Tag Archives: slow down

12-Day Reboot: Neissa’s Day 1


Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa 

I start the morning off with my hot lemon water which is when I include my TBSP of apple cider vinegar and a dash of Cayenne pepper. I also fill up my Yeti cup first thing and start chipping away at my 1/2 body weight in ounces of water.


I love the avocado boat breakfast but wanted to spice them up with some salsa. It is very filling!

For lunch I made our “wanna be” wundershowzen. My original creation didn’t taste as good as I had hoped so I added two dates and that completely did the trick!


I found these coconut rolled dates at one of the organic grocery stores in San Deigo.  They are a the perfect sweet treat and they are very satisfying!


I really enjoyed the roasted chicken, quinoa and asparagus. I found it to be very satisfying and even better–simple!

Aspects of the Reboot I’ve found the most difficult:  Always, always, always, eliminating caffeine is very difficult, along with the 24 hour headache that proceeds it. 

Aspects of the Re-boot I’ve enjoyed the most:  Slowing down, making sleep a priority and simplifying my meals.

Something I’ve learned about myself during the Reboot:  As long as I get to bed early enough, I don’t have to use an alarm clock to wake up. It’s great!

Tips & tricks that have helped me:  Rather than use caffeine for an energy boost, drinking lots of water gives me the boost I need, or if I can, I’ll shut my eyes for 15 minutes for a quick power nap.

The most difficult part:  Making time for an Epsom Salt bath

The intention I am focusing on most this re-boot: To slow down, be still and listen and enjoy 12 days of self-care.

img_8522Quality of sleep? Excellent! To help with sound sleep and relaxation, I purchased this lavender roll on aromatherapy roll at Sprouts. I put it on my pillows. It smells so good and I slept great!

Energy level and mood during the day?  With yesterday being day one and with no caffeine, I was extremely tired and lethargic. But because I’ve Re-Booted before, I know this is just part of the process and it will get better! 

Spiritual aspect I’ve included:  I’m trying to give myself the grace to slow down and not be so frantic throughout the day, as well as to stop for fifteen minutes or so to breathe, pray, and/or read something that feeds my spirit.   Also, each night before bed I pray and one of the things I ask God to do is to wake me when He is ready for me to wake.  This gives me great peace and comfort that I will rise when my body is fully ready and He is ready for me to start my day. 

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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The Beauty of Today


Congratulations Sam, iGniter of 3 years, continually getting stronger and wiser…thanks for spreading your awesomeness, Sam!

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.
— Jan Glidewell

Action Item:
As you spring clean, be thankful for your past, say goodbye to yesterday, and embrace the beauty and blessings of today.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

I know, I know… Now that I am a mother it seems like all of my journals are “mom analogies.” I promise one day I’ll be able to talk about more than just my mom experiences, but for now, I am amazed by all that I am learning about myself, life, family, friendship and so much more.

As I expressed in last weeks Journal, Spit Up is Normal, I have struggled to accept my “new life” that is no longer in a perfectly organized and predictable square box. Before having my son Durant (just over three months ago) I was as free as a butterfly and I did exactly what I wanted, when I wanted. I fluttered around town, ran errands, had lunch with friends, took naps, worked and exercised whenever I wanted and with my husband Russell traveling so much, his schedule hardly caused me to slow down.

Obviously, this transition into motherhood has not been an easy one and as a result, a few weeks ago I vented to my sister about the difficulty.  I was having trouble accepting not finding time to brush my teeth and take a shower, much less spend time with friends and exercise, even though this was NEVER a problem before! She is independent like me and has two children, so she experienced the same feelings upon starting her family. Thankfully, she passed down wise advice. She expressed that I needed to say goodbye to the past and embrace the present and future, because life as I once knew it would never be the same. I needed to accept my new life and stop trying to fit my old life into my new life. We know this is difficult for all of us, so the Weekly Intention Guide is here to help give you some inspiration and structure.

At first, I found this to be very discouraging news, because I loved my life before. However, after contemplating her words as well as one of my own life philosophies, which is to step out of your comfort zone and embrace change, I decided she was exactly right. As long as I continued to try to fit my old life into my new life, I would constantly be discouraged and would never be able to fully enjoy the new life I now have. I also remember feeling this way after college. After “real world” reality set in, I really wanted to go back to college, where it was safe with no surprises, but I too realized that growth would not follow in the “safe zone.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 3.55.05 PM

We all go through big life changes like motherhood. At iGnite we support and encourage each other to breathe, get outside, have fun, and stay strong mind body and spirit to embrace- rather than resist-those sometimes overwhelming changes. Pictured above is Alli’s new Playdate Class-bring kiddos to the park so moms can exercise any time!

Upon welcoming her advice, I’ve since begun to relax and appreciate my new life as a mom. I am appreciating it and am having much more fun. Of course, transition is never easy and each day comes with its own set of obstacles, however I realize that my new life is filled with new and wonderful opportunities and I am actually more organized, (which puts my mind at ease), and more fulfilled, (which fills my heart to the brim) than I ever before. I cannot believe I’m saying that my life feels complete! Now, does this mean I don’t miss parts of my old life, ABSOLUTELY not. However, I have accepted that my new life is a gift and it’s filled with an abundant amount of wonderful possibilities.

So, how in the world does this translate to you? Well, I’m not exactly sure, but I do know that our lives are changing everyday. From children graduating and going off to college, you or your husband accepting or changing jobs, giving up your freedom to care for your aging parents- all of these life changes are not easy and can create fear and resentment because our sweet and perfect lives were interrupted.

Therefore, as we continue to spring clean, rather than resist the life that you have been given, or wish you had your old life back, I encourage you to be thankful for your past, say goodbye to yesterday, and embrace the beauty and blessings of today. For sure, your level of gratitude will increase and your joy meter will sky rocket; and remember, when we hold on too tightly to the past and resist embracing the present and the future, your life might look something like the game “Snap” on the Ellen Degeneres Show. The object is to get the red delicious apple, but due to the exhausting, opposite and resisting force, it’s extremely difficult to simply get to and enjoy the sweet and juicy red apple. Watch and enjoy a deep belly laugh…

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- What are you holding onto from the past that’s stopping you from being present to today’s blessings? 

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