Wellness with Hästens

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Choose love.


If we break it down there are only two emotions. There is love and there is fear.

Fear has many costumes, it may look like anger, stress, anxiety or self doubt to name a few. Not so pretty but very common. In order to recognize fear driven patterns, you can see they are all goal oriented. For example; "I have to make this much money to be happy" or "I need to lose so many pounds to be sexy."
 

Love is not goal oriented, love is when you enjoy the ride. For example I love myself therefore I choose wisely and take my time and enjoy what I eat. I Love what I do for a living because it brings me joy and wealth now immediately and eternally. I love my amazing body as it allows me to experience life with all my senses.

Let Valentine's Day be a great reminder to treat yourself with love and kindness. Enjoy each moment as you string the moments together like the most beautiful pearl necklace called your life.
Share time. Share love. Share laughter. Share being present with your loved ones.

Carolina Goldberg

Find clarity and focus with Six-Phase Meditation

We all know the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but balancing health and fitness with taking time to relax can be tricky. That’s why we asked our expert yoga trainer and executive wellness consultant at The Beverly Hills Hotel, Carolina Goldberg, to share her tips. Based in LA, she is a yoga trainer and instructor with more than 20,000 hours of experience and over 17 years of teaching and leads our wellness program at the hotel.

According to Carolina, the key to happiness and focus is rooted in one age-old practice: meditation. She explains, “During meditation the body experiences a deep rest, deeper than during the deepest part of sleep.” In addition to achieving focus, “Meditation releases the build-up of stress, anxiety and tension as the body repairs itself. This brings positive health results, such as lower cholesterol and an increase in serotonin (the happy hormone).”

You can reap the benefits of meditation anywhere and at any time. Whether it’s our yoga class on the lawn or relaxing in your suite on a Beverly Hills Hotel Yoga Mat, Carolina recommends the simple meditation practice called ‘Six-Phase Meditation’.

It takes only 15 minutes, and is most effective either first thing in the morning or at nighttime.

Follow these six simple steps:

1. Compassion Phase: Imagine yourself surrounded in a bubble of light and filling it with feelings of love.

2. Gratitude Phase: Think of three things in your personal life that you are grateful for and deeply acknowledge the feelings. Next, think of three things in your professional life that you are grateful for. Lastly, think of three new qualities about yourself that you love.

3. Be at Peace Phase: Practise forgiveness towards anything or anyone who may have rubbed you the wrong way – it can range from the smallest thing to something huge.

4. Vision Phase: Practise future dreaming and growth. Visualise your life one year ahead, then three years ahead.

5. Control Phase: Imagine your perfect day and walk through it in your mind, then feel ready to take charge of your next day.

6. Support Phase: Feel supported in all your actions and choices. Visualise everyone smiling, and feel blessed.

If you’re new to yoga or simply looking for some expert guidance, the hotel offers a weekly 60-minute classes on the outside lawn, so you can take in the fresh air as you enjoy a gentle workout.  Alternatively our in-house yoga team offers a series of private yoga classes and meditation in the comfort of your guestroom or a private space in the hotel.

Find out more information and how to register.

How can Meditation increase your productivity?

WELLNESS

 

As a yogi we start to understand not just the body, but the ups and downs of our mind. As a matter of fact the Second Sutra in Patanjali’s “Yoga Sutrats” states the “Yoga will still the fluctuations of the mind.” In Sanskrit it reads “Yogas Cittas Vrittis Nirodaha”.

B.K.S Iyengar, one of the most influential yoga masters of the modern world said to meditate everyday. If you are stressed and think that you don’t have time to meditate then “Meditate the double amount.” Why would he say this?

Here is the answer for the modern world of stress, with meditation we can understand that it is the thoughts themselves that create anxiety and stress. Yes, it is true that every thought has a direct effect on your emotional body which in turn has a physical chemical reaction, which in this case is not a good one. The stress hormone Cortisol is one of the worst hormones for our entire being.

 As we meditate we can become the “seer of our thought” and therefore we can distance ourselves from them, and treat our thought as “misbehaving puppies”. In other words, before we become our thoughts and anxiety, we can redirect our attention and say… “I am experiencing anxiety now, why don't I take a break.” Take some deep breaths and disconnect from what is causing these thoughts, get organized and prioritize.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the things you have to get done, strategize. Each week commit to finalizing three tasks, each day finalize three tasks. Do them well one by one, and not until you checked it off move on to the next. During the day, set aside time to work, no phones, no emails or social media. Truly commit your time! You can work in 20-30 minute segments, then take a break. (but don’t distract yourself) 

Here is where meditation will give you a great head start, you learn to discipline your mind to stay focused, and to not let negative thoughts and emotions in. You can choose, discern what you will focus on. Then stick to it.

I would recommend to wake up 15 minutes early and sit, then do your second meditation before dinner to de-stress and let go of the day. When you meditate, just meditate. Which many be quite annoying in the beginning, when your psyche and ego will torment you with old stress. Just stick to meditating, and let it be it. The one thing we have in life is CHOICE. You can choose to be distracted and freak out, or choose to do something about it. 

Meditation and yoga will teach you how to breath through situations. You will learn how to be calm and become the seer of your thoughts and then choose to respond in an efficient way.

By Carolina Goldberg

A Meaningful Life as a Boost to Happiness

Sometimes we have to stop, and reflect. What ripple effects do my actions have in my life, on my family and friends, and in business or in general? What are my actions telling the world about me? Does it match-up with who I see myself as being? What impact do I want to leave on this Planet at the end of the day?

Just imagine that you are experiencing “the best” day of your life, where everything is going smoothly. You are friendly, and you smile at everyone you meet, and you are letting a few cars squeeze in front of you, despite the traffic. Imagine wishing everyone in the office a good morning, and texting a few friends and letting them know how amazing they are. How many lives do you think that you touched by radiating kindness and happiness?

Let’s do some math; you let three cars squeeze in front of you, you smile at five people, you say hello to two new people you’ve never met before, and you text three friends. Imagine if all those (thirteen) people you have impacted did the same, you would impact 169 people, and if all of them did the same, 28,561 people would be impacted, and if they did the same we are up to 815,730,721 people, feeling happier thanks to positive vibes. You get the picture! It MATTERS.

“Happiness research” at Stanford University states that taking 3 minutes in the morning to email or text 3 people (not even colleagues) will raise the vibe at the workplace which increases productivity, and decreases sick days. Jennifer Aaker explained “A prosocial act can not only boost the happiness of the recipient, but it can boost the happiness of the giver as well.”

As radiant vibrational beings, everything is made up out of atoms that vibrate, including us humans. The actions that we take with intent sends a vibe out, which in turn will affect the emotions we feel. With every emotion we feel, we have a direct chemical reaction in our bodies, which also creates a physical reaction, which really symbolizes who we are!

Who are you? Who do you want to be? What are your actions, thoughts, and emotions? The trick is, understanding that we have a choice; we are the creators of our own happiness. Which way do you want to go; the positive, and giving way, or the negative, and fear-filled way?

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teaches us that with awareness and mind-fullness we can understand more clearly what we are emanating, therefore discern what actions to take. We ultimately have the choice of what thoughts to think, and what actions to take! Yoga will help with that; “Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodaha” Sanskrit for “Yoga will still the fluctuations of the mind (create mind-fullness and awareness).

So what does this all mean? It means that “taking positive action” will bring meaning into your life and raise your vibration as well as others.

Take advantage of the Valentine Celebration as an opportunity to begin to choose to be the inspired ONE, take action, surprise someone with a call!Give a stranger a smile! Purposely be nicer and make someone laugh! Give a silly gift to someone that would never have expected it!

Create a meaningful and happy life for yourself and the people that you meet, and the people around you, knowing that when you smile someone else will smile. When you laugh someone else feels it too. Choose a positive attitude to life, because it affects you, your health, your happiness and the happiness of the people around you. Make the best day of your life EVERYDAY.

By Carolina Goldberg

Soft to Start 2017

With the New Year we have many new visions and ideas for our new selves. “This year I will begin a yoga practice!” Or whatever intention you have set for the New Year. Beginning something new is not necessarily easy, and continuing with this new habit can be even more challenging. So setting yourself up for success is the most important part. Therefore, we recommend a “Soft Start to the New Year”!

 

As everyone is trying to push it, and possibly making resolutions that are impossible to keep for the long run. You should ask yourself these simple questions:

What worked for you last year? That you could build on this year. Do you really want this specific resolution? Or are you just following the hype? What small and soft changes can you apply to your daily routine today? Acknowledge yourself for the smallest effort and change in the right direction.

 

With yoga we look at the physical aspects in the body. Do you carry tension? Do you need more strength? How is your mobility? Is you stiffness hindering you from breathing well? We look at the vitality and the energy in your body. How is your circulation or your digestion? Do you feel good? Are you experiencing a feeling of lightness and ease, or do you feel sluggish and heavy?

 

Simply by paying attention to how you move and breathe during the day, you are creating awareness, and with this understanding you can discern and choose what will increase your well-being. The attention and awareness is the KEY.

 

With a soft start we will start our Year by bringing attention in to how we are Living, and in a non-judgmental way, adjusting our habits.

 

Here are a few simple ways on how to bring yourself into the present moment.

 

  • When you wake up in the morning take a glass of water and drink it slowly. Take a couple of breaths in between sips. Go outside or by a window, notice something beautiful in nature. Maybe a flower or a tree, and take the moment in by taking deep breathes.

 

  • Stretch your arms up over your head and lean to one side. Lift up and then lean over to your right side. Inhale and lengthen up then exhale and lift and bend sideways. Take 5-10 deep slow breaths on the first side, then switch to the other side. Anchor down through both feet and lift out of your lower back, and let the side stretch open your whole side body! Imagine every atom and cell waking up, and smile.

 

  • Open your hips. You can do this simple stretch sitting on the edge of your bed or standing up is you want to practice your balance. Cross your right ankle over the top of your left upper leg. Flex your feet to protect your knees, then forward fold over your bent left leg to stretch your right hip. This “number four” position can be practiced laying on your back as well, especially if you are working with knee issues.

 

  • Notice that you are externally rotating your thigh bone from the hip socket, and releasing the medial and external rotators in the hips. This hip opener can help relieve lower back issues, sciatica and tightness in hip flexors. After 10-20 breaths switch sides.

 

When you are softly stretching in to your body, pay attention to your breath, and guide the breath into those areas that feel extra tight. If you are experiencing an intense stretch, back of and linger in a softer intensity, observe your body letting up. Notice if something emotional is letting up at the same time. We have to slow down in order to truly experience this release and shift, so be very patient with yourself and remember to not judge if you get restless. Notice how you are feeling for giving yourself these 2 simple and very doable postures, acknowledge yourself for taking time to begin anew!

 

You are on your way to a profound shift in your way of living, just by paying attention and breathing, and moving in order to heal yourself. My personal mantra is “do less, breathe more, because sometimes less is more!” Let this soft start open your eyes to a new you. Happy New Year!

 

Wellness at Hasten

This 15-minute meditation will give you a happier and healthier life!

Meditation is the roadway to being fully content in life. You can practice meditation in so many different ways, but step one is to actually do it.

Let me tell you a few things about meditation that will inspire you, because the road there may not be super intriguing, however it is well worth it. The main objective is to be still and observe. You will shortly notice as you start to meditate, that it is easier said than done. I will show you a very easy and graspable meditation below.

Here are some benefits that may motivate you to do the work. During meditation the body experiences a deep rest, deeper than during the deepest part of sleep. Meditation will release the build-up of stress, anxiety and tension as the body repairs itself (homeostasis). This will bring positive health results like reduction in cholesterol, and increase in Serotonin (the happy hormone) and Prolactin (well-being hormone). With new neurological path ways being built in your brain (Neuron-Plasticity), you will actually become smarter and a better problem solver!

In order to make this practice graspable, I want you to think of your phone. You are able to charge it, you can add more apps and you can install more data. However, if you don’t “switch the power off” every now and then, it will not function at its highest speed. Your mind and your body functions in the same way; you can rest, work out, eat healthy, and talk about meditation. However, if you don’t take the time to actually sit still and meditate, you will not reach clarity and a sense of deep contentment. Live at your Highest Potential!

Deep within every human there is a part of the mind that is calm, quiet, settled and wide-awake. Ancient Yogis say that meditation is a source of our unbounded creativity, unbounded intelligence, infinite happiness, bliss and focus. According to Great Sage, Patanjali, the goal of mediation is to reach the quiet within. The objective is to wake up our fundamental awareness and essence.

By meditating you will feel inspired in your everyday life and your purpose. Your life- path will become clear. Your body and mind will recharge itself, which betters your health and your sleep. You will become the best version of yourself, at what you are uniquely designed to Be. So peel off layers of dogma, stress, and to-do lists, and blossom into who you Truly are, with a few minutes of stillness.

When meditating you’ll experience more quiet thoughts, meaning you’ll connect to the thought behind the thoughts; your transcendent consciousness, your pure consciousness and unified fields of intelligence. Our universal intelligence is always present, and with meditation we can tap in to it. When we meditate, we tap into the Alpha Brain waves, and when doing so, we experience an alert awareness.

I want you to give meditation at least 4-6 weeks, because you need some dedication to break through the top layer. Each week, note in your calendar or journal Week 1, 2 etc.

I would like to share a meditation I personally practice right now. It is called the 6 Phase Meditation (I was inspired by mindvalley.com). It takes only 15 minutes, and you can do it either first thing in the morning or at night before you go to bed:

  1. Compassion Phase: Get quiet and sit comfortably. Imagine yourself surrounded in a bubble of light, and fill that bubble with love and light.
  2. Gratitude Phase: Think of three things in your personal life that you are grateful for and feel the feelings, then three things in your career that you are grateful for, lastly, think of three new qualities about yourself that you love.
  3. Be at Peace Phase: Practice forgiveness towards anything or anyone who rubbed you wrong, it can be the smallest thing or something huge.
  4. Vision Phase: Practice future dreaming and growth, visualize your life one year from now, and then three years from now. Where do you want to be?
  5. Control Phase: Walk through your Perfect Day in your mind. Wake up and get out there, and kick some butt!
  6. Support Phase: Feel blessed and supported in all your actions and your choices, and visualize everyone around you smiling.

By Carolina Goldberg

How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

From my experience living in L.A. for the past 20 something years and spending Thanksgiving together with in-laws and distant family members, the excessive amount of food and wine, along with ads for Black Friday sales, can cause the opposite of Gratitude.
One important tradition that we honor in my family is to say Grace. The definition of the word Grace, is “a prayer expressing gratitude”. Whether we actually give thanks for that huge feast or mostly for our families and daily life blessings, is of course, an individual choice.

In Sweden we have a wonderful word “lagom”, that I personally am very grateful for. This word means “just enough, not too much”. If you ask any Swede, what lagom means, you’ll see a look of recognition. This word makes me think about grace as a way to live life. To have enough, but not too much and not too little. To recognize, cherish and enjoy what you have. I like to apply the concept of lagom in my life in general, but especially for Thanksgiving, to remember what the holiday is really about. I eat with grace and use all my senses to enjoy every bite of food.

When practicing yoga, we connect to gratitude in every class. We practice to move with grace. In order to move gracefully, you must be present in the moment. Yogis use the Breath as a tool to stay present. The breathing technique is called “Ujaii”, which can be translated to the victorious breath, meaning the breath is victorious over the body and the mind. We breathe through the endurance of a posture and master uncomfortable physical situations by guiding our breath into the sensation and relaxing into it. The breath brings our attention into the “now”, as we can hear and feel how we breathe. Therefore, we master our mind by luring towards the present. This is how we train ourselves to be present in life, and how Yogis are able to move with grace and elegance as opposed to reacting to every little challenge or stressor.

At the end of my yoga classes, we reflect of the emotion of Gratitude, which is healing and positive. It also does something very special, it boomerangs back and increases that which you are grateful for. Yogis figured this out thousands of years ago. As we embody a living prayer of gratitude, we draw forth good things – like a magnet attracting success. When we say grace over our meal, we send it a healing energy. When we eat the beautiful selection and savior our meal, the food heals and nourishes our body on a deeper level.

So, when we gather around the table for Thanksgiving, remember what you really are grateful for, despite the business of the holiday. Challenge yourself to stay present as you choose “lagom” of the foods that heal you. Move with grace as you converse with family and friends, and remember to take a deep breathe here and there. Appreciate and be thankful for all the blessings you have in your life at this moment, and you will share the joy and create more of it. As for me and my family, we enjoy writing in our gratitude journal each day. Let us not be Grateful just on this one day of the year, but every day of our lives, and we will see returning positive energy.

November 4th, 2016 | Wellness with Carolina