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Eating a healthful and balanced diet will help you get the most from your yoga practice. Focus on fresh, high-quality foods that boost energy without adding toxins to your body.
The connection between fitness and nutrition has long been emphasized, and for good reason. Whether you are taking up yoga to improve a health condition, de-stress, or get energized, eating the proper quantity and balance of nutrients is essential to achieving your goals. Consuming the right types and amounts of nutrients and fluid helps you to exercise for longer and at a higher intensity. It also aids in muscle recovery after workouts, improves strength, increases energy levels, helps to maintain healthy immune function, and reduces the risk of injury and heat cramps.

Fueling for fitness
5-4Our bodies need fuel to function, and the harder we push ourselves the more fuel we require. Professional athletes and marathon runners utilize carbohydrate loading and require hundreds of excess calories to keep them performing at their peak. But for most of us, who work out less than four times a week at low to moderate intensity, it is not necessary to take these drastic measures. Instead, as you begin practicing yoga, focus on consuming small meals with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Look to take in a healthy combination of carbohydrates and protein with small amounts of fat and fiber. For example, try eating a nut butter sandwich on whole-wheat toast with an apple, or a serving of Greek yogurt with fruit and low-fat granola approximately three to four hours before exercising. Then, about one half hour to an hour before working out, eat a whole fruit like a banana or orange and drink a full glass of water. The proper timing and intake of these nutrients will enhance your workout and the benefits you receive from it.

After a workout, carbohydrates help to replenish muscle fuel lost during exercise, while protein aids in the repair of damaged muscle tissue and the development of new tissue. Aim to eat a meal or snack 15 to 60 minutes after engaging in physical activity. Some healthful meal suggestions include a chicken or vegetable stir-fry, whole-wheat pita with turkey, hummus, and salad, or a brown rice bowl with beans and steamed vegetables. If you are on the go and cannot prepare a healthful meal within the hour, stock your gym bag with nutritional supplements. A variety of bars on the market contain a balanced blend of carbohydrates, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.

The POWER of Vulnerability

I want to talk about something. That word, the one everybody stays away from.
The big V-word.

I spoke to my whole yoga class about the power of vulnerability last night. How in the dictionary it is defined as "being open to injury or pain. To be easily hurt or harmed." I can completely understand why we are terrified of this word. Most of us have become vulnerable once or more times in our life but usually not by choice. Our walls come down in a relationship, at a job, and we get burned; sometimes badly. Our whole perception of vulnerability is that it causes pain, and why would we want to do something that image2_copyintentionally causes us pain? 
What we don't look at is the POWER of vulnerability. The shedding of layers, of that hard shell that protects all of our feelings, of ego, and we are afraid of being authentic, we are afraid to get naked.
We forget to look at the light that can come from choosing to be completely open.

There are many, many times where I second guess publishing my writings for all my friends and the world to read. I pour my heart out in my words and it is not an easy task to welcome others into your world. It takes a lot of self love to be vulnerable, which is a bitch of a task on its own. There were times where I would be told
"No, don't post that. Don't make yourself look weak. Don't expose your feelings, people don't need to see that."
Don't feel. Don't expose. Don't open. Don't be vulnerable.
When I wrote my first article this year my hands were shaking with fear, fear that people would reject my words, fear that I would get in trouble. But with hands shaking I posted my heart to the world. As if I ripped my heart out of my chest and stapled it to a bulletin board, for everyone to see.
I was so naked. Completely stripped. Totally vulnerable, but this time by choice.

I got massive amouts of emails and messages saying "THANK YOU for sharing your story. I TOO have felt that pain, I TOO have felt that lost, I TOO have fell down that fucking rabbit hole and I'm so happy to know that I am not alone."
Every single part of my mind, body, soul told me yes, yes, yes! This is what can come from a vulnerable state. We can touch people with our words, with our actions as long as they are authentic.
It is so easy to stay is a safe zone. To talk ourselves out of a situation that seems so uncomfortable to us. It's so easy to say "No, because I MIGHT get hurt." We say no to jobs, to friends, to LOVE. Instead of "YES, because I might find magic here."

We connect when we are completely open.
We are able to create where we are free.
We truly thrive when we can find this space of vulnerability.
There is always a chance of pain in life. This is inevitable.
There is also always a chance for an amazing, eye opening, heart warming experience, and if we settle for no, if we stay closed our whole life, how will we ever discover that?
We we born with open hearts.
Naked Hearts.​

Love and light,
Anjali Romaniuk

Partner Yoga