Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation

Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation

A few weeks ago I got my Dosha Mat, Accupressure mat and I’ve been having a lot of fun using it.

Accupressure mats have a ton of health benefits, some claims for health are:

  • reducing pain and muscle soreness

  • stress and anxiety reduction

  • increased circulation

  • reduction of insomnia

  • creates relaxation and sense of calm

The acupressure mats have 4500 pressure points per the entire surface of the mat through the 190 lotus flowers (25 points per flower). These pressure point stimulate the area of the body and send signals to other parts of the body through meridians to help calm and relax. This is much like acupuncture, however not to specific areas and not puncturing the skin of course.

Looking at it from a yogi/massage point of view, I like using it sometimes in a manner that helps me massage a bit. This is also helping relief stress and tension through fascia releasing.


doshaaccupressuremat

How To Use Your Dosha Accupressure Mat

You can use this mat in many different ways, in many different places. Here is a couple ways I’ve been using mine:

  1. Simply laying on it. Sometimes I lay down on it and relax, do legs up the wall or at the end of a yoga practice in savasana.

  2. Moving on it. I like to lay down and tuck my knees in and roll back and forth or in circles to get a bit of massaging action.

  3. Sitting down with it. In an office chair or on the couch and leaning into it.

  4. Standing on it. I personally have been loving having it beside my bed when I am doing laundry. I find it’s a bit to intense for me to stand on completely, but I will stand with it one foot at a time.

Want to try one out for yourself? I’ve partnered with Dosh Mat to offer you 15% off your vary own from the Canadian owned company! Offer is only good until November 4th 2018! Use the code BITCHINHOUSEWIFE15 at Dosha Mat.

3 Perfect Spots To Float The River In Edmonton

3 Perfect Spots to Float Down the River In Edmonton

Edmonton River

We recently bought kayaks (If you follow me on Instagram, I'm sure you are already sick of seeing my pictures of it!) I've been getting a lot of questions lately of where to go or how to do it! Realizing not everyone has kayaks or canoes, but float devices seem pretty accessible to most, here is three of the top places to get into the North Saskatchewan River. 

These locations are perfect for a float after work one day or you can do an all day trip on a weekend afternoon. Over the course of summer the sun sets anywhere from 10:30pm (June) to 8:25pm (early September)

Terwillegar Dog Park

Bonus to this location: the dogs you get to see and pet along the way. Based at the bottom of Rabbit Hill Road. Park in the parking lot and walk out to ward the water and there is a lot of space to get in from there.  

Quesnell Bridge Edmonton

Make you way as if you are heading to Fort Edmonton Park, and before you head into their parking lot, you can park underneath the Quesnell Bridge. There is a bit of beach space, but mostly it's from a concrete pad.

Under Henday between Lessard Drive and Terwillegar Exits

If you park on either side of the Henday at the bridge between Terwillegar and Lessard exits, there are trails that will take you all the way down to the water. You can also park your car at 321 Heath Road and follow the walking path down. This will be a longer walk however. 

 Quesnell Brudge

Quesnell Brudge

 

You can park your cars and/or get out: 

  • Laurier Park (shorter float)
  • Emily Murphy Park (Medium Float)
  • Dwson Park (Medium Float)
  • Capilano Park (Long Float)

Couple of Tips:

  • Pack snacks
  • Pack water
  • Bring Extra Sunscreen
  • If possible, I recommend buying a dry bag like this one from Amazon. Keeps your stuff (including your phone dry) and because it's made for this you can attach it to the side of the float so it doesn't take up float space. 
  • Grab some friends and tie your rafts together or go in on a big one together!

My 5 Favourite Podcasts on Self Development

5 Favourite Podcasts on Self Help and Development

5 self help podcasts

Are you a podcast junkie? I have my ups and downs. I like them running and driving to teach classes. Recently on my Instagram I was talking about a podcast I was listening to that sparked a curiosity, leading to me attempting a no sugar experiment. Then Of course I was asked, well what podcast was it and what am I listening to?

These podcasts are mostly about self development/improvement/help, whatever you want to call it. Depending on the mood I'm in or the title of course I will listen in. 

1.The Upgrade. First of all Melissa and Alice have similar sounding voices and I find that hilarious for some reason. But they both have really pleasant voices. In the description of their show they say "Look, you're doing great but quite frankly we think you can be a little better." I love this. 

2.Lewis Howes The School Of Greatness. I love that the people he has on his show are athletes, business people, celebrities and hearing their wild stories of how they came to their greatness. Lewis is pretty down to earth which makes it easy to bridge the gap between us regular Joes and the all stars he brings onto the show!

3. Lori Harder Earn Your Happiness. Well the name says it all. She's after happiness. How we get it, how we keep it, how we find ways to detach from things that prevent us from having it. 

4. Kelly Covert, In Her Voice. Kelly has a very calming tone to her voice. I love her podcasts for early morning walks and more chilled out activities. Her view is all about women finding their own authentic voice and living out  your own visions of your life. 

5. Jenna Kutcher, The Goal Digger. This one is certainly more business based, but I see it as more improving things about ourselves to be better at business. Like stepping outside of our comfort zones and being brave to get where we want to be in business. Her Instagram is pretty the bomb too.

Take Care, 

Jen

Jennifer Neilson Bitchin Housewife

Enough is Enough Lululemon - I'm Calling You Out

Enough is Enough Lululemon - I’m calling you out.

 

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate us Women. All women. Powerful CEO’s, nurses, artists, truck drivers, welders, teachers, stay at home moms, 17 year old high school students, 100 year old great grandmothers. Women of different sizes, shapes, backgrounds, colors, personalities, incomes and sexualities.

 

And Lulu just had to do it. Just had to abuse their reach and use OUR day to do it.

 

Let me back up a bit here. I am a white, female, 32 year old yoga teacher, who is in “works out but likes pizza” shape. I spend about an hour to hour and a half each day exercising 5-6 times a week. I have two kids, loving husband and run some boss ass businesses if I may say so myself.

 

I wear Lululemon clothes to workout and teach, among other lines. I have friends who work for Lulu and some that are ambassadors. They are lovely humans who are totally inspiring and bad ass.

 

BUT.

 

You just had to go and do it didn’t you Lulu?

 

Lulu created a campaign that launched yesterday named “Enough is Enough”. A campaign where they sell you t shirts that send funds to empowering women through various charities. Seem noble? Sort of is. Sort of.

 

The charities picked are Yoga Outreach (trauma informed yoga), Red Clay Yoga (Focus on yoga for youth and marginalized communities), Exhale to Inhale (Yoga for violence and sexual assault  survivors) and Our Mala, (Yoga for survivors of Violence and Cruelty). These charities are amazing. Yoga is a beautiful way to help with these processes and I don’t want to take away at ALL from these organizations.

 

Back to Lulu. They launched the Enough is Enough campaign and gave their ambassadors shirts and mega phones. Mega phones so they can be heard. Heard speaking rights for women.

 

However the flaw here is the women given these microphones (who again I know many and they are amazing) lack diversity.

Most are:

  • White

  • Female

  • Beautiful (by society’s standards)

  • Thin

  • In the 30 “ish” range of age

  • And oddly enough also mostly Yoga teachers.

 

Basically they are “Ocean”. If you haven’t heard of Ocean, she is the ideal customer created by Lululemon. Chip Wilson the founder of Lululemon describes Ocean as “32 year old single professional that makes $100,00 a year, is fashionable and has an hour and a half to workout every day.” and goes on to say “if you’re 20 years old or you’re graduating from university, you can’t wait to be that woman. If you’re 42 years old a couple of children, you wish you had that time back.”

 

Sooooooo what you are saying there Chip is that you are “Empowering” women through your Enough is Enough campaign, however these women are not good enough.

 

You want them TO WANT to be more than they already are.

 

Empowering nothing.

 

YOU GAVE MEGA PHONES TO WOMEN WHO ARE LIKE OCEAN TO SPEAK FOR THE WOMEN WHO ARE NOT.

 

 REALLY????? Using Empowering messages to sell your clothes to women who aren't good enough is just LOW

REALLY????? Using Empowering messages to sell your clothes to women who aren't good enough is just LOW

Browsing through your Instagram feed, you have Oceans and Dukes (their ideal man) and no other diversity.

 

So what really is your Enough is Enough campaign about? Selling more clothes.

 

We all know this isn’t the first time you’ve alienated people with an interview a long time ago, claiming you wouldn’t make sizes for women above a size 12. We won’t even go there.

 

BUT.

 

I AM calling you out on your fake campaign.

 

I AM telling readers, friends, yoga teachers, personal trainers, weekend warriors to make informed choices.

Stick to selling clothes and leave your nose out of the women's empowerment movement.

 

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN OCEAN.

 

YOU ARE ALREADY ENOUGH.

Update: This went a tad viral and we created an exclusivity photoshoot event in Edmonton to celebrate our beauty of uniqueness and amazingness.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1722798607787790/

 

 Where is your own humility in this?

Where is your own humility in this?

JORD - Minimalist Style Watches

Minimalist Style Ladies Watches

Recently I read an article in Time magazine that gave the suggestion for wearing a watch as a social media mindfulness technique. This way when you need to know the time, you look at your watch, instead of your phone that will get your distracted if you notice notifications.

Soooooo... I got a myself a cool wooden watch. A beautiful, unique, minimalist style sandalwood watch from JORD and I LOVE IT.

The sandalwood is so soft and beautiful on the skin, and I feel like it pairs well in relaxed style and when I’m actually dressed up! Since I’m not a huge fashion guru, (I wear A LOT of spandex since I workout/teach so often)I like that it works with different styles. I’ve worn it with some jeans going out for dinner and with yoga pants heading for a hike.

Which of course this versatility feeds my minimalist approach to life. I like simplicity that can transfer into many different options.

But let me tell you how impressed my husband (builds wood furniture for a living) was with the care of the watch and the box it comes in . The watch has it’s own humidity control box and finishing oil to keep it looking new and in good condition. The box itself is also very beautiful and has a drawer to tuck away all the extra items that come with it. Once again, ,adding to the minimalist in me that likes clean counter tops and beautiful functional things.

Additionally, I picked a Sandalwood watch since sandalwood is something I wear often. They are very commonly used in malas.  The scent of sandalwood actually comes from the wood itself not the leaves like some plants. Sandalwood scent is known to help the mind unwind according to this article from Mala Collective.

Giveaway

Win $100 credit toward your very own JORD watch through THIS CONTEST LINK.

Each person will receive a 10% discount code as well (nice consolation prize if you don’t win)

The contest will close 03/11/2018 at 11:59pm CST. Both the $100 and the 10% off codes will expire on 04/08/2018

Oh Go Float Yourself - Float House Review

What is floating you ask? This recent trend is gaining popularity and for good reason. It is suuuuper relaxing and in my opinion, one of the ultimate self care "me" times. 

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go check out the Float House Edmonton. It was basically pure bliss. But before we get into my review of the Float House, first let's chat about what floating is.

What is a float tank?

Basically it's a tank you lie in with a high salt water content so that you actually float in the water without effort. The tank is enclosed to block out noise, light and basically most sensory stimulation. It's sometimes called a sensory deprivation tank.

 The amount of salt that goes into every tank!

The amount of salt that goes into every tank!

What's the point?

By removing the stimulus of noise, light, draft etc the body can go into a deeper state of relaxation and/or meditation. 

What if I'm claustrophobic?

This is a REAL question. I 100% have claustrophobia issues. about 5/6 years ago I had my first experience in a tank and it wasn't too bad (I had already done lots of work on my claustrophobia), but I was able to keep the door of the tank open to ease my anxiety. That said the tank I was in was on the smaller side so I found myself not completely relaxed. Personally at Float House Edmonton in particular their tanks are so big that I was completely comfortable and even closed the door all the way .

What do you in there the whole time?

Well, whatever you want to do I guess. Dominic did a great job of explaining some things about being in the tank. He suggested some things like playing in the space a bit, ways to find comfort, doing a body scan or meditation. I personally found it comforting to play around with my positioning a bit, make waves in the water and feel around the walls a bit before coming into a settled position. The great part is that whenever you feel ready you can leave. The tank is in it's pwn room and you can get out and shower whenever you feel you are ready too. 

What are the benefits of floating?

There are tons! I go for the relaxation and meditation. But check out the Float Houses #WhyWeFloat page for the best resource on this subject.

So about Float House. 

I love the vibe in there. Located just off Whyte Ave it's amazing to come off a busy street into the chill setting. The space is very clean, relaxed and inviting. Sitting down with Dominic, he helped put me at ease about the process, giving me a lot of good tips. 

 Inviting front reception with the stunning at work.

Inviting front reception with the stunning at work.

 The amazing intention setting wall.

The amazing intention setting wall.

The room itself is beautiful. A private shower in the room, just outside the tank. It makes it easier to have a cleansing shower before the float and a nice warm shower upon stepping out. There is a few lighting options. You can choose total darkness, which sets on a timer. You set it to total dark and it gives you time to get into the tank and settle before it goes all dark. Additionally you can choose more light or a little bit of light. There are a couple of small holes in the ceiling of the tank that let in the smallest amount of the room light. I chose this option to help keep me oriented. 

The tank itself is really large. I'm 5'2" and had lots of space to bounce back and forth from foot to head. Additionally height wise I'm pretty sure I could actually stand up in the tank. So It felt more like floating in a room then a tub. 

float tank.jpg

One of the best parts however is the post float. There is this beautiful room where they encourage you to sit and have some tea, or maybe read, write or reflect. I had a beautiful conversation with Dominic and another floater afterwards. It was like hanging out with long time friends. 

 Calming and relaxing please to come back to real life stimulus in the post float lounge. 

Calming and relaxing please to come back to real life stimulus in the post float lounge. 

 Reading selection in the post float lounge. 

Reading selection in the post float lounge. 

Overall, I really love this place. Personally every Sunday I have a morning bath and I think I will be replacing that time once a month with a float. 

Have you ever floated?

 

Love, Jen

What's A Mala Anyways?

Mala’s have become very popular lately. They look gorgeous but they also can serve a function.

 

What are the made from?

Many different materials are used in the making of mala’s. I’ve seen beads made from animal bone, different stones and rocks.

 Mine here is from  Mala and Me  made from black onyx. "  Black Onyx   assists with challenges in life, especially those caused by a drain of energy. This stone can help you to feel comfortable within yourself and in your surroundings.  Black Onyx is said to promote self-control helping the wearer to keep excessive emotions and passions under control, while keeping you protected."

Mine here is from Mala and Me made from black onyx. "Black Onyx  assists with challenges in life, especially those caused by a drain of energy. This stone can help you to feel comfortable within yourself and in your surroundings. Black Onyx is said to promote self-control helping the wearer to keep excessive emotions and passions under control, while keeping you protected."

What are they used for?

They can be worn with the intention of the stones/gems they are made from protecting/helping you. Traditionally malas have been used in helping meditation. Using the beads on the necklace to help repeat an intention or a point of focus in meditation. 

I had surgery on Monday and since I have been spending time meditating on healing. With each bead I repeat to myself over and over "I am healing and healthy".
 

mala.jpg

Why 108 beads?

I've heard many reasons behind the 108 beads. The number 108 comes up in many ways, including even the fact that the suns diameter is exactly 108 times the size of the earth's.

 My super sweet bracelete from  Eliasz and Ella

My super sweet bracelete from Eliasz and Ella

What about the bracelets? 

I also love bracelets. I think they look pretty stacked on wrists with different colours, but I use them for quick little reminders. While I'm waiting in the car to pick up my daughters from school or while I'm teaching and people are laying in Savanasa. A moments to align with my intentions for myself and my day. Sometimes I use no mantra and just use it to count a few deep breaths.

The mystery of the mala solved. 

Love

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

The Chopped Leaf Beet Bowl

Recently The Chopped Leaf launched the new Beet Bowl. Now I will let you in on a secret. I hate Beets. *gasp* Okay I should say I USED to hate beets. I tried. I really tried to like them, but I've never found a way I like them. They are super good for you. They are high in vitamin c (good for immunity) and fiber (good for nutrient absorbtion) and other essential minerals.

From an Ayurvedic standpoint they are good for all constitution types and are known as a powerful blood builder and treater of ailments because of it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

So last week I went into try the new Beet Bowl for lunch. It came in this pretty bowl. And we all know we eat with our eyes first right? The colorful bowl certainly makes a pretty display.

This bowl is packed full of nutrients and deliciousness. The blueberries create this nice sweetness, and the smooth feta adds a bit of saltiness getting that sweet and salty taste just right. The pecans add a wonderful crunch with the crisp lettuce, and the brown basmati rice adds a heartiness to the dish, leaving you feeling satisfied. Add the beets and top with the honey dijon dressing and perfecto! The sweet, salty and slightly sour from the honey dijon make a trifecta of tastes. In Ayurveda these three tastes are even known to be the three of comfort. 

 One bite has all this

One bite has all this

I topped my bowl with smoked tofu since I'm a vegetarian, but they have other protein options or eat it on it own! At just 190 calories for the starter size this bowl is super satisfying and easily added to most's eating plans. 

Make sure you check out The Chopped Leaf giveaway and enter to win prizes they are giving away weekly!

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Fitness Gear Review - MY Zone Heart Rate Monitor

I've been teaching yoga at the RVX gym all summer and they have all their athletes wear these heart rate monitors. There is a big t.v up on the wall so the trainers can see their efforts in real time. Pretty cool. I enjoyed watching the heart rates go up and slow way down from the yoga I was teaching them. 

I was so intrigued that I just had to get myself one of these My Zone Heart Rate Monitors. I have to admit, I'm a little obsessed with it. 

Since it goes around the torso, rather then the wrist as in a watch there is constant contact getting the results of monitoring to be %99.4 accurate. 

It's easy to wear and you can't even see it under a shirt. 

It shows you on an app on your phone your effort. Showing where your heart rate is in different "zones". Where I am assuming where they get their name from. 

The brilliant thing about these zones is that you are rewarded points or as they call it MEP's for every minute you are in a different zone. The harder you work the more points per minute you get. Hence their slogan "Effort Rewarded". These points can be added up for challenges, personal goals or competing against friends. You can add your friends and see where they are at with their workouts. You can help motivate them by a little friendly competition. Not that I know about this or anything........ Oh and they just added an update where you can post a photo to your feed with your workout!

Since you also plug in all your personal info, including your age and weight etc it tracks your caloric burn during a workout. It's fascinating to see the difference from what the cardio machine at the gym is telling you and your actual amount. 

I have found myself pushing a little harder in workouts, if not because I see my heart rate in a lower zone, but because I want more MEP's! Either way I'm motivated!

The thing that super impressed me about this monitor is that I wore it during the Spartan Super race I did, running through mud and swimming across a river and it stayed in place AND it still works! I wasn't near my phone, but it will track up to 16 hours of your workout for you and upload it when you are near your phone again. 

Overall, I'm super happy with my purchase and continue to love my new workout gear. I believe you can get them online at the My Zone website or you can buy them through a local retailer like I did at RVX Factor Gym here in Edmonton. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

What's That Barre About?

Every thought about trying out a barre class? Yeah that was me. A friend and I have thought about it for a while and weren't sure. I figured I would try and blog about it so you can see if it's something you wanted to try! I'll experiment on my body for you like that. We cool.

Thursday night my two friends and I went to Xtend Barre in south Edmonton and tried out a class! First of all this brand new studio is super gorgeous and the people that work there are amazingly friendly and inviting! I mean I know I have tried many different things in fitness, but always embarking on a new journey can be a little intimidating and these guys treat you like a best friend the second you walk in the door.

So we walk in and fill out our forms and get ready for class. Fist thing is we grab some equipment. Some straps, mat, ball and choose our size hand weights. Now, let me tell you a bit about my ego. There are 2, 3 and 5 lbs weights. And I'm all like, "I lift weights, where's the 15 lbs weights?" and Cheryl is all like "3 lbs is challenging and 5 lbs is like hard core". I almost grabbed the 5lbs, but last second thought, I'm a newbie I'll go 3. *Insert rolling laughter from everyone ever who has taken a barre class*.

We get all set up and start on some warm up movements. It was pretty good, I felt loosened up and got a grasp of hand placcement and footing. I had concerns about how complicated it was going to be, especially after I saw the equipment we needed, but the moves are simple and easy to follow.

After warming up we grab our weights get to some strength. Yeah so I'm a weightlifter..... I can hip thrust a whopping 270 lbs. These 3 lbs weights kicked my ass. Well shoulders, but you get the idea. I seriously part way through had to put those suckers down and do just bodyweight. Which is a wonderful option for newbies to fitness too. It's totally still a good workout. 

We got to some more bodyweight stuff......

 Happy Chris doing her favorite move, tricep dips. With a pointed toe twist of course. 

Happy Chris doing her favorite move, tricep dips. With a pointed toe twist of course. 

Then we hit the bar. Where I learned, it doesn't matter how fit you are, you can ALWAYS learn something new. I'm totally proud of my capabilities to perform a very good squat with my butt back and low. But Cheryl had to keep correcting me to tuck my pelvis the other direction. Not a squat but a plie! Let's talk about using new muscles! yowza!

Then my FAVORITE, core work!!!!!

Overall we had a total blast. Chris and Melissa proclaimed to be very sore yesterday. I wasn't as sore since I taught 7 hours of yoga and stretched all day, but I can feel it still in some parts of my body!

My overall take on barre:

  • Great workout, with something available for all levels to get a challenge.
  • Very simple to follow, with easy transitions between exercises. 
  • Fun upbeat music.
  • What I liked best was it was almost like a taste of being a dancer, without the intimidation or seriousness. We were just some friends hanging out and having fun, while learning a new way of fitness. My friend Melissa was actually a dancer as a child and she said it reminded her of her dancing years and she will definitely go back. 

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Grip socks are required. This particular studio offers them for sale, but I see them all the time at Walmart or Shoppers or places like Keylime Athletic Wear.
  • Keep within your limits and rest if needed.

Overall, I'm a fan and will go back for sure! Have you tried a barre class? Will you?

Love, 

Jen