5 Ways to Get Comfortable in a Yoga Class

Monday, January 29, 2018

FroBunni | Yoga | Jaida A. Photography
Photo taken by Jaida A. Photography
One of the biggest things I struggle with as a yoga teacher is getting new comers and beginners to fall in love with the practice of yoga and what that means to them. It’s easy to see someone else do yoga, assume you can’t do that, and decide not to even try. But the reality is yoga looks different for everyone. We have different bodies and abilities. It’s okay if your warrior 1 looks different than the person next to you. It’s okay if you haven’t mastered a headstand. It’s okay if your audible breath isn’t audible (I know mine isn’t).

If you’re nervous about trying yoga, take a deep breath, and read these five tips to get comfortable on your mat.

Check the Schedule: Before you just show up at a yoga studio, check the schedule and make sure the class is appropriate for you. Most studios will include a description and level. Level 1 or all levels means the class will be designed for or with beginners in mind. If you’re still unsure, just call the studio and ask.

Introduce Yourself to the Teacher: A yoga teacher should do this already (I’m side eyeing myself because I need to work on this), but when you get to the studio, introduce yourself to the teacher, and let him or her know you’re new to the practice. This way they can give you extra cues and adjustments to help you move through and get into poses.

Place Your Mat in the Middle of the Room: With your mat in the middle of the room, you will have different bodies to see how poses look. You’ll notice that not everyone can bind in side angle or reach the floor in triangle. It will, not only help you understand how poses look, but also show you that not everyone who practices yoga is super strong and flexible.

Focus on How Poses Feel: Each yoga pose has a general look, but that’s about it. You’ll find that people have varying degrees of strength and flexibility, which will create various different poses. Instead of worrying how the pose looks, pay attention to how it feels. For example, when in down dog, move the feet closer or farther away from the hands. Notice how that feels, does it feel better or worse? What if you have a slight bend in the knees? Does your upper back feel more open? Play around a bit while in the pose and notice how it feels in your body (and know that it won’t feel the same in someone else’s body).

No One is Watching You: A lot of newcomers and beginners think that everyone will look at them when they go to yoga, but trust me, people are only focused on themselves. Everyone comes to yoga for their own reasons: physical health, mental well-being, better focus or concentration. If you still think people are watching you, remember why you came to yoga and just focus on that (in yoga, this is called an “intention”).

If you’re still worried about unrolling your mat and going through a round of sun salutations, you may be scared of, not just a yoga studio, but fitness centers and gyms, in general. While these places can make you nervous, there are other things you can do to calm your nerves, like bringing a friend or using a workout DVD or app. If you need a few more ideas, Aaptiv, an audio fitness app, has some more ways to overcoming gymtimidation.


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People with IBD Can’t Eat Peanuts, So We Eat Peanut Butter

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

FroBunni | Peanut Butter

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I have Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. While I was in remission for over two years, the disease has slowly been becoming active again. Navigating this disease has always been difficult, but this time, it’s manifesting completely differently in my body, which is both strange and frustrating. TMI, but I spend a lot more time in the bathroom, and my body isn’t digesting food the way it used to. Couple this with the fact that I eat significantly less meat, and I am often exhausted or tired from lack of nutrition, despite the fact that I am eating more. To manage these changes, I am learning how to eat differently than before, which means I’ve been eating more peanut butter.

Because our bodies’ don’t always fully digest food, many people with inflammatory bowel disease can’t consume nuts because they have the potential to get stuck in the intestines. This often leaves us with smooth nut butters as an alternative. And with peanut butter often being the most inexpensive and easy to find, it’s become a staple in my home. Peanut butter is packed with protein, as well as fiber, healthy fats, and magnesium; and it can be added into many different recipes seamlessly. And for me, that’s a win-win.

So, how do I use peanut butter in my day to day dietary life. I love adding it to smoothies in the morning, it makes the perfect dressing or sauce on salad and Buddha bowls, and it’s the base for many different protein balls.

Dressing or Sauce

Protein Balls

Smoothies

While these are my favorite ways to use peanut butter, this is only the tip of the iceberg. What’s your favorite peanut butter recipes?

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Adulting is Hard and That's Why Meal Kits Exist

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wegman's | FroBunni

As much as I try to meal prep, I am pretty terrible at it. I'll be good at it for the first week of the month and then everything deteriorates. Between work, teaching yoga, working out, hanging out with friends, dating, visiting my parents, and sleeping, I always forget to go grocery shopping. I get my fruits and vegetables from Hungary Harvest, and I can pick up some milk and eggs at Rite Aid, but that honestly doesn't leave enough for a full meal. So either I starve (I don't recommend this) or I go out to eat a lot (I don't recommend this either). Adulting is pretty hard, but on a recent trip to Wegman's, I found a way to make adulting a little bit easier.

On a recent trip with my mom, I found many, many different meal kits. But not just any meal kit, they were healthy meal kits. But not just healthy meal kits, healthy meal kits that could be completed in less than 15 minutes. And as someone who sometimes gets home at 9pm and has to figure out what to do for lunch the next day, these are lifesavers.

Modern Table | FroBunni
Protein packed and gluten-free, Modern Table's pasta is made with lentils making it both comforting and filling. Each box comes with three servings and can be cooked up in 15 minutes!
Meal Ideas: Everything is already done, but I would probably add some extra veggies.

Tasty Bite Spice & Simmer | FroBunni
I'm not the best at making Indian food, so thank you Tasty Bite for doing the heavy lifting. These sauces can be made in only a few minutes, and all you have to do is add some rice and vegetables. Nice and simple.
Meal Ideas: There's a place that sells paneer (Indian cheese) by my apartment, so I would pick some up, add in some broccoli, and eat with rice. 

"From bag to bowl in 60 seconds." And for busy people like me, that is a lifesaver. Made in Nature is known for their snacks, but they also have these super quick grain bowls that can be made into meals. They're packed with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All I need is a protein.
Meal Ideas: Depending on the kind I got, probably hummus or maybe even eggs over easy.

Grainful | FroBunni
When I think of oatmeal, I think of something sweet, probably because I eat oatmeal for breakfast and add honey and fruit. But oatmeal can be turned into a savory meal, which is great if you're trying to eat a gluten-free diet! 
Meal Ideas: Add some roasted veggies to make it a full meal.

neat | FroBunni
Neat is...well...pretty neat. Since I don't keep meat in my apartment and eat a mostly vegetarian diet, I sometimes have difficulty getting enough protein. Unfortunately, I don't really like the taste of most meat replacements. But Neat is different. Their meat replacements aren't soy based, they're actual nuts or beans. They probably don't taste like meat (I'll follow up with a review), but since I actually like nuts and beans, I'm not worried about the taste as much. 
Meal Ideas: Veggie burgers or a taco salad. 

Have you tried any of these? If so, which ones and did you like them?

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5 Natural Hair Challenges to Try This Year

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

FroBunni | 5 Natural Hair Challenges to Try this Year

A New Year and a new you, as the saying goes. But what about new hair? With New Year’s resolutions abounding, it’s always easy to get caught up in all the goals you have for your hair. But how exactly do you go about accomplishing all of them? Why, a hair challenge of course! Hair challenges put your resolve and determination to the test as you learn how to care for your hair, try new hairstyles, or even just give yourself a break. If you have some goals for your hair, or just want to try something different, here are five natural hair challenges to consider this year.

No-Heat Challenge – The more I use heat, the more the no-heat challenge becomes a personal favorite of mine. While heat tolerance varies from hair to hair, if you find that you often turn to the blow dryer or flat iron, consider nixing heat from your regimen to see if your hair retains more moisture or length.

Protect Your Ends Challenge – If you’re prone to breakage and split ends, you may find that this challenge is perfect for you. Moisturize and seal daily; deep condition every wash day; opt for simple, but protective hairstyles, like flat twists and French rolls; and you’ll find success with this challenge.

Low Manipulation Challenge – There could be a lot of reasons for doing a low-manipulation hair challenge. Maybe you’re focusing too much on your hair or maybe you have a lot of breakage, but whatever the reason, this hands-off challenge can help retain length and give yourself a break when natural hair becomes frustrating or overwhelming.

No New Products Challenge – Calling all product junkies! If new products are your thing, then consider this challenge. Whether constantly buying products are hurting your pockets, or you’re just not sure what is and isn’t working for your hair, this challenge will focus on what you have, instead of what you could have.

30 Days of New Hairstyles Challenge – Boring hairstyles? Running to the same old bun? Or maybe you want to find your new signature look? If a low-manipulation challenge is for those who can’t stop styling their hair, the 30 days of new hairstyles challenge are for those that want to try something different, be more creative, or just learn how to master the French braid.

Do you have a hair challenge planned for this year? What is it and what are you hoping to accomplish?

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Dealing with Low Porosity Natural Hair

Thursday, December 21, 2017

FroBunni | Low-Porosity Hair

Despite having medium/ high-porosity hair, when it comes to porosity, the most common questions I get are for low porosity hair. Low porosity hair, unlike high porosity hair, has tightly sealed cuticles making it difficult for water to even penetrate the hair. It's also prone to build-up since products cannot penetrate the hair shaft. To effectively care for low-porosity hair, check out the tips below.

1. Limit Protein, Silicones, and Heavy Oils and Butters: Because low-porosity hair is prone to build-up, you'll want to avoid all things protein, silicones, and heavy oils and butters. Make sure you read the label before purchasing a product to ensure that its free of these ingredients, or at least has them farther down the ingredient list.

2. Use Warm Water to Wash Hair: Heat helps to open up the hair cuticle making it possible for moisture to enter the hair shaft. When washing the hair, use warm water to help remove build-up that may be on or in the hair shaft.

3. Use a Clarifying Shampoo: This may sound counterproductive when it comes to caring for natural hair, but if you're low porosity, a clarifying shampoo can really prep the hair to be moisturized more effectively. It doesn't need to be used every wash day, but when it becomes difficult to moisturize hair, despite following the other tips, it's time to clarify.

4. Use Light, Water-Based Moisturizers and Oils: Because low-porosity hair is prone to build-up, lighter moisturizers and oils are better for the hair. Use moisturizers like Giovanni's Direct Leave-In, Kinky Curly Knot-Today, Taliah Waajid's Protective Mist Bodifier, and Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries; and oils like grapeseed, avocado, and sweet almond oil.

5. Use a Steamer and Heating Cap Before Moisturizing and Sealing: To effectively moisturize low-porosity hair, you'll need to open up the hair cuticle. You can accomplish this by using a steamer, such as Q-Redew, or spraying hair with water, and warming hair with a heating cap, like Hot Head heating cap, for 20 minutes before moisturizing and sealing.

6. Deep Condition with Heat: If there's one tip that works for both high porosity and low porosity hair, it's deep conditioning hair with heat. But if you're low porosity, just make sure the hair is clean so that the deep conditioner can penetrate the hair shaft.

Do you have low porosity hair? What are some tips that work for you?

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!