The Benefits of Gratitude

 

 

We are in full swing of the holiday season, which means a lot of extra get togethers, parties, and time with friends and family. This can be really fun and also add a touch of stress. Adding in a bit of gratitude to the mix can really boost our moods, relationships, and health. 

 

There have been many studies done about gratitude. One study was conducted by two psychologists from the University of California, Davis and the University of Miami. They had a group of people that they divided into three groups. They were all asked to write a couple of sentences each week for ten weeks. One group wrote about things they were grateful for. The second group wrote about things that irritated them. The third group wrote about events in their lives that affected them, neither positive or negative.

 

After the ten weeks, the gratitude group were more optimistic, exercised more, and felt better about their lives. 

 

What are the benefits of gratitude?

 

·      Gratitude improves mental health and general well being

·      Gratitude strengthens relationships

·      Gratitude frees us from toxin emotions

·      Grateful people have higher self-esteem and feelings of self-worth

·      Grateful people are more resilient under stress

 

How can we add more gratitude in our daily lives?

 

·       Tell someone you are grateful for them

·       Write a quick note to someone and send in the mail or leave on the bathroom mirror or their desk at work

·       Write something you are grateful for on a piece of paper or journal just for yourself

·       Send a nice text to someone new each day during the holiday season

·       Invite someone over for coffee or dinner as a thank you for their friendship

 

 

Want to read more inspiring articles about gratitude? Here are the articles that inspired me:

 

7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude

How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

Why Gratitude Is Good

Author: Alli Shircliff

Save the Turkey! Healthier Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

 

We all love a plate full of the traditional dishes of Thanksgiving: bright red cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, squash, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. This year try incorporating a couple of vegan dishes that are sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar. They are so tasty that you won’t even tell the difference!

 

Here are two ideas:

 

Maple Syrup-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

 

Ingredients:

 

1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries

1 small orange, zested and juiced

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup water

1 pinch sea salt

1 cinnamon stick

 

 

Directions:

 

1.    Combine cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, maple syrup, water, salt, and cinnamon stick in a pot; heat over medium-high heat until simmering.

2.    Reduce heat to a simmer, place a lid on the pot, and cook, gently stirring every 5 minutes, until sauce is thickened and cranberries have burst, about 20 minutes.

3.    Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

 

 

Butternut Squash with Walnuts

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

Ingredients:

 

1 butternut squash- peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into ½-inch slices

 cup water

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup dark rum (optional)

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch salt

¼ cup walnuts

 

Directions:

 

1.    Combine butternut squash, water, maple syrup, rum, cinnamon, and salt in a skillet; bring liquid to a boil.

2.    Reduce heat to low, place a lid on the skillet, and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.

3.    Transfer butternut squash to a serving dish, keeping the liquid in the skillet.

4.    Continue simmering liquid in skillet until a thickened sauce forms, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour sauce over butternut squash.

5.    Garnish butternut squash with walnuts right before serving.

Author: Alli Shircliff

Körper Stretch Teacher Training First Take

I recently attended the Körper Stretch teacher training and give it five out of five stars. As a yoga instructor, I haven’t been to a teacher training since my yoga teacher training. The Körper Stretch teacher training was just what I needed and wanted.

 

The instructors, Shea and Spring, were very welcoming and professional. They handed out the curriculum booklet when we arrived, gave us a schedule for each day of the training, and made the environment warm and comfortable. We went through the background of what Körper (meaning ‘body’ in German) Stretch is all about: a class focused on full body stretching for all fitness levels, body types, and ages. We learned that it isn’t a yoga class, but a class focused on stretching. 

 

We learned the benefits of stretching: increased flexibility and range of motion, injury prevention, improved posture, improved sports performance, and stress relief.

 

We were then led through a master class taught by Shea, which was a great way to think and feel the class a little differently after having learned the background of Körper Stretch. Then we spent some time going through potential stretches to use in class and wrote our own 5-minute sequence. Each of the participants then taught a 5-minute class segment and we got feedback afterwards.

 

I left feeling stretched (physically and mentally), got a good night’s sleep, and returned the next day. On the second day, Spring led us through a master class. This was a nice way to start the day and to see a different version of the same type of class. We learned that every teacher will teach the class differently, while at the same time providing an environment of stretching. 

 

Then the participants each led a 25-minute class. This was the real test of how we understood the material and concept of Körper Stretch. Then we each got feedback and wrapped up the training.

 

I would recommend this training to anyone who wants to learn more about stretching and anyone who wants to take their exercise or practice to the next level by teaching. The Körper Stretch Teacher Training is an inspiring way to learn, to grow, to stretch, and to be part of the community!

Alli Shircliff
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga & Stretch Teacher

 

 

Kind Words

"I am not a social media type and do not want to join Yelp. However, I do want to give Kudos to Hot Feet Fitness in Burien, WA. I am in town for a 6 week training seminar for work and Hot Feet Fitness has been a life saver. I attended class 10:30 yoga flow class Sunday Sept, 1, 2019. The instructor music and quality of class went well above and beyond my expectations. However, what was even more impressive was how squeaky clean the studio is. I would definitely recommend this studio to anyone looking for a quality yoga studio with experienced and high quality instructors."

 
All the best,
 
Jeanette Muzio
Alaska Airlines 

Opportunity abounds!

For many years in my BC (before children) era I toiled in the restaurant industry and, because I enjoy suffering, my jam was waiting tables in fine-dining houses. It’s a very self-explanatory position. As a waiter, I waited. I waited for the kitchen to prepare the food, I waited for the bartenders to pour liquor and I waited for the diners to dine. 

 

If you were savvy enough to avoid restaurant work you might not know the three universal rules that govern all dining establishments with regard to the waitstaff. Because these rules have proven to have great value out here in the Real World, I thought I would share them with you. They are as follows: 

 

Wash your hands. 

 

You’ve got time to lean? You’ve got time to clean. 

 

Never leave your section empty handed. 

 

The first two are pretty straightforward. Nobody needs a lecture on the merits of keeping sickness at bay with clean hands, nor has anyone I know ever completed their to-do list. In other words? Get to work.

 

However, the third rule is a bit more than it seems. While you can interpret “never leave your section empty handed” to mean the obvious and entirely useful, “Never head up or down the stairs without a laundry basket”, it also has a deeper meaning to me. It pushes me to consider what my “section” is in this world and for how much of it I am responsible. When considered in that light, NLYSEH can be interpreted as, “Never walk by garbage on the ground in public, pick it up”. Or perhaps, “Never walk by a grandma-type loading her groceries into her trunk without offering to help”. Further, and more challenging for me, it can mean “Never be afraid to apologize to a stranger for causing them inconvenience, even if they are the one being difficult”.

 

Our community is our section and we shant wait for the opportunity to be of service in little ways; we all have the capability, the responsibility, to clean things up a bit. Never leave your section empty handed, even if its a simple handshake, a kind word, a generous smile or simply filling a bag of trash on your way to the studio. 

 

Opportunity abounds. Don’t be a waiter. 

Stacy Manning
Hot Feet Fitness Teacher
 
 

A Meditation Practice for Improving Memory & More!

There are many things that we cannot change as we get older, good thing memory loss does not have to be one. A growing body of research suggests that a mind-body exercise could improve memory and cognitive function in older adults: specifically Kirtan Kriya meditation.

Studies conducted by the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation have shown that this particular meditation can be particularly helpful for the aging adult. The practice boosts cognition and help reverse perceived memory loss in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD).

Kirtan Kriya, a type of meditation from the Kundalini yoga tradition, has been practiced for thousands of years to help bring the body, mind and emotions into balance to enable healing. This non religious form for meditation combines mudra (hand gesture), mantra (vocalization), visualization, and regulated breathing. The combination is a powerful stimulus for the brain.

It is a very detailed meditation that can most easily be practiced with a qualified Kundalini instructor. However, here is a link to a description of the practice to get you started at home.

Resource: http://alzheimersprevention.org/research/kirtan-kriya-yoga-exercise/

How do you practice Kirtan Kriya?    

  1. Repeat the Saa Taa Naa Maa sounds (or mantra) while sitting with your spine straight. Your focus of concentration is the L form (see illustration), while your eyes are closed. With each syllable, imagine the sound flowing in through the top of your head and out the middle of your forehead (your third eye point).
  2. For two minutes, sing in your normal voice.
  3. For the next two minutes, sing in a whisper.
  4. For the next four minutes, say the sound silently to yourself.
  5. Then reverse the order, whispering for two minutes, and then out loud for two minutes, for a total of twelve minutes.
  6. To come out of the exercise, inhale very deeply, stretch your hands above your head, and then bring them down slowly in a sweeping motion as you exhale.

The mudras, or finger positions, are very important in this kriya (see illustration below).

Kirtan Kriya finger positions (mudras)

  • On Saa, touch the index fingers of each hand to your thumbs.
  • On Taa, touch your middle fingers to your thumbs.
  • On Naa, touch your ring fingers to your thumbs.
  • On Maa, touch your little fingers to your thumbs.

Kristen O'Connor
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga Instructor 

Family Yoga!

When I had my first daughter 3 plus year ago I had no idea how to take everything I had been learning during my years of yoga practicing and teaching and apply it to how to be a compassionate, patient, and loving mother. I did have a great example to follow and I am thankful for a mom who was all those things.

It is one thing to embody compassion in the quiet morning hours when I choose to meditate, but it is another to try to live up to that expectation every hour of the day and in the middle of the night.

As I am encouraging her to think of something happy, we sing a quiet song together. We hug.  My daughter and I take a deep breath, and we both feel better. We are learning it together how to approach each new moment as mother and daughter. She taught me a mantra to go with a hand gesture meditation I wanted to share with her. "I feel much better".

The beauty and simplicity of those words stunned me and made me feel better. We try it together.

Touching the thumb to the tip of each finger repeat out loud.

Index finger: I

Middle finger: Feel

Ring finger: Much

Pinky finger: Better

I wish that there was never a time when I felt anger or frustration, but I have these feelings. I am aware of them.

When I do yoga with my 3 year old I do not teach her, I share it with her and try not to get in her way, but keep her coming back. I try to remember just how lucky I am to be joining in that moment with her whatever it looks like.

Today I have another daughter and I feel like it is yet again a whole new experience in being present. However, this time I am able to take a step back and see so much more clearly. Of course hindsight is always 20/20, but in this case the gift of presence is truly 20/20.

Make life an effortless and enjoyable game, why not? It doesn't mean that there are no times for serious, but to live in a state of stress is not good for anyone in the family, so why not make it fun for everyone.

Kristen O'Connor
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga Instructor

GET OFF YOUR BUTT RIGHT NOW! Your future self will thank you.

"I don't have time"

"I have to go to a fancy gym, buy expensive equipment"

"I have no motivation"

"I have no energy"

"It's boring"

Sound familiar?

My excuse is I don't have time. I am a busy businessman and I just can't spare the time. As I thought about this, I came up with a plan. Could I workout for just 5 minutes a day to start? We all have 5 minutes a day to workout. But starting a workout regimen is harder after a long period of inactivity. With this in mind, I created the 5-minute workout. It only takes 5 minutes a day that's it. EVERYONE has 5 minutes they can spare. 

I want to give the 5-minute workout book for free so you can continue to live healthy.

Download your 5-minute workout here.

Exercise Adds Years to Your Life

One study found that the average 65-year-old can expect an additional 12.7 years of healthy life meaning he will live disability-free until age 77.7. Highly active 65-years-olds, however, have an additional 5.7 years of healthy life expectancy — they will remain disability-free until age 83.4.

Without exercise, you increase your risk of a wide assortment of chronic illnesses. Here is a list of conditions and how many people have them:

  • Coronary heart disease (12.6 million)
  • Heart attack (1.1 million)
  • Diabetes (17 million)
  • Hip fracture (300,000)
  • High blood pressure (50 million)
  • Obesity (50 million)
  • Overweight (108 million)

Sitting around or lying around all day makes you weak. Do you want to live your life like this? 


ASK YOURSELF: How do you want to live your life? 
Do you want to add years to your life?


Your time is running out! You will not live forever. Get off your butt right now. Your future self will thank you! 


Jerrod Sessler
Owner & Founder Hot Feet Fitness 

Just Show Up!

CHEERS. Have you seen the show?
It was a constant in my house growing up and I remember singing the theme song. "You wanna go where everybody knows your name!" every time the show was on the screen. It got me thinking about where we all go every day and how we can experience the polar opposites of being "welcomed in" or feel "isolated" because we just don't seem to fit the mold. Have you experienced this? Maybe at school on your first day, starting that brand new job, moving to a new city, walking into a church, etc. Everyday we are experiencing these comings & goings into communities. What if you never open the door though? What if you never give yourself the chance to experience something because you are too scared, overwhelmed, self-conscious, busy, and so on?

This is where I want to share a story about "Crystal." She's someone that I met a couple months ago while working at the studio. Here's how my interaction went with her.
 She walked into the studio right after I was done with taking X21 (our cardio high intensity interval training class) with trainer Elise and I happened to be behind the front desk. She was new to the studio and I could tell a little overwhelmed by what she walked into. I asked her how I could help & she said she wanted to know about what we offered for classes and when. She was a Veteran, so we talked about her discounted membership, which made her really excited.
Then we started talking more about what classes she should try and she started getting anxious. She told me, “Maybe I should go move my car before we talk because everyone seems like they are in a hurry to get in & out of class & I don’t want to take up someone’s space,” and even said when I suggested X21, she said “I’m too fat for that class.” I was taken aback and sad that this is how she felt, so I literally just said, “Stop that right now. Don’t do that to yourself. It’s ok. You would be fine in that class or any other. Just come.” And immediately I saw her relax.
This got me thinking back to the show Cheers and how there are probably so many other people like her (maybe you?) who may feel like this when you go somewhere for the first time. You just want or don’t know that you need a safe place or a kind word to encourage you to make the step forward. By just showing up, and coming in the front door.
We have all been “someone new" in the various stages and places in our lives, and we all could use a word of encouragement or a “hello & welcome" when we embark on a new journey. At Hot Feet we take the time to do just that. We get to know your name. We connect. Because we all need each other.
Teanna G

Studio Manager and Operations Director


We're bustin' the Myths!

Have you ever watched Mythbusters? It's a great show where they put myths to the test with science. As the manager of the studio I constantly run into myths that people have told me that they believe or have heard about the studio, our classes, the heat, and so on. So I figured, let's get to the bustin' (proving false) these common myths. Here are some of the more frequent myths I hear..

1) The studio must be HOT because your name is Hot Feet. 
The name Hot Feet depicts movement, activity and a sense of urgency which is important in a world that seems to be spiraling a bit out of control with regards to our health. But, in reality, it is just a fun name! And we aren't hot. The majority of our classes warm, not hot. We offer several unheated classes like Yin Yoga, Yoga Basics, Kids Yoga, and Mommy & Me Yoga. Hot gyms & studios are typically over 100 degrees which exceeds normal body temperature. Hot Feet studios are generally 85 - 95 degrees and we also host classes that are ambient temp. Due to amazing engineering designs of our ventilation systems, we use outside air to keep the studios fresh. We also enjoy using essential oils to freshen up our studios. 

 

2) Your a Yoga studio right?
We are a health & fitness studio! We offer 4 different types of classes all in 1 place. There is a cardio HIIT class called X21 (28 total body exercises in 21 minutes), BarreTwist (a high energy & cardio twist on barre, with a little yoga, pilates, and dance added in), Yoga (we offer SO many styles like Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Kids Yoga), and Korper Stretch (low impact total body stretch for restoration & stress relief). We know in our area there are yoga studios, gyms, personal training gyms, crossfit, and more options. We believe variety is the spice of life, and your body thrives off of varying your fitness routine. 

3) Do I have be to fit/thin/skinny/etc to come workout at the studio?
NO! We are not cookie cutter at Hot Feet. Hot Feet realizes that people of all shapes, colors, cultures, and sizes need to know there is a place for them.Unlike studios where you feel like you have to "know" all the rules before entering, Hot Feet is friendly and comfortable. HFF is a community first. No one at Hot Feet is ever going to hear someone say their feet are pointed the wrong direction or that they are negatively affecting the zen or any other rude or silly comments.The culture at a Hot Feet studio is warm and welcoming. We want everyone to feel comfortable, no matter what! 

4) It's only fitness classes correct? What else do you offer for services? 
We are more than "just fitness." We support our local community, offer classes for families such as Mommy & Me Yoga and Kids Yoga, and even offer wellness support services with our Live Healthy Program. We believe in being more than just a typical fitness studio. Learn the value of the kitchen work and couple that with the studio work to get the body you deserve and always wanted! Learn holistic proven techniques for living life that enable you to feel great and to thrive in every area. Hot Feet has developed a full-figured lifestyle training program called the Live Healthy Program. Team up with your Hot Feet Fitness community to achieve your dreams!

Come & enjoy a FREE DAY PASS anytime and see what the buzz is about. Click here! https://www.hotfeetfitness.com/Shop/Pass/default.aspx


Teanna G

Director of Operations & Studio Manager
Hot Feet Fitness