and hormones in food, water, personal products, cleaning products to bacterias, viruses, heavy metals; these affect blood sugar levels, hormone levels and much more.

3. Emotional Stress – family tragedy, major illness of a loved one, loss of a loved one, job loss, finances, divorce, strained relations, traumas small and large, negativity loops

When I couldn’t figure out what was going on in my body despite being a life-long athlete and healthy eater with a daily yoga/meditation practice, I had a big huge puzzle to solve. Once I got through the bulk of it, I came to my own conclusion that my adrenal glands were fatiqued. I had been doing all the right things for so long, but the severe stress from simultaneous multiple sources (several times in the span of several years) got the best of me and my adrenals were no longer doing their job. Given the way adrenals work, they were actually working overtime, akin to pressing the gas pedal and the brake at the same time.

Over 80% of us will experience adrenal fatigue multiple times over in our lives. It’s an epidemic that many people have no idea exists. And most often stems from chronic stress which can affect every physiological system in your body including your thyroid and adrenal glands.

The symptoms of adrenal fatigue include, but are not limited to:

weakness
lack of energy
trouble concentrating
depression
anxiety
insomnia
waking up feeling unrested
crashing mid-morning or mid-afternoon
becoming “wired” in the evening
decreased ability to handle stress
easily confused
forgetful
trouble completing tasks once found easy
hoarse voice
poor digestion
constipation
body aches
lack of interest in sex
increased struggle with PMS and menstrual cycle
weight gain around mid-section
food and environmental allergies
postpartum is often the result of adrenal fatigue as well

Because so many of these symptoms overlap with other issues, adrenal fatigue can be super tough to identify.

The adrenal glands are located directly above each kidney. Their duty is to promote hormones essential to your health including adrenaline and cortisol. It is believed that adrenals stop producing these hormones, when they are fatigued. However, this varies greatly based on any existing health issues such as hormonal imbalances, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies and environmental factors. So, they actually swing back and forth between producing too much or too little hormones. This fluctuation is what creates fatigue. It is as though the gas pedal and the break pedal are being pressed at the same time… often resulting in what is labeled today as “autoimmune disease”.

The adrenal glands are amazing. They give us the ability to get through challenges such as short-lived stress and highly charged emotional experiences. However, if the stress is chronic, lasting for a long time or constantly recurring, the adrenals will behave erratically and become fatigued. Unfortunately, these days this type of stress is all too common in all realms of life. Under these conditions, not only do the adrenals become fatigued, but the adrenaline emitted specifically becomes acidic and corrosive. Our bodies can handle brief emissions to protect ourselves, but when this quality of adrenaline is constantly flooding our system it can also become damaging to the brain, liver, pancreas, and more.

Questions to ask yourself beyond simply creating awareness of the symptoms listed above:

•  Are you addicted to the adrenaline rush of action sports?
•  Do you get a rush from meeting every single demand of the day as a working single mother or entrepreneur?
•  Are you so into meeting the expectations of your work or family or fans that you skip lunch relying on the high of the “wins” to get you through the day?
•  Is what is being asked of you by your boss or even your lifestyle straight up ridiculous?

Recovery

It took me a long time to figure out what adrenal fatigue was much less truly recover. While everyone is unique, I made a lot of shifts over a long period of time within my already optimally performing self and several years later I am now functioning at the exceptional level within body, mind and the big doozie, emotions/spirit/whateveryouchoosetocallit. While I recently had neurofeedback that still showed high levels of activity in the area of the brain that houses emotional trauma, that information allowed me to at least go easy on myself and better allow huge triggers to pass. Now you know there is something lurking around the next corner that is gonna try to take my flame away, so this is why we move beyond optimization and tweak and turn the levers at every level so that when we get caught off guard - because we will - we are at least somewhat prepared.

Due to a prior health scare, I had already put extra attention on my nutrition, yet tweaked it more to focus on fatigue.  I left my career. I took a good chunk of time off even though I felt like I financially could not, which in truth was a very risky move. But everything in my gut told me it was absolutely necessary. I kept one small client in place, dropped into some education, and went surfing – a lot. I shifted some of my yoga practices to more receptive and restorative, I skipped running and walked a lot more.

I took my social life down to almost nothing. I stayed in and rested – a lot. Socializing mostly included seeing friends at daily yoga and maybe grabbing lunch or tea afterwards. I rarely went out at night. I drank almost zero alcohol. I ate as well as I could, but without being neurotic about it. And I ate when I was hungry which resulted in lots of grazing. I listened to my body and tried to give it what it needed. And I went to bed early, rested a lot, and essentially spent a lot of time horizontal. I made art. I studied and read – a lot. I let go of friendships that lacked depth. I let go of all relationships that were out of balance within the individual and regarding how the individual related to me and with me. I lived at the ocean and took full advantage of its healing waters as much as I could. As in getting into the water as often as possible even though it is cold year-round. I put my bare feet on the ground every single day. I finally fully taught myself to surf – something I had wanted to do for years, but with work and life didn’t have the time nor energy to battle the waves nor the people in the waters of Los Angeles.

I felt guilty about all of this which was not helpful. But I did it anyway. This went on for a few years until I began to gain some pep in my step. After all, it had become almost impossible to get out of bed at one point which lasted for months, and this began to occur a few months after I had quit my career. So yeah – LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

It takes copious amounts of self-care to reset one’s system. Yet it is 100% necessary.

These ideas will certainly assist with adrenal fatigue as well as many other chronic issues that more often than not result from other things in life, not just how well you eat, exercise or even meditate.

If any of this rings true for you, by all means get in touch with me. I can provide further offerings towards methods and modalities to continually reset your parasympathetic nervous system so that it finds its way back to naturally accessing the rest and relaxation response. All resulting in overall stress reduction which is likely the primary root cause of your adrenal fatigue. Never feel guilty about self-care. Good luck and please let me know how you’re doing.

I Am Everyday People

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I’m just a regular person who grew up on the outskirts of New Orleans in the 70's. Despite many successes, I also experienced a constant barrage of events that were not allowing me to get a leg up. Think of those lists - The Top Most Stressful Life Events. Imagine several of them happening all at once and several times in a row spanning 15 or so years. Many people have experienced what I have and while everything is relative, everything is not relative. We are everyday people.

Signature Story to sell you on my business? Nah. 

The marketing gurus of the world want you to pick one though. Something gripping that others can relate to and latch on to. Something inspiring and motivational so that you can see that you, too, can attain something seemingly so far out of reach. It makes sense. It often works. But I didn’t have a near-death experience. I don’t have just one story. I have many - just like you.

Experiencing several of the Top Stressful Events (via the American Institute of Stress) is, I suppose, quite a story in and of itself. It leans opposite of luck and a hair shy of insanity.

Despite many successes, a lengthy time frame consisting of a constant barrage of events that weren’t allowing me to get leg up, made me feel unsuccessful, unsupported and in a downward spiral of WTF. A tangled web of small and large traumas, unexplainable happenings, and several from the classic stress lists that we all encounter at some point. While the list varies from source to source the most published are:

Death of a loved one
Divorce
Moving
Major illness
Job loss
Suicide
Debt
Break up of family
Unemployment
Jail Sentence
Period of homelessness

These happenings and the copious amounts of stress they cause can eventually express themselves in our bodies and minds in various ways including chronic pain, depression, IBS, cancer, weight gain, skin issues, and many more. After all, much dis-ease today is now proving to be born ultimately out of stress and related factors.

Over and over I would get a leg up, and then out of nowhere get hit from behind - both literally and figuratively. I had a solid upbringing. With it also came patriarchy plus other interesting components of a New Orleanian Catholic rearing in the Deep South, all residing deep in my cells. Combined with the endless chain of events brought stress I was unknowingly suppressing that took me to an unbalanced place. While I was a life-long athlete and visually healthy, mentally stable and emotionally competent, strange and mysterious things were happening within my body gradually alerting me of imbalance.

Sure, we are all responsible for our realities and absolutely must own what is ours, but not everyone is handed the same degree of challenge. Everything is relative. And everything is not relative.

I was conscious of what I wanted. I was clear in relationships of all kinds. I was committed and hard working to a fault. I was pretty impeccable with my word. I was raised to respect others first and foremost. I built successful businesses. I bought a home. I moved all over the country. I was pretty much 100% self-made since pretty young compared to peers throughout my life. I knew my value, I knew my worth, I knew many of my truths. And was pretty aware of my weak areas. But was unknowingly living in a state of exhaustion and could not get ahead.

As time went on I became equally exhausted of people telling me to “just be positive”. 

Boy have we in wellness spent eons being sick of the naive and quite frankly shallow inspirational quotes within our industry. While we know a lot of times optimism can secede toughness, we also now know, according to Sarah David, PhD, that regarding people in pain, poverty, or disempowerment at any level, being in denial and telling them to “get a better attitude” is not the way.

Why? Because this is the easy way out. This is being in denial. In this, there is no societal responsibility whatsoever. This translates over to taking care of Mother Earth, too. Some people have more luck. Some people don’t. Being in denial is convenient. This awesome article in Scientific American on luck supports the same line of thought: The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized.

So while taking a more positive outlook makes total sense, it is beyond challenging to hear this when one has spent years utilizing the classics of shifting physiology, changing thoughts and language, and becoming highly aware of focus and where attention lies, just for starters, while simultaneously continually being dealt a more challenging hand.

Some people also have trauma. I recently learned after diving deep for the last 15+ years to reconcile my mysterious imbalance, including working with some pretty insane healers (who, yes, helped immensely), that I still have deeply rooted trauma within the area of the brain responsible for emotions – where we house emotional trauma. This leads me to believe that batting a pillow and screaming might not always complete the job. Owning this information was what I feel was one of the final pieces of moving through a huge puzzle, and assisted me in not being so hard on myself after countless friends and family, often from very different backgrounds, telling me to “just be positive” and not to be a victim, as well as other condescending and curt comments. Most of those people? Yep, had to cut em loose.

What I do know is that being seen and being heard from day one matters. Seems so obvious, right? At the root of most dis-ease and addiction, lies this lack. Most people who have experienced this lack have imbalance, playing out as deficient (example: the addict) or in excess (example: the narcissist), both of which can also be horrifically intertwined. (Another conversation.)

While, I’m just a regular person without one signature story such as [-[insert big life-changing trauma here-]. I do have long list of happenings that anyone reading this could relate to. I’m glad a couple people stuck around through the entire journey. And I’m grateful my folks had me figure out a lot on my own and that I did it all mostly solo – physically, mentally, emotionally. It has made all of the accomplishments as well as gifts received that much sweeter.

Another much greater conversation that I want to come back to another time is that there is a massive planetary wounding of the feminine. Especially within business. This is not the attitude of a victim. It is also not an area anyone can be in denial of anymore - despite the statistics being on paper for quite a while now. I still cannot believe how many people have tried to convince me otherwise over the years. Yet we find ourselves in another uprising, this time with much more vigor. We know our value. We know our worth. We know our truths. We recognize this imbalance. We will not stand for it any longer. This, too, is part of my story. Is it part of yours?

So people ask, how did you get from where you were to where you are? How do you elevate from where you are now to where you want to be?

At this point, I have honed some tools and techniques and I would be honored to provide guidance and support. It takes a little bit of vulnerability, a lot of courage, some commitment and dedication. If that sounds good to you, I would love to hear from you.

My early days of living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming were so much more about making amazing adventures happen paired with humility, grace, and not even telling your friends what ridiculously fun and insane outing occurred unless they happened to ask what you had done in the mountains that day. Back then, downplay was the way. This was long before social media, of course. Humility, grace, and unsung heroes were revered. Anyone bragging or even just listing their “wins” were disregarded. There is even a tribe from that era whose motto is:  Swift. silent, and deep.

Borrowing from that, this is the way of the peaceful warrior. Nothing to hide and nothing to prove. As everyday people, we drop in, we do the inner and outer work, we surpass the hand dealt, we do “epic shit”, live well, travel well, share what we learn openly without ownership, with authenticity and grace, taking ourselves from where we are now to where we want to be.

Regardless of your success, there will always be more challenges and there is always someplace further to go. There is a lot going on in the world and we need you now. Let's make it happen. Let's Après.

Image Credit: R&B: From Doo Wop to Hip Hop. Includes the hit song "Everyday People" by Sly & The Family Stone

Polyphenols

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Polyphenols. Another reason to eat your plants.

Polyphenols fight disease and aging. Who’s not down with that?

What exactly are polyphenols?  Polyphenols are phytochemicals, meaning they are created by plants. These are the chemicals that give foods their different and dark colors such as dark fruit and berries, grapes, coffee and one of my staples, raw cacao powder. Polyphenols are the reason that foods like blueberries, pomegranate seeds, and acai are often touted as ‘superfoods".

Scientists and doctors first noticed that people with polyphenol-rich diets generally had better health. Then they showed to also be great at fighting diseases including the big degenerative ones such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognitive decline.

So – foods rich in polyphenol, therefore hyper rich in anitoxidents, combat oxidative stress and inflammation – two major factors of disease.

Stress + inflammation  >>> Aging + Dis-ease <<< Anxiety + Depression

The chemical compositions vary, but in a nutshell, here are the benefits via Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, ND IFMCP:

1.     Reducing signs of aging – That’s right, polyphenols are anti-aging elements. Add polyphenols to your diet to reduce signs of aging outwardly and on a cellular level as well.

2.     Improving weight management Reducing signs of aging   – Polyphenols have been shown in studies to support healthy weight management, this is probably due to its beneficial effects on the gut microbiome.

3.     Balancing blood sugar – Diets high in polyphenols help regulate blood sugar.  Maintaining good blood sugar balance is especially important for anyone who is diabetic or pre-diabetic.

4.     Improving gut health – Your gut microbiome and polyphenols work together in a synergistic relationship. You need good gut health to use polyphenols effectively in the body but you also need plenty of polyphenols for your gut health to be in good shape.

5.     Promoting good heart health – Polyphenols are great for heart health. They even reduce your risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

6.     Fighting cancer – Polyphenols can both reduce the risk of cancer and aid in treatment.

7.     Combating cognitive decline – Polyphenols are very effective in combating cognitive decline. This is because polyphenols act on two mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline in the body – oxidative stress and inflammation.

8.     Reducing oxidative stress –  Oxidative stress is a major cause of illness. Reducing oxidative stress in the body is one of the reasons polyphenols are so great at fighting diseases.

9.     Reducing inflammation – Finally, we now know that inflammation is perhaps the biggest culprit behind most diseases. Reducing inflammation is another major factor that causes disease. So, it’s no wonder that when polyphenols reduce inflammation, they also reduce disease risk.

In the land Twitter, then Instagram, one of my favorite hashtags is #plantsnotpills. In a world where people are now proving to be addicted to antidepressents, just published this April 2018 HERE in The New York Times, can we again please please now talk about plants? Please? Now?

Feeling lucky to have test-driven vegetarianism and veganism throughout most of my 20’s, I first learned a lot, both negatives and positives, about the effects of these styles of consumption on my body and mind - based on doing them well and not so well. Second, any way you look at it, a vegetarian or plant-based diet has a much higher chance of more plant and polyphenol consumption than the average diet.

Nutrition is a fledging science. So while we have figured out a lot, there will always be trends and shifts to come.

What we do know, is that we can 100% count on PLANTS to support a sound mind and healthy body.

Meditation Basics

While most folks teaching, coaching and consulting within holistic health are not scientists, it has been refreshing to not only know deep in your bones that what you have practiced in your mind and body truly works, but that science is now backing it. 

Science has now proven that meditation restructures the brain. Therefore it literally changes our mind and in turn uplevels our lives.

We think over 70,000 thoughts per day. And whether we want to believe it or not, they totally create our realities.

Yes, yes, yes, some folks just cannot imagine a daily moving meditation such as a yoga asana class much less sitting in daily meditation. I’ve been there. However, the day just may come when this is something that will prove to be useful. Knowing that it is scientifically proven to be of use – why not challenge yourself and give it a whirl? It won’t likely be easy. Shit will come up. But that’s the point.

Within those 70,000 thoughts every single day of your life, there are both empowering uplifting thoughts and negative thoughts whirling like a dervish in a repetitive feedback loop. Meditation serves you in that it gives you the freedom of choice. It generates space to notice the thoughts and change them. In time you will not only have the awareness to choose, but to further notice whether any thought reduces or replenishes your energy. Please note that this is very different from ignoring anything that comes up that doesn’t feel good. It is of utmost importance to deepen your curiosity about what feels “bad”, investigate it, dive much deeper into it, in order to learn ways to transmute it. For now, the opportunity you give yourself to change the thought is your first opportunity to create change.

We now also know stress is proving to be the ultimate contributor to much of the dis-ease we experience today. The word ‘stress’ did not even exist a few decades ago.

Acute stress is a specific response to a real or anticipated trigger. It is temporary. Work demands, preparation for a new baby, divorce, and car accidents are all examples. Chronic stress is an intrinsic response based on your past experiences that wires your brain to be on alert to defend from the source of the stressor. This stems from stressors such as growing up in a violent neighborhood, constant financial strife, or ongoing physical illness. These often lay deep in the subconscious and play out by way of the psyche forming defense mechanisms such as rigid thinking, prejudices and exaggerated fears. Going back to embodiment, the physical body will even transform itself to protect itself. Think – caved in chest, slumped shoulders, spine shaped like a cashew – as one visual example.

The physical experience of stress is as follows: 1) stressful event occurs, 2) body sends sensory message to brain about the event, 3) brain interprets sensory data as positive or negative, 4) if negative, brain sends message back to the body to respond.

Responses include: releasing stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, muscle tension, extraction of vital energy out of the organs to prepare for “fight or flight”.  When we are living with chronic stress, our bodies are never given the opportunity to recover. Our bodies continue to try to protect themselves and the parasympathetic nervous system is unable to reset itself. This can go on for years and years in a vicious cycle resulting in weight gain, heart disease, adrenal fatigue and on and on.

Meditation is one of the best ways to reduce inflammatory stress from all of the above examples in a constructive daily way.

Meditators are regenerating on a cellular level resulting in youth, vitality, and optimal wellness.
     87% decrease in chances of heart disease
     55% less chance of getting cancer           

Research also shows that practiced meditators may have an increase in tissues in brain areas that involve impulse control and attention. 

Research also shows that people who meditate may be kinder than those who do not. 

The two main neurological factors:

1. The Amygdala Gland

            Inside the “thinking mind”, this is the part of the brain that processes anxiety and stress. Meditation reduces activity in the amygdala thereby the severity of the experience of stress. It also regulates emotions.

2. The Hippocampus

            The hippocampus activates learning and is responsible for housing our memories. Meditation lights up this area of the brain increasing our capacity to work with both sides of our brain (neural integration), support stronger memory and problem solving skills, and allow for more vivid creativity.

Meditation literally weaves new neural pathways to create new ways of thinking. Our neurotransmitters fire faster so new tissues can be generated (neuroplasticity). This proves we are physically transforming the tissue of our brains through the power of awareness and thought. 

There are many styles of meditation and some meditation teachers choose to break it down and analyze it thoroughly, which is amazing and helpful to many. For me, I prefer not to overthink it and depend on my simple practice learned from my teachers along the way. There is no one way and there is no right way. Find a way that works for you. While you may need to utilize moving meditations (individually and with no digital devices recommended) for years before being able to sit still, that is A-OK. Implementing a daily seated practice is 100% achievable for anyone.

Want to know more about how trail running as a moving meditation is similar, but does not quite deliver the same benefits? Session It

More reasons to meditate? Ask me... and here's a big one.

What is my simple meditation practice? Ask me.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Viktor E. Frankl