MOVEMENT+EXERCISE+SLEEP

I joined ClassPass a few years ago and loved it because I was consistently practicing yoga and pilates for the first time in my life. During COVID, I switched to MelissaWoodHealth for yoga/pilates and the Peloton App. I've noticed a huge difference in my strength and endurance. Frankly, my ability to keep up with my kids is probably the most telling improvement! 

Yoga

I know so many people who are "cardio" people and feel like they cannot get through a yoga class without their mind wandering. These are the people who need yoga the most. It helps calm your mind, allows you to focus on your breath, as well as take the time to figure out what your body and mind need. I have a running background, have done a sprint triathlon, and Orangetheory. I loved it all, but the mental benefits I've received from yoga cannot be matched. It has helped me stay *more* calm (than before) when issues arise with work or even the kids are acting up. For the past two years, I have been using Melissa Wood Health's mobile app ($99/year). I love that it is organized by the amount of time you have to commit, so you can choose a short flow if you are pressed for time (or overwhelmed). 

TOOLS FOR HOME WORKOUTS

I know I won't always make it to a class, so I keep the following tools at home so I can squeeze in a quick 15-20 minute workout when I can. I often find that if I can squeeze in 20 minutes, I can add another 10-15 to that and feel so much better and productive those days.

STRESS BALLS

I have noticed a huge difference in my sleep when I roll on these RumbleRoller Beastie Balls to ease the tension in my back, neck and hips before bedtime. I don't need to spend too much time (maybe 3-5 minutes), but the trigger point therapy is amazing. The white one is firm, and the green one is extra firm. 

FOAM ROLLER

I prefer shorter, firmer foam rollers like this Rumble Roller foam roller. If you are consistently working out, you need to be foam rolling (unless you have a health issue that prevents you from foam rolling). 

STRETCH STRAP

This Vive Stretch Strap was a gift and now I love giving it as a gift too! It helps me reach those hard to reach stretch points and really get a deeper stretch. 

YOGA BLOCKS

Having 2 yoga blocks seems excessive, I know. But I recommend lying down in a "T-shape" with your arms out, with one yoga block vertically supporting your spine and another horizontally supporting your head. If you need guidancy, check this post by @yogaburnsuccess out. 

YOGA MAT

I have the Manduka Yoga Mat PRO -it is very heavy, but I take some very intense yoga classes and like the thicker mat to protect my joints.  If you are beginning, you don't need to spend so much on a yoga mat. I recommend the Manduka LITE.

MAT TOWEL

If your yoga practice is heated, I strongly recommend a yoga mat towel. It will help prevent slipping and also keep your yoga mat from smelling like sweat. It is easily washable and I've had mine for 5+ years. I use this in hot Vinyasa classes, as well as Inferno Hot Pilates. 

ANKLE/WRIST WEIGHTS

These Bala wrist and ankle weights are great for home yoga/pilates workouts. There are so many free YouTube channels that you can access, but you can add intensity to your home workouts with these on your wrists or ankles. 

BOWFLEX ADJUSTABLE WEIGHTS

I was using 5, 8 and 10 pound free weights for my strength training workouts and recently moved up to 12 and 15 pounds. These Bowflex Adjustable Weights take up less space than a weight rack would, so I really like them. The length of the weight does take getting used to, so if you ever have questions, don't hesitate to DM @parulworks. 

RECOVERY & SLEEP

Even when I don't have time to squeeze in a workout, I am pretty consistent with my pre-sleep routine. After many years of having interrupted sleep, the combination of these things has really helped me wake up well-rested and more mobile.

FOAM ROLLER

I got the ProSource Acupressure Mat because I wasn't sure if I would even use it. But, there are so many beautiful ones (like this Ajna one) that would look great in a meditation room, if you've got the space for one. Just one bit of advice-make sure you get the neck pillow!  Finally, start by watching this video, so you are going slow and carefully using the mat: How to Use an Acupressure Mat

OPOVE M3 PRO MASSAGE GUN

I received this Opove M3 Pro Massage Gun as a gift and given it many times over. It came recommended by numerous people. There are so many of these products out there, Theragun Massage Gun is probably the most popular, but also more expensive. I've tried both and was happy with the Opove M3 Pro

EQUILIBRIA CBD DAILY DROPS

I have been trying a few CBD products over the past year and Equilibria is probably the one that I've noticed the most difference with, as far as quality of sleep and restful sleep. The best part is that you get a specialist to work with to determine your dosage. I started adn still use the 300mg drops, but I had pretty intense dreams the first time I used it. I reduced the dosage and have been really happy with my results: no crazy dreams, just restful sleep. You can use the code REFPARULDAS for $20 off. The subscribe and save is the best deal and you don't have to get it monthly (I don't use a full bottle in a month, so I get my shipment every other month). 

OSEA VAGUS NERVE OIL

I love rubbing this Osea Vagus Nerve Oil on my neck and earlobes before my bedtime routine. I get the best sleep when I do this, with a combination of leg elevation. 

 

LEGS UP THE WALL (Viparita Karani)

This yoga pose is usually reserved for the end of yoga class, but it's a great way to end your day as well.  It is great for circulation, stretching the lower back and hamstrings, helps ease swollen feet/legs, and relaxes the pelvic floor.  I recommend starting with a meditation cushion under your back for the most comfort. 

It is NOT recommended for those with Glaucoma, Hypertension, or Hernias.

STRETCHING/YOGA

There are so many options here. I have used the Peloton app's stretching sections for a quick 10 minute stretch. You can do a few of the yoga poses pictured above, find videos on YouTube searching "best stretches for great sleep".  Start with 2-3 and work your way up to a good routine. 

PUKKA NIGHT TIME TEA

I probably make this pukka night time tea 2-3 times a week and alternate my routine a bit each night.  Honestly, it would take a long time to do all of the things listed here, so I typically choose 2 and still notice a huge difference in my sleep. 

ALLERGY PREP & CARE

If there is one thing I have learned from my experience with horrible environmental allergies, it is that a little bit of precaution can be the difference between coming down with a sinus/respiratory infection or coming out on the happy end of the pollen/grass battle.

NAVAGE NASAL IRRIGATION KIT

I used to get sinus and upper respiratory infections EVERY time I ran outside, attended a barbeque, or anywhere there was smoke or freshly cut grass. I have started using the Navage Nasal Irrigation Kit after every run and have not experienced the usual sinus infections and allergy symptoms that I usually suffer from. 

It can be a little awkward at first, so I recommend you watch this short video that shows the proper angle and feeling you should experience to ensure you are using this correctly. 

ASAKUKI DIFFUSER

We use this Asakuki diffuser in Veda's room. I have one that came in my Young Living Starter Kit, but I don't think it is necessary to have a super fancy one, as long as you are cleaning your diffuser and taking care of it, ours have lasted us a long time. 

If I know I am going to run outside on a certain day, I try to make sure I turn on my diffuser at night before the bed the night before. I diffuse combinations of lavender, oregano, tea tree oil and frankincense.  I don't use all of them, but rather a combination, but ALWAYS include lavender. 

PLANT THERAPY ESSENTIAL OIL KIT

This Plant Therapy Starter Kit is about $60 and contains 7 of the most common essential oils, as well as 7 blends. I won't begin to compare the essential oil brands, since I think the main brands offer great products and differ mainly in their business models. What I will offer is some affordable options without the committment of a membership and monthly minimums, etc. I have used doTerra, Young Living, Aura Cacia, Plant Therapy, and Eden's Garden

HERBAL TEAS

I have used Nettle Leaf, Roasted Dandelion Root, and Roobios Tea to combat the symptoms of allergies. I recommend drinking these the day before you know you will be exposed to allergens. 

Roobios is naturally caffeine-free and contains two bioflavonoids called rutin and quercetin. Both of these compounds block the release of histamine (the chemical our bodies produce in response to allergens.) 

Affiliate Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.  

 

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