Start the New Year with Intent

The start of a New Year provides a unique time for goal setting and planning. It's a time for both reflection and renewal, as well as the refreshing of ones' aspirations. While the past year may have felt like it went by quickly, it undoubtedly was also filled life changing memories, people, and events. Perhaps some of your goals were accomplished, or perhaps some of your goals changed. This is completely natural, and the phenomenon of change truly validates the old adage that variety is the spice of life.

With this in mind, begin this new year with intent.

What do we mean by intention?

Intention can seem like a simple concept at first. Perhaps you understand it simply as "setting a goal" or "deciding on an action or path," but intention in this context is a bit more nuanced.

Similar to the intentions you set in your yoga practice, intent here is not just related to goal setting. Rather, it's the priming of the mind, body, and spirit for a dedicated and on-going effort. Intention should not just be a target, but also the steps and methods applied to reach that target. For example, don't simply tell yourself to Get Better Grades or Exercise More. Instead, create a mental map of how you plan to get better grades – ie. devote the weekends to school, skip the summer break, etc – and enable yourself to actualize your goal through effective steps. When thinking about your next year, being intentful with your goals means being thorough and devoted to the steps required to reach those goals.

Bringing Intent to Your New Year

When bringing this intent to your new year, we encourage you to apply these three simple steps:

1. Reflect on the Year Passed

First, it's important to understand where on your path you are before you continue to push forward. Take time to reflect on your last year, and if possible, locate the list of your past goals and walk through them each slowly, analyzing what you've achieved and why or why not. Remember to ignore judgement in your reflection, as this can cloud your understanding of your goals and what truly contributed to their success (or failure). Ask yourself:

  • What did I want to achieved in 2014?
  • What did I achieve? Why?
  • What didn't I achieve? Why not?
  • Did any of my goals change in the last year?
  • Did I add any new goals in the last year?
  • Did I achieve anything I didn't expect to achieve last year?
  • What was the greatest contributor to my successes?

Taking a moment to write out your answers can help you both better understand how you've spend your last year and what has truly "risen to the surface" in your list of goals. Be diligent with yourself and this process.

2. Be Detailed with Your Goals

After reflecting on your past year, now's the time to build out a list of your new goals or New Year's Resolutions. Here is where the beginning of your intentful year is born. With reflection fresh in mind, craft a list of goals that is both meaningful to you and realistically accomplishable. Keep in mind what has helped or hurt your past goals, and plan with this in mind. Don't be afraid to add some "stretch goals" to your list. While these may be harder to achieve, they can help inspire greatness and truly concentrated effort in your actions.

3. Make a Daily Reminder and Be Present

Like mentioned above, intent in this context is all about an on-going effort. While we may each seek to need nothing but our minds to motivate us, this isn't always the case. We suggest creating a daily reminder (this writer, for example, has three: one at 8 am, 12pm, and 5pm) that provides a familiar tone. This can immediately refer the mind to your goals and help reorient yourself. Perhaps yours is not an alarm, but a clearly posted list by your door, or motivational message added to your computer desktop.

Similarly, it's critical to remain present in your actions. While you've spent time in reflection, remember to be aware and conscious of your present actions and efforts. Be diligent in reminding yourself to not allow the mind to wander when working on your goals. Instead, remain steadfast with yourself and remember that it is often one's spirits, not tools, that determine success.

A New Year Filled with Intent

Going through this process several times throughout the year can be both healthy and useful in aligning yourself with your goals, and we encourage you to do so. Remember that making a concerted effort to be intentful in your thoughts, actions, and behaviors is the first step to reaching success and finding yourself where you want to be in one year's time. Above all, remain positive with yourself and keep in mind that good goals take time!

We want to hear from you! What are your goals? How do you plan to achieve them? Post your answers below! 

Deepest Aspirations

In the midst of a New Year, we find ourselves in the mood for a little inspiration to set our sights on to help us spend time on what really matters to us. Setting an intention goes beyond a New Years resolution. A true intention can establish the critical belief that needed to motivate you towards accomplishing a tangible goal.

When we put the light of intention on something, reality starts unfolding itself. Whether it's cleaning out the old, aligning yourself with positive opportunities, or expressing more gratitude, setting new intentions invoke actions towards the attainment of measurable goals.

By setting these liberating intentions, we can also begin to love without holding back. That’s why this month we've included intention inspired items to encourage actions that will help bring your intentions to fruition. From a detoxifying face wash to powerful essential oils, to mindful munchies; enjoy incorporating these items into your life as you set intentions that open yourself up to your fullest potential and deepest aspirations.

With the birth of a new year, can't you just feel the energy of opportunity in the air? It's the opportune time to discern what intentions are driving the thoughts and actions that navigate us through each the day.

The powerful act of setting an intention is a virtuous cycle. If it matters, it becomes embodied and brings us closer to each intention we set. So as the new year unfolds, let yourself be led by intentions that open yourself to your fullest potential and deepest aspirations. Being vulnerable to show others your true self, opens you to see the truth in others.

A key to intention is that it has to be embodied – meaning it has to really matter to you and be alive in your body. It should affect you down your core values and belief, and if need be, it should have the power to change them. Each day is an opportunity to live intentionally through compassionate understanding one thought and one action at a time.

You can do anything you dedicate the time and energy to fulfill. So may this year be filled with meaningful and powerful intentions for you!

Reflection on Intention Meditation

  1. Take a few deep breaths to begin relaxing your mind and body.
  2. Return to the natural rhythm of your breath, focusing on your in-breath and outbreathe.
  3. Release any tension you may notice in our body and allow it to untangle.
  4. Bring attention to your heart area.
  5. Listen for you own sincerity to hear a longing for what most matters.
  6. Set a liberating intention to remind yourself of what you find matters.


4 Options for Your 2016 Yoga Detox

1. Yogi Surprise 7-Day Detox!

A 7-Day detox guide of mindful living.

Yogi Surprise DetoxThat's right! The wants and needs of our members motivated us to create a 7-Day Yoga Detox! We created this detox to not only help with general toxin cleanse, but also guide you through your own experience of psychological and spiritual awakening. Love yourself and love others with transformational aspects of mindfulness, yoga postures, and lifestyle advice. Lookout 2016, here comes a happier, healthier me!

Get Started!

2. The Yoga Body Cleanse

A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate your Body and Calm Your Mind

yoga-body-cleanse-1This 7-day body cleanse is a holistic day-to-day program designed to deliver embodied energy, mental clarity, and a steady rhythm to live more fully! Author Robin Westen, thoughtfully crafted a comprehensive lifestyle detox—incorporating journaling, meditation, pampering yourself and of course, yoga! If you're not familiar with Ayurvedic practices, don't be discouraged, Westen spells out exactly what you need to do for this physically, emotionally and spiritually transformative detox.

Get the book and start this detox!

3. Yoga TX 7 Day Detox

A Guided YouTube Yoga Challenge

7-days-of-yogaThis 7 Day Yoga Detox helps detox the body by burning calories and fat, muscle strengthening, improved balance, flexibility, and stamina. This video detox series will help release toxins, help digestion with twists, ab work, and can also help cleanse the mind, and spirit, by helping you set positive reformations, and learning how to feel more positive, and just overall better!

Start this 7-Day Yoga Detox Challenge

4. A 7-Day Weight Loss Yoga Challenge

Jen-HilmanYoga can be great for weight loss, the poses can help burn fat & calories by strengthening and toning your muscles, and by getting your whole body heated. Try Jen Hilman's 7 Day Weight Loss Yoga Challenge whenever you feel like gaining strength & slimming down.

Let's do it >>

8 Yogi-Inspired New Year's Resolutions

Traditionally, with the coming of the New Year, we set out a list of goals, hopes, dreams, and resolutions. It's here that we have reflected on the past year in candor, and choose to carve a new or more challenging path. While resolutions can vary widely person to person, we've put together some of our favorite yogi inspired resolutions – some specific in their task, and others more general or relating to the way we carry ourselves day to day.

We reading this list, reflect on what these resolutions would mean for you personally. How would you go about achieving them? Most of all, we encourage you to make a list of your own resolutions alongside this list. Take some time to devout thought into your goals and be realistic with yourself. Build plans around your goals, and place the list somewhere easy to see every day, helping to remind yourself of your resolutions.

More Writing1. More Writing

Writing can be one of the most creative and cathartic outlets for a person. While it doesn't always include what some may see as "artistic flare" (like, say, a canvas or myriad of paints and textures), writing is as much based in the soul as it is in the mind. Your thoughts become symbols on the paper, and you allow yourself to release your emotions, hopes, and/or insecurities into the world. You don't need to make your writing public – perhaps it's in a journal or private blog – but doing so opens up a whole new channel for creativity. Find yourself a pen pal or spend time creating content that can inspire others. By adding a reader to your writing, you'll find that your mind works in new ways, and produces new artistic flows while writing.

Inner Awareness Resolution2. Inner Awareness

Your breath has been your companion from the day you are born and is the only tool you need to help develop your inner awareness. Try taking ten minutes a day to pause and consciously focus on your breathe. If during this time your mind wanders, gently catch yourself and refocus back to your breath. This giving yourself permission to reset and refocus on what is important. Guide your breath and let your breath guide you to increased inner awareness.

Daily Meditation Resolution3. Practice More Meditation

For us, more meditation is on our list of resolutions every year. Meditation is very much a continued effort by all yogis, and consciously acknowledging the difficulty and necessity for commitment to the craft is extremely useful in taking as much away from the practice as possible. Even if you spend ample time meditating throughout your days, remember to practice the stillness of mind during the actions of the day, as you move place to place and talk to person to person. Meditation is a cornerstone of a healthy life and practice, and incorporating it into your days in as many ways possible can help keep stress down and vitality up.

Connect with Nature Resolution4. Connect with Nature

Connecting with nature awakens our original humanity. Simply go outside, look, listen, feel, touch, breathe. Pick berries, play a game, watch a bird, make a fire, have experiences. Unhurried time with nature is well known for giving bursts of intuition and sudden insights to long sought questions. As you ground yourself with mother nature, take notice in how she can create headspace for you to focus on both the short and long-term goals you have set for yourself.

Financial Peace5. Financial Peace

In 2014, seventy-five percent of Americans said money was their biggest cause of stress. Regardless of your income level, the clutter that poor financial health brings is exponential. By educating ourselves and humbly seeking help when needed, we can bring more peace of mind to every aspect of life that our money is connected to. This year, let's focusing more energy on the never-ending process of developing healthy financial habits.

6. Take A New Yoga Class

Perhaps you're a seasoned yogi, or perhaps you're still new to the practice. Whatever the case, a new yoga class – say Hot Yoga or Bikram – can be a fun way to add variation to your practice, meet new faces, and test your body in new ways. Ask yourself what part of your practice you want to improve, and try to choose a class that addresses that goal. Next, sign up!

7. Take a Friend to Yoga

Not all resolutions need to be so self-centered, and we encourage you to include others in your plans for a happier, healthier new year. For this next resolution, we encourage you to bring a friend to a yoga or meditation class. Think back to when you first started practicing. You may have been a bit shy, confused, or uncertain as to what yoga could actually do for your life. Consider now what it has done, and how that has benefited your health and wellness. With this in mind, make the conscious effort this next year to include a friend in your practice – they could really benefit.

8. Practice Gratitude

Like meditation, we constantly seek to add the practice of gratitude to our resolutions. The truth is, it can be hard to be graciously with every action, every day, and no one expect you to be perfect. Rather, it's the consistent effort, either internally stated or spoken aloud, that helps direct us to a grateful state of being. For example, during traffic, long lines at the store, or otherwise frustrating instances in life, take a moment to reflect and bring gratitude back into your life. Let the stress of anxiety and anger melt away, and replace it with affection and understanding. This can be one of your most powerful resolutions.

Commit to Your Resolutions

Committing to your resolutions is the real key to success, and that's why we remind you again to place your list of resolutions somewhere easy to see and reference every day (and we mean every day!). Invest in a small white board, or perhaps print of a single sheet of resolutions to hang by your bedroom door. Whatever the method, internally devote yourself to your goals, and keep in mind that most resolutions may not be achieved in a single day, but in 365.

4 Naturally Powerful Detoxing Herbs

Detoxification aids the body in many ways, from boosting energy to aiding in weight loss to strengthening your immune system. And contrary to some belief, not all detox regimens need to be intense or severe – you can incorporate simple foods in your every day to help your body regulate and maintain itself in a healthy way. In many ways, this can be a superior form of "detoxification" as simply fasting or limiting diet can lower the body’s basal metabolic rate, which, when returned to a regular diet, rapidly puts weight back on.

A Common Sense Principle to Start!

First, detoxification begins with common sense steps to remove excessive sources of toxins from your body. It's suggested you examine your intake of substances, from coffee to alcohol to smoking, and start there. One thing to keep in mind while detoxing is that your body is going through an intense time of transformation, and substances that detract from wellness can hamper your detox and impede progress.

The takeaway: make the point to scrub the sources of toxin while detoxing!

That said, let's take a look a few powerful herbs that can aid in detoxing:

Number 1. Turmeric

We've written about turmeric before. Turmeric has a rich source of the antioxidant Curcumin, a phytochemical that has powerful anti-carcinogen, as well as anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, and antimicrobial in nature. Incorporating cumin in your detox regime (or just part of your daily diet) helps maintain a healthy body while improving digestion, which can be especially helpful when "cleaning" your gut.

Number 2. Cayenne Pepper

A staple of the "Master Cleanse" detox regimen, which has been at the center of a detox fight, cayenne pepper is a healthy addition to your diet while dieting, and you don't need to purely live on it or megadose for it to be successful. Cayenne pepper, due to its capsaicin content, actually helps curb appetite and increase energy expenditure (burning calories). Ayurveda also hails cayenne as a powerful metabolism, circulation, and immune system booster.

Number 3. Milk Thistle and Dandelion

Two for one! Both milk thistle, due to its content of the flavonoid silymarin, and dandelion, due to its diuretic nature, both can help strength and protect the liver, which is the body's tool for detoxing itself. Silymarin has "antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may help the liver repair itself by growing new cells." At the same time, dandelion helps "increase the amount of urine in order to get rid of too much fluid," which when paired with healthy intakes of water, helps cleanse the system by means of flushing out fluids.

Number 4. Cilantro

Cilantro is widely purported to help the body chelate heavy metals from the body, though its poorly demonstrated modernly. It's reported to help cleanse the organs, bind to metals, and when paired with something like Chlorella, is able to migrate the metals out of the body. This makes it a unique alternative to synthetic solutions for chelating heavy metals.

Detox Basics

In addition to adding more of these herbs to your diet and removing your sources of toxins, it's critical you maintain proper levels of hydration and fiber intake while dieting. Detoxing simply by means of fasting is often not the safest or most effective means, and it's suggested you maintain intake of healthy, whole foods that keep your body nourished!

5 Simple Ways to Love Others

Love is in the air. And whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not, it's a good time to take a step back and reflect on the power we have when we turn our attention to loving others. Sometimes the smallest extra bits of effort by you can change someone's day, and in some cases, it can change a life.

Here are 5 simple ways to love others in a bit more personal way:

1. Handwritten Card

If you're giving away cards, skip the over-the-top or painfully general written ones and instead write them by hand. The act of showing your thoughtfulness for another shouldn't be driven by a compulsory feeling just because its the holiday, so spend an extra moment to think about this other person who has a significant role in your life. These are the messages that are truly meant to be shared.

2. Pay it Forward

Random acts of kindness are perhaps one of the best ways to spread the love. Consider buying the person behind you coffee, or help someone with their bags across the street. If you see someone in need, lend a helping hand. These positive, proactively actions in public often have an immense ripple effect. You may end up changing the moods of hundreds of people.

3. Make a Donation

Donating doesn't just have to mean money. Clean clothes, blankets, backpacks, shoes, and home goods are all great donations, and most people probably own much more of these items than they actually use. Just think, what do you have right now that you don't really need? Take a moment to clear your home of what you may consider clutter – you may be helping another person in an amazing way.

4. Volunteer

There is always need for good help. Shelters, non-profits, and many more organizations, all working toward public good, are often critically understaffed. Even with a busy schedule, a few hours a week can make a difference. Motivate yourself by inviting friends and family!

5. Give the Gift of Wellness!

Another amazing gift is the gift of new experiences. And here at Yogi Surprise, we deliver just that every month.  Gifting a subscription means gifting organic, sustainable foods, amazing goods for your body and mind, and inspirational and useful yoga tools and tips. It's a fun way to encourage a more holistic practice, and it's great for people at any stage of yoga.

Show the Love

With so many simple ways to spread positivity, spreading positive is easy this holiday – or any day, for that matter. Remember that this is an ongoing practice, and the more you do, the more good you do for not only the world, but also yourself.

So, how do you plan to show the love?

Shockingly Simple Steps for Reconnecting with Mother Nature

Outside is more than just that place beyond your walls and windows. It's a place of wonder and healing – a place to connect with the self in remarkable ways.

At times, though, it can be difficult to breakaway from our often indoor-driven lives. Work demands us to remain at our desks, and socializing seems to have become more and more of an online experience. It's not uncommon for people to rarely get outdoors and really connect with the world around them.

With this in mind, set an intention to work on your connection with Mother Earth. Reflect on how much time you spend outside, away from the luxuries and materialism that define most modern life. Realize that the more time you spend outdoors, the more you're doing for both your mental and physical well-being.

What are the ways you're connecting with the outdoors? Here are some of our favorites:

Hike for Health

Hiking is a great way to reconnect with the world around you. Not only does it provide a vigorous exercise, but it's also is one of the most intimate ways you can explore Mother Nature. Hiking brings you into nature. You find yourself on the trail, boots in the mud, with birds chirping and trees swaying around you. The air feels fresher, and the sense of serenity is in the air. It's no wonder hiking and exploring the outdoors has been linked to a healthier, longer, and more fulfilling life.

Boost Immunity, Get Your Hands Dirty

Another great way to connect with nature is in the garden. Whether it's your personal vegetable garden or tending to your assorted house plants, getting your hands dirty is actually one of the healthiest practices you can do. The hygiene hypothesis, as it's known, is the theory that exposing yourself to microbes – especially at early ages – improves immunity. Of course, a great place to find these microbes is in the soil bed of your garden!

Not only does gardening connect you with nature and improve your body's immune system, but it also has been linked to improving mental health by relieving stress and boosting mental clarity. Without a doubt, the rewarding feeling you have after successfully growing a plant is unlike any other. Gardening truly can put a smile on your face. Read more about the health benefits of gardening.

Animal Watching

While it seems like the benefits of animal watching would be intangible, it's something we've all felt before. It's that emotional response of awe or wonder – the feeling of something 'beyond words.' In this embodied space of wildlife, be it in a flock of birds or herd of buffalo, our social constructs quickly dissolve and are replaced with stillness and spectacle. Here, the mental euphoria brings us closer to nature, encouraging balance and serenity.

Stay Connected to Mother Earth

By exercising our connection to Mother Earth, we benefit body and mind in many ways. As part of an active yoga practice, this helps us maintain positivity and direction in our lives, improving mood and ultimately encouraging us to be better yogis. Be sure to schedule regular outings into your practice, perhaps even incorporating them into your yoga routine (considering hiking to a view point, then spending time there practicing yoga). When you do, you'll feel the benefits almost immediately.

How do you stay connected with nature? Tell us in the comments below!

A Healthy Well-Being Includes These 3 Lifestyle Habits

Life, in its most basic form, is best lived when one is feeling well. The body is the vessel for the mind and soul and when its health is out of balance, it can affect one's spirit in profound ways. The deepest motivations can come from 'feeling great' and similarly, the most crippling bouts of sadness or lethargy can come when one feels sick, tired, or defeated.

So what's the best way to stay healthy? The answer has been the subject of discussion for millennia. Hundreds of lifestyle regimens exist, most claiming to be "the" way. Fortunately, modern science has helped guide us in the right direction, both providing new insights and giving credence to the traditional medicine that actually works. Most of all, it's helped us understand that one's health routine should be individualized, based on their specific needs, and employ healthy doses of preventative medicine. Steps to better health should be first based in one's lifestyle, and the reasoning is simple: lifestyle diseases are now one of the most common killers in the world. 

Best of all, these habits don't need to be difficult to maintain. Just an ounce of effort can help better direct you to healthier, happier living:

1. Start Right, Eat Smart

No matter how hard you train or how much acupuncture you get, your body won't be well without wholesome, nutritious food. What we eat serves as the building blocks of our body, and there's no skirting around that face. Simply put: if your dietary choices are poor, health isn't something that will easily be attainable, if at all.

So what is eating smart? While it can depend on your body (allergies, metabolic sensitivities), there's a scientific consensus on what is required for good health: a proper balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) and the satisfaction of essential nutrients, the nutrients that our bodies require, but cannot produce themselves (like Vitamin C in citrus fruits). Your diet should satisfy your hunger, and you should take care to properly manage portion control. By splitting up meals and snacking throughout the day, you enable your body to better absorb nutrients and remain full feeling.

It doesn't stop there. You should also be focusing on eating clean –  a term used to describe not necessarily the cleanliness of food, but the quality and integrity of the food. Highly-processed foods, even when enriched, can be less satisfying and less effective sources of nutrition, when compared to a well-rounded, whole food diet. In general, avoid overly processed foods with high amounts of added sugar and salt.

2. Make Time for Fitness

Unless your job requires you to be on your feet all day, it's essential to make time for fitness. There are different suggestions for a "minimum" amount of time needed to be healthy, but the goal here shouldn't to just scrape by into good health. Make it a point to spend 30 minutes to an hour of each day doing some form of exercise, whether that's cardio or weightlifting, or something else. By turning fitness into a habit, you'll be able to maintain a healthy body and keep yourself feeling physically great – not only does fitness lead to a better body, but it can help you relax and feel better, as it releases endorphins that kill pain and elevate mood.

So, next time you feel a bit down, get down and give it 20. You may just push yourself out of a bad mood or feeling!

3. Include Alternative, Preventative Methods

Beyond eating right and exercising often, incorporating more alternative, preventative methods into your daily life can also go a long way to curb disease and keep you feeling great. Yoga, for example, is an excellent complementary exercise regimen to your routine. It can help build muscle in new areas you may be missing, and it also has significant health benefits for peace of mind and the sensation of wellness.

Other methods include frequenting saunas, steam rooms, or salt water tubs, all of which can help relax muscles and improve mood. They each come with their own set of benefits, too. Saunas relieves tension and helps lower joint pain; steam rooms can open up airways and alleviate congestions (especially if paired with an essential oil); and salt water tubs can reduce swelling, soften skin, and relieve tension.

Keep it Consistent

Most of all, maintain consistency with your measures for good health. This doesn't mean you can't take a cheat day, or skip a workout once and while, but it does mean that you take a conscious effort to your health and wellness. Set up timers, make a schedule, and remember that good health starts with you!

7 Morning Routines for a Healthier Body

Part of an effective morning is refining your morning routine. The combination of morning routines are endless, so whether your mornings currently consist of unpredictable scattered events or if you already have a consistent flow of tasks, it never hurts to adapt your routine to maximize your morning and create an effective launchpad into your day. Here are seven healthy suggestions to introduce to your morning routine that your body will thank you for:

1. Activate Your Innards

Lemon water for your body is like oil for the Tinman. It lubricates your internal system and is an excellent way to wake up your body. The first thing your body ingests sets your mood for the entire day. Water itself serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal track and peristalsis, meaning the muscle in the intestinal wall contracts and pulses to keep things flowing.  The lemon engages the digestive system, which increases metabolism and prepares your digestion for coming meals. Lemon, although acidic outside your system, becomes a high alkalizing substance that's high in minerals and vitamins which combats toxins and loosens ama in your digestive system.

2. Eat Breakfast

Why people skip out on the most important (and yummiest) meal of the day is beyond me. A nutritious breakfast is one of the healthiest morning routines you can have! It will help you jump start your metabolism and provides you with the appropriate energy you need to get on with a busy day. If you're trying to eat less, reduce your food intake near the end of the day when your digestion and metabolism naturally slows down.

3. Blend Some Greens

The green part of your smoothie is what’s going to boost your morning energy levels. That’s because it will likely be spinach, kale, or some other leafy greens that provide phytonutrients, fiber, and minerals that your body turns into sustainable energy. Check back in with your body 30 minutes after drinking it and notice how much better you feel.
Here's one of our favorite green smoothie recipes: Kale, Avocado, Apple and Ginger Smoothie!

4. Do a Stretching Routine

A simple 5-minute stretch in the morning will wake your muscles up and get them ready for the day ahead. Be sure to listening to what your body wants. Modify your stretches accordingly to be more in-tune with what your body needs.

5. Get Moving

Jumpstart your cells by doing a quick morning exercise. Anything will do to get your blood flowing. Jog, walk, dance, yoga, dust off that basketball, the options are endless. For inspiration to get your morning moves on, check out our Fitness Pinterest Board.

6. Connect, Laugh & Talk

Nourish the soul is just as important as nourishing our physical body. The lack of human contact often contributes to feelings of anxiety and stress. Reach out to a friend or colleague in the morning by sending an email, a text, calling or simply talking with someone even a total stranger. Connecting to another physical being produces serotonin which combats stress and fuels creative and productive energy.

7. Say “I Love You"

Simply saying, "I love you” causes a slight increase in adrenaline, epinephrine, norepinephrine pumping through your body. In effect, your heart beats quicker increasing blood flow and lowers your cortical levels. These three little words have the power to change a mood and provoke loving actions within yourself and those who you're loving on.

Stay tuned for more morning routines that focus on gaining mental clarity, productivity and getting work done. We're always curious to try new things and would love to hear what morning rituals have worked for you! Do you already a morning routine you love? Share it with us in the comments.

Dry Skin Brushing

Dry Skin Brushing - What it is and how to do it

Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing

Dry skin brushing has been known to help with cellulite, detoxing, and leave your skin feeling refreshingly smooth. But that's not all—the constituents of skin mimics that of urine. It's continuously exfoliating to help remove the bodies toxins. It's essentially your third kidney.

Dry brushing your body is a great way to stimulates your lymph system, which is your network of organs and vessels that make and move lymph from tissues to the bloodstream. Lymphatic therapy experts say that a healthy lymph system is a major part of maintaining a strong immune system. This is mostly because to 70% of your lymph system is located just below the top service of skin.

So essentially, skin brushing is a self-massaging way to stimulates your entire nervous system while removing toxins. What's not to love!? Let's get to it then:

How to Dry Skin Brush

  1. Pick up a natural skin brush online or at any natural product shop – one with natural bristles is recommended.
  2. Starting from your feet, stroke the brush upwards, moving the brush towards your heart.
  3. Optional: Rinse off in the shower to remove remaining dead skin cells.

The hardest part is remembering to do it. It only takes 30 seconds and comes with incredible health benefits. So be sure to set a reminder or simply hang your brush near the shower so you don't forget!