Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yoga For Anxiety And Stress



For today's post on How to Practice Mindfulness, I thought I'd share what I've discovered and confirmed a few months ago. Yoga helps reduce anxiety A LOT. Since "a lot", although accurate and true, doesn't sound too professional, descriptions with more medical terms regarding this issue can be found in this excellent article by the Yoga Journal.

I've already written about how my yoga practice has benefited my overall health immensely and why I stick to it. This time, I want to share a video with a yoga sequence, specifically made for relieving anxiety. 

If you are looking for a short breathing exercise that will help alleviate anxiety, please pay attention to minute 2:00 (ish) where Adriene (from Yoga with Adriene) explains the "alternate nostril breathing" technique. Tried and tested by me!

Hope you find it helpful!














Friday, March 25, 2016

Clickable Links



It's a long weekend here, with Thursday and Friday being non working days. Today's links are a bit late because we all went to see Batman vs Superman. Yeah, I realize it's not the best of excuses, but you know, I have two boys who are all about Avengers and Super Heroes. It was inevitable.


President Barack Obama in Bariloche (Argentine Patagonia). A warm photo via Argentine's First Lady Instagram account. And this is where they stayed in Bariloche  during the last few days of their visit here. By the way, how inspiring is Michelle Obama! And how nice they are as a family was a lovely surprise to a lot of Argentines.

Creative Bathroom Signs.

This Harry Potter jewelry is beautifully made. Have a look.

I'm currently watching Scorpion, well, actually, I've only watched the first episode, but I'm excited about next one. 

Carrot cake pancakes with cream cheese frosting. It's cake for breakfast!

On the need for kids to learn from failure. So true.

10 tips to prevent neck pain. Yes, please.

A beautiful note by Brene Brown. 


Have sweet weekend!


(Photo of Obama via mundo sputnik news)







Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How To Practice Mindfulness: Yoga.




This is the 8th post on my"How To Practice Mindfulness" series. I hope you are finding this interesting and helpful in some way. I'd love to hear your feedback, and if you'd like me to write about a specific subject, please let me know in the comments below.

Yoga and Mindfulness 

Only recently, I started practicing yoga regularly. Actually, it was a few months ago, that I gave yoga a second try and saw so many improvements, mentally, and physically, that I hope to be able to always create time in my day to practice this ancient discipline. Here's an good article on bringing mindfulness into your yoga practice, if you are interested in a more experienced approach.

Mindfulness and yoga are interconnected. To me, they are two sides of the same coin. Once you find a good yoga teacher (hello! Yoga with Adriene) that guides you, not only through the postures and flows, but more importantly, through the whys of each movement, you start to understand how the thinking mind needs to be in tune with what the body is saying. I feel that, through yoga, you learn to find balance, first with postures, then somehow, you take it off the mat and into everyday life. Ultimately, all this contributes to your overall well being, in that your body heals and becomes stronger.

Video Recommendations. Practicing Yoga at Home

Have a look at this video if what you want is a yoga meditation class. Or this one, if you are looking for a power yoga class, or maybe this one, to get a yoga for weight loss experience. 

You'll notice that they are all Yoga with Adriene videos. Why? Because it's her classes that I follow regularly. Finding true vocation and skill within the same person is golden, and I think Adriene encompasses both. I feel like I'm sharing a gem here when I recommend her to you. I truly hope you give her videos a try. I think I can safely say that you will #findwhatfeelsgood.

Have you ever done yoga? If so, what's your favorite part of a yoga class?






Sunday, March 20, 2016

Let's Share #OOTDs On My Blog!




Hi! How was your weekend? We made pancakes on Sunday, and went to the movies. What I would call, a proper lovely Sunday.

Do you like OOTDs (outfits of the day) ? I do, I think they provide inspiration and also they are just fun! Today, I thought I'd share all of my OOTD photos from my Instagram. And by all, I mean 2. Yep, that's right, two. 

But I'm planning on posting more in the future, that is, if you are interested, of course. Judging by the attention they got on Instagram, we mamas, girls, and grown up women in general, enjoy getting ideas from our peers. What do you think?

I've also been doing some thinking, and... since I would love to get to know you, and those who make their way into my corner of the internet, I thought I'd start a new series in which I post, every week, the outfits of the day that you'd like to share with me. Whether you already have a blog, or not, you'd send me a photo and I would post it on my blog. How does it sound? Let me know in the comments. You'd e-mail a couple of photos, or even one, telling me what you are wearing and I can then post them on my blog. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just everyday clothes. Or, get fancy if you want. Ideas are always welcome, any size, any style. Any ootd that you'd like  to share with this community will make me happy, and hopefully will make you happy too. 

This is my e-mail: eclecticalu.com@gmail.com. Write #OOTD in the subject so I can recognize your e-mail easily. Can't wait to feature you guys here!


Flopy, our dog, was making sure I was having fun while taking these pics.

That top is my favorite for summer, because stripes! It's from Gap. It's also light and easy to pair with mostly anything. In this case (boyfriend) "husband" jeans.  Do you like wearing stripes?


This skirt is from Estancias Chiripa, and it was a birthday gift from my dear friend, Karina. Here's a similar one. Note to self: wear more skirts in the summer. They are so comfortable and fresh.























One more thing. Would you like to leave a link to your Instagram in the comments so we can all get to know ourselves better? You are more than welcome to follow me along as well. Sounds like fun?  Yes? No?

Have a good week!


P.S. Azuni London Jewelry and A drugstore pink nude lip combo





  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Clickable Links





Hi! Happy Friday! 

This weekend I'm planning on making this flan again, since the one I made during the week has disappeared almost instantaneously.

What are you up to? 


The 10 most literate countries.

Juice that cures acne? More like a good-for-your-skin juice, if you ask me...

Comfortable cool sneakers that won't smell if you don't wear socks?

Baby Leprechaun 

Cinematography before CGI. 100 miniature movie sets. 

15 pics that prove that kids are copy paste versions of their parents. 

I want to make this pineapple carrot cake sometime in the near future. 

Have a good one!


*painting by my mom

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mindfulness For When You Are Not Feeling OK




Today is one of those days for me. I've had a cold for the last 3 days and have been trying to "power through" it, as if it wasn't there. Though my stuffy nose, and sore throat, have been letting me know, loud and clear, that I do have a cold; I wasn't letting myself assume that, until I decided to look for a meditation practice for discomfort. 

After doing this UCLA meditation I realized I still have a looong way to go until I fully learn to apply mindfulness to my every day life. 

This particular meditation is simple, but powerful. It guides you to bring awareness to what you are feeling (in my case a stuffy nose that won't let me breathe normally) and helps you to let it be. Yes, the key is to let the discomfort be. That, was a breakthrough. I was expecting to get rid of the cold too soon. Sounds pretty obvious, but have you heard about big old denial? Well, it can be very powerful!

Somehow, trusting the process, and simply bringing awareness to what, and where you feel the difficulty in your body, is enough to help you feel OK with it, and also evaporates any traces of stress, or rush to get rid of it. (Go figure! ha!)

I hope you are feeling OK, and not in need of this meditation, but in case you do, give it a try! aaa....achooo!








Monday, March 14, 2016

How Do You Like Your Tea?



Have you noticed how everyone has their own specific, and sometimes very unique, way of drinking tea? 

To me, having tea, equals joy and coziness. I even drink it hot during the summer! Call me crazy but, in this household, tea time is almost sacred, it's an essential part of our day




Not all cups are created equal.

Whenever I have friends and family over for tea, I ask how they'd like their infusion of choice. Answers are proportionally representative. Everyone has their own special twist to the way they drink it, which makes the process quite intricate!

First, there's the selection of a preferred kind of tea. Green Tea, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Chamomile, the list is almost infinite. Then, brewing time. And lastly: sugar?, honey?, milk?, lemon?, cinnamon?, you name it. 

I like Earl Grey with a splash of cold milk. No sugar for me please. Having said that, tea has to come with some kind of baked good...or else... I'll search high and low for a cookie let's just say that the experience won't be as joyful or cozy.

What about you? Do you drink tea? I'm very curious to know, what's your favorite way of drinking tea? What kind? Hot, cold? Milk? Lemon?  


*photos from my Instagram


P.S. The best healthy lemon brownies I've ever had!, and Tiramisu: quick and easy




Friday, March 11, 2016

Clickable Links





The weekend is upon us, and so are Friday's clickable links! 


Beautiful Patagonia Photos. I may be biased but, isn't it gorgeous?

While you are at it. More beautiful scenery "8th wonder of the world". Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina.

What peaceful borders between European countries look like. I love this and I'm sure you will too.

Undo the damage of sitting all day. Exactly what I need right now.

Getting your zzz's. Need this too. Good thing it's Friday.

Making a decision.


What are the best sources of drinking water?

Mom wants to know if you'll be free if she visits 14 months from now. Aww, the things us moms do...


Crazy hair day.


Have a happy Friday!



Photo credit: pixabay.com (Argentine Patagonia)









Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How To Practice Caring Mindfulness: Cultivating Loving Kindness



In previous posts, I commented on why altruism is a win-win situation. How can we implement this in our practice for well-being?

Given that the benefits are clearly measurable, psychologists and therapists are turning to meditations that include loving kindness, and compassion.


Why cultivate loving kindness?

Because the practice of mindfulness, by itself, can be used incorrectly, and deviate from its original purpose, which is, not only to increase our well-being, but also that of others, and the place we live in: our planet. 

Matthieu Ricard wrote:
"A calm and clear mind is not in and of itself, a guarantee for ethical behavior. There can be mindful snipers and mindful psychopaths who maintain a calm and stable mind. But there cannot be caring snipers and caring psychopaths."

Compassion and neural changes.

Several studies have shown the benefits of practicing caring mindfulness. This one study in particular, led by positive psychologist, Barbara Frederickson, shows clear cut findings: 
"The practice of LKM (loving kindness meditation) led to shifts in people's daily experiences of a wide range of positive emotions, including love, joy, gratitude, contentment, hope, pride, interest, amusement, and awe. These increases in positive emotions were evident both within the trajectories of change in daily emotions over the span of 9 weeks and within a detailed analysis of a given morning 2 weeks after formal training ended."
The 140 adults who participated in this study also showed improvements in physical health.

Ricard puts it this way,
"Meditation gives you inner strength and confidence, and if you don't feel vulnerable, you can put that to the service of others. So it's not just about sitting and cultivating caring mindfulness. It's building up a way of being and then using it for the service of others."

Here's how you do it.

Got 9 minutes and 20 seconds to spare? 

UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) to the rescue! I like this loving kindness meditation  because it's very easy to follow and it leaves you with a good mood, and a sunny disposition. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it went! 



P.S. How to practice a Body Scan? and Mindful Eating.








Monday, March 7, 2016

A Drugstore Pink Nude Lip Combo



Last Friday, I went to the drugstore. I was on a mission. I wanted to find a nude matte lipstick. This time, it had to be one that would actually look good on me. 

Easier said than done. I have a couple in my makeup drawer that look lovely on the tube but not so good on me. This one, for example, is beautiful but looks too pale on. If you have a trick for wearing it, please let me know. I guess I should wear it either on top or underneath another shade. What really happens then, is that I end up not wearing it. Anyway...

After a few minutes of staring at many pink-y brown-y lines on my hand I found the perfect natural/pink/coral/nude lipstick by Rimmel London. And it doesn't wash me out. Hooray!  When I got home I realized it was one of the Lasting Finish ones by Kate Moss. Double Hooray! Aha! moment. As you can see, it took me quite a while to realize it was "that" lipstick. Better late than never.

So here it is...

























Later that day (prepare for it) I remembered the lip liner I 
bought a few months ago, that I liked so much, also by Rimmel London. So yes, dear reader, triple Hooray! Lip combo: check.



























Lasting Finish lip liner in 049 Natural is, to me, the perfect natural pink nude liner. 

When you pair these two, good things happen. The lipstick is enhanced, and creamier, and it lasts longer on your lips. This is how it looks under direct sunlight. It's very understated but that's the good part of a nude lip right? Great with smokey eyes!


Hello big shades...ha!



Have you tried this combo? What's your go-to lip combo?




**I'm testing affiliate links for the first time and I'm not sure they are working correctly. Please let me know if you have any inconveniences with that. Thank you for supporting Eclecticalu.



P.S. When beauty products boost your mood and A cherry red gel nail polish at the drugstore 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Clickable Links Friday



This week was a back-to-school kind of week for us and we've been working on adjusting to the schedule again. Waking up earlier and going to bed earlier too. I have a feeling this weekend will be all about regaining hours of sleep and just enjoying the two non-school days. What about you? 


Yesterday was "World Wildlife Day", a UN initiative to celebrate our planet's wonderful and unique species. There are some bad news but also some good ones.  

Perfectionists at work. Cute and funny.

30 Pro makeup tips you've never heard before.

Chloe show. Apparently fleeces are back, not that they ever left my closet.

Baby Joey spreading love and joy brought happy tears to my eyes. 

New mom has perfect answer to body shaming 11 months after giving birth.

20 reasons why you should visit the Netherlands.

I was skeptical about Ghostbusters 2016 but the trailer is good! I know I'll have to watch it with my kids so, you know...in case you are on the same boat.

I've always loved learning languages but Matthew Youlden has raised the bar too high! Watch him speak 9 languages. Impressive.

20 + kids who are the masters of hide and seek


Have a good one!


*Painting by my mom 



P.S. Previous clickable links







Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How To Practice Mindfulness: A Quick Exercise



How was your mindful eating practice? Were you able to focus on what, and how you were eating? If you did, even if it was for 30 seconds, it's a success. Pat yourself on the back. 

Today, I thought I'd share an exercise we can do in the car when we are waiting for the light to turn green. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who was nominated by Martin Luther King Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize, explained this at mindful.org

"...make use of the red light. You can sit back and relax--take the ten seconds the light is red to practice mindful breathing and release the tension in the body. So next time you 're stopped at a red light, you might like to sit back and practice... "Breathing in, I'm aware of my body. Breathing out, I release the tension in my body"  Peace is possible at that moment, and it can be practiced many times a day--in the workplace while you are driving, while you are cooking, while you are doing the dishes... It is always possible to practice releasing the tension in yourself."

What do you think? Is this helpful? Are you an anxious driver or a peaceful one? Let me know! In my case, I can get pretty anxious whenever I'm being late. Otherwise, I tend to remain calm and enjoy the ride. What about you?
Next wellness Wednesday will be about adding kindness to your everyday life. Stay tuned!