We are the Best of Utah 2018!

Team TRANSFORM is so stoked to be featured in City Weekly's Best of Utah 2018 Body & Mind edition! Thanks to our clients and friends for supporting us in our mission to provide healthy, organic meals and to transform bodies, minds, beings, and lives, and congratulations to our founder Angela Martindale on this honor! 

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Yoga Blocks and Weighted Balls

This is the fourth in a series of posts about developing your home fitness space. Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and tools, and check out our posts on foam rollers, exercise balls, and yoga mats

If you've been to a yoga class at the gym or a studio, you've probably seen a variety of props available for you to use, including blankets, bolsters, straps, and blocks. Today we're talking about the humble yoga block and why you should have one (well, maybe two or more) in your home gym. 

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How to Choose: Yoga blocks come in a variety of sizes and materials. Foam is the lightest and softest, while cork, bamboo, and balsa wood blocks are heavier and firmer. You can even get weighted blocks. You can buy blocks from yoga retail companies like Hugger Mugger and Manduka, at a big-box store like Target or REI, or even online on Amazon or Yoga Warehouse. If you're new to using blocks, start with a 4-inch foam version. 

How to Use: Blocks are great tools in many yoga poses, from underneath your hip in Pigeon to added height underneath your lower hand in Triangle. They help you find healthy alignment when you are working on flexibility and provide support in restorative postures like Waterfall. But blocks aren't just for yoga. Hold a block in between your inner thighs as you squat to engage your core, in between your hands above your head as you lunge to engage your upper body, and as a lighter alternative to a kettlebell. You can also use a small weighted pilates ball for the same effect. 

Try out a yoga block for your next home workout. You may find a new way to support your body and open up new possibilities for strengthening and stretching as a result. 

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM

 

How to Celebrate the Spring Equinox

The 2018 Spring Equinox is Tuesday, March 20. On the most basic level, the equinox marks the point of the year (either in spring or fall) that day and night are of equal length across the world.  In the northern hemisphere, we begin to get more light than dark. The equinox also marks a change in season from winter to spring, so we have rebirth and growth to look forward to. 

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Seasonal shifts can be difficult. We move from the cozy hibernation of winter to the bright, colorful, and warmer experience of spring. If you feel a little bit "meh" in this transition, that's OK. Take care of yourself — get plenty of sleep, move your body, and nourish it with healthy and whole seasonal foods. We at Team TRANSFORM are here to support you

Here are a few other ways to celebrate spring: 

  • Get outside. More daylight and warmer temperatures provide the space and opportunity to be outdoors. Leave your phone at home, go for a walk or hike, and notice the new life blooming around you. 
  • Plant something green. Begin to think about your spring/summer garden, pot a plant to keep at your desk, or simply bring home a bouquet of flowers to put in a vase in your home. 
  • Do 108 sun salutations. The number 108 is significant in ancient yogic texts, and the equinox is a common celebration to practice as many sun salutations. Look for a class or event in your community or roll out your mat and practice at your own pace at home. 
  • Try a new food — and cook for yourself. Plan and prepare a meal using seasonal ingredients, including something that is new to you. Invite a friend or ten to celebrate spring with you. 

Happy Equinox! 

Here's Why You Need An Exercise Ball

This is the third in a series of posts about developing your home fitness space. Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and tools, and check out our posts on foam rollers and yoga mats

You've seen those large stability balls at the gym, but if you haven't used one, you're probably wondering, "What do I do with that?!"

It turns out that you can do a lot with this simple tool. An exercise or stability ball can be used in myriad ways, from building strength to deep stretching, and it's a valuable addition to your home fitness space and routine. 

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How to Choose: Stability balls come in different sizes, generally between 55 cm and 75 cm in diameter, and it's important to choose the correct size for your height. Use these guidelines, and if you're between sizes, test out both to determine which one feels best. 

How to Use: You can work nearly every part of your body with an exercise ball. Try wall squats for your legs, balance pushups for your arms, and knee tucks for your core. Check out workout guides and videos on YouTube to understand proper form for your exercises. 

Keep in mind: While many people replace their desk chairs with stability balls in the name of better posture and core strength, this transition can have a negative impact on your body if done too quickly. Instead of going cold turkey, alternate between a stability ball and your chair in short increments. This will keep any side effects, like low back pain, at bay. 

Check back soon for more fitness tools to add to your routine!

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM

Spring Clean Your Finances

We all know the phrase "spring clean" as it relates to our living spaces, but did you know that this season is also a good opportunity to get your bills and bank accounts in order? With Tax Day fast approaching — April 15 — early March is the perfect time to take care of your financial wellness. 

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Money matters can feel stressful and overwhelming, but they don't have to! Here are our top ways to make organizing, planning, and detoxifying your finances fun and rewarding: 

1. Gather all of your information. Pull together those stacks of bills on your kitchen counter, the wads of receipts hiding in your wallet, and account statements stuffed in your filing cabinets. Once you have all of your paperwork, you can start to think about a system for organizing. If you have electronic versions of documents and prefer a digital organizing system, back everything up and shred paper copies. 

2. Use lots of color. Make your system interesting! Pick up fun folders, bright Post-Its, and colorful pens from your local office store to make your desk or office space light and fun. Use these items to organize your documents, whether that's a folder for specific types of bills or arranging receipts and statements in chronological order. 

3. Stop to appreciate what your bills do for you. Yes, paying bills isn't fun, but your ability to do so means that you have heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, a car to drive to work or play, and a roof over your head. Once you frame it as a blessing rather than a curse, you may find yourself more at peace with the process

4. Ask for help. Your financial wellbeing is right up there with wellness for your body and mind, and just like other types of health, it takes a village! Find an accountant who can help you with your taxes and a financial planner who is well-versed in investing, retirement accounts, or any other needs you have. Financial issues are so unique, and you don't have to struggle alone if you're not sure what options are best. Ask friends or colleagues for recommendations if you don't already have a team assembled. 

5. Inventory your accounts. If you have old accounts you don't use, ask yourself whether you still need them — especially if you are paying maintenance fees. Keep in mind that older credit cards can be beneficial because your credit score takes the average age of your credit lines into consideration. 

6. Request your credit reports. You are eligible for a free credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus. Review each carefully to ensure that all of your accounts are accurate, and address any errors or outstanding debts immediately. 

7. Build a routine. Just like a morning or nighttime ritual, a financial routine will keep you organized and accountable all year. For example, instead of letting bills pile up in your kitchen, set aside time each week, or even a few minutes each day, to file paperwork away. Pick a day each month to take a careful look at your budget. Staying on top of your finances will make them seem less scary. 

We challenge you to take a look at your financial wellness by March 15. You can do it! 

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM