Free Bendable Body Workout Video

Bendable Body is the best kind of workout for your body. It's restorative, makes you more flexible, elongates your muscles, and strengthens in a gentle way! If you want a little taste of the class, check out my latest YouTube video and get bendy right at home (or wherever!) 

Best Summer Workout for a Strong and Lean Body

Let's be clear: I don't believe in the perfect bikini body OR that you should work for a perfect bikini body. Why? Because a perfect bikini body doesn't exist. You have a body? Perfect. You have a bikini? Great. You have a perfect bikini body. What I want for you is to feel happy and healthy and that is different for each person. BUT, the workout I designed below will make you strong and lean and you don't need anything beside yourself. You will use your own body weight in all of the exercises, which requires you to have good form and balance.

Perfect form is important, so that you engage the right muscles and don't hurt yourself. Balance is great because you engage tiny muscle groups that you wouldn't normally work and you will most likely use your core in order to stay balanced - and who doesn't want a tight core? 

The Sweat Party portion of the workout is High Intensity Training, which you have heard me talk about quite a bit because I believe (and science supports me on this) that it creates optimum results. You spike your heart rate and work intensely for a minute or so, then cool down for a period of time, before you spike your heart rate again. 

The Bendable Body part of the workout creates strong but lean muscle, because you stretch and extend yourself. Just think if you worked your core and legs very hard, your muscles tighten and "bulk". Stretch and extend, to create space and length. 

BENDABLE BODY

1. Rollovers 

Gently stretch the connective tissue and muscles on both the front and the back of the body. Take a deep breath and find a rhythm that feels good to you. Here's how: as you breathe in, stretch your arms upwards and back while you bend your legs in a half squat. Make sure you stretch up and back, so that you extend the front of the body. Then exhale while moving your arms forward, rounding your back and extending the back of the body. Then inhale again and swipe up your arms to start over. Work in line with your breathing and repeat for 5-8 breaths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Side Stretch

Improves mobility of the ankle joints and hips while stretching the back. Take your time and change it up, keep turning your body to stretch out in all different ways by reaching with your arms. We rarely move symmetrically in the day, so it is useful for the body to stretch out in ways that feel new and maybe a bit hilarious. Here's how: Stand wide and sink into a side lunge but keep your feet facing forward without lifting your toes or heels. Rotate outwards and diagonally with your arms and upper body to access new places. Then change legs. Repeat 5-8 times per side.

 

3. Side Angle Lunge and Dip

Stretches the hips and the long back muscles and provides deep breaths. Here's how: Position yourself into a deep lunge, one foot forward, one foot back, both hands placed on the inside of your front leg. Then extend the arm closest to the front leg straight up into the sky. Breathe. Come down with the same arm, bend, and touch your elbow to the floor. Repeat 5-8 times and then switch sides.

 

4. Frog Squat

Opens chest and hips. Here's how: Sit in a deep squat with your heels to the floor and arms stretched out in front of you, elbows to your knees. Rotate  your upper body to one side and stretch the opposite arm above your head, look up over your shoulder. Change side. Repeat 5-8 times per side.

 

5. Flip the Dog 

Extends the back of the leg, stretches your spine and entire front. Here's how: Stand in a downward facing dog, extend one leg to the sky. Open up the hip of the extended leg so far that your foot reaches the floor behind you. Place your foot on the floor, then lift your opposite arm upwards and back for a deep stretch of the chest, stomach and hip. Rotate back and switch sides. Repeat 3-4 times per side.

 

6. Three Legged Bridge 

Extends the chest, shoulders, biceps and increases mobility in the back. Here's how: Stand on all fours with your butt on ground and face up. Push through one arm and your legs. Press the hips and chest toward the sky while stretching the free arm backwards to increase the stretch. Repeat 5-8 times per side.

 

7. Front Leg Stretch

Extends the front of the foot, thighs and knees. This increases mobility of your ankles and extends the fascia of the shin that is often stiff. Here's how: Sit on your knees with your feet under you, tows to the ground. Shift your weight gently to one side, then lift the knee on the opposite side and feel how it stretches the front of the foot, the ankle and the lower leg. Hold for a few seconds and then lower the leg again. Repeat 3-4 times per side.

 

SWEAT PARTY

Each block consists of a strength part and a flush part: first you built up strength and therefore lactic acid, then you flush it out. 

Strength: First work through two strength exercises, 60 seconds each. High tempo!

Sweat Push: After that, work with two flush exercises for 15, 30 and 45 seconds - rest 15 seconds between each exercise. Do this: exercise Nr. 1 for 15 sec (rest 15 sec), exercise Nr. 2 for 30 sec (rest 15 sec), exercise Nr. 1 for 45 sec (rest 15 sec), exercise Nr2. for 30 sec (rest 15 sec), exercise Nr.1 for 15 sec (rest 15 sec).

Block 1

Strength Nr. 1: 

Take a big step to the side and sink into a side lunge with your feet facing forward, while rushing your elbows backwards. Squeeze your shoulders blades together properly. Step your feet back together and then take a big step to the other side. Keep going at a high pace.

 

Strength Nr. 2: 

Stand in plank position and lower yourself down, hold just before the ground. Press yourself back up and lift your butt as in downward dog. Lift one arm and  touch your hand to the same side knee. Shift your weight forward, lift one leg and step it forward into a deep lunge. Step the leg back so that it puts you into plank position. Then repeat the exercise from the beginning. Switch legs each time.

 

Sweat Push Nr. 1

High knees in place. Lift your knees as high into your chest as you can. Work fast but diligent. Move your arms in the rhythm with your knees. 

 

Sweat Push Nr. 2

Stand with your feet facing forward, hip distance apart and legs bent into a squat. Place your right hand to the ground. Push through your feet and jump, make yourself long and tall, land with your left hand to the ground. Repeat. Always keep your chest lifted. Jump at a high pace and switch sides at every jump.

 

Block 2

Strength Nr. 1

Stand on one leg. The other leg is lifted off the ground, knee forward and at a right angle to the floor. Gently kick your leg back, letting your upper body move forward in to a Warrior 3. Extend your arms straight forward from your head with your palms facing each other, thumbs t the sky. Then lift your upper body while moving leg back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times before switching sides. 

 

Strength Nr. 2

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend and place your hands onto the ground over to one side. Push through your hands and jump to the side while lifting your feet and butt up into the sky, like trying to make a hand stand. Land back on your feet in a deep squat. Then push through your feet explosively and jump high. Do another one like this in the same direction before switching. 

 

Sweat Push Nr. 1

Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Take a deep breath and bend knees, pushing your butt as far back as possible. Then jump explosively and pull your knees up to your chest as much as you can. Land back into the squat position and repeat immediately. 

 

Sweat Push Nr. 2

Stretch your arms over your head. Then bend over and put your hands to the ground, then jump your feet back to plank. As soon as your feet in the ground behind you, jump back into a squat and stand tall. Repeat immediately.

Instant Gratification Detox!

How many times have you felt like a train wreck, needing to make changes in your life, looked up the trendiest diet and training fad on Pinterest, went all in for 4 whole weeks, had instant results just to crash and burn short there after? The dieting gave results quickly!! That feels GOOOOOD! The super sweaty fitness program gave you heart palpitations and a sore ass. That feels GOOOOD! It MUST be working. And it does work, for a very short, teeny, weeny, period of time. You thrive for about a month or two. Ok I'll give you 3. Just enough for the summer to come around and pass. Shorts season. Bikini body. Words like slim, skinny, sexy, and get ready in every single magazine, Instagram post and Facebook feed. No wonder we feel the pressure to do SOMETHING and do it FAST!

I hate to break it to you: It doesn't work. It just doesn't. Its not sustainable, human, healthy, not to talk about necessarily psychologically healthy to go through this cycle over and over again. Physically the body will also shut down after a few rounds of this type of torture, but while we are in the metamorphosis of the instant gratification and change, we don't think of the consequences. We just GOOOOOOO! The fact is that the physical body will go through so much stress during a period of this malnourishment, solicited fight-or-flight response, that it will have a hard time bouncing back. And for each time the cycle repeats, the further away from our true health and wellness we travel.

Thats not the kind of travel I envision when I hear T R A V E L!! (I'm more like: beach, sandy toes, tequila, bring it on!) Sorry, got lost for a second there. 

Wouldn't it be cool to stop torturing your body with bad and extreme food and movement habits and mindset, and start treating it like you LOVE it instead? Move like you want to feel, and eat to nourish and feel amazing? No over training, under eating, polluting the body and mind with instant gratification, but instead making LASTING changes and tapping into the WONDER of you? Instead of crash dieting, actually learning what works for you, and creating a sustainable habit...of FOOD LOVE? Instead of training until you almost fall apart, train to create strength, suppleness, the feeling of being sexy in your own skin? 

This transformation is possible. It is available to you. It is as scientific as rocket science, and as soul nourishing as a hug from someone you love. Maybe you can make that someone be You? If you're interested in putting the time in, and actually giving yourself the gift of Lifeforce, send me a note hereI will tell you like it is. No holding back. I will guide you and give you the tools you need for a long lasting love affair with yourself and your wellness. We can do all of this in person or on long distance. The coaching process involves YOUR effort and my GUIDANCE and EXPERTISE. We don't do a quick fix, instant gratification, one-night-stand. We get deep, commit, and reap ALL the benefits from the effort and engagement. Now THAT works.

Live Loud!

Movement Can Be Your Therapy

It somehow feels like a redundant statement at this point. That movement can heal. I'd say that there are actual studies done on how movement can prevent us from getting sick, but that it actually heals is a greater statement. Before I drag in the scientific studies that support my claim, I want to start at the other end.

Try this:

- Pick out your favorite song on your player of choice

- Play it loud

- Dance! Let yourself go! Bounce around for the whole duration of the song!

- How do you feel?

At this point there are new sensations going through your body. Whether they are euphoric, happy in memory of what that song means to you, or you're exhausted from the energetic combustion, it just made your body change from one emotional and physical state to another. By moving! If you were your own case study you could, by testing on yourself, prove that there were changes in heart rate, mood, state of mind. Pretty neat!

Now try this:

- Do a yoga sun salute where every inhale and exhale corresponds to one movement

- Reaching areas over head, inhale AND exhale

- Folding forward in rag doll, inhale AND exhale

- Move slowly and gently and allow the movement to dance with the breath

- How do you feel?

If we can create changes on the body by moving, how do those changes affect our bodies back? Can they be healing? Just dancing to your favorite song can give you such satisfaction, that you can heal a sad day or a moment of anxiety. You can use it as an instant energy changer! If that isn't revolutionary to us on a human level, I'm not sure what is. Vigorous exercise has been proven to be equally efficient as antidepressant medication for light and intermediate depression. Antidepressants come with SO MANY MORE side effects, but are easier to take of course. But movement is free! And the side effects are to feel strong and energetic. Not a bad option.

In his book, The Real Happy Pill, Anders Hansen brings up how intermediate cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes per day, keeps the brain functioning high while we are aging. (Did I say exercise is in essence free??) Anders writes about how throughout evolution, the most important function of the brain has been to make us move. For a reason! The brains needs you to move to stay healthy. With that in-perspective, we are just tapping into the vast knowledge of what the romantic and symbiotic relationship between the movement of the body and the functioning of the brain really is. (Isn't this exciting??)

Check out Anders book HERE

Now try this:

- Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXI4VyXrRVM

Need I say more?

Live Loud!!

Sharperning My Coaching Skills

I'm embarking on a new journey! As I'm truly passionate about my job, but also pretty passionate about keeping my brain oiled. I continue my education within my field, and add to the knowledge like a little curious monkey of sorts. I know I can be a better coach if I do, and I never really feel like I'm done learning. I'm also find myself perplexed that exercise enough is NOT in-fact enough to keep the old brain fresh! Speaking of what exercise does to the brain, read my blog HERE about what the real story is on that! 

For the next few months I'm adding to the data base of Tanja, with Precision Nutrition and their Pro Nutritional Coaching Program. For the longest time, I have coached my own clients with a holistic approach, meaning food and diet is a part of us, and can make us and our surroundings better! Finally I've found the greatest resource to deepen my knowledge that is based both in scientific studies AND in behavioral coaching. I've already skipped around with joy after reading things like "food is smart, and so is your body" and "good nutrition is sustainable for both ourselves and the planet" and am thrilled to share the learnings with you!

I find that the best way to keep myself motivated about my work, and life in general is to be curious without end. If we're curious, we can never ever be bored. Are you bored yet?

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Live Loud!

Post Mallorca Retreat Rant

I'm finally back from the wellness retreat in Mallorca, hosted by Springtime Travel and Womens Health Sweden, that I have the privilege to be writing for. The second installment of our Lifestyle retreat dished up a feast of high level yoga and fitness, adventures and fun times for the 55 participants and us 6 coaches and lecturers. In my jet lag haze, I managed to actually have the best time and fill my cup to the brim!

I feel that there is not better way to get inspired and get a proper kick start thank to go on a wellness retreat! Traveling is fun, but for a lot of the girls that cane to the retreat, it was a relief to come alone and make new friends. There was also a healthy amount of fitness classes to partake, but also tons of free time to explore the island. 

I love to team teach, and this yearly trip with Women Health;th is something I always look forward too, but I also have the grey opportunity to host my own Lifeforce trips. The next one will be going to Santorini in Greece! Don't miss the info when it comes out, and also the sign up for the retreat. Sign up for the blog and newsletter below!

Live loud and hope to see you in Greece!

Sweat For Your Brain!

I'm currently reading "The Real Happy Pill" by Swedish author Anders Hansen, a fascinating book on the effects of training on the brain. I stumbled upon this easily delivered, scientifically based book through my old publisher. Although it starts of pretty light weight, with studies we have all taken part of, it keeps delivering one truth after the next from the last 15 years of studies on how exercise affects the brain. It basically states that we can help regenerate brain cells, fight depression, delay dementia, all from new fresh data. It is only 260 pages long, so even if you are NOT a book worm, you can make it through and come out on the other side feeling refreshed by knowing that you're putting your sweat capacity to the test for the sake of your brain! Anders makes the following claims:

-Cardio vascular training is essential for brain health. 20-30 min a day, five days a week, vigorous training! 

-A brisk walk is the BEST medicine against dementia

-We increase brain efficiency with exercise

-Creativity peaks up to 2 hours after exercise

-A workout per day is equally effective as prozac for milder forms of depression. And it comes with fewer side effects.

I don't know about you, but even though I love to move as it makes me feel endlessly better, the prospect that my brain is having a birthday every time I workout is just all the motivation I need. That and having a cute butt. Of course!!

Live Loud!

 

 

How would we look if we didn't have mirrors?

I dare to say we would actually "look" how we feel. That isn't completely untrue for a life with mirrors, but if we could re structure the way we experience ourselves, actually with or without mirrors, it could actually be freeing. Body Image and Body Culture is SO different around our globe. The fashion industry and fitness industry too, shape our worlds every single day. To some people it ends up being an inspiration and confirmation that were on the right path and that we are "ok" or " accepted, but for most its probably a bad comparison: were not thin enough, pretty enough, and therefore not successful (or happy) enough. Although were moving into an era (and can't you all feel the vibes:))??) of strong females leading from the front, and societies taking the responsibility to make a change for our kids and adolescents. If we want there to be a change in the middle and the top, we will just have to bunker down and make that change with ourselves first. How do we put out in the world what we really believe in? How do we actually start with "the man in the mirror"?

My work and passion has always been human behavior and physical movement. As long as I remember I loved to move, and I was good at it and got better. I received the proper push in the right direction just by having my small successes. I love the way dancing made me feel. Music took up all my times and just made me happy. Track and field made me feel strong, fast and powerful. I had very little time to get in trouble, although the way I grew up provided many opportunities and reasons to do so. Digging deep into the world of fitness made me realize that it provided a platform of joy and success, strength and identity, but also a race for perfectionism and objectification. The complete opposite of what we need to progress. Today, were in a constant fight over stress, and to eradicate the notion of that perfection.

Well, how about you give yourself the permission to not be anything but yourself today. This is so easy to say, but not the easiest thing to do actually. What follows are my own few suggestions that I like to use with my clients, and share. And to remind myself to not be too caught up, I use them myself on the regular.

1. The mirror is your friend. But a lot of the time we end up checking things out in it that we will then judge. Give yourself a few days off the mirror, and focus on how you feel when you're giving away your gift. Your gift is that thing you're great at. Hugs. Laughter. Being good at your work. Give and feel how that feels in and on your body.

2. Do a fun workout in a high intensity format (so that your heart rate goes up in peaks and valleys). Try one out that is outside, or if inside in a room, without mirrors. How does it feel to finish? That feeling can be the greatest reward! You just gave your body some love! The benefits of this type of exercise are so many that the last thing on the list is to actually fit into a certain size clothing. But that is a side effect too! More on this topic in another post:)

3. Spend some quiet time with yourself. Meditate. Take a bath. Pray. Clear the mind, and slowly see what forms. Daily! 

4. Learn something new. Get inspired by a book. A story on the radio. Revamp your mind to free your physical body of not so efficient role models. You can be your own role model!

I'm a firm believer that we can train ourselves to do anything with our daily lives. Win a race. Change our habits. Help ourselves. Cultivate that which makes us free and full of life-force. That might require hard work, time and maybe even letting go of things that don't serve us. But I'm here to say that you're worth it!

For my 10 week coaching program inquire HERE!

If you would like to attend a LIFEFORCE retreat, send me a message HERE!

To book me for workshops, send me a message HERE!

I want to hear your stories!!! Send me an email HERE!

Live Loud!!

The best fitness for you is...

By now the January craze of getting into the gym to stick to that NY resolution has started dying down. I mean, lets face it: it starts with a lot of enthusiasm! And then it goes softly down hill from there. At some point you might find yourself in a place where you just want to give up again and GET that QUICK FIX you know you can always reach for, to get RESULTS. After all, Instagram always militaristically yells RESULTS in your face: no matter what it is that you're really in need of. I agree to the fact that I don't want to necessarily waste time, or even worse, do anything that is damaging to the body, but in the jungle of something that is supposed to be HEALTH COACHING, we sort of come out on the other side less informed and more frustrated. So what can we do to change that? First off, I want to make a few statements that will clarify your vision. I mean, hopefully!

1. Health is to you, what YOU define it as. Not what someone decides for you. If you want to be moderately healthy for everyday living, then you should! No-one needs to tell you that you need to be an athlete. 

2. Information in media is most of the time misleading, because what media is talking about is taken out of context and without the reasoning behind WHY you're told to do this. Find REAL information which applies to YOU.

3. There is not BEST WORKOUT.

4. Judge any information by your own knowledge base. Learn. When you know better, you do better,.

If you take some time asking these questions, they might get you closer to your goals.

1. What is your short term goal with your health and fitness? Long term goal?

2. Why is the process to get there worth it? Can you invest the time, money and dedication it takes you to get there?

3. Why is this important to you right now?

Whether the answers to these questions touch on a long term problem, and a desire to make a long lasting change, or if the answers are only a short term fix, that answer will guide you in the right direction of resources you need to use. For instance: if you are looking for a long term change, it might be worth it to invest in a health coach who has a long education, and is more than just a physical trainer. Maybe you even need several practitioners to get on the right track. It's a greater time and money investment, but also a longer lasting effect!

If you're getting married in 6 months and you're pretty good with food and exercise but you just want to get those few last lbs off, maybe joining a training studio such as Orange Theory or using iPhone Apps for training. The investment in time and money is lesser, and most likely the short term goal will be met, followed by a gradual going back to the same lifestyle you did before that wedding. Thats OK too!! It's all up to you! As long as you DON'T expect a longterm change from a short term resource, you're on the right path.

If you're interested in my 10 week distance coaching program, please read more HERE.

If you just want to shoot me a question, please do so HERE:...Ill be more than happy to answer!

Just remember to -

Birthday Tips - Party it up the right way!

I can't believe that my birthday is around the corner!! A year goes so fast, but as spoiled as I feel with how my life is right now, I do remember how the hardest times of my life have felt like the thickest darkness moving forward at the slowest pace. I guess this is something that happens with moving into a deep and sultry (yes I said it) sense of myself, saying no to more and yes to much more. More of me. The past year has taught me a lot: Love is really real. Its true. The love that happens when you dare to be unapologetically yourself. Then: when you stop to Facebook and TV, there is time for connection, photography, books (!!!), sex, freedom. I've found myself having a HARD time even doing my social media bits, but since I really want to stay connected to you, its worth all the Instagram I can do. Time: who made that shit up? Living as if I'm time-less makes me feel so free. I'm truly creating the Lifeforce I need to suck the juice out of this life. If you want to get inspired and be a part of creating your own Lifeforce, hang with me (and some friends) on these two retreats:

Mallorca with Womens Health (Swedish speaking! Use code F&F for a big discount) More info and booking HERE!

Barcelona with Maria Söderholm (booking closes March 10!) More info and booking HERE!

And now on to really important stuff - 

10 Lifeforce Tips for a Loud and Proud BDAY!

1. Eat cake for breakfast. I don't care what kind, but cake spells birthday.

2. Visualize what you want for yourself in this new year.

3. Read anything by Fredrik Backman. Just do it.

4. Some more cake.

5. Ooze love. Go overboard. 

6. Stand up for something!

7. Take yourself on a date. Massage? Candle light dinner? Jump out of a plane?

8. Meditate 

9. Receive love. Go overboard.

10. Celebrate the amazing creature being that is you. 

Happy Birthday to all my fellow Aquarians!

Did you sign up for Barcelona in May yet?

There is still a chance to get one of the last few spots! Come to Barcelona with me and our host Maria for a full week of yoga, meditation, adventures in the sun, and amazing HIT training. You won't be the same after - treat yourself! Get more info in my Retreat section HERE, and click the {book} link for a list of all details and of course - TO BOOK! Last day to get your spot is March 15! Invest in a healthier, happier YOU!

Want to go directly to the booking page?

Come to Mallorca with me & Women's Health Sweden

Yoga in the sunrise, inspiring runs, fun dance classes and the best fitness classes you can imagine are waiting in March! Come join Women’s Health Sweden for a lovely week that will boost you with energy and give you a great kickstart into Spring! We stay at the beautiful Sunprime Waterfront in Playa del Palma Mallorca. For a whole week you have access to some of Sweden’s best fitness instructors and plenty of new friends to meet. The trip leaves from Sweden, so we will depart in Stockholm on the 18th of March and return the 25th of March, 2017..

Last very important piece of information: At this moment I can offer you a 2000 SEK ($225.00) discount on the trip! All you have to do is write "F&F" in the commentary field when you book. For more information and booking, please click below! 

This retreat is coming up fast and spots are going quickly - I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

Last Year's Fun!

Here's to a Loud 2017

As 2016 comes to an end I'm taking time to reflect and revisit the last 365 days. It's been a beautiful and challenging year with lots of high and lows, especially in our global community. What brings me joy, offers stability and gives me strength is my little but powerful tribe of clients, friends, and loved ones. For that I want to say "thank you"! 

I feel very grateful for all the moments spent and shared with the people who enrich my life on the daily. As each year passes we also want to reflect on the things that troubled us, gave us heart aches, or challenged us mentally and physically. There's no need to be perfect and no need to punish ones self for missed opportunities or so-called mistakes. 

Everything in life happens for a reason, as cheesy as that sounds, and the only direction to go is forward! So let us all learn from this past year and remember it all, good and bad, sweet and bitter, loud and quiet. It makes for a spicy, exciting, and adventurous mix and as the late Leonard Cohen said it best "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

I hope that you will embrace the new year with me with open and strong arms, willing to be surprised, uplifted, challenged, and loved all over again.

YOGOBE Is Open for Christmas!

It's Christmas next week?! How crazy is that? The holidays can be a lot but if you want to take a minute for yourself and workout all the stress (and calories) of the holidays, you should join me at YOGOBE! While your gym might be closed or have times that won't fit your schedule, YOGOBE is open and you can meet me there for a great little yoga or full-body workout session. And the greatest thing? It's FREE!

Enter promotional code TANJA when you create an account on www.yogobe.com/register and get your first 30 days absolutely free and without a subscription!

Here's a little taste of the Christmas fun!

#TJHolidayChallenge - Join Us!

It is officially December and the countdown to Christmas has begun! As every year I’m doing my own little countdown and I’m inviting (and encouraging) you to join me for our #TJHolidayChallenge! It’s going to be super fun! Daily posts with a mini workout on Instagram in a goofy/corny fashion and it’s not even a competition. It’s also not only workouts, relaxing stuff is included (!), such as meditation exercises and tips & tricks to take care of one another during this holiday season. More than anything this is for a good laugh and to keep your cheer all the way up to Christmas. So look out for my Instagram (@loudfitness) and tag a loved one, a friend, or a lover in the comments below the posts and do this with us. As they say, the more the merrier! 

Below are the challenges from this last week. Make sure you tag along :) Live Loud!

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Sudio Headphones - The Perfect XMas Gift

These Sudio headphones made it to California and I couldn't be happier! The sound is unsurpassed for a Bluetooth format and I can't get enough of them. They block all outside noise and you can fill your ears and mind with what ever makes you the happiest! That's the Loudfitness way through and through! (AND they're super stylish)

About The Headphones

The Sudio Vasa Blå features cutting edge Bluetooth 4.1 technology with multi-pairing capabilities. Vasa Blå boasts up to 8 hours of unlimited play-time with unique standby for up to 10 days, giving you the ultimate wireless freedom. With a carefully tuned driver and amplifier, the Vasa Blå delivers superior studio quality sound and noise isolation so you never miss a beat. Its unparalleled design, coupled with being the lightest on the market to-date, makes the Vasa Blå the perfect companion for any Bluetooth enabled device.

Sounds like an amzing XMas gift for yourself or a loved one? I think so! Give them a follow on their Instagram and buy yourself a pair HERE.

 

 

 

Best Fall Soups (5th Edition)

It actually cooled down in L.A. and I found just the soup to warm you right up! Well, technically it's not a soup, but it's close enough. A vegetarian, protein-packed chili that you can enjoy guilt-free. Sounds like heaven? I think so too!

Quinoa Chili

This recipe is so easy to make and fills you up for hours. You can also easily customize it or even make it non-vegetarian and add beef if you so desire. I like to serve it with a spoonful of Greek yogurt on top and half an avocado. You can also add cheese or use sour cream, but I prefer the Greek yogurt option since it's low in fat and adds a bunch of protein. 

So get cooking and make yourself a steaming bowl of chili for the weekend! Full recipe and instructions at DamnDelicious

A Podcast in Swedish

Recently I was asked to do an interview about fitness and life on a Swedish Podcast. It was a fun hour with a lot of laughs and it made me realize that my many years of living in America has definitely put a dent in my Swedish language!If you can deal with swenglish and a skånsk accent you should check it out. For anyone who is speaking Swedish please listen to the podcast right HERE.

Lessons in Meditation (Nr. 2)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I also hope you took some time for yourself to re-focus and relax. If you haven't - no worries, you still can! Last week I gave you an introduction to meditation, (if you haven't had a chance to read it yet, just go back in the blog) so this the the follow-up. Yes, you're already graduating to the next level! 

Here a little re-cap on what meditation is even good for? LOTS of things. I can ease stress, promote physical health, combat chronic pain, facilitate sleep, promote happiness, and be more present overall. Amazing, right? It's also a tool in many ways. It can help you work through difficult decisions and bring you more in touch with your true self. If nothing else, it can help you take a mindful moment in the day to breathe. 1 minute, 5 minutes, a half hour - you are the boss!

So here we go! The next 3 tips:

Counting Your Breath

If you are having difficulties settling, you can try counting your breath – which is an ancient meditation practice. There are different ways of doing this. The more "traditional" way is to count each exhale. If you stray or your thoughts are getting away from you, just start back at "one", it's not a contest! Don't look back, just forward. The other option is if you just need your breath to settle you in. Count the seconds of inhaling and exhaling to slowly deepen your breath. Example:  Inhale "1, 2, 3, 4" -  Pause - Exhale "1, 2, 3, 4" and increase the seconds as long as you're comfortable. Try and take deep, long breaths that fill you completely, and then exhale completely.

Thoughts

When you notice thoughts, gently let them go by returning yous focus to the breath. Don’t try to stop thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave. Then shine the soft light of your attention on your breath.

Emotions

It’s difficult to settle into meditation if you are struggling with strong emotions since some emotions will trigger stories in the mind. Especially anger, shame or fear create repetitive stories that will distract you from a peaceful meditation. Anger and shame make us look into the past at events that no longer matter but still hold power over us. Fear looks at the future with stories that start with, “What if…” The way to deal with strong emotions in meditation is to focus on how their feel in your body. For example, this could be the tight band of fear around the chest or the hot roiling of anger in the belly. Let go of the stories and refocus on your body. This way you are honoring your emotions but not becoming entangled in the stories.

Lessons in Meditation (Nr.1)

I know a lot of people who mediate. I also know a lot of people who would LIKE to meditate. And I know some people who would like to be somebody who would like to meditate. Long story short, the benefits are endless, it can be useful to anyone but it's not for everybody. Where ever you fit in this group, I put together some useful tips to guide you along the way!

First of all, what is meditation even good for? LOTS of things. I can ease stress, promote physical health, combat chronic pain, facilitate sleep, promote happiness, and be more present overall. Amazing, right? It's also a tool in many ways. It can help you work through difficult decisions and bring you more in touch with your true self. If nothing else, it can help you take a mindful moment in the day to breathe. 1 minute, 5 minutes, a half hour - you are the boss!

So let me present to you the first 3 tips I got for you.

1. Posture

You can sit on a chair or cross your legs on the floor (you can even lye down if that helps you), but make sure that your spine is properly aligned and your head is in a straight but neutral position. If you are slumped your mind will drift. Mind and body are intertwined. If your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance. To straighten up, imagine that your head is attached to a string (like a rag doll) and someone is gently pulling you up.

2. Eyes

Try and keep you eyes open. Open eyes allow you to be more present. Just lower your eyes and let your gaze be soft. If you close your eyes you will be more likely to drift away on thoughts and stories. However, it’s important to do what is comfortable for you. Some people find closing their eyes much more effective. It’s good to experiment and see what feels best for you.

3. Focus

In our day to day life and operations we are hardly ever present. For example, sometimes we drive the car and get lost in our thoughts. Suddenly we arrive at our destination and don’t remember how we really got there! Meditation is a wonderful way of waking up to our life in a more regular fashion. Otherwise we miss out on a lot of experiences because we are somewhere else in our head! And focus does not equate concentration. That’s like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn’t helpful. It’s too sharp and edgy. To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness. I suggest using the breath as a focus to get started. Just witness your breath flowing in and out of your body to connect the inside with your outside. Consciously breathe and see where your mind takes you. Also, don't beat yourself up if your mind wanders! It happens and just sticking with 5 minutes of meditation a day, with your mind wandering or not, is a great start to a committed practice!

Happy meditating!