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This is your life. Are you living it to the fullest? Kicking butt and taking names? You’d better be. Here are 14 things to do in your fabulous 40s: 

1.  Do something that scares you.

I don’t mean you have to jump into the nearest shark-infested water, but if you’re living in your comfort zone, you’re not pushing yourself (and you know it too!) So get out there and try something that gets you out of your comfort zone. Not good at public speaking? Take a course. Feel foolish on the dance floor? Join a ballroom class. Good sailors aren’t made in calm seas, and we don’t grow if we don’t push ourselves. And if it all goes wrong, you have a fun story to tell.

2.  Check yourself.

Are you living your best life? Is this, the place where you’re at, emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally, where you want to be? If the answer to any of those questions is no, it’s time to start making some changes. You don’t deserve to live life wanting more.

3.  Learn something new.

Try the ukulele. Or a Spanish speaking class. Learn to cook more than your five staple dishes. Knit a scarf. You can pay for a class or try an app or YouTube, either way, learning new things not only keeps life interesting for you, it helps you meet new people and gives you something to strive for.

4.  Read more.

Join a book club, or listen to Oprah or The New York Times reviews, or podcast recommendations. Whatever you do, find books that inspire and push you, that incite you to want to change the world (or your little corner of it). And don’t finish bad books. There are too many good books in the world to waste time with bad books. If you read a lot of one genre, try non-fiction, a biography, or the newest thriller.

 5.  Learn to love your body.

This is the only body you get, you might as well start loving it, if you haven’t already. Those legs carry you, that midsection supports you, and those arms help you carry heavy shopping bags or cuddle babies or swing a racket. Your body is a marvel, so start loving it.

6.  Find out which exercises you enjoy.

Something that’s good for your body should feel good, not like torture. If you hate running (and your knees/shins/feet do too) get off the treadmill and try something new. Anything new. Body combat, yoga, Zumba, water aerobics, actual aerobics. It’s a big wide world out there, full of weird and wonderful exercises that you can do at home in front of your TV or in a park or in a gym.

7.  Invest in something.

This doesn’t have to be money related, it just means that you should start dedicating yourself to causes. Whether that’s the stock market, a house, a relationship, or an organisation, start giving your time or money to things you care about, a planting some roots. Speaking of…


Related: The Power Of Creating A Dream List


 8.  Support a cause.

Start doing more with your spare time. You know what you believe in, whether that’s the polar ice caps melting, giving animals loving homes, finding housing for the homeless or raising money for community projects. You don’t need to throw money at the cause, as showing up and giving time is sometimes even more valuable (and rewarding for you too).

 9.  Say “no” and mean it!

Don’t go to that movie/dinner/party/date that you’re dreading. Don’t say yes (or maybe) when you’d rather say no, especially if it’s going to stress you out. Overcommitting is the enemy. It’s time to start your diary with the stuff that you want, and then figure out what else can make the list.

 10.  Start saving.

Don’t panic if you haven’t started saving already, it’s never too late. But it’s time to start thinking about the dreaded “r” word: retirement. Go talk to a financial advisor, if you’re nervous, as their entire job is to help you get on the right track. Also, you never know when you’re going to need some extra money, so have at least two paychecks worth of cash in a savings account, and don’t touch it. This is not your “rainy day” fund, but it’s there to catch you if you fall. Savings sorted.

11.  Bucket list, baby!

If you hate the term “bucket list,” call it a “wishlist” instead, but whatever you call it, you know you have dreams, goals, and travel destinations that have yet to be ticked off your list. And this is the time to make one if you haven’t already. It feels like a great accomplishment, being able to check stuff off your list, and it’ll help you see what you’ve done and give you stuff to look forward to as well.

 12.  Find your style.

If you haven’t already found your style, now is the time. Go through your closet and drawers and chuck out all the stuff that doesn’t make you feel good when you wear it. Then focus on buying wardrobe staples that can be worn for multiple occasions, and make you feel confident when you put them on. Don’t listen to people who say “Dress your age.” You’re as young as you feel, and you should wear stuff that makes you feel powerful!

 13.  Do things that you used to love.

Did you used to love sketching? Or kayaking? Or writing short stories? Family, or work, or simply growing up might have gotten in the way, but it’s never too late to start doing this stuff again, especially if it makes you happy.

 14.  Make some new friends.

It’s never too late to make friends, it just gets a little more difficult once you get older because you’re not always in situations that force you to make friends (like college did, for example). Widening your social circle can be a great way to learn new things, visit different places, and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Start up a conversation with someone in your gym class, go sit next to someone in the work cafeteria at lunch, or go to a class and wear a smile. New experiences will be good for you, I promise.


Related: How To Start Loving Yourself When You Don’t Know How


That was our roundup, do you have any other suggestions for things to tackle in your 40s? Let us know in the comments below!

There are so many buzzwords these days for talking about our bodies, it can be hard to keep track. “Fitspo,” “self-love,” “body positive;” it can all become a bit much. But the important focus here is that the way you talk (and think) about your body matters, as you ultimately shape the way you think and feel about yourself. So how do you change the way you talk about your body? Start by…

1.  Change your inner monologue.

We are our own biggest critics, often using phrases like “I’m too…” or “I’m not…” to body shame ourselves. Flip the script and try some positive descriptions the next time you start to talk down to yourself. “I love my…” is a good place to start. Which leads to…

2.  Find aspects of your body you love.

You may not be fond of certain parts of your body, but focus on the parts you do love, and accentuate those. Maybe you have a great waist, strong arms, a long neck, graceful legs. Show them off! Feel good about the body that you have. It’s amazing just the way it is, even if you are still growing into that belief. And with that…

3.  Remember that no one is perfect, and that’s perfectly fine.

Maybe you have stretchmarks, or cellulite, or extra bits that wobble: that’s okay. We are not meant to look like the airbrushed models in magazines (even they don’t look like that). We have to stop seeing our imperfections as, well, imperfections, if we’re going to start loving our bodies. So no more “I hate my thighs” and way more “My thighs are strong and help me kick butt.”

4.  Fill your closet with clothes that make you feel good about your body.

How will this improve your negative inner dialogue, you ask? Think of it this way: if you’re constantly wearing outfits that don’t fit right, or you don’t feel comfortable in, it’s hard to feel positive about your body. We all have those days when we don’t feel comfortable in our own skin, but we make it so much worse for ourselves by dressing for fashion’s sake instead of comfort’s sake. If you always have that one dress you wear that’s pretty but makes you feel awful, get rid of it. Wear what you like, just as long as it makes you happy.


What are some of the ways you try to create positive thoughts and words around your body? Share with us in the comments below!

We wake up, we rush out the door, we power through lunch, we conquer our day, we collapse into bed…and we leave very little time to focus on our health, physical and mental, and to check in with ourselves and see how we’re doing. It’s time to make a little space in your day for self-love. How, you cry, when I’m already doing so much? It’s easy, and doesn’t have to be a huge time suck.

Here are five ways to make time for self-love every day:

1.  Before you dive into your day…

If you’re like me, you’re rushed off your feet in the morning, but even I need to take a minute to drink my coffee and brush my teeth. It’s in these quiet moments that you can perfect the use of mantras. What are mantras, and why the heck would you use them? Because you should start the day as you mean to continue, and if you start the day with some self-love, you’re starting off on a good note.

2.  During your morning break…

This is something you can do throughout the day as the need/thoughts arise. Do you find yourself taking part in a negative monologue? Our thoughts become our reality, so stop being your own worst enemy, and start showing yourself some love. If you need to give yourself a pep-talk, make it constructive, and positive.


Related: How To Feel More Body Confident and Empowered


3.  When you’re eating lunch…

Nourish your body! Self-love is as much to do with your diet as it is with your mentality. So eat stuff that makes you feel good/energized, and not heavy/bloated/tired. That’s not to say you can’t treat yourself, because “everything in moderation” is still the best rule to live by. Don’t deny yourself any foods, but don’t binge on them either. Be practical; one brownie does not ruin your day, but 20 might make you feel a little sick.

4.  During your workout…

Yes, exercise should get your heart rate going, it should be “work,” but it shouldn’t be punishing. IF you hate the workout you’re doing, you’re a lot less likely to stick with it. And if you don’t stick with it, then what’s the point? Find something you actually enjoy doing, and that what it won’t feel like such hard work (it might even be a fun way to make new friends!)

5.  Before bed…

Schedule some “me” time. I know how impossible this is for some people, which is why it’s so important: you need some down time. Read a book, enjoy a bath, catch up on TV or with friends, or go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be just you, but it must not feel like hard work. If this means you have to wait until the kids/pets/partner has gone to bed before you can lie on the floor and just breathe, then do it. You need time to piece yourself back together after a hectic day, so you can get up again tomorrow and own it.


Related: What Is A #PerfectFigure?


How do you make time for self love?

Whether you’re giving yourself pep talk to get through a workout, a scolding to put you off that extra cookie, or just trying to figure out what to wear in the morning, sometimes your inner voice can be a little unkind. “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is still golden advice even if you aren’t speaking out loud, and especially if you’re speaking to yourself.

If you’re in the habit of negative thinking and tend to spiral out into the “what if…” mind-set, here are seven ways you can positively respond to negative self-talk.

1.  Seek the good, not the bad, in situations

Sometimes it’s easier to talk down to ourselves because we don’t want to get our hopes up. But instead of saying “I’m not going to get this job because I’m bad at interviews,” try saying to yourself “Every interview I go to is good practice, and I can ask for feedback to keep improving.” If you look for the positives, it’s easier to correct yourself when you start thinking negatively about yourself.

2.  Acknowledge feelings, not words

If you find yourself having a negative monologue, don’t scold yourself, but ask why. If you can figure out the feelings behind the self-talk – guilt, disappointment, anger – then you can identify what is actually bothering you, and begin to separate the problem from your own self-worth. So “I’m not good enough” could mean your disappointed over an incident, and you can start to address that feeling in a healthy, productive way.

3.  Be aware of your negative self-talk

If you think positive, you’ll be positive, so the first step towards changing your mood is acknowledging when you’re being negative about yourself. And berating yourself for “bad thoughts” won’t help; you have to flip the script, and change negatives to positives. So if you find yourself thinking “I can’t do anything  right today,” change it to “Today has been tough but I’ve made it through and done my best.”

4.  Know that you have to fail to grow

When you stop seeing mistakes as total failures and start seeing them as a necessary part of life and learning, you can change the way you think and talk about yourself. Not every mistake is catastrophic, so find ways to make pitfalls a learning opportunity, so you can think about what went wrong, and combat the thoughts with something positive. So “I didn’t do well on that test” becomes “Maybe I need to try a new way of studying, so I can improve for next time.”

5.  Imagine worst case, then be proactive

This is called “defensive pessimism” and can actually help you be more positive, as long as you’re proactive. Begin by imagining the worst case scenario, then come up with ways or actions to avoid that outcome. This way you can try and stop negative self-talk before it even happens by being prepared with positive steps.

6.  Use a mantra

This may sound odd, but hear me out. If you know you tend to think negatively about your body, or your work, or your skill set etc., you can come up with a phrase to combat this self-talk and change the way you think about yourself. Find or create a mantra that works to combat your thoughts, and repeat it back to yourself whenever the negative thoughts creep up on you. For example: “I am in charge of how I feel and today I choose happiness.”

7.  Use the word “…yet”

This is a simple but effective way to change the dialogue in your head from negative to hopeful and proactive. None of us are perfect, and once we embrace that fact we become much happier. “I don’t get it”, “I can’t do it” and “This doesn’t work” have a whole new meaning when you add the word “yet” to the end of the phrase.


How are some of the ways you combat negative self-talk? Let us know in the comments below!

Whatever your age, having stuff to strive for gives you purpose and joy. We all want something to make us smile in the morning, whether that’s a double shot of espresso or the newest book on the bestseller list, and responsibilities are measured out in between this bursts of freedom.

Here are thirteen things to do in your 30s!

1.  De-clutter your closet

If you haven’t already found your style, now is the time. Go through your closet and drawers and chuck out all the stuff that doesn’t make you feel good when you wear it. Then focus on buying wardrobe staples that can be worn for multiple occasions, and make you feel confident when you put them on.

2.  Embrace yourself

At this point, you’ve done most if not all of your growing up. You aren’t going to change, and that’s a positive! Now is the time to start loving who you are, embracing all your weird and wonderful quirks, and being the best you you can be.

3.  Find out what exercise you enjoy

Stop doing exercise you hate just because it’s good for you, and start doing stuff that feels less like work and more like fun! Dance around the house, watch videos on yoga, go for a walk, or go to a local class or studio. There’s no excuse, so start loving your body and move some more!

4.  Take a lesson

We should never stop learning, because learning keeps us young at heart! And putting yourself out there, although scary, means you can meet new people, visit new places, and try new things. So go to that salsa dance, or try a couples cooking class, or watch videos on how to knit. There’s no time like the present!

5.  Learn to love flying solo

Go see that movie with the actress you love. Take yourself out to coffee at that new coffee shop. Go see that exhibition you’ve been dying to view. Don’t wait for others, because you’ll miss out. And stop worrying what other people will think if you’re see out alone: they are way too focused on their own life to worry why you’re out to coffee solo!

6.  Invest in something

This doesn’t have to be money related, it just means that you should start dedicating yourself to causes. Whether that’s the stock market, a house, a relationship, or an organisation, start giving your time or money to things you care about, a planting some roots.


Related: 12 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Beautiful Lingerie


7.  Go somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit

And don’t feel like you have to bring anyone else along. If you have somewhere on your bucketlist that you’ve always wanted to go, start planning for it. Having something to look forward to makes it easier to hop out of bed every morning, and making a budget for something fun will make it easier to stick to. And if you don’t have a bucketlist, make one!

8.  Start saving

Retirement. Holidays. Day-to-day budgets. If you haven’t cracked this by now, it’s not too late, but saving daily/weekly/monthly is a habit you need to start. It’ll help you feel better about the future, knowing you’ve got some cash squirreled away.

9.  Ditch toxic people

Life is too short for people who don’t make you happy. It’s as simple as that.

10.  Stick to your routines

Make yourself your number one priority and start focusing on your routines for sleep, exercise, and skincare. You’ll feel less stressed and so will your body, which is a win-win in my book!

11.  Say “no” and mean it!

Don’t go to that movie/dinner/party/date that you’re dreading. Don’t say yes (or maybe) when you’d rather say no, especially if it’s going to stress you out. Overcommitting is the enemy. It’s time to start your diary with the stuff that you want, and then figure out what else can make the list.

12.  Know what you like

This counts for clothes, food, partners, friends, and alcohol. Don’t settle, stop drinking the boxed wine (unless you love it, in which case, cheers!) and don’t except anything less than pure happiness (and that means dessert at dinner is totally acceptable).

13.  Start an emergency fund

Ending on a responsible note, this is a must for all adults out there. You never know when you’re going to need some extra money, so have at least two paychecks worth of cash in a savings account, and don’t touch it. This is not your “rainy day” fund, but it’s there to catch you if you fall.


Related: 7 Good Reasons To Say No and Stop Overcommitting


Did we miss anything that’s on your list? What else do you want to accomplish in your 30’s? Let us know in the comments below!

College or career, family or flying solo, your 20’s will go by in a rush. Trying to cram in as much of a balance between fun and responsibility as possible, here are twelve things you should do in your 20’s.

1.  Travel somewhere by yourself

Not only is this the perfect time in your life to go exploring, because you (hopefully) don’t have as many responsibilities (hello mortgage), it’s also a great time to spend some time figuring out who you are as a person and how you tick. Traveling alone not only means you get to set the agenda, it means you can start to learn to love being by yourself.

2.  Start saving

Whether you use an app, a spreadsheet, or a notebook, it’s time to make a budget and start putting some money away each month. It can be easy to fall off the budget wagon and splurge on stuff you don’t need just because you have the money in your account – so find fun ways to hold yourself accountable, and reward yourself when you stay on task.

3.  Learn to cook

Toast will only get you so far as an adult, so it’s time you invested in some good kitchenware and broke out the recipe books. Once you find recipes that you like, it’ll be easy (and even fun) to make meals. And food prepping on the weekend means you’ll have more time during the week to enjoy your evenings. Plus, dinner parties are fun, and you can’t wow your friends without learning the ropes.

4.  Find out what exercise you enjoy

I know, running is the worst. But that’s just one type of cardio, and nowadays there are hundreds of classes you can try, whether you go to the gym, or just use your laptop, to find them. You can do yoga, lift weights, go to a spin class, or even just walk around your neighbourhood. Just find something you like that you can commit to doing a few times a week so you can keep your heart healthy and your mind happy.

5.  Chase your dream job

You no longer need to settle for the crappy pay, hours, and team members just so you can get the experience. Or if you do, don’t settle for long! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing what you love, even if it means you have to find a few different ways to support yourself. Life is too short to be unhappy, so chase your dream job!

6.  Make an emergency fund

This is a little different from your regular savings, as this isn’t your retirement or holiday fund. This is your “what if…” money, in case the worst should happen (your house floods, your pet has vet bills, your family member get sick and you need to leave work). Usually people try to save at least two paychecks in their emergency fund, you should save as much as you think necessary, and don’t touch it!

7.  Try new things

Stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me a bundle of nerves, but it’s also how I make friends, have fun, and learn new things. So sign up for a class, learn to dance, to speak French, to play the ukulele. Broaden your horizons a little. It’ll be worth it, I promise!

8.  Read more

Of everything. Browse the news on your phone in the morning, scan a paper or magazine at lunch, and start crossing of the classics while you’re in bed at night. There are tons of reading lists that you can follow, like books to change your life, books that are good for your health,

9.  Find your style

Don’t dress for anyone but yourself. That means that you don’t have to follow fashion trends, or wear heels, or do anything unless it brings you joy. Start by going to a bra fitting and get a bra that fits. Then find clothes you love that are comfortable to wear, and create your wardrobe around these staples.

10.  Focus on your happiness

Whether you practice self-affirmations, meditate, stretch daily, get more sleep, or boost your skincare routine, now is the time to practice self-love and self-care, if you weren’t already. Taking care of yourself means you can better take care of others, which means you need to…

11.  Learn to say “no”

If you don’t want to do something, say so. Put yourself first, be a little selfish, if it means you stay happy and healthy.

12.  Find your inner circle

Life is better when you’re surrounded by people who are supportive and want what’s best for you. Find someone (or multiple someones) who will do this for you. If you can call them at any time, day or night, to talk and/or worry, you know you’ve found your inner circle!


Did we miss anything? Let us know what you’ve set off to do in your 20’s!

Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are all made of stardust. Here are ten quotes to show yourself a little self-love!

1.  “Be the woman you needed as a girl.”

2.  “Spend less time tearing yourself apart, worrying if you are good enough. You are good enough.” – Reese Witherspoon.

3.  “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” – Maya Angelou

4.  “I am worthy.”

5.  “If it costs you your peace it’s too expensive.”

6.  “Be the love you never received.” – Rune Lazuli

7.  “Accept what you cannot change. Change what you cannot accept.”

8.  “Everything you want is on the other side of fear” – Jack Canfield

9.  “Regardless of how anyone else feels about me, I am going to choose to be happy and completely love myself today.”

10.  “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean in one drop.”

I can’t be the only one who has ever wondered if there’s a way to get perkier boobs. Push-up bras are one thing, but what about an all-natural lift? Is it possible? According to my research, it sure is. But first, a little background on the subject.

Why do breasts change with age?

It isn’t just gravity that works on our chest over time. As we age and our hormones change, our breasts begin to look less full and firm and the breast tissue itself begins to change. In case you didn’t know, our breasts are made of fatty tissue, and not muscles, so working out your chest area will not increase your chest size (in case any of you were curious). But by strengthening the muscles around your chest, your back, and under your arms, you can give an ample lift to your breasts, making them look perkier and reduce some of the sagging.

Can chest exercises prevent sagging?

Working out while not reverse the signs of aging, which includes sagging, but by looking after your body you can slow down the results. It’s also important to make sure your workout is balanced, so you’re working on pulling as well as pushing, to make sure that your muscles are evenly toned. Stronger chest muscles and weaker back muscles will cause you to hunch, which will make your boobs sag, no matter how good your pectoral muscles are. Also working on your posture, so your shoulders are pulled down and your back is straight, will also do wonders for your chest.

If you have serious concerns about your chest, like changes in color, size, or shape, consult your doctor. But in the mean-time, here are a few exercises that may help you on your way to perkier, more supported boobs:

Bench press

It may look intimidating, but it’s a great upper body workout, and you should start with weights that you feel comfortable with. I recommend using dumbbells before you use a bar, because it’s easier to check that you have good form. Lie flat on your back on a bench, legs on either side, with your head near the top of the bench. Start with your elbows bent in a straight line with your shoulders, parallel with the bench, with your fists facing down your body. Push the dumbbells straight up in the air and bring the ends together, and then slowly release to the starting position.

Pushups

Though you may have to work up to doing pushups with your knees lifted, you can start with the easier form until you feel strong enough to switch it up. Keep your back straight, your elbows tucked close to your sides, and try and get as low as possible before pushing back up. This will work your entire upper body, especially those pectoral muscles.

Bent rows

Put one knee and one hand on the bench, keeping your back flat. Start with your outside arm hanging straight down by your side, and slowly bend the arm and bring your fist to the outside of your chest, keeping your arm tucked by your side. Do with or without weights, but work until you feel the burn!

Deadlifts

Another exercise that looks intimidating, but this one exercise works your entire body (and is way better than burpees, I promise you). With a dumbbell in each hand and your feet hip distance apart, keep your back straight and bend at the waist, keep your fists palms facing in and glide them down your legs until you’re back is parallel to the floor. Reverse to stand.

As with any exercise, make sure you’re wearing a supportive sports bra when you workout, and be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new workout regime or adding a new workout to your routine.


Related: 4 Of The Best Bras For Lifting Sagging Breasts


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Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Will you be adding any of these exercises to your workout routine?

If they’re already a part of your workouts, have you noticed any difference in your breasts?

These days, the word “inclusive” gets thrown around a lot, from workplace seminars to workouts to advertising. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “inclusive” means: “including all the services or items normally expected or required.” Which may initially sound like gibberish but works perfectly when talking about body positivity and being size inclusive.

It can be difficult to love your body when the media is telling you that you shouldn’t. Magazine covers tell us to lose weight, drop dress sizes, and diet. And I’m sure most of us have experienced a clothes shopping nightmare where our size isn’t even recognized by the store (or the sizes are wacky and store specific so you have no idea what size to try on). Dressing rooms are already daunting with their harsh, unforgiving lighting, but too tight clothes or ones that sag in weird places are disheartening to say the least. That’s where size inclusive shopping comes in.

What does size inclusive mean?

Size inclusive means that, no matter how you look – short, tall, big, small, athletic, curvy, flat, plus size – you will not be discriminated against based on your size. When it comes to clothes, it means a brand is trying to cover as many different sizes as possible, and doesn’t just cater to one figure. That means no body shaming. Or only having “cute” designs in the petite sizes. Or only carrying the supposed “average size” (which makes bra shopping an absolute nightmare).

Why is size inclusive important?

Size inclusive means that my short, gorgeously curvy friend and I can shop in the same place, and both of us will have options and a positive shopping experience. Body positivity starts with each individual person learning to love the body they are in, but it definitely helps if the clothes that are available make them feel comfortable, sexy, athletic, etc. (and not claustrophobic, uncomfortable, or like they’re wearing a tent).


Related: 7 Body Positive Quotes Every Woman Should Know


size inclusive meaning

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Related: 5 Tips For Feeling Super Confident In Your Lingerie


Why being size inclusive is important to us

Whichever side of the size spectrum you are on, whenever you walk into a store, or open up your browser, you should feel like you are being welcomed, accepted, and will find clothes that fit you and make you feel good. And while most of us struggle to find the right size in store, never mind online, most of these stores have virtual assistants and great sizing charts with each outfit, so you can feel good about your purchase.


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How are you learning to love your body, and how do you prefer to shop for your clothes? Let us know!

Until I wasn’t getting a good night’s sleep, I didn’t realize just how important sleep was for functioning. Sure, one night of sleeplessness can be fixed with coffee, brisk walks, cold air, and maybe a nap if you’re lucky. But constant lack of sleep? It’s called sleep debt, the feeling of always being tired, and according to the National Sleep Foundation we spend up to one-third of our life asleep, but most of us don’t prioritize our zzz’s properly.

Here’s how Yoga can help you fix that: 

1.  Yoga helps you relax

Whether you attend a class or practice at home, doing yoga forces you to take time out of your day to breathe, stretch, and flow. You release tension you were holding in your body, and force yourself into the present. Sure, your mind might still be thinking about a million things, but your body is focused on the mat. Doing yoga right before bed will help you relax and will prepare your body for sleep.

2.  Yoga helps to quiet your mind

It’s not always easy to forget about your day and focus on your practice, but if you try linking your breathing to your flow, and repeat a mantra or affirmation as you go, then your mind will begin to quiet down along with your body. This is perfect if you’re stressed or anxious, as it helps stop those racing thoughts from keeping you awake at night. Devote a little time to the mat before bed and you’ll feel calmer and less worried about falling asleep.

3.  Yoga soothes aches and pains

If body aches are keeping you awake, yoga might be able to help. There are so many different sequences that target specific areas of your body – like hips, back, neck and shoulders – which could be keeping you awake at night. Try incorporating some gentle stretches into your day, and you’ll feel the difference at night.

4.  Yoga makes you happy

You don’t have to pound the treadmill to get the exercise induced endorphin rush that will improve your mood, as yoga is a gentler, low impact alternative that will still make you feel good. And all of the health benefits that come with yoga, including better quality of sleep, are also working to combat a lot of mental health issues (like anxiety and depression, for example). If negative thoughts are keeping you awake at night, yoga is a positive way to fight back.

5.  Yoga helps you breathe

Shallow breathing is often associated with stress and anxiety. It’s our body’s natural reaction, and most of us don’t even realize that we’re doing it. But focusing on taking deep, even breaths can lower our heart rate, banish anxious breathing, quiet the mind, and relax the body: exactly what you need to sleep. And combining it with yoga, breathing in and out as your move from pose to pose, makes you more aware of how your body is feeling, and will help you work on your lung capacity too. Most yoga classes start and ending with breathing techniques, but here’s one of my favorites: inhale for a count of five, hold the breath for a count of seven, and exhale for a count of eight. Do this for a few rounds before some gentle stretching, and you’ll feel ready to drift off to sleep in no time!

Yoga has a number of other health benefits, and is also a great addition to your regular workout.


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What do you love about yoga?

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