Doing Things You Never Thought Possible

by Skyler Dearen

SkylerWhen I was 6 years old, I started doing yoga because my mother had been practicing for years and she always seemed to be smiling and so happy.  I also saw these immense changes in her – physically, emotionally and spiritually and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.

Then when I was eleven, I tried something called hot yoga which is done in a room heated to 105 degrees and is incredibly challenging both physically and mentally.  My friends thought I was crazy taking all these hot yoga classes but I liked about it was that it allowed me to do things I thought I could never do.

skyler-yoga-beachFirst, because the heat warms your muscles, I found it easier for my body to relax and get into a deeper stretch. I could then get into these really deep poses that I could never do before in regular yoga classes. So physically, my body was able to do things I thought I could never do (see photos).

Second, the heat also helped me to forget about everything outside of the room, about what happened at school that day, things my friends said or stuff that I was worried about, and instead focus on the present.  I discovered how breathing in and out through my nose helped to bring down my heart rate and calm my body. Now I use this breathing technique whenever I’m stressed at school or at home and mentally, I’m able to get through tough situations that I never thought I could handle.

Third, I never thought that at 14, I would do something that nobody else has done – become the youngest certified hot yoga instructor in the United States.  I simply decided last year that I loved hot yoga so much that I wanted to teach and signed up for a 8-week Teacher Training Certification class. Everybody in the class was at least twice my age and I think they were surprised that I was there and not at the beach or shopping at the mall with my friends!

Skyler and her motherI received my Certification in December and started teaching at my mother’s hot yoga studio in Newport Beach this year.  I will admit that when I first started teaching, I was really nervous about instructing a room full of adults because I am so young. But after a few classes, I realized that if you focus on sharing what you know and what you love, you can lead, motivate and inspire others at any age.

One of my favorite quotes is “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. So find your passion and pursue what you love most and you may be surprised by what you can achieve!

Skyler Dearen is an 8th grade student at Corona Del Mar High School and is the youngest known certified hot yoga instructor in the United States. She teaches, practices and helps run her mother’s studio, Radiant Hot Yoga, in Newport Beach, California.

 

Energizing Your Inner Self

Written by Dana Ford, Relate Contributing Writer

It’s hard to feel good when we’re just not looking our best on the outside, right girls? We go to great lengths to look good before we leave the house, before we present ourselves to others. We must be clean, showered, primped and perfected.

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Many say, “If you look good, you’ll feel good, too.”

But for many of us, it’s hard to keep up with the models on TV. It’s hard to keep up with the latest fashion trends and hairstyles. Our busy lifestyles don’t allow for this type of primping anymore.

Have no fear! We’re here to tell you, if you feel good, you will LOOK good, too!

Ladies, physical beauty is not all there is to boost self-esteem. In fact, you’ll find it doesn’t last long. Ever find yourself struggling to reapply makeup several times each day?

What feels good about doing that? Me personally, it’s not fun. So what should we do? Well, let’s try something new! Let’s try a new trend: Making yourself look good—on the inside!

I know some of you may be thinking, “How is it possible to beautify myself internally?”

Simple as this. When you’re emotionally healthy, happy, stable and energized on the inside, your outward appearance will glow even without having to worry about what you look like. You will FEEL good about yourself and in turn love your body and face just the way you are. And it’s a permanent feeling!

Want to be and feel beautiful without worrying about your physicality? Here are fun ways of boosting your inward glow.

  • Eat, eat, eat! God has created abundant lands for fruits to grow, for vegetables to thrive and for seeds and berries to prosper. All these things which He has created have been made for humans to enjoy. Food and water are crucial to our survival and crucial to energy in our daily lives. When we eat well-balanced and portioned meals three times daily, our minds are more alert, our moods are balanced and our overall performance level in any task is greater if we replenish our bodies. Enjoy God’s blessing. Some great energy foods: Bananas, tea, yogurt and whole grains.
  • Do yoga. Yoga is a technique which has been around for over 5,000 years. It’s a great stress reliever and harmonizes the mind with the body. God says, “Be IN this world not OF this world, for you are merely passing through to Heaven.” Yoga teaches people a new way of life, a way of dealing with stress, a way of thinking and ultimately, a way of coping with being IN this world. Yoga aids in getting better sleep, having a happier disposition and a clearer and calmer mind. It also builds up health and helps protect against colds, fevers, constipation, headaches, fatigue and other troubles.
  • Exercise. There are PLENTY of ways to get exercise and increase your happiness without getting too fatigued. A few ways include:
  1. Stretching in the morning when you first get out of bed. This helps stimulate your brain and muscles before starting the day. You will be more alert and ready to tackle the day.
  2. Taking walks outside for 20 minutes and allow some part of your skin to be exposed to the sun. During the winter, it’s hard to be exposed to the sun but even allowing a little to touch your face will help decrease fatigue, depression, anxiety and other harsh feelings the season of winter may bring you.
  3. Participating in any activity for 20 minutes straight will help balance your mind, release toxins in your body and help release endorphins from your brain. Endorphins are like happy pills; they will reenergize you and make you refreshed.

Girls, these are only a few examples. And many of you may already know these things are good for your internal health. Can you think of anything else? What makes you feel good internally? Maybe visiting your friends and family makes you feel good. Maybe you FEEL good when you spend some time to yourself doing what you love the most.

Find YOU!

Maybe deep down, you have this beauty which you’ve never discovered. The time is now to reveal it to the world. Do what makes you feel good on the inside and your outward appearance will…well…begin to not matter so much.

Stereotypically we think of riches as materialistic products. Not today, not any day, not anyhow. Riches are what are within YOU. Go on; share those riches with the world!

“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love.” –Henry Drummond

Stretch it out- Practical Yoga

Written By Mary Kornegay, Relate Contributing Writer

We all know that exercising is one of the most important factors of good health. Personally, it’s my least favorite. But Relate is always looking for new, interesting forms of exercise that will keep your body looking fine and your heart pumping strong! It’s all about mental feelings toward your personal body image; and trust us, this will help!

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(Photo by practicalyoga.tv)

PracticalYoga is a website that gives you hundreds of tips about healthy living through yoga. If you’re looking for workouts, healthy recipes or different ways to relax and de-stress, Practical Yoga is where to look.

Practical Yoga encourages us to “reconnect with your mind, body and spirit in ways [that] nourish you and also have less impact on our planet,” says the editors of practicalyoga.tv. With different sections for weight loss, relaxation, spiritualizing and energizing yoga, there are many different options for you to try.

Everyone is stressed to the max right now. Whether it is the economy, your exam schedule or finding Christmas gifts for your loved ones, everyone deserves to take a second and relax. Practical Yoga provides readers with different meditations, including a 40-day group meditation. Yoga generally takes 40 days to change a habitual thought process or way of life. This meditation will “help you connect to a sense of expansion and possibility for 2009 – remembering that anything good is possible,” according to practicalyoga.tv. Download the free meditation CD and use it every day for 40 days.

Practical Yoga also provides audio clips to listen to while doing yoga. These clips are both inspirational and motivating, especially when it’s used as background sound during exercising. Check this out for a great audio to help you get through your tough times!

If you’re anything like me, you don’t know anything about yoga. No worries. Practical Yoga provides demonstration clips, detailed featured poses and tutorials! Whether or not you’re an expert, you can get something out of Practical Yoga.

As the holiday season approaches, take a breather and check out this website. The lessons you learn there will carry over into your everyday life.

Check out more exercise tips on our website!