Do your kids need a ‘digital detox’ these school holidays?

Does your child constantly like to pester you for an iPad or your iPhone?

Do they LOVE playing on their tablet instead of playing outside?

Would you believe that these days most children have some level of screen addiction?

And why wouldn’t they? Screens are designed to be mesmerizing and have such an affect on the brain that it makes our kids want more and more. With the continuously evolving and growing world of technology, there’s no way we can ignore screens entirely (or not easily anyway!).ropeswing

Instead, it’s time take control of the screens these holidays to ensure your kids have the happiest and healthiest holidays.

The Australian Government guidelines suggest that children five years and older should only be on screen time for a maximum of two hours per day. Considering some children are spending four hours or more on these digital devices each day, this is a figure we should definitely be aiming to lower. Spending hours in front of a screen can take its physical toll on children such as poor posture, stress on the eyes, reduced fitness, increased blood pressure and obesity. These hours can also lead to poor social connection and decreased friendships, reduced self-esteem and can affect cognitive development. Definitely something we should be changing!

It’s all about balance. It’s time to take control. It’s time for a challenge.

Each week of these school holidays aim for the kids to have one technology-free day each week! Then try to reduce their time on technology for the remaining days. Once they get a taste of their technology-free world, we think they’ll head to the backyard instead of to the iPad.

monopolyBoredom actually fuels creativity. Let their imaginations run wild!

Let them build indoor cubby-houses, let them run free in the backyard, encourage other parents to join in so the kids can play together, bring out the old monopoly board or UNO set!
Let’s show the kids how we all used to entertain ourselves before we were surrounded by screens and stimulation.

Practising with Intention

Yoga, as we know, means ‘mind-body connection’. As we move through our postures (or asanas), it’s easy to be caught up in just the physical movement of the body – like with any other form of exercise. Yet, there is much more to a consistent yoga practice and as you begin to explore the nature of your mind during yoga class, you begin also to learn a lot about who you are.

Mindfulness has become a ‘buzzword’ of late. We are encouraged to be more present. To not live in the past or the future. This can be more easily said than done. Most of us struggle to find the time to meditate, let alone face sitting still for an hour or even, 10 minutes. We know it can be a great thing for our health and creating the discipline can be daunting. The good news is, yoga practise can help.

You may have noticed it can be tricky focussing on doing a posture and dealing with your ‘to do list’, or the gossip from work

earlier in the day, at the same time. We’re so focussed on listening to our teacher, working on our task at hand and striving for a stronger, better posture. If you lose your focus, you fall out! Perfect! You could almost consider it to be ‘instant karma’ for allowing your mind to wander when focus is what’s called for. We’re so used to multi-tasking these days, even driving your car at 100km/hr down the freeway (a potentially deadly task) is pretty much an unconscious activity we undertake regularly!

A great way to ensure your focus remains strong in class is to set your intention before you even take your first breath in class. You’ll notice the class always begins with some form of opening. Whether it be the teacher just asking you to feel grounded and/or to actually set your intention for class. After a while, having such an intention gives you something to come back to, should you lose your focus or your drive to keep going when things get tough! It’s a wonderful tool to help you get the most out of your class. And remember, if it all gets too much – just come back to the focus being on your breath. It’s always there, without fail.

Your intention may be just about your postures on that day. It could be to build some aspect of your mental strength. Perhaps it’s to resolve and come to peace with being uncomfortable or under pressure – all in the name of better health and mindset, of course. Or it could even be an intention you’d like to set on behalf of another person. Maybe someone who is struggling themselves, or is sick or incapable of participating in physical exercise…. whatever or whoever is important to you will surely lead to a stronger and more focussed practice.

As you learn to increase your focus in class and strengthen your intentions for practise, you will find a whole new perspective to your yoga. Not just another form of exercise but an opportunity to grow and to contribute to others.

6 Reasons why you must be part of a Community

Human beings are wired to be part of a group. We evolved each as an integral part of the ‘human tribe’ – everyone holding an important role in the group, whether it be chasing down food for dinner or tending to the children. We have formed communities not just so that we can feel part of something but also for survival and rapid expansion as a species. Our hormonal profile (e.g., Oxytocin and Serotonin) dictates the biological need for belonging. Yet, we have technologically evolved so quickly, we have lost the connection between each other. Belonging is the third highest human need in Maslow’s hierarchy of survival. So, why’s it so important and how do we maintain a strong level of connection with others?

One of the first things to realise is that we become like the 6 people we hang around with the most. That in itself can be a scary thought! If you work next to someone who is not your ideal role-model 8 hours a day, be sure to get your human connection from more uplifting beings in your downtime. You can’t really choose your family – and for some of us lucky ones, it’s worked out pretty good. If you find you’re getting weighed down by old stories from those in your gene pool, again be sure to satisfy the need to belong with people who resonate closer to your own values and ideals. You can choose that and choose wisely for your own health’s sake.

Team Mtg2Whenever you are already part of a community or thinking about becoming part of one you need to be aware of the potential effects that it could have on you. Where do you hang out now? What impact is that having on you and your sense of wellbeing? Is it driving you forward in your growth, or potentially holding you back? There are many questions to consider…

At Elemental, we are focused heavily on creating great communities for health-minded people. We want to surround ourselves with people who are driven to have better health, have a positive view, and are focused on changing their lives for the better.

We have such conviction in the power of strong, healthy communities and the impact that thatch have on the world, we have chosen to make community the centre of our business and provide as many means as possible for our members to come together and share their energy.

Here are some important reasons why you should become part of a community:

Inspiration & Motivation – in strong communities there is always someone doing something amazing, which can have the effect of inspiring you to go harder and achieve bigger goals. Community members act more like a team – edging each other on to successful outcomes. If you feel part of something bigger than yourself, you’re far more likely to follow through and achieve what you set out to do.

Expansion through Sharing -why reinvent the wheel? Rather than having to learn from your own mistakes you can reach out to the community and ask if anyone has had an experience that could be valuable to your situation. This is the shortcut to success. Everywhere around you, there are people you can learn from and those who can learn from you. An incredibly powerful platform to quickly improve your experience and the lives of others. Even something as simple as a shared recipe can make a difference in someone’s day.

A Network of Support – there are times in life when you are in need of a particular service, advice, support, understanding or may like to meet a particular person. When you are in strong community it is highly likely that someone may be able to help you out or just share your celebratory moments. Even finishing a class is a big ask some days! To take the time out to share a chat over a smoothie after class can really complete the way you feel and boost those healthy, happy human-connection hormones!

Opportunity – as part of a community we get to learn from other people’s success and what other people do with their day-to-day lives. Successful people are always doing cool stuff and when you are hanging out with them you often get a sense of how that could be real for you, too (and as we said above, possibly feel inspired to do the same). Whether it’s a social activity, perfecting a posture or a once in a lifetime experience, there is always an opportunity for expansion and growth to be found.

Fun – we are social animals and when you are part of a community there are always social activities involved where you can have a lot of fun.

It’s just plain good for your health – People who feel like they belong have far less behavioural issues (such as anxiety or depression). You feel there is more meaning and purpose to your life and that you are exactly where you’re meant to be. The on-flow of positive health effects are massive. Less stress, more happiness, greater contentment, less chance of chronic disease.

Everybody needs to be part of some community. Choose your community wisely and play full out for maximum fun and vitality. We look forward to welcoming you to the Elemental Community at any time – a place to actualise your own highest potential.