Tag Archives: balance

A Balanced Approach to Resolutions

iGnite - fireworksHere’s to a New Year with New Beginnings and — Balance!  This year, let’s think about a more simplified approach to resolutions and try to make those resolutions realistic and sustainable. One way to do this is to prioritize your goals as you come up with ‘Less is More’ resolutions.  When we focus on doing less and doing it well, instead of doing more and assuming it’s better, we’re less scattered, more deliberate, less stressed, and more present. Our leaders are sharing their ‘Less is More’ Resolutions to encourage a more balanced lifestyle for 2016. Enjoy and be inspired!

Neissa Springmann

Neissa Springmann

Less Caffeine, More Water

“Rather than use water, wholesome food and proper hydration to boost my energy, when my energy is low I drink MORE caffeine. I absolutely know better, and when I do eliminate or decrease my caffeine conssumption and only drink water, I feel amazing!” – Neissa

Less Thinking and Over-Thinking, More Prayer

“I like to think of myself as a faithful person, but waaaay too often (almost always), I do not turn all of my questions and decisions over to God in prayer. I’m not a worrier or really an over-thinker, but I am an independant minded do-er, so too often I don’t include God in my daily decisions. I want every minute of my day to be directed by God and in order for that to happen, I need to include him in all decisions- big and small.” -Neissa

Less Spending, More Giving

“Having recently moved I purged a lot, however I am still amazed at how much excess I still have and frankly, I don’t need, and will likely never use. There are so many people who are in great need of basic things, all of which I have plenty of. Therefore, in 2016 I am going to make it a priority to spend less on “things” and give more.” – Neissa

Less Judgement, More Love and Compassion-

“Shamefully, I am amazed at how quickly I will judge someone or make an assumption about them when I don’t even know them! To be called to love one another means that we love despite flaws and having a ton myself, I certainly want people to love me and my family despite ours.” -Neissa

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker

Less Cooking & Cleaning, More time on the Lake

Less Collecting Stuff (Clutter), More quality time with friends and family

Less worrying about getting everything done, More time traveling with friends and family

Less focusing on wasteful errands, More time BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS, of course that happens a lot on the lake!

“I am at a phase of life where enjoying every day is a requirement!
Each day is such a gift.  I am not waisting one more in 2016.” – Kathleen

Cary Fyfe

Cary Fyfe

 

Less time worrying, More time in prayer

“This takes that yearly reminder to reboot. And then again throughout the year…friends hold me to this as well.” – Cary

 

Sha Klatt

Sha Klatt

Less time thinking about being active, More time being active.

“I’m trying to do something active everyday.  It usually helps if I get it done first thing, but a 20 minute walk in the evening works too.  It really makes a difference for me to do something active everyday.” -Sha

 

 

Molly Daniels

Molly Daniels

Less time spent on technology, More quality time with my husband

“My husband and I both work from home, so it’s hard to “turn work off”. We are aiming to do our technology turn-off every night for at least one hour so we can spend quality time together.” -Molly

More yoga, Less cross training

“Thanks to Amy Younkman teaching her wonderful Vinyasa Yoga class at Treehouse Yoga, I now have found a wonderful class I really enjoy and get excited to go to once a week. It reminds me to slow down and take time for rest – I don’t always have to be going 90 miles per hour.” – Molly

Amy Younkman

Amy Younkman

Less time using technology, More time using my own thoughts.

“In 2016, I plan to tune out the need to constantly be “plugged in” to technology and instead tune into the “Amy app” where I am checking in with my own internal wisdom and guidance.” – Amy

 

 

Jill Watts

Jill Watts

Less time talking, More time listening

Less time complaining, More time being grateful

“I am trying to do these things especially with my kids” – Jill

 

Delaine Teeple

Delaine Teeple

Less eating out, More cooking at home

“It is so easy with the multitude of after-school activities and sports for our kids to just eat out on the way home instead of prioritizing a home-cooked meal and calm evening together.  I know that everyone makes healthier choices at home, and I enjoy cooking for the family.” -Delaine

Less multi-tasking, More being present with my family

“With a little more prioritizing during the school day, I could get more done (or cut things out completely!) which will enable me to be free when the kids and my husband get home to enjoy my time with them and be present in the moment.” – Delaine

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The Perfect Addition to your Winter Fitness Routine

iGnite Cardio Kickboxing

by Molly Daniels

by Molly Daniels

Let’s be honest, winter weather isn’t always the most inspiring for getting out of the house for a workout.  Especially when you’re wanting a solid, heart-pumping workout — going for a long run in the cold isn’t always at the top of your list!  That’s why I love Cardio Kickboxing in the winter.

I love Cardio Kickboxing because it is different from any other class I teach, it is constant high-energy, it makes me sore in different areas of my body, and it’s a change! In order to see change in our bodies, it is important to mix things up — and that’s exactly what I like to do with Cardio Kickboxing.

I love that this class incorporates a different style of workout into my weekly routine — it gets my heart rate up, is energetic and allows me to get out any frustrations I have left over from the week.  Each class works my full body, using everything from speed bag exercises to jabs and kicks.  I love to remind my class participants that just some of the amazing benefits of kickboxing include:

  • Toning your Entire Body: Kickboxing forces you to engage all the muscle groups in your body, helping you stay injury-free.  If you do your punches and kicks correctly (and I help you do that!), they require intense core stability — allowing you to get  an amazing core workout throughout the whole class.  And as we all know, when you have a strong core (abdominals and lower back), everything in life is easier 🙂
  • Improved Balance and Coordination:  People often forget to practice balance in their workouts, so it’s the first thing to go.  In kickboxing, we are oftentimes balancing on one leg when kicking the other in three or more different directions, giving you a constant challenge for your body’s balance and coordination.
  • Improved Cardio Endurance: Kickboxing keeps your heart rate elevated throughout the entire hour because there are very little breaks!

But what do we do in class exactly?  A few of my favorite moves to incorporate are:

  • Speed bag drills
  • Punches galore: (with and without weights), including jabs, cross-body jabs, uppercuts and hooks
  • Around the world kicks
  • Roundhouse kicks
  • Side shuffle kickboxing combinations… and more!

Getting bored with your routine or just can’t get yourself excited to work out in the cold?  Come join me at Cardio Kickboxing and give one of my favorite styles of exercise a try 🙂 You’ll be “hooked!”


Molly Daniels teaches Cardio Kickboxing weekly in Austin, Thursdays at 9:30am at Synergy Dance Studio.  

iGnite Cardio KIckboxing

iGnite Cardio KIckboxing

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‘Enough is Enough!’

iGnite - remove the unnecessary

Photo from this summer’s iGnite Escape in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Point to Ponder:
What have you had “enough” of? What are you wasting your time and life on?
What keeps you running on the treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your life, being fully present and feeling great?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Recently I ran across a motivating radio show series called “Enough is Enough,” and as I listened, I became more inspired to also declare what I had had enough of in my life.

In last week’s journal I shared my realization that my current purpose/mission changed from what I originally thought it would be at this time. Prior to this, I was running myself ragged and trying to live up to the ridiculous expectations I placed on myself, which led me to declaring that ‘enough was enough!’ of letting my ego be my north star. ‘Enough was enough!’ of giving into the lie that my controlling ways were better than turning everything over to God in prayer. ‘Enough was enough!” of screaming at my kids and not being a present mom because I was stressed out of my mind due to believing that I needed to do more and was not enough unless I was multi-tasking and focused on accomplishing a million things.

So, what have you had “enough” of? What types of things are consuming your time and energy? What keeps you running on a treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your best life, being fully present and feeling great? Because women share similar heartbeats and the human experience is not unique, here are some ‘enoughs’ that instantly came to my mind and might resonate with you too:

Do you struggle with living up to the expectations of others and are too hard on yourself? Are the people you are spending the majority of your time with life-suckers rather than life-givers? Do you live on an emotional roller-coaster because you are too involved in your children’s lives, care too much about the opinions of others, make too many assumptions and take everything personally? Have you neglected your needs and are not getting enough sleep, healthy food, adequate hydration and exercise? Have you busied yourself, are completely stressed-out and therefore your words, interactions and body language are negative, cold and argumentative? Do you no longer attend church or have a day off for faith, family and rest because your children’s extra-curricular activities have taken over or you’ve replaced it with more work? Do you wrestle with control and worry too much? Is your financial situation and spending out of balance? Have you placed a higher value on work and outside commitments and as a result neglected the needs of your spouse or the people you love? Have you bought into the lie that God didn’t create you “enough,” and therefore you have low confidence? Do the destructive emotions of shame, fear and doubt control your life? Do you reject the love of others or can’t trust others because someone didn’t love you back or violated your trust? Do you procrastinate or keep putting off what is necessary and important in your life?

With only a little over two months left in 2015 (EEK!), I want us to be intentional with the way we spend the remainder of our year by declaring and writing down the “enoughs” in our lives on this printable worksheet. By doing this, your spirit will give you valuable knowledge and information about what you are willing to accept in your life. This level of awareness and information will minimize the chances of transferring negative actions and emotional garbage into 2016 and will promote healthy progress by adding what’s necessary, rich and wonderful into your new year and life!

Action Item:
Be intentional with the way you spend the remainder of your year by declaring and writing down the ‘enoughs’ in your life on this printable worksheet.

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Finding Mindfulness…on the Mat

Finding Mindfulness…on the Mat

iGnite leader Amy Younkman

by Amy Younkman

In the day and age of quick fixes, constant fads and “7 minute workouts,” it can be hard to slow down and ask ourselves, Is this really what’s best for my body?   In our American culture, there seems to be an ongoing obsession with ‘new forms’ of exercise; for example, the latest, greatest form of functional fitness, performed in an efficient, short period of time, giving you the most “bang for your buck,” and relying on external sources to guide and motivate you.

While these forms of exercise are effective and do lead to a fit, strong body, they are only part of the picture if we are truly seeking a healthy lifestyle.  By relying solely on these forms of fitness, we risk creating a vicious cycle of continually striving to be faster, stronger, look younger, be more ripped, track more daily steps…etc.  We never actually “arrive”, because there’s always that next level to strive for.  And that can get exhausting!

iGnite Yogalates on Lady Bird Lake

Yogalates on Lady Bird Lake

It’s important to balance these forms of exercise with what I like to call “mindfulness on the mat” so that we can continue to enjoy a variety of activities and pursuits, and most importantly, so we can prevent injuries and be more mindful of our existing ones.  When we step onto our yoga or Pilates mat, our first priority is tuning into our body and tuning out our goals, expectations, what we did yesterday, and what we need to do tomorrow.  If we pay attention, our body will tell us what it needs.  The ego is not invited onto our mat.  With time, practice, and patience we begin to notice imbalances and places we hold tension and resistance.  We learn to practice compassionate observation and tolerance for ourself so we are in a better place to extend it to others once off the mat.

Yoga and Pilates are two wonderful practices that teach mindfulness on the mat so that we can be more self-aware in our over-stimulated, consumer-driven world.  Yoga is over 5000 years old.  Pilates is nearly 100 years old.  These time-honored practices have much to teach us!

Pilates is a form of strength training with little to no impact.  It emphasizes alignment, core strength, muscular rebalancing and joint strength.  It is a very safe way to stay fit, prevent injury, and rehabilitate from injury, while increasing balance, body awareness, confidence and better posture.  While we use props during class to keep it interesting and fun, the classical Mat Pilates series is a total body workout using your own body as your guide.

Yoga has become so westernized that it’s hard to define what yoga is today.  In its truest form, yoga teaches us about ourselves and our relationship to the world.  It ignites awareness about how we respond to difficulty and ease, to consistency and change, to the way we face our universal human struggles of avoiding difficult situations (hard yoga postures, tough life issues), or the way we cling to the familiar and comfortable (postures that we can do, habits we grow accustomed to).

iGnite Power Pilates at Rollingwood Park

Power Pilates

Besides reducing stress, yoga also teaches us balance between sthira (effort) and sukha (ease) both in our yoga practice and in life.  It teaches us to balance stability with mobility, and strength with flexibility, so that we can balance setting boundaries in our relationships with creating the space we need.  Yoga teaches us to feel the poses rather than force them.  The postures are questions, not answers.  We ask ourselves, “How can I create more ease in this pose?”  which then translates off the mat to “How can I create more ease in my life?”  Yoga is not about doing the poses; it’s about undoing what gets in the way of the poses.

In a Vinyasa Yoga class, we become aware of our breath, the life force that pulsates through our body.  From there we let the breath guide us and connect us with movement.  While we get stronger and more flexible practicing weight-bearing and balancing exercises, twists, backbends, forward folds and inversions, we also become stronger and more flexible in our mind.  We tune into the subtle energy body and discover what we have always heard to be true: that the body and mind cannot act separately from one another.  Yoga is a practice because, rather that striving to accomplish something, we continually return to the bottomless well of wisdom and guidance from within.  As Judith Lasater, veteran yogi, says: “Slowing down is the same thing as waking up.”

So, as you plan your fitness program, be sure and schedule time to consistently practice “mindfulness on the mat”  through Pilates and yoga.  With regular practice, you will not only become more mindful and body-aware, you will find more ease and inner strength in your body and in your life.  Best of all, you will bring your newfound insights into everything you do, which will add to your enjoyment and keep you safe and injury-free!


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Embrace “The Juggle”

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

iGnite - The Juggle

As the summer is coming to an end and the shift to back to school and more activity is happening, we are embracing The Juggle.  Our inspiration is from a blog post from a few years back. We encourage you to read it again and determine your priorities and goals, set some realistic expectations and practice patience in the moments when it’s not all going according to plan.

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Wisdom from the Big Bang Birthday

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

See the distant road rather than the mud on the windshield.
— Bill Swinney (Kathleen’s father)

Action Item:
Fill your life with joyful, positive and passionate people, thoughts and things and remain focused on them. Never forget that life is an adventure.

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

This month we celebrated my Dad’s big BANG 88th birthday at his ranch. Seriously, it was a bang of a birthday, as he has an authentic Civil War cannon that he loves to fire to commemorate another year of his ‘great adventure.’ This year we had an Eight Bang Salute celebrating 88 years on the 8th of July.

Dad has shared his enthusiasm for adventure with his six children throughout his life, and he taught us that nothing is impossible!! For example, when we were young he threw six ropes off the back of the boat and had us get up and ski together. In the mid 60’s, he created the first parasailing expedition by going to the local Army Surplus Store and purchasing an old parachute. He cut holes in it, tied it to the back of the boat with a ski rope and took off with one of my brothers dangling from the parachute in a small makeshift rope seat. It was quite a site to see back then!

Just four years ago at the age of 84 he decided to build a big new ranch house by himself. He has always had an altruistic spirit and hired some ex-cons and a one legged carpenter to assist him. He finished his pride and joy in less than a year. Unfortunately, the ex-cons returned to rob him and stole his truck!

Following the big bang birthday I received a hand-written letter from my Dad — something he does a couple times a year to all of his children. He expressed his joy for life, along with incredible wisdom. This is what he wrote:

“Life has been a great adventure for me—and it continues to be so. Remember these things:

  • Believe there are opportunities for success instead of pitfalls leading to failure. Don’t let trivialities get you side tracked

  • There are a myriad of positive ways to view life—so keep the negative out of play.

  • Remember the redeeming value of rest and the exhilarating value of work and KEEP THEM IN BALANCE.

  • The body will follow the mind until it collapses with fatigue, so if you can keep your body fit and strong then you can get more performance as your mind pushes the body into high test situations.

  • Most importantly, remember the human body is the most complex chemical plant God created and the chemicals are dispersed by how one thinks. Thinking positively dispenses chemicals that lead to accomplishment, and daily accomplishment puts “OLD AGE” on hold! Sounds simple, BUT IT WORKS!!”

This is only one of many wisdom notes my father has written me and eventually I will share them all. Until then, I do not doubt that Dad will someday meet our Heavenly Father, exhausted and exhilarated from truly living and thoroughly enjoying this life that He so generously gave us. The thought “What if I would have…?” will never enter his mind, and I strive to carry on his grandiose passion and joy for life.

I found this 67 year old inspiration water skiing barefoot with a friend and while I not sure I want to ski barefoot at 67, she inspires me to never stop. She’s pretty remarkable!!

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Moving from Deprivation to Balance

Image

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not! (Anonymous)

Action Item:
Recognize when you’ve worked hard and selflessly given your time and talents. Then, gift yourself an indulgent treat that allows your mind to escape and reiGnites your body and spirit.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Let’s just say I’ve come a long way. There was once a time, not too long ago, when I considered a granola bar to be my indulgent treat of the week! I was a young personal trainer and my daily caloric and fat intake consumed the majority of my thoughts, and of course I was a fanatical exerciser too. Ironically, to all of my clients I preached the importance of “balance.” I expressed that it was ok to have dessert and miss a day of exercise, as long as this was the exception to the rule. Then, of course, they would ask me the question, wondering if I walked my talk: Did I indulge on dessert and enjoy a day of rest? Of course not, but I’d always give my best politically correct answer which was… “I don’t crave dessert and if I do eat dessert I can’t stop, so I just avoid it all together, and if I don’t exercise (run at least five miles) everyday, I feel lethargic.” What a great role model I was! I am sure my clients appreciated my obsessive answers, as I was so relatable! …Yea right!

Thankfully, I am proud to say that I have since gotten over myself and can now absolutely enjoy a big fat piece of chocolate cake. Marriage (enjoying indulgent moments with Russell), iGniting with you (having to walk my talk and being around such superb role models) and pregnancy (needing to consume fatty foods in order to not feel sick) have thankfully helped me achieve more balance and I’ve never felt happier, healthier and more balanced.

In addition to allowing myself to indulge on dessert, I am also finding it necessary to indulge in other ways too. I strive for a monthly facial, pedicure/manicure and massage. Some months I’m able to fit in all three and other months not, but I now understand that when I allow myself these treats, much like dessert, my body, mind and spirit feel rejuvenated and I am much better personally and professionally.

All in all — and I know you already know this so thank you for reading — life can’t always be about work and no play. We all need moments of pleasure and indulgence or else we’re not balanced. Just like taking time to iGnite, we’re not being selfish, rather we are treating ourselves with the gift of health, happiness and balance. Should you always put exercising, your pedi, mani, dessert, massage and other indulgences first above all things? Of course not. That would be over indulgent which would be extreme.

By not depriving yourself, you will avoid getting resentful, burnt out and crabby (which is how I feel when I deprive myself).Recognize when you’ve worked hard and selflessly given your time and talents. Then, allow yourself an indulgent treat. Maybe it’s a mocha latte, time to read a book, a massage, an iGnite workout, lunch with a friend, a mid afternoon nap, a matinee, bubble bath or glass of your favorite wine—anything that allows your mind to escape and reiGnites your body and spirit.

Finally, while you aspire to indulge, don’t get too crazy like the women in this week’s video. Crazy late night snackin’ could lead to some crazy late night activities. Check it out. I know you’ll get a laugh.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- Where in your life could you feel more balanced?

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