Photos by the fabulous Lunabear Studios.
If you guys are new to the Kayli Wanders rodeo, you may not know that I fell in-love with yoga last year. I’m not one of those ya-ya raindancey types, so I mean this in the most sane way possible: yoga has done more than physically alleviate my pains (I’m 20 going on 80 with my back pains, you guys). It helps relieve my stress, center my inner voice + remember all of the good that my life holds.
I’m not going to lie though, sometimes it can be hard to get in the groove– your neck is sore from sleeping wonky the night before, your mind is all over the place with your over-extended todo list and the last thing you want to hear is your instructor correct your downward facing dog one more time.
Alas, on the days I force myself to go, I leave feeling like I can take on the world, ready for a good nights rest and thankful for all that I have– and all that my body is able to do.
Here are 10 Tips to help better your yoga practice and get into your groove a little bit quicker.
Ditching the phone/iPad/computer will help your body recognize it’s time to calm down + help you forget some of the troubles that the day may have caused and unnecessary stress that may come from being connected online. You won’t be able to dwell on that awful Facebook picture your friend tagged you in if you never saw it!
Stretching will help your body limber-up and physically prepare you for the class ahead. Even 10 minutes does the body good and you may be hurting a whole lot more during Warrior 3 if you don’t.
Setting an intention for the class will help you stay focused and let go of the negative thoughts you may have stuck on the brain. Take 5 minutes before you practice to write down your intention– what it is, why you chose it + the good it will bring into your life. If setting an intention isn’t your thing, make a gratitude list! Then, focus on the elements you wrote down during class.
Drink a tall glass of water one-hour before your practice. You want to stay hydrated for any form of exercise and yoga is no different! Don’t drink too much, however, or you may find yourself cramping-up.
I like to play some calming music on the drive to my yoga studio. It helps me calm down and start to get relaxed for my upcoming practice. Rap and KissFM can wait until after!
Remember that you are always learning and no one– not even your instructor who can get into Scorpion pose in, like, one-second — is done being taught. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll find yourself open to the instructor’s corrections and the sooner you’ll find yourself having better practices. You might even get into a headstand one day! (A girl can dream, right?)
Yep. It will literally stink when you finally get to sink into Savasana and realize that the nasty smell that’s been bothering you throughout class is your mat. You can buy a cleanser here for cheap or make your own! Side note: This especially applies to those of you that practice Bikram! Don’t be that guy.
There’s seriously nothing worse than getting side-glances in class because your stomach is being Mr. Grumbly. Don’t fill-up on a whole meal before class, but having a protein bar will help sustain any hunger and also give you an extra blast of energy.
Bringing a friend with you can help motivate you to do your best + having an accountability partner to-go every week (or day or weekend or…) is even better. The best part? You have a built-in partner to grab
wine a juice with you after!
Pausing to take some deep breaths throughout the day will help you find your center and prepare you for the class to come.
Do you have any tips for bettering your yoga practice?
Photo Credit: Sara Bishop Photography
I consider myself an outgoing person and -weirdly enough- I enjoy interviews. I think it’s fun to answer questions and dress professionally and all that jazz. (Not so weirdly enough) most people do not. However, back in 2013 when I had my first phone interview, I had no idea what to expect. My non-verbal cues couldn’t be expressed (or so I had thought) and for all the employer knew I could have been in my pajamas- how would they know if they liked me? I was a nervous wreck.
Since then, I’ve had many phone interviews (and have gotten the job/client 94% of the time) and have many tips to pass down to those of you that might have your first phone interview coming up or hell, maybe your third and really need to nail it. Whatever number you’re on, I gotchu.
Here are tips for landing the job during your next phone interview:
When you use the non-verbal cues (smiling, nodding, etc.) that you would use during an in-person setting it helps your tone come off in the way you hope it would. You sound more interested, polite and eager.
Note: Smiling is particularly huge for me- the employer will be able to hear the excitement in your voice and they’ll be pleased that you sound so enthusiastic about the position. I like to overdo it a little bit in my interviews as enthusiasm can be harder to convey over the phone.
Always answer the phone with, “Hello, this is ____.” If you don’t, it creates an awkward feel for the rest of the call– using this tactic, you set the tone for the rest of the interview, let it be a good one.
You want to be in a setting free of noise and distractions + you also want to make sure you have a stellar phone connection. Be prepared and make sure your phone is fully charged (since really, who still uses landlines these days?) and you’re sitting in a room that’s tidy and that you feel your best in.
Yes, I know I said that the employer would never know if I was in my pajamas or not, but really, dressing professionally when taking an important phone call sets you up for success. It allows you to get into the proper mindset and when you feel confident, you’ll come off as such. When you’re in your boyfriend’s old frat t-shirt and a pair of norts? Not so much.
During phone interviews employers frequently reference your cover letter or resume, make sure that they’re printed out in front of you for a quick read– I suggest having a computer open nearby as well (especially if you’re speaking with a potential client that works primarily online and it’s not necessarily a traditional job) but it gets annoying when employers can hear clicks in the background or your tech fails you.
This one is huge. I know so many people who didn’t prepare for their phone interview because they were under the impression that it was going to be easier or different from a traditional one– think again! Prepare, prepare, prepare like you normally would and use the non face-to-face thing to your advantage by creating a cheat-sheet that you can have in front of you for quick reference.
I’m a super fast speaker (when I get excited there’s no slowing me down) so this one I’ve really had to practice. The employer can’t read your lips over the phone so you have to make sure to slow down and speak extra clearly to assure they can understand you.
My suggestion? Practice this before the interview!
Have you had a phone interview? What tips would you add to the list?
I like to check-out the ad section in the Sunday paper + frequently pop-in to health food stores to see what sorts of sales are going on in my area. Things like fruits and meat can get expensive, but you’d be surprised how often specials come through– I actually just got home from buying two containers of strawberries for only $5! Certified organic too.
Eating seasonally is one of the best things you can do to eat healthy on a budget and it’s much easier than you think. Not sure what’s in season when? No problem! Print out this chart and keep it handy when you’re…
I know, I know, the drag that is meal planning (!!!) However, I swear it’s not that bad. I started meal planning this year and not only am I eating way healthier, I’m spending so much less on groceries too!
A personal tip of mine? Try to use a few of the same ingredients in your meals and buy what you can in bulk for the week to save a little extra.
I know it’s not reasonable to say stop eating out completely (I love my Taco Tuesday lunch dates with the girls just as much as the next person!) but try to choose a healthy option when on-the-go. I like to always have something pre made in the fridge so I usually make a big salad at the beginning of the week.
Another thing I love to do? Shop the pre made section at Sprouts! I’m always finding super healthy lunches there– my last find? A quinoa pasta salad for $2.68!
I like to buy fruits I like when they’re in season and then freeze them so I have them on hand later (when they’re more costly in the grocery aisles!) I also am obsessed with the packaged bags of fruit at Fresh & Easy– super inexpensive and especially great in my smoothies!
The perimeter of the grocery store is where most healthy food is sold and when you shop the outside you’re more likely to buy more nutritious options. Another plus is you’re staying away from most of the processed foods that mark their prices up + are so hard to pass up in the moment. My weakness is Chips Ahoy. I’ve learned this from experience.
A better suggestion? Shop the farmers market! Not only are the fruits and vegetables being sold usually 10 x’s healthier than the food sold in stores, you’re helping a local family put food on the table. Farmers markets are a great place to get deals– especially if you go near the end when they start marking down the prices so they don’t have to haul it all back home.
I know the filet mignon looks amazing, but it’s probably not the most cost effective option! Ground chuck, flank steak and chicken thighs are all better options.