Listen and Breathe- tips beyond the mat

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It’s not everyday that one of our friends emails us and asks to respond to our monthly topic. Enter Lauren O’Connor, RD in Los Angeles. She kindly reached out, wanting to express her take on what “listening to your body” means.
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One of the best pieces of advice I’d ever gotten “Listen…and Breathe” And while I’ve heard it many times throughout my life, I was just reminded again in a recent yoga session.

Listening to your body so important — it applies to the many ‘walks’ in our lives. Not just in yoga, but in everything we do, attempt and pursue. If take a moment to really listen and set aside all the “talk” in our heads (Am I getting better? Is this a waste of time? What about so-and-so? I don’t know if I’ll have time?) we just may find the peace within us to let it happen (without fighting it or wimping out). It doesn’t have to be a huge step, but a step towards progress is a step in the right direction.

Listening to your body (and breathing) can elongate a stretch in yoga without strain or stress – you know how far you can go. The same can apply to a healthy lifestyle plan – understanding and knowing what your body wants (giving yourself the time to “breathe” vs rushing too quickly and misinterpreting your needs):

· Are you still hungry?

· Are you thirsty?

· Are you tired?

· Are your bored, frustrated or stressed?

These are all factors that can influence our eating patterns. Once you know what your body wants/needs you can set yourself in the right direction.

I know when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I need is a tall glass of water. Once I’ve quenched my thirst and have had a little time to “wake up”, I replenish my energy needs with a wholesome bowl of cereal, which typically includes Uncle Sam cereal with a cup of fresh berries and soymilk. I feel good knowing my choice in cereal is additive-free with only wholesome ingredients (a short list of natural foods), high in fiber – a healthy source of whole grains.

When I take the time to “listen” to my body, no matter how subtle the cues, I find I am more at peace and in tune with myself – and better able to perform, whatever the task my be. Thank you Attune Foods for a great, wholesome product!!

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Lauren O’Connor, MS, RD is a registered dietitian residing in Los Angeles. She is owner/nutritional consultant for Nutri-Savvy. Her approach and motto: “Savor, Taste and Enjoy…Nutrition”. She focuses on building healthy values and choosing a wide variety of foods, allowing for all foods – even sweets, in moderation. O’Connor is a member of the California Dietetic Association (CDA) and the American Dietetic Association (ADA). A nutritional expert, she’s has contributed to various online media including abcnews, everydayhealth, iVillage, Shine by yahoo, Shape, LivingInThin, FitSugar and Multiples & More. Check out her blog at nutrisavvysblog.wordpress.com

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