Meditation can be referred to as an active effort to train your mind to focus and let go of certain thoughts and stresses. Engaging in meditation can boost your awareness of your surroundings, strengthen your inner voice, and reduce stress. At Exhale, we believe in building and maintaining a strong sense of wellbeing from the inside out. In order to achieve what we want to in both our fitness goals and in all other walks of life, it is important experience that inner balance and concentrated self-awareness.Read More
Life is inevitable, but stress is not. The way that we react to difficult situations becomes the moment where we can choose whether or not to allow stress to surface. To help you strengthen your resistance to stressful thoughts and feelings, we’ve developed a defense plan that works like a charm.
Move it Whether you’re sweating it out or stretching it out, physical movement is a great way to channel whatever energy you’d normally put towards stress, into something productive and healthy. Release your tension and try some Power Yoga for a dynamic and positive sweat session or Chill Yoga to wind down and mentally disconnect. Stressed for time? HIIT 30 is a half hour of non-stop movement that will leave you feeling exhilarated.Read More
By: Dr. Robert MacDonald, National Director of Healing 1. SIMPLE MEDITATIONUse this quick mindfulness technique to help focus (or refocus), and notice how your energy shifts towards empowered positivity. Take ten seconds to close your eyes. Inhale and exhale. Visualize a color (or a mantra of your choice) – picture it in your mind’s eye. Let it fill you. Then open your eyes. 2. AFTER-WORK RESET: Perfect for your after-work commute, this super-simple meditation helps you reset from the work day.Read More
We’ve all heard it a million times: getting enough sleep helps you lose weight, manage stress, and combats the big bad guys like heart disease and depression. But it’s not always easy to get some solid shut-eye — that’s why we’re hoping this bedtime meditation from our resident mindfulness expert, Robert MacDonald, will do the trick.Read More
I’m the first to admit that, in many ways, I was in pretty bad shape.
And I mean more than the 35 pounds I’d gained.
Despite the assurances of my A-list book agent, my latest book proposal hadn’t sold (I’d had 8 previously published), and a relationship with a business partner went deeply south.
More than that, over 18 months I waded through a sea of loss and death, all involving those closest to me in one way or another:
-My next door neighbor (who had become an unexpected mother-figure) -My best friend from Yale’s partner (I got the call in the middle of the night -My post-college best friend’s soulmate -My best friend of the last few years’ fiancée (I was there when they met and -I ended up co-planning the funeral) and finally … -My own father, all passed away.Read More
veryone wants to feel refreshed and fab on a daily basis. A good night sleep (at least 8 hours) recharges and refuels you so you wake up with a strong body, sharp mind and slay-the-day attitude. Read below for 5 benefits of getting a good night’s sleep, and our 5 tips to help you get there!Read More
As you walk into the Recovery class, intensions set and an open mind, you are immediately brought to a level of calm. The class begins with an inward reflection. You are instructed to take inventory of how your body feels. The outside noise is silenced, and little-by-little you awaken the energy from your head to your toes. Throughout the class, the focus shifts from mindful meditation, to active stretching, and restorative foam rolling. Throughout the progression of these healing elements of the class, your body and mind undergo a transformative recovery experience. Muscles are limber and relaxed, the mind is centered and calm, and from the inside out you feel completely restored. Now that the mind and body are set to a state of balance and revitalization, it’s time to apply the elements of recovery to the imperative care of your skin. The Detox Facial offers a very similar experience of awareness that stems from the inside outward. Beginning with the pre-facial moment you have to yourself in the zen lounge, all tension immediately begins to dissipate. Deep breathing and mindful stillness in advance of your detox prepares you mentally and physically for the restorative therapy. Throughout the 60 minute therapy, your skin undergoes a series of cleanses, 3-layer chemical peel, exfoliation a vitamin C mask, and more. Throughout the facial, you can feel the sensation of toxins leaving the surface of your skin. With a combination of soothing steam, warm compresses, and a soothing environment, you have no choice but to fall into a complete sense of tranquility and wellbeing. Both The Recovery Class and the Detox Facial are brand new offerings at Exhale, and both fully encompass the importance maintaining a routine that not only challenges, but restores and revives your wellbeing from the inside out. Toxins, tension and strain inevitably build up within us over time. Taking the time to clean the slate and refresh your wellbeing is a total must.Read More
by Edward Vilga There’s an ancient parable about blind men encountering an elephant for the first time. Each feels a different part of the animal––tusk, side, legs, tail, etc.––and each has a completely different take on what he’s experienced. Depending on one’s version of the story, they either come to blows or remain baffled, each person convinced they’ve tasted the absolute truth, yet each confined to his limited experience. The same can be said about experiencing yoga for the first time — you may have heard a lot about its benefits — ranging from increased flexibility to sweaty calorie burning and strength building, to deepened serenity — but you aren’t quite sure where to begin. In fact, yoga classes at Exhale range from offering something deeply sweaty (like POWER), to emphasizing graceful and expansive movement (like FLOW), to exploring stillness and ease (CHILL). How is it that so much can fall under this very broad “Yoga Umbrella?” Indeed, it’s fascinating that something as rigorously demanding as Power (where students could be holding forearm plank for a minute or attempt a challenging push-up variation) to Chill (where 90% of the class is spent lying down and using props), can share the label of YOGA. And yet, oddly the distinctions seem to be relatively minor, given the stronger commonalities the classes share. First and foremost, in any yoga class, there’s a strong and continuous emphasis on BREATH. While in other Exhale classes such as Barre or HIIT, the breath might be mentioned, it’s not usually a continuous part of the instruction. In yoga, however, it’s absolutely central. In Flow and Power, I’m calling out “Inhale” and “Exhale” pretty much every moment, particularly in the sun salutation flow. In Chill, I’m continually bringing the breath into the class’ awareness while holding a deeply still pose or while offering a guided meditation. Blog_0415 Another hallmark of what “makes yoga, yoga” is obviously an emphasis on stretching and increased FLEXIBILITY, even though that can look quite different in each type of class. (One aside: by far, the most common objection I hear about someone NOT taking yoga is that they aren’t flexible enough; ironically, that’s EXACTLY the reason they should begin practicing. No matter what your starting point is — even if when bending over, your fingertips are in a different zip code than your toes — yoga will meet you where you are and allow you to expand and lengthen over time.)
Young woman doing Uttanasana exercise
Interestingly, increased flexibility can be obtained no matter the style of yoga practice. In POWER or FLOW, one warms the body up through movement, allowing for deeper stretching, particularly towards the end of a class. In CHILL,Read More
Everything you want to know about Exhale’s Floating Meditation, straight from the creator, Elisabeth Halfpapp. Plus, a special Meditation Month offer at the bottom of this post! A weightless surrendering to yourself as you tune out and float effortlessly in a 30-minute guided meditation with your body being held and supported in a silk hammock. The first time I experienced this relaxing, calming effect was at Miraval Arizona (an Exhale’s sister resort) as just the meditative component without the restorative poses. When I developed a similar class for Exhale, I thought the addition of restorative stretches after a breathing meditation in stillness would help the physical body surrender deeper with more relaxed muscles and mind. When the mind is relaxed the body tends to follow, resulting in a deeper stretch. Also with some guided restorative stretches/poses, the transition back to the “real world” was a little easier. Some of the restorative poses inside and out of the silk, while incorporating the silks are: • Savasana • Hip/hamstring stretches • Child’s pose and extended child’s pose variations • Forward folds • Down dog, up dog, and plank variations During the meditation section, gentle rocking is an option, which is enables you to “float” better. Throughout the entire session, breathing is an active focus which helps to detangle the mind. You may start to fall asleep, which is fine, however, we do encourage you stay awake and aware in order to experience the full benefits. You can always sit upright if you tend to fall asleep or feel uncomfortable being cocooned. There is soothing healing music played through your own personal head phones that enables you to also hear the teacher guide you through the meditation while zoning out external noises — a true calming of the senses. Inhale inspiration…Exhale transformation…..equals WELLBEING as we “float’ together! SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: What should I wear? Comfortable workout attire is recommended. Socks are required. Jewelry that will snag the silks should be left at home. What if I’m sensitive to motion? Rocking is optional, but if you’re sensitive to motion we encourage you to opt out. What happens if I fall asleep? Due to the swaddling-like nature of this experience you may fall asleep. However, we encourage you to stay awake in order to experience the full benefits. Sitting in an upright position is an option. Who is this class for? Floating meditation is open to all level; no experience is necessary. Weight limit is 350lbs. So there you have it! No, you don’t need to be an aerial expert. No, you don’t have to be a meditation expect – you just need to give 30 minutes of your time to feel calm, recharged, and a better sense of overall wellbeing. And as a special for National Meditation Month, we’re offering our Chicago Guests FREE Floating Meditation Classes, May 13-19, 2019. Call 312.753.6500 to book your free classRead More
Your day-to-day choices can make a strong impact on your overall wellbeing. From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed at night, our days are filled with choices and opportunity for positivity. By following these simple steps, you can make a big difference in your life and continue to better your wellbeing! Be thankfulRead More