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Build Core Strength

Build Core Strength

Charlotte Mulloy, Fitness, Yoga
Our core consists of a series of muscles including everything but our arms and legs. Our core links our upper and lower body and incorporates almost every movement in the human body.  Strength and stability in the core is vital to prevent injury not only while exercising, but in all functional activities we perform daily. After the birth of my second child I herniated two discs in my lower spine.  The next thing I knew I was facing the possibility of spinal surgery.  As a group exercise instructor I felt I had a strong core as I did crunches almost daily.  I was shocked when my physical therapist showed me how my low back and hip flexors were doing all the work that my core should be doing, putting tremendous…
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Discover Your Heart

Charlotte Mulloy, Yoga
            Love seems to be the appreciation that we are all little lumps in the same earthly soup which is a little lump in a larger cosmic soup. So, love is an awareness of this beautiful energetic relationship and a natural appreciation of this situation.  It doesn’t seem to be a matter of finding love...it’s a matter of being aware of it.  It’s not a question of invention but rather of discovery. ~Ken Dychtwald             I remember my first yoga class, and as a new student I was struck by the teacher’s continuous cues about opening our hearts in each posture.  I had no idea what she meant by this cue and as I took cobra pose my teacher kept saying, “Lead with your heart not…
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Cold and Flu Season

Cold and Flu Season

Charlotte Mulloy, Healthy Living
For many of us, winter is synonymous with cold and flu season, so I thought it wise to do a little research to see what types of preventative measures we can take during this season to keep us heathy. Hydration During the colder months we tend to drink less water even though the drying effects of central heat and fireplaces cause dehydration.  If your body does not enjoy cold water at this time of year, reach for caffeine free herbal teas or warm water with lemon.  I was reading an article the other day that said staying properly hydrated in the winter keeps our nasal and digestive pathways well lubricated.  This hydrated surface acts like a water slide,  preventing germs from staying in the body long enough to settle in…
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Accountability in Journaling

Accountability in Journaling

Charlotte Mulloy, Fitness
“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” ~Abraham Maslow My teacher and mentor, Dr. Lisa Holland, gave a talk yesterday where she stated that most people end up terminating their resolutions by the 15th of January. Dr. Holland asked those listening how we stay accountable to our professional and/or personal goals. Such a great question to ponder! Professionally, I feel like I set goals and stick to them without much struggle as I have an external source (my boss) that holds me accountable. Personally, is where I falter with my goals as I have no source to answer to- no external accountability. In working with my fitness clients I hear this theme reflected back to me over and…
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Lasting Resolutions

Lasting Resolutions

Charlotte Mulloy, Fitness, Healthy Living
New Year, New You! Detox, lose weight, change, change, CHANGE! At this time of the year I feel like I am inundated with media messages that declare the time to make myself “better” is now or never.  I reflect back on all of the years I allowed these messages to affect my self worth.  My first of the year resolutions were always a recipe for failure, and once I did not live up to those ridiculous expectations I would berate myself; continuing the vicious cycle of self-loathing and negative self-talk achieving no lasting changes.  Sound familiar?  As a personal trainer and yoga teacher I have journeyed with hundreds of people that show up at the gym at the beginning of the year with all new exercise gear and a manic…
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Benefits of Plank Pose

Benefits of Plank Pose

Charlotte Mulloy, Fitness, Healthy Living, Yoga
What is plank pose, and why should we include this posture in our yoga practice?  Plank pose creates inner core strength needed for more advanced postures like shoulder stand, headstand, handstand and all of the balance postures.  Increasing core strength with plank pose has tremendous benefits off the mat as well, and should be practiced with regularity.  Need some convincing? Some of the benefits of practicing plank pose regularly are: Deep inner core strength: Plank pose activates and strengthens the transverse abdominals. These muscles are the inner girdle muscles of the abdomen helping the back as well as the core get stronger. Better posture: Creating a stronger functional core allows your spine to align with more ease; toning your abdominal muscles helping you stand straighter and taller. Breathe with ease:…
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Gratitude Changes Your Attitude

Gratitude Changes Your Attitude

Charlotte Mulloy, Healthy Living
Our perspective creates how we view our lives.  Our brain uses short cuts to help us quickly decide what the potential outcome of an action or situation will be based off of our past experiences.  Creating a more mindful brain requires a change in thinking to allow us an opportunity to pause before we react.   One of the easiest ways to start on the path to more mindful reactions is through gratitude.  Flexing our gratitude muscle daily will create new neural pathways, literally rewiring how we think, act and feel.  This is what mindfulness is all about! To start, I recommend taking a moment to connect to your breath.  Find a quiet moment and place a hand on your belly and a hand on your heart, this can be done…
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Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Charlotte Mulloy, Healthy Living
As we move towards my favorite eating holidays I am reminded of how much my relationship with food has changed in the last thirteen years.  In my youth and young adulthood I had perfected the art of yo-yo dieting, and after the birth of my first child I topped the scales with an extra eighty pounds on my frame.  As I sat at the dinner table one night enjoying a meal that my mom had kindly prepared, it occurred to me that her healthy, delicious food made me feel better.  This was the first time in my life that I recognized the food that I put in my body directly affected how I felt.  Somewhere in my youth, I had lost touch with my body, and I realized that through…
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Self-Care: Finding Your Breath

Self-Care: Finding Your Breath

Charlotte Mulloy, Healthy Living
As we move into autumn there is an environmental encouragement to slow down our life-pace and go within.  In our busy, over-planned and over-stimulated world, you may not consciously hear your body’s request for inward reflection, but I can assure you, the need is there.  Finding time to pause daily is not just a nice thing to do for ourselves, it is essential for optimal health and well-being. What is self-care, and are we making time for this essential self-nurturing practice? Each moment of everyday is an opportunity to generate self-care.  The key is giving yourself permission to take these moments for yourself without distraction or guilt.  There are various ways we can create moments of self-care, and today I will touch on my favorite:  focused breathing. Find your breath.…
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