DIY Yoga Retreat at Home
October 10, 2016
Daily life seems to go one hundred miles an hour. In between going to work, running errands, spending time with friends, and trying to get to all of those things that have seemed to permanently reside on our never-ending to-do lists, we so quickly get caught up in the juggling act of our routines. We push aside spending time on ourselves, saying that we will get to it later and that there are more important things to take care of. Heck, even making a one hour yoga class once a week seems to earn us a pat on the back. And a yoga retreat for a full weekend? Out of the question. Or so you thought. Here at Global Groove Life, we are going to tell you how to experience a yoga weekend retreat right where you are; no hefty price tag attached and no bags to pack.
1. Identify your intention
When you start planning for your "at home yoga retreat", ask yourself what you are looking to get out of it. What do you hope to accomplish from the retreat? By setting your intention from the very beginning, you are defining your direction for the retreat.
2. Find yourself a space
And not just any space. Identify a space where you feel relaxed, feel like you can unwind, and feel like you can escape the chaos of your life. This should be a place where you will not be distracted by work, friends, etc, and should be a place that simply makes you feel good. This can be your living room, bedroom, back porch, garden, spot in a favorite neighborhood park or wherever you feel most relaxed and at ease. Remember, you want this to be a spot where you retreat from the real world.
3. Zen out your space
Jazz up your space! This is where you can get creative. Remove things that may distract you from your yoga practice...pictures of family and friends, to-do lists, work-related items, whatever it may be that does not fit the purpose of your retreat. Add in items that calm you down....candles, meditation cushions (you can find them here!), incense, or fun string lights. Remember, this is for YOU, so there is no wrong way to zen out your space.
4. Tell your friends and family what you are doing...and then turn off your phone!
Yes, we said it. Turn off that cell phone, close your computer and disappear from any kind of social media for the weekend. Social media will only provide distractions and even possibly evoke FOMO (fear of missing out). The total opposite effect of having an at home yoga retreat. But, make sure you tell mom, dad, your boyfriend/girlfriend and best friend what you are doing, so they know you're off the grid for the weekend.
5. Make a list of things you want to do over the weekend (when not doing yoga)
These should be things that help you get in touch with yourself. This weekend is all about you, so your to do list should be things that encourage self-awareness. This could include, journaling, reading a feel-good book, writing letters to the people that mean the most to you, and maybe even making that delicious quinoa recipe that you've been wanting to try out.
6. Read one quote every morning
We are total suckers for quotes, and what better way to start your retreat than reading a quote before your day begins. The quote will help set the tone for the rest of your day and bring you back to your original intention. Find some inspirational words that resonate with you.
7. Try to be health conscious during your "at home yoga retreat"
Hide the phone number to that local pizza place that you swear by and skip buying the rocky road ice cream. The retreat should be as much a physical cleanse as it will be a spiritual cleanse. While we all love a good piece of pizza, focus on the actual nutrients of what your body needs, and build your weekend menu off of that. Think fruits, veggies, nuts, green smoothies...your body will thank you :)
8. Now, YOGA
You don't have to be a certified yogi or have studied yoga in India to host your own "at home yoga retreat". In fact, you could be brand new to yoga and still host your own retreat. There are numerous yoga videos that can guide you through your poses, we recommend:
Make a realistic daily yoga schedule for yourself, and stick to it! This is the bread and butter of the whole retreat, isn't it? :) We recommend an hour of yoga practice, three times a day, but schedule what you’re most comfortable with.
8. Post DIY Yoga Retreat
You've successfully made it through your at home yoga retreat, and feel like you've been at an Ashram in India! Journal how you feel...how has the retreat helped you, did you like the retreat (be honest with yourself), how do you feel now in comparison to how you felt before the retreat and most importantly, did you achieve your intention. It's important to journal all of this before life begins again, because what you feel immediately after the retreat will be your true, unjaded thoughts.
We are bound to get caught up in life, no one is the exception to that. But for one weekend, we can take back our lives, take back our time, and for once, focus on the most important person in our lives, ourselves.
Finding Your Inner Peace Anywhere
May 26, 2016
Is your life a bit hectic at times?
Have you heard that yoga and other meditative practices can help you relax and feel better?
Do you have trouble finding the time to fit yoga or meditation into your busy schedule?
Does the struggle to find time to relax stress you out even more?
If you answered yes to any (or all) of the above questions, welcome to the club! If you didn’t...please...teach us your ways!
While the search for a wellbalanced life forges on, here are a few tips on finding little pauses throughout the day to take a deep breath and find your inner peace anywhere!
1. When you wake up
Sleep is precious. A lucky few are able to wake up early and do yoga or some other exercise before getting ready for work, but for those of us clutching to every last second of that REM cycle, it’s just not realistic. No need to despair, however, because you can practice mindfulness in your PJ’s! Take a few moments upon waking to sit up, take some deep breaths, and set some goals for the day. If goal number one is to have a few moments to center yourself at the start of the day, you’ll already feel accomplished when your feet hit the floor! For a more active alternative, get out of bed and do some simple yoga poses, such as planks or sun salutation, to get that blood flowing.
2. When you’re stuck in traffic
Few things are more chaotic and stressinducing than traffic, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. When you’re crawling along at 5mph (or at a complete standstill), instead of panicking, remember your stress is not going to change the situation. Take a moment to appreciate the collective struggle of your fellows, as each of your individual stories have currently intertwined into one. Nothing is a reminder of how small we are, and of how we’re all part of something much larger than ourselves, quite like looking at the car next to you and realizing that the person driving it has an entire world that exists separately from yours...and so do the drivers of all the
other cars around you. Those horns are starting to sound a bit like a symphony, aren’t they?
3. When you hit that mid-afternoon wall at work
You didn’t even have time for a lunch break, so what do you do at 3pm when your brain has completely checked out? Instead of getting sucked into a clickhole on the internet, spend a few minutes stretching in your office. Get that blood flowing! Maybe you took our advice (link to article) and have a yoga ball in your office; now would be a great time to use it. It’s no secret that these short, mindrefreshing breaks will help you feel better and be more productive when you get back to the grind.
4. When you sit down to dinner
Family dinners are coming back into style, as we’ve all started to realize how having a dedicated time together during day brings us together. They may still be a bit rushed as they’re squeezed in before, after, or between dance practice, Spanish club, and all of our (and our children’s) other activities, but this family or friend time is perfect for taking a few minutes to pause and reflect. Go around the table sharing good things that happened during the day, or just take a moment to look around at your loved ones and give silent thanks.
5. Before you go to sleep
It’s all too easy to crash into bed after a long day, but it’s a great opportunity to grab that zafu and meditate. How did you do on your goals for the day? What are you looking forward to or planning for tomorrow? Spending time organizing these thoughts in a dedicated space will make sure they don’t follow you into your bed! Now is also a good time to fit in a few yoga stretches to help release the tension that builds up during the day. Nothing fixes the tightness in your shoulders after a day at the computer quite like child’s pose!
What do you do to fit yoga or other meditative practices into your busy schedule? Share in the comments!
10 Innovative Uses for Your Yoga Ball
March 10, 2016
So you bought a yoga ball. Now what? The name seems to imply that there’s only one use for this magical rubber globe, but don’t worry - Global Groove Life is here to help you broaden your ball’s horizons!
Let’s get this one out of the way. A yoga ball is an essential tool for taking your yoga game to the next level. Check out some beginner, intermediate, and advanced moves you can do in the comfort (and style) of your own home!
The distinction between yoga and a “work-out” is not as subtle as it seems. Learn how to incorporate your exercise ball into a great core workout--Get your pilates on!
Professional athletes have a professional staff to keep them loose and limber. You have your yoga ball! Avoid muscle cramps by trying some helpful stretches with your yaga ball!
Take a Seat
4. Desk Chair:
We’ve all heard about the benefits of incorporating a yoga ball into your seating options at work. Give it a try!
5. Table Chair:
Instead of eating so much you have to be rolled away from the dinner table, stay mindful and healthy by rolling up to the dinner table on your exercise ball!
Want to keep your feet up while working your core? Swap your ottoman out for your yoga ball and get your balance game going during a Netflix binge.
The Home Stretch
7. Baby Bouncer:
Lots of trendy moms are turning to this fun alternative as a way of getting babies to sleep or even just to evoke that adorable giggle!
8. Physical Therapy:
Consult your doctor and/or physical therapist on this one, but yoga and/or bosu balls can be fantastic tools for getting back to your former glory.
9. Family Time:
Roll the dice and stretch your family game repertoire while stretching your muscles! Cozy & comfy or bouncy & crazy.......whichever way your family rolls, we've got the fun times covered!
10. Style Piece:
If you think ideas 1-9 are great, and for the sake of that big rubber ball eyesore in your living room or office, elevate your style with one of our beautiful yoga ball covers!
We know our yoga ball covers will liven up your room decor and make you smile when you see your favorite pattern! SHOP BALL COVERS HERE!
Identity Crisis: 15 Names for a Yoga Ball
February 25, 2016
What’s in a name? We call it a yoga ball, but it’s so much more. For a tool as versatile as our favorite giant rubber spheres, it’s only fitting that there are as many as 15 recognized names for them, but how did it all start?
1. The Pezzi Ball
Whatever you call them today, a plastics manufacturer made the OG in 1963, intending it to be used as a toy. It wound up in Switzerland as a tool for patients with neuromuscular issues, where therapists and patients achieved great results.
2. The Swiss Ball
When American physical therapists saw the benefits of the ball and brought it back to the US, they gave credit to the country where they first saw it in action.
3. Balance ball
Using a yoga ball promotes an enhanced sense of balance as you make small corrections in position to ensure you don’t roll over!
4. Stability ball
Balance and stability go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise this handle made the list. It’s also why so many people have started using yoga balls in addition to their office chairs.
5. Birthing ball
The yoga ball has helped usher thousands of baby yogis into the world, as many moms have started to turn to more natural positions and environments for the births of their children.
6. Body ball
It’s certainly not a football! The yoga ball’s size and intended use are for the health of the entire body, not just one part.
7. Fitness ball
Whether you use the ball for yoga, office furniture, or just a good old fashioned workout, the yoga ball is a great tool to help you stay in shape!
8. Gym ball
For those who opt for a more traditional gym setting, you’ll still often find a yoga ball among the free weights and other essential fitness tools.
9. Gymnastic ball
Not to be confused with the shorter “gym ball,” many gymnasts and tumblers make use of the yoga ball as well.
One of the two closest links to the ball’s origin, the name physioball is a throwback to the yoga ball’s first days as a physical therapy tool.
11. Therapy ball
The other nod to the yoga ball’s origin. Of course, when you combine the two, you get physiotherapy ball!
12. Pilates ball
We may be yoga nuts over here at Global Groove Life, but we have lots of love and respect for our fellows who opt for Pilates!
13. Sports ball
Many athletic teams have found ways to incorporate the yoga ball into their routines to ensure strong, well-balanced athletes take the field on game day.
14. Swedish ball
Honestly, we did a lot of research on this one, and our conclusion is that this name just happened after enough people mistakenly said “Swedish” instead of “Swiss.” If you’ve heard otherwise, please share your knowledge in the comments!
15. Yoga ball
Our personal favorite, of course! We use the yoga ball in many of our exercises, and we love stepping up our style with Global Groove Life yoga ball covers!
What do you call your yoga ball? Share in the comments!
Out of the Box: 3 Unique Ways to Use Your Yoga Ball
January 31, 2016
You probably know them as yoga balls, fitness balls, balance balls, or even birth balls. You've read the guides and watched the videos showing you how to use them, asking you to do squats, push-ups, bridges, curls, tucks and crunches. Maybe you've used yours to get your abs back, or improve your flexibility. Maybe after having one, you'd never do a workout without it. "They're so versatile!" you say, "I can use it for everything!"
It's true. They're remarkable tools. But we'll let you in on a secret: you can use them for so much more.
Let us show you five lesser known ways you can get value out of your balance ball using our yoga ball covers. We think you'll be surprised by just how useful these fitness classics can be!
1. Artful seating
Let's face it - yoga balls are ugly. They're usually a bright neon color, rubbery, sticky and big. We take our fitness balls out for exercise, and exercise only, and then promptly hide them back in the closet. And for some, once that exercise ball is in the closet, it might never come back out again! We need the daily visual of the ball to remind us to actually use it for exercise. So how can we make a yoga ball something that we actually want to see taking up space in our homes?
Here's something that you probably haven't noticed about yoga balls: their unique shape. "It's a sphere…lots of things are sphere," you'll say. But how often do you come across such a big, perfectly geometric shape in your daily life? Such shapes are rare, and visually appealing. Ask any interior designer. A balance ball has the ability to add a powerful dynamic to an otherwise drab room.
But of course, no matter how cool the shape, you can't call that neon, rubbery, sticky eyesore a piece of art just yet. You'll need to cover the ugly with something pretty. That's where our yoga ball covers come in. Made by local artisans in Chiang Mai Thailand, we truly believe our designs have artistic as well as functional value. Simply plop on a patterned cover or a fluffy fleece cover that matches the décor of your room, and voilà - you have a statement piece.
2. Office Chair
We do a lot of sitting on our yoga balls when we're exercising, so why not do it while we're working too? Here are some great reasons to use your newly decorated fitness ball as an office chair:
- It's fun! Ever get bored staring at your computer screen during the afternoon slump? Do a couple bounces on your exercise ball, and get yourself moving without even getting up. We all can relate to the simply joy of bouncing… now you can do it all day long!
- It burns calories. According to a study by the European Journal of Applied Physiology, sitting on a yoga ball burns 6% more calories per day than sitting on a regular office chair.
- It improves posture. Without a back to lean on, sitting on a balance ball forces you to sit up straighter all day.
- It makes stretching easy. Use your "seat" as a true yoga ball for stretches during breaks from work. It'll not only make you feel better, but it'll get you mind flowing quicker.
- It might even make you more productive. According to Sweat Science, in one study, men who were sitting on excercise balls typed 551 words in 20 minutes, while men who were sitting in a normal chair typed 519.
3. Kids room decoration
Kids love yoga balls! They're fun to roll around, bounce on, and play with. Plus, the right balance ball cover will add the perfect amount of color and excitement to your child's room. Add some cheetah print for an animal lover, or a bright purple fur cover for a sweet cuddle bug.