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Welcome to Blue Candybox. Here's to hoping your winter is filled with cheer. Throughout this season and those to come we'll be here and hope you'll join us on a beautiful holistic journey. Yes, this cooler season is a time for snuggling and keeping warm, but also a time with moments for getting out and being active. Explore our articles below for ideas on how to keep a healthy balance this season. I'm sure you'll be inspired to be your best.


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FIGHTING FATIGUE NATURALLY AND SLEEPING BETTER AT NIGHT



Here’s an easy picture to paint. You’re hard at work, it’s about two hours after your lunch break, and you’re in the middle of a big project you’ve been working on all day, when suddenly a slow, laboring yawn slips out. Uh oh. You know it’s the first of many during what some call the '2:30 slump'. We have all experienced midday fatigue. What’s your solution? Do you reach for the sugary snacks and energy drinks? Luckily, there are healthier ways to feel rejuvenated during the day, including methods to help you sleep better at night.

One significant factor is caffeine intake. Consider when you drink caffeine and how you drink it. There’s a major difference between drinking a cup of black tea or coffee in the morning and slamming an energy drink at 4 pm to help you finish out your day. Caffeine tells your body to release adrenaline, the source of the 'fight or flight' response, and as a result your body goes into hyper-drive and your nerves become overactive, making it difficult to fall asleep. The worst part is that caffeine is extremely addictive and the adrenaline 'high' eventually begins to feel like normal, meaning without caffeine you feel fatigued and tired and want to refuel with, you guessed it, caffeine. The only way to fix this issue is to limit caffeine intake to morning coffee or tea, and as rough as the headaches are, it’s worth it.

Of course, there are still plenty of other ways to fight fatigue and sleep better at night. For fighting mid-day fatigue, yoga poses such as Warrior II and Triangle Pose can be invigorating. Consider taking a ten-minute break in your day to add in these rejuvenating routines. For better sleep at night, many enjoy herbal teas with calming herbs like chamomile and lavender. There are also more potent herbs like valerian root that can aid in sleep and can be found in supplement form. Moreover, yoga and meditation can also be very helpful in getting better sleep.

Whether you’re fighting fatigue, trying to sleep better, or just trying to feel better in general, a good yoga and/or exercise regimen and even the inclusion of herbal teas or supplements can help with several ailments and help you sleep better and have more energy throughout the day.



BIKRAM YOGA OR HOT YOGA: WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

There are eight primary types of yoga; those being, anusara, ashtanga, bikram, hatha, hot yoga, iyengar, restorative, and vinyasa. For those who are just starting out, it can be difficult to know which form of yoga is the best for your needs. Here, we will primarily be dealing with the differences between hot yoga and bikram yoga, and why you should choose either.

BIKRAM YOGA
Bikram yoga is the yoga practice which is centered around the same 26 poses. Usually, the classrooms or studios are set to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 40 degrees Celsius, with a humidity of 40 percent.

The goal of bikram yoga is to flush toxins from the body by using the same 26 poses and two breathing techniques every class. Each class lasts for about ninety minutes. To practice legitimate bikram yoga, it’s mandatory that your instructor was taught by Bikram Choudhury and that his or her studio is affiliated.

HOT YOGA
Hot yoga provides much more variety to its students than bikram yoga does. Unlike bikram yoga, hot yoga is not constricted to the same 26 poses. Depending on the class and studio, routines and poses will vary. The studios can be heated to anywhere between 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 26 to 38 degrees Celsius.

Also unlike bikram yoga, students of hot yoga are able to communicate with each other. During the practice, there is often music playing and afterward, there is a round of applause to congratulate everyone.

THE BENEFITS
Both forms of yoga share much of the same benefits:
  • Weight loss
  • Flushes toxins
  • Builds and tones muscle
  • Relieves stress
  • Rush of endorphins to brighten mood

A common misinterpretation is that hot yoga and bikram yoga are the same. Despite both forms of yoga being practiced in a hot room, they are very different. For those of you who prefer to be in a structured, independent classroom, then bikram yoga is the best for you. If you prefer more variety and flow, then hot yoga is the way to go!






TRANSFORM YOUR ENTIRE DAY
by Starting Your Morning Off with a Healthy Ritual



Do you currently have a morning ritual? Have you ever thought about how what you do in the morning can set the tone for the rest of the day? Think about it, if you are rushing around frantically, isn’t it guaranteed that you will begin the day off feeling stressed and even anxious? It can be easy to fall into a habit of doing everything on autopilot to make it out the door on time, but that could be setting yourself up for failure. The best way to take control of your morning, is to pay attention to what you do and how you feel doing it. Start off with mindfulness in the morning and simply observe your thoughts, your routine, and begin to think of ways you can make yourself more at ease.

Once you become aware of how you spend your time in the morning, consciously make an effort to add in a healthy morning ritual. The morning is a calm and beautiful time, and the sunrise symbolizes new beginnings and renewal. During this sacred morning time, reconnect to what matters and empower your body to feel good and have energy on many levels - physically, emotionally and spiritually. Make this morning ritual just for you. See it as the most important part of your every day, for your mind, your happiness, and your overall wellness.

There is no one size fits all for what to do for a healthy morning ritual. Remember, we are not perfect and our ritual may not always happen perfectly. Sometimes you may be traveling. Be open and flexible and consider having rituals for both home and travel. Choose something that brings you joy and that you look forward to doing every single day so that you will stick with it. Great healthy morning rituals include drinking hot water with lemon, meditating, making tea, practicing yoga, visiting your favorite coffee shop or juice bar, journaling, and going for a walk or run to get your body moving. Pick what works best for your schedule and your personal preference and don’t be afraid to switch it up until you feel fully connected to it.

Maybe you can’t necessarily dedicate thirty minutes or more to a ritual, but even five minutes can make a world of difference. Take a close look at how you start your day and figure out how to get the most of it. There is no better feeling than being ready for whatever the day throws at you. You will find that a healthy morning ritual means increased energy, a clear mind, and the ability to move forward into the world to live your best life.






SPIRITUAL YOGA TRENDS
by Nichole Ann Walz



When one hears the word yoga, thoughts of calmness and peace come to mind. Maybe exercise and the physical characteristics are apparent as well, but the true core of all yoga is its spiritual affluence. With its origin in ancient India dating back to fifth century BCE, yoga became well known in the western world as a physical exercise in the 1980’s. Fortunately, the spiritual aspects of yoga are finally reaching the western world as well, as those that recently discovered yoga are learning about the most vital, non-physical part of the practice: meditation.

Meditation is a mental exercise, with a purpose of concentration to clear all thoughts to reach an increased level of spiritual awareness. The Hindus call this spiritual awareness, Samadhi, which is oneness with all living things. When one meditates, all things in the outside world are shut off and the mind is at peace. Easier said than done, assured, but everyone starts somewhere and, with a little daily practice and discipline, incredible changes can occur.

Aside from the obvious that meditation makes one happier, meditating has endless amounts of physical benefits on the body including reducing stress, improving sleep, increasing attention span, improving brain function and even increasing immunity.

While there are endless amounts of meditative techniques, some of the most common include Pranayama (breathing techniques), Gazing Meditation (gazing at an object with intense concentration), and Guided Meditation (meditation following verbal instructions by another) including Yoga Nidra, sometimes called ‘yogic sleep’. Yoga Nidra is an incredible way to transition into deeper meditation, especially for beginners. Recline in a lying position initially and listen as one focuses on relaxing different parts of the body, from the toes, all the way to the head.

For beginners, it’s best to start meditating lying down for three minutes maximum, then increasing one minute each day. Initially it will be quite difficult to clear the mind and relax, but as the days go on and it becomes a part of the daily routine, incredible changes will occur. Start your day with meditation. You have nothing to lose and an endless amount to gain.


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