Your Complete Guide to Sagittarius Zodiac + 6 Adventurous Yoga Poses for This Fire Sign

sagittarius-zodiac-featured

At any given moment, you’ll find Sagittarius on an adventure. Her passport booklet always has fresh ink because she’s constantly on the move. She’s curious and excited for what lies ahead! Her sparkle never dulls, and her fun-loving spirit is quick to brighten up anyone’s day.

 

Many people sugarcoat the truth, but this noble truth-seeker will cut right through the bullsh*t. She’ll look you square in the eye and give you the refreshing dose of reality you need.

 

Sagittarius doesn’t adhere to boundaries. She makes her own rules, and you’d better keep up.

 

There’s much more to know about Sagittarius, so read on!

 

We’ve also covered Scorpio in this series! Read The Complete Guide to Scorpio to learn more.

 

The Sagittarius Zodiac Sign at a Glance

Born: November 22-December 21

Element: Fire

Ruled by: Jupiter

Symbol: Archer

Best romantic matches: Aries, Taurus

 

Here are the three main characteristics of a Sagittarius:

Whether this sign belongs to you or not, this information will help you understand this fiery sign a little better.

 

1. Sagittarius Is A Forward Thinker

Sagittarius doesn’t waste a single moment thinking about the past. Her approach to life is all about the future, how she’ll get there, and what fascinating people and places she’ll encounter along the way. Jupiter, the planet of abundance and goodwill, rules her sign. This means she has an insatiable hunger for knowledge and growth.

 

This also makes them open-minded and accepting of those around them. She’ll listen attentively to everyone’s perspective, and gather that information to form her own. This makes Sagittarius a dynamic, versatile individual in whatever path in life they wander down.

 

 

2. Sagittarius Always Speaks Her Mind

Trustworthy Sagittarius always has your best interest in mind, and she’s confident enough to lay down the truth. You want her levelheaded voice of truth near you at all times, especially if you’re in en emotional rut.

 

She’s a natural conversationalist and entertainer, and will instinctively know exactly what to say and do to bring the wind back to your sails. Because of her genuine, friendly nature, many people find it easy to open up to Sagittarius.

 

Forever an optimist peering through rosy, heart-shaped frames, Sagittarius can easily spin something negative into a positive learning experience that you’ll look back on with gratitude.

 

When it comes to relationships, she’s not interested in playing games. Fleeting romances, though? Bring it on! Sagittarius loves the thrill of the chase. In a long-term partner, she seeks someone who will excite and energize her. They must be up for spontaneous adventures, and willing to give her the space she needs to let her spirit roam free.

 

 

3. Sagittarius Craves Adventure

Her constant longing to explore and learn about the world around her means Sagittarius always has her bags packed and ready to go. She embraces change and welcomes last-minute plans if it means taking her somewhere new and unexpected. And when it does, she won’t let anything or anyone stand in the way of her experiences.

 

She’s the type to teach herself Thai and then, before you know it, she’s geo-tagged at a lavish AirBnB infinity pool in Phuket on Instagram. And she’ll be soul-searching there for the next few months – that’s just how this wild child rolls.

 

Thinking about a life on the road? Read Here’s How I Quit My Job to Travel + 5 Reasons You Should Too

 

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Practice These 6 Yoga Poses to Embrace Your Inner Sagittarius and Encourage Your Untamed, Carefree Side!

Sagittarius is known for her playful, exciting energy. Tap into that power with these yoga poses.

 

1. Tiger’s Pose

This pose warms up the back muscles and lengthens your spine, while strengthening your core. Take this moment to find your drishti, or a focal point to help you stay grounded while you build an inner fire.

 

tigers-pose

 

How to Practice Tiger’s Pose:

  • Find Tabletop
  • Inhale and crunch your right knee to your forehead
  • Exhale, lift it out and up to the sky, arching your back
  • Take 3-5 Ujjayi breaths on each side

 

 

2. Warrior I with Prayer Arms Variation

This empowering pose strengthens your shoulders, arms, legs and back while opening your chest and hips.

 

warrior-prayer-variation

 

How to Practice Warrior I with Prayer Arms Variation:

  • Find Mountain Pose
  • Exhale, take a big step back with your right foot
  • Pivot your right toes to face the long side of your mat
  • Bend your left knee to a 90-degree angle
  • Bring your palms to touch behind your back in a reverse prayer
  • Take 3-5 Ujjayi breaths on each side

 

 

3. Runner’s Lunge

This pose stretches your quads and hamstrings while releasing tension in your hips. Grow the flames of that inner fire here, and be sure to keep a neutral neck so it doesn’t get cramped!

 

runners-lunge

 

How to Practice Runner’s Lunge:

  • Find Forward Fold
  • Place your palms on your shins or flat on the ground
  • Inhale, and take a big step back with your right foot with your heel directly above the ball of your foot
  • Lengthen your spine and keep a neutral neck
  • Take 3-5 Ujjayi breaths on each side

 

 

4. Star Pose

This pose stretches and lengthens all your muscles at once to empower and uplift.

 

star-pose

 

How to Practice Star Pose:

  • Find Mountain Pose
  • Turn to the long side of your mat with your hands on your hips
  • Step your feet apart to the length of your mat
  • Turn your toes out towards the corners of your mat
  • Stretch your arms out to the side
  • Take 3-5 Ujjayi breaths

 

 

5. Happy Baby

This playful pose relieves tension in your lower back and opens your hips while stretching your hamstrings.

 

happy-baby

 

How to Practice Happy Baby Pose:

  • Lie on your back and hug your knees to your chest
  • Grab hold of your ankles, feet, or toes
  • Slowly bring your feet to the sky and your legs out to a “V”
  • Play with this pose! Gently rock side to side and, if you fall over, have a good laugh
  • Take 3-5 Ujjayi breaths

 

 

6. Lion’s Pose

While this pose may look silly, it’s a great way to strengthen your wrists as well as the platysma, a muscle in the front of your throat.

 

lions-pose

 

How to Practice Lion’s Pose:

  • Find Rock Pose – a seated kneeling position with your booty resting on your heels
  • Bring your knees apart but keep your toes touching
  • Place your palms on your mat in front of you stacking shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and point your fingers towards you
  • Inhale through your nose and open your mouth
  • Stick your tongue out as you exhale loudly 3-5 times. Go ahead, take a roar or two and embrace the playfulness!

 

Celebrate the Sagittarius Fire Sign

Sagittarius, we embrace your wild nature and unwavering optimism. Thank you for encouraging us to look at our glass as half full, and to never settle for something that doesn’t serve us or help us grow as individuals.

 

We will follow up with an article for each sign of the zodiac, so be sure to stay tuned for the next sign.

 

The post Your Complete Guide to Sagittarius Zodiac + 6 Adventurous Yoga Poses for This Fire Sign appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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The Woman Behind The FasciaBlaster Cellulite-Busting Tool Faces A Lawsuit

Ashley Black Guru / Via youtube.com

The entrepreneur behind a tool designed to massage skin aggressively in order to break up cellulite is accused of “false advertising” and “gross negligence” in a lawsuit filed in California that is seeking class action status.

A group of 10 plaintiffs accused Ashley Black and her company of failing to address the alleged side effects of using the FasciaBlaster, an $89 tool sold on Amazon and elsewhere that claims to “diminish cellulite” and “blast away subcutaneous fat.”

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, argues that not only does the product “fail to deliver the aesthetic results stridently guaranteed” by the company, but that it causes a “wide array of physical injuries” including bruising, hormonal instability and strokes. When people complained about their FasciaBlaster experiences in a Facebook support group, which included more than 300,000 members, Black’s company responded with harassment and cyberbullying, the lawsuit asserts.

The company told BuzzFeed News that the allegations in “this frivolous lawsuit” are “nothing more than a shakedown effort.” The company added that “judging by the false statements in the complaint” it expected “an expedient dismissal.”

The lawsuit follows a BuzzFeed News story that first reported on controversy over the company’s cellulite and fat-busting device and its recommended usage techniques. The FasciaBlaster has prompted 62 reports of injury and product malfunction submitted to the FDA since October 2016, with complaints that include bruising, weight gain, and digestive issues.

FasciaBlaster users are told to heat up in a sauna, slather themselves in oil, and rigorously massage with the tool up to four times a week to purportedly break up cellulite. Bruising, according to Black, is a sign of restoring “unhealthy fascia.”

But medical professionals told BuzzFeed News that these claims were not backed by firm science. Doctors said there was little evidence that massaging permanently destroys cellulite, which is created by fat compressed between a web of benign tissue between the skin and muscle called fascia.

John Morton, chief of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Stanford Health Care, told BuzzFeed News that a bruise is essentially a collection of blood beneath the skin and it does “not equal fascia being broken up.”

Although Black asserts that the FasciaBlaster doesn’t bruise healthy tissue when properly used, Morton noted that “any skin can get bruised. It doesn’t matter if it’s healthy or not.”

Perrin F. Disner, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, told BuzzFeed News that Black’s company’s behavior “is morally reprehensible.”

“It’s bad enough when some new beauty fad fails to provide the advertised results – junkyards are brimming with every pricey gimmick that overpromised and underperformed,” he said.

“Worse, though, is when you wish that the latest gadget had merely failed to do what it was supposed to, because now you’re also very sick, while the company claims there have been no complaints and tells 300,000+ people to ignore you because you’re just a lying troll,” Disner added.

Plaintiffs in the suit describe nausea, fatigue, body aches, and depression immediately following their use of the FasciaBlaster tool and protocols. Sue Grickly, one of the plaintiffs, claims that after three weeks of using the device, she felt burning pain in her neck and shoulder and was subsequently diagnosed with a pinched nerve.

Later, Grickly said, she felt a pain in her hip that was so severe she was unable to walk. An ambulance brought her to the emergency room, where doctors told her she had internal bleeding from a blood vessel that had burst. Her related medical bills amount to roughly $23,800, of which she has paid more than $6,750, according to the lawsuit.

/embed/sub/item-212u0?sb=118938163&cb=1511374812

Read the complaint here.

LINK: Women Say A Popular New Device To “Get Rid Of Cellulite” Left Them Injured

13 Non-Traditional But Fun AF Ways To Celebrate The Holidays

Some people have Friends marathons, others grill on their deck like it’s the Fourth of July.

AKA your closest friends. The people who aren’t actually family, but MIGHT AS WELL BE. We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their chosen family holiday traditions. Some were funny, others were heartwarming, and a couple were just plain random AF. Let’s get into them!

Have a roundtable discussion about all the things you give no fucks about.

Have a roundtable discussion about all the things you give no fucks about.

My friends and I celebrate what we lovingly call Nofucksgiving. It’s a Thanksgiving dinner where we get together and eat and talk about all the things we don’t give a fuck about. It’s one of my favorite holidays, and it’s so cathartic. We may not give a fuck about a lot of things, but we sure do care about each other.

lakewrm

NBC / Via readeroffictions.com

Host a judgement-free karaoke night.

Host a judgement-free karaoke night.

Me (trans*), my actual sister who is gay, and a handful of our closest queer friends – who all find the holidays a little rough because of tense family situations – get together the Saturday before Christmas. We order pizza and drink beer and exchange gifts and watch Home Alone, and usually have a drunk Christmas song lip sync contest somewhere in there.

It’s probably the thing I most look forward to at the holidays. Just good wholesome fun with the people who I know love me the most – who I can be myself around and be wholly comfortable with. There’s no worrying about offending someone with my very existence at my very conservative family gatherings! Plus, the pizza and beer make a great break from the typical holiday food everyone eats during this time of year.

amietb

Columbia Pictures / Via giphy.com

Throw an early Friendsgiving and keep the day itself low-key.

Throw an early Friendsgiving and keep the day itself low-key.

My husband and I have not-so-great relationships with our actual families. We don’t feel like forcing Thanksgiving with them is necessary. So the Saturday before Thanksgiving we do Friendsgiving, and on Thanksgiving day we watch the Friends episodes about their Thanksgivings and hang up all Christmas decor. We do this every year.

glittersniffers

NBC / Via giphy.com

Say grace…but like, not actually “grace.”

We like to say “grace.” Basically we all do a shot after loudly announcing the word “grace.”

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youtube.com / Via imgur.com

Complete a winter-themed puzzle together.

Complete a winter-themed puzzle together.

Years ago, in my first apartment, my roommates and I would do Christmas puzzles together. Towards the beginning of December we’d go shopping together and each choose a a winter-themed puzzle. Then, we’d put them out on our kitchen table to casually work on over time. We didn’t always get the chance to sit down to work on them as a group, but it was cool to see the puzzle gradually come together and think of each other having contributed at some point. The puzzles would usually last past Christmas and help get us through the drag that winter can often be.

-Justine Fitting, Facebook

Puzzler4879 / CC BY-NC 2.0 / Via Flickr: puzzler4879

Act like it’s the summer and light up the grill for some winter BBQ (shorts and sandals, optional).

Act like it's the summer and light up the grill for some winter BBQ (shorts and sandals, optional).

My best friend’s family and mine do a Hanukkah barbecue. Literally, we stand outside and barbecue like it was the Fourth of July, even if it’s the dead of December.

chanl

Ccat82 / Via gettyimages.com

Get all your friends together for a slumber party where you exchange gifts and play fun games.

Get all your friends together for a slumber party where you exchange gifts and play fun games.

The night before Christmas Eve (Dec. 23) is one of the few nights of the year when I have the house all to myself – my parents are working all night since they have a deli shop and people order a crazy amount of food for Christmas dinner. So for the past three years, I’ve been throwing a Christmas party with all my friends. It’s a girl’s night; we play silly games, drink lots of wine, exchange gifts… Anyone can spend the night at my place, and it has become a traditional thing! So everyone gets really excited about it.

martinas433ad046e

CBS / Via giphy.com

Take caroling seriously and find a choir to sing with every year.

Take caroling seriously and find a choir to sing with every year.

As a serious singer since age 12, I’ve been part of more Christmas/holiday-themed concerts and services than I can count. I was a member of both the regular and select chorus while I was in college, and had the chance to sing Christmas carols in a Rhode Island mansion with a number of my closest friends every year. I’ve also been part of my church choir since I was in high school (even singing on Christmas when I came home from college).

I take it so seriously that I make my parents plan our Christmas Eve dinner around when I have to get to warm-ups for Midnight Mass. I’m surrounded by the choir family I joined over 10 years ago, and I still cry every year. All told, singing with my chosen family is the best tradition I could imagine every year.

gracied484246415

CBS / Via forarainyday.me

Or decorate the tree to its ugliest potential.

Or decorate the tree to its ugliest potential.

We always make the ugliest Christmas tree! Tacky second grade ornaments covered in glitter, lights with reindeer heads, handfuls of cheap tinsel…

lizzyparent

Buena Vista Pictures / Via bustle.com

Skip the tree altogether and decorate something entirely unrelated to the holidays.

Skip the tree altogether and decorate something entirely unrelated to the holidays.

We have a 6-foot-tall cardboard cutout of the classic Lost In Space robot that we put lights on instead of a tree.

Everybitofink

Paramount Pictures / Via buzzfeed.com

Gather at the same time and place every year.

Gather at the same time and place every year.

Seventeen years ago, my brother started meeting his friends at our favorite 24-hour diner on Christmas morning at midnight. The first year only three people attended, and now we average around 12. It started out because although Christmas is a time for family, we wanted our chosen family – our best friends – a time to be together on Christmas. We play Christmas trivia and share memories while drinking coffee and eating typical diner fare.

stevenp467763a7b

ABC / Via giphy.com

Build holiday gingerbread houses with your favorite candy.

Build holiday gingerbread houses with your favorite candy.

Every year, my fiancé and I️ build a gingerbread house. We play Christmas music, get our favorite candy, and just have a great time enjoying each other and making new memories. I️ look forward to it every year.

chasityf2

Ruthblack / Via gettyimages.com

Get together with a group to purge your closets and donate to those in need.

Get together with a group to purge your closets and donate to those in need.

We go out on Christmas Day, visit the homeless, and bring them all kinds of gifts – things they need to survive the cold. Coats, scarf’s, caps, socks, food, gloves. You name it and we bring it to them. Everyone should feel loved on that day.

-Chris Langford, Facebook

United Way of Greater St. Louis / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Via Flickr: unitedwaystl

Beautiful Yoga Flow In Tulum (Video)

tulum-mexico-video

 

Yoga. On the beach. In Tulum, Mexico. Three of our favorite things!

 

Yogi and founder of YogiApproved Ashton August practices the same yoga flow in four gorgeous and diverse settings – a beach in Tulum, a tiny jungle oasis, near ancient Myan ruins, and in the middle of a bustling street in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

 

This video project came about as a way to physically and visually express how grounding, empowering, and intimate our yoga practice can be. When we step onto the mat, we step out of our heads and into the present moment through the breath, the movement, and the space in between.

 

We offer this video as a homage and a tribute to the balance between strength and grace, peace and power, presence and stillness that yoga cultivates. Enjoy, and namaste!

 

Track: Trials of the Past by SBTRKT

Edit: Kurtis Jackson

Video: YogiApproved

 

The post Beautiful Yoga Flow In Tulum (Video) appeared first on YogiApproved™.

5 Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Hacks For Vegans, Vegetarians, Low Calorie and Gluten-Free Diets

eat-this-not-that-this-thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here – a time of family and friends, slowing down, and focusing on all that we have to be grateful for. Thanksgiving is also the season for expanding waistlines and forgotten resolutions.

Just because your friends and family are getting their fill of cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes does not mean that you have to stuff yourself like that turkey (or tofurky) on your dinner table.

 

Even if you have dietary restrictions, such as no meat or no gluten, you can eat with the best of them with just a few minor modifications.

 

Want a heaping helping of gratitude? Read about The Life-Altering Importance of Practicing Radical Gratitude

 

You can join in on the day-long eating marathon without completely undoing all of the hard work that you’ve put into your exercise and diet regimen the previous 11 months of the year.

 

So put on your stretchy and comfortable clothes, and enjoy the holiday – the healthy way! This article breaks down how to “hack” Thanksgiving dinner for calorie cutters, vegan/vegetarians, and gluten-free options.

 

Here is your Thanksgiving day game plan for you calorie cutters, vegan/vegetarians and gluten-free:

 

 

1. Turkey Alternative

Turkey is the centerpiece of the meal, but obviously not vegetarian or vegan friendly.

 

Calorie Cutter: Watching your waistline on Thanksgiving can be tricky, but when it comes to turkey, it can be easy. Grab a small portion of meat – the size of the palm of your hand – and leave the fatty and high-calorie skin behind. Light or dark meat has about the same calories, so it’s all about your portion size and avoiding that fatty skin. Also, just say no to deep-fried turkey!

 

Vegetarian/Vegan: Because turkey is not an option, you can opt for a tofurky (or fish for you pescatarians out there), or skip the main dish altogether and indulge in the best part of any meal – the sides!

 

Gluten Free: You are in the clear for this dish, so just make sure that your gravy on top is also gluten-free, as many gravy recipes call for flour.

 

 

2. Stuffing Alternative

Stuffing is high in calories and fat and low in nutrition. This combination, while yummy, can wreak havoc on your waistline when eaten in excess.

 

Calorie Cutter: Make it more nutritious with a whole grain bread and by adding lots of vegetables to the recipe – celery, broccoli, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, etc. You will get tons of flavor, along with the health benefits in those added veggies. Instead of milk and butter, add chicken broth and a low-fat margarine to cut fat and calories.

 

Vegetarian/Vegan: Many recipes call for chicken broth as a base, so instead use vegetable broth. For a creamy stuffing, use soy or almond milk and coconut oil instead, all of which are great for vegetarians and vegans alike.

 

Gluten Free: Typical stuffing is a no-no, so instead, use a rice-based bread or your bread of choice as your base. You can add veggies and your choice of liquid base (vegetable broth, chicken broth) and seasonings to make this stuffing recipe your own.

 

 

3. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are creamy and delicious, but because they are loaded with heavy cream and butter, they can be a calorie monster – and also not vegan-friendly.

 

Calorie Cutter: Try cauliflower mash, which is made just as you would mashed potatoes, but using cauliflower instead. Or, if you aren’t ready to fully commit, prepare a 50/50 mix of cauliflower and potatoes, so you can cut calories without cutting the flavor or texture.

 

Whichever recipe you choose, swap out your heavy cream for milk, skim milk or even low-calorie milk replacements (such as almond or coconut milk) to slash the calories and fat. If you don’t want to change the taste or consistency, just have a small scoop of the real deal, and don’t go back for seconds!

 

Vegetarian/Vegan: Skip the gravy, which is often filled with some form of meat. Make your own mashed potatoes, where instead of adding milk and butter to your potatoes, combine soy or almond milk and coconut oil along with your favorite seasonings. This combination is creamy and flavorful and just as good or better than the original recipe.

 

Gluten Free: While you are typically safe, make sure that your chef didn’t add in flour to the potatoes as a thickener. And, double check that the gravy on top is all free of gluten.

 

 

4. Cranberry Sauce / Condiments / Sides

Cranberry sauce is another Thanksgiving staple, as are the condiments like gravy and sides like green bean casserole or rolls.

 

Calorie Cutter: Stay away from anything fried, covered in sauce or gravy or anything that appears to be thick and creamy. Instead, have your fill of veggies and a tablespoon or two of homemade cranberry sauce that you make yourself without added sugar. This sweet treat is a nice balance to the savory flavors throughout the rest of your dish.

 

Vegetarian/Vegan: While you are probably used to asking about ingredients when out to dinner, Thanksgiving is a particularly important day to ask. While your family and friends may mean well, they may add in unsuspecting chicken broth, mayonnaise and other meat-based items where you least expect it.

 

Better yet, just play it safe. Grab a salad, cranberry sauce or other side dishes that you can clearly see all of the components, so you are safe from meat-product contamination.

 

Gluten Free: For this category of your meal, you are probably safe – but double check just to be sure. If it’s bread-based and you didn’t make it, it is probably filled with gluten, so choose vegetable or fruit-based sides. Even unsuspecting dishes like green bean casserole can be dangerous with those breaded and fried onions on top.

 

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5. Dessert

Now is your time to have a little of what you’d like to reward yourself with for doing so well throughout the rest of your meal. Enjoy a small, sweet treat at the end of your meal. You deserve it!

 

Calorie Cutter: Most desserts are full of butter, cream and and tons of sugar. Your approach here is moderation. Have a thin slice of pumpkin pie and skip the whipped cream. Have a spoonful of pudding. Share a cookie with a friend. If you don’t want to cheat, prepare strawberries or other fruit with a light cream or make a light and frothy pumpkin mousse or another sugar-free dessert.

 

Vegetarian/Vegan: For vegetarians, dessert is a no brainer – you can have it all! However for vegans, most baked goods on Thanksgiving are filled with milk and butter, and anything with a pie crust is an instant no-go on your list. Unless you make it, it is probably off of your menu tonight. Here is your chance to show off your inner vegan baker, so pick your favorite dessert and share it with those you love.

 

Gluten Free: Many desserts are carb-heavy and unless the baker is gluten free, those carbs are generally made with white, refined flour. Make your own cookies, pie or cake and add it to the dessert table. The best part will be announcing that your dessert was gluten free after the meal is over – just watch the surprise on the faces of those who indulged in and enjoyed your sweet treat, only to find that what they just ate was gluten free!

 

 

Enjoy Thanksgiving the Healthy Way

Now, your meal is over and your belly is full. You can sit back, relax and give thanks for all that you have and the people in which you share your day. Cherish the time and memories that you create with your family and great food.

 

Cook together and share your cuisines, and take some time to reflect on all things you have to be grateful for. Don’t forget to do some yoga and limber up before you make a mad dash for Black Friday shopping!

 

The post 5 Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Hacks For Vegans, Vegetarians, Low Calorie and Gluten-Free Diets appeared first on YogiApproved™.

Years of Infertility and Miscarriages Sent Me Into a Spiral of Depression

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From the time she was small, Jessica Dolan wanted to be a mom. So not long after she and her boyfriend of nine years got married, they began trying to get pregnant. A year later, with no success, Jessica’s doctor sent her to a fertility clinic for help. Feeling hopeful, the couple began the intense process of in vitro fertilization, with every-other-day visits to the clinic for blood tests, exams, imaging, and injections of hormone-bolstering medications.

Then, in the summer of 2012, they received the news they’d been waiting for: Jessica was pregnant. “I was 37, and we were thrilled to be starting a family,” she recalls.

When she was six weeks along, Jessica started having menstrual-like cramps and feeling lightheaded. At first, she chalked it up to pregnancy, but when the symptoms persisted for several days, she went to her doctor. An ultrasound revealed that the fertilized egg had implanted in her fallopian tubes instead of her uterus-what’s known as an ectopic pregnancy-which meant it wouldn’t survive.

“I was crushed,” says Jessica. “The clock was ticking because of my age, but I dreaded starting the whole process over again.”

More heartbreak

Shell-shocked and in mourning, they took a year-and-a-half break to regroup, but by December 2013 they felt ready to try again. “My fertility doctor assured us that he’d never seen a woman have two ectopic pregnancies, and he was confident we’d be successful,” says Jessica. Indeed, in January 2014, she learned she was pregnant again.

At five weeks, however, she started having cramping again-and discovered that lightning can strike twice. This pregnancy, too, was ectopic. “Everyone at the fertility clinic was shocked, and I felt defective, like there was something terribly wrong with me if my body couldn’t do what it was supposed to do.”

With one frozen embryo left, Jessica and her husband decided to give it one final try. A month later, she had a positive pregnancy test-but at the following week’s office visit, a second test came back negative. “That false positive marked the end of our dreams,” says Jessica. “But giving up triggered a painful identity crisis. If I couldn’t have a child, who was I? What would I be if not a mom?”

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Rock bottom

Jessica spiraled into a dark, lonely place. She could barely get out of bed in the morning and began eating anything that made her feel better in the moment-pizza, ice cream, cookies. Over the next year she gained 30 pounds. “I was too depressed to work, and every morning I woke up and thought, ‘F**k, here goes another day.’ I couldn’t imagine what was going to become of my life.”

Still, there were fleeting moments when she felt more positive, and in one of those she downloaded the 7 Minute Workout app and pushed herself to start doing it. “I’d exercised off and on throughout my life, and even though I was ridiculously out of shape I figured I could do seven minutes,” she says.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Kayla Itsines’ Seven-Minute Full-Body Workout

After a few months, she started running on her treadmill and gradually built her endurance to 10 minutes, then 15, then 20. “Instead of beating myself up for doing so little, I told myself that every minute was a win,” she says. The more she exercised the better she felt-less anxious, more positive, more confident and capable. By early 2015 she had started a new career and began re-engaging with life.

Last June, ready to take her routine to the next level, Jessica hired a personal trainer. “He keeps me accountable and pushes me farther than I thought I could go. Now when he tells me to do 50 push-ups I don’t think, ‘Are you crazy?’ I just do it,” she says.

To get effective workouts delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

Her weekly routine is intense. She gets up at 4 a.m. two mornings for a bootcamp class, does personal training two days, runs at least three miles every weekend, and takes hip-hop or ballroom dancing a few nights a week.

“The fog has lifted and I’m feeling great. I’ve lost weight, and I’m energized by life again,” says Jessica. “Without exercise I would have been lost. It shifted my thinking from negative to positive. It helped me embrace every day instead of dread it. All my life, exercise seemed like a chore, like something I should do but didn’t really want to do. Now I look forward to it, because I know it keeps my mind as healthy as my body. And it all started with a few minutes a day. That’s how powerful it is.”

Practice This Prenatal Yoga Class to Relax Your Body and Connect With Your Baby (Free 30-Minute Video)

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Yoga can really help ease the body during pregnancy. Yet throughout your pregnancy, your typical yoga practice should become more gentle, mindful, and centered on creating safe, healthy movement that benefits both you and your baby.

 

With Prenatal Yoga, it’s encouraged that you use as many yoga props as possible. For this video, we recommend a blanket, yoga block, and bolster. If you don’t have a block or bolster handy, you can substitute a book or water bottle for the block and a pillow for the bolster.

 

Join YogiApproved teacher Carrie Varela in this soothing Prenatal Yoga flow to help relax your body, calm your mind, and connect with your baby. Be sure to check out the general tips below for keeping your yoga practice safe throughout your pregnancy.

 

Here’s Your 30-Minute Relaxing Prenatal Yoga Flow Class:

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Tips to Keep Your Prenatal Yoga Practice Safe and Effective:

As a general rule when you’re pregnant, it’s best to avoid the following things in your yoga practice:

  • Yoga poses on your stomach
  • Supine poses (flat on your back)
  • Deep backbend poses
  • Poses or movements that contract the abdomen
  • Holding poses for longer than 5-10 breaths
  • Deep twists that compress the abdominal area
  • Deep forward bends or hip openers
  • Advanced Pranayama (or deep breathing exercises)

 

These are general safety tips but be sure to discuss with your experienced Prenatal Yoga teacher and doctor to be sure your practice is safe and effective for you and your body’s particular needs.

 

If you’re interested in learning modifications for common poses during pregnancy, check out these 6 Prenatal Yoga Pose Modifications for Pregnancy

 

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Incorporate Prenatal Yoga Into Your Wellness Routine Throughout Your Pregnancy

This is an amazing yoga flow to relax the body and cultivate a sense of peace and calm for mind, body, and baby. Feel free to revisit this video throughout your pregnancy and always remember to take time for yourself, mommas!

 

The best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is take care of yourself and commit to a daily self-care practice, and Prenatal Yoga is a great place to start! Namaste!

 

This article and all included information is not intended as medical advice and does not treat or diagnose. Please consult your doctor for any health-related questions or concerns before practicing these poses.

 

The post Practice This Prenatal Yoga Class to Relax Your Body and Connect With Your Baby (Free 30-Minute Video) appeared first on YogiApproved™.