May Workshops


I have 2 brand new workshops going on at Indigo this month, as well as an old favorite. I would love to see you there!

Location: Indigo Wellness 1621 5th Avenue, Moline IL 61265

Cost per workshop: $25 per 90-minute class or $20 if you register 5 days before the event.

Only 15 spots available, so reserve your spot early at indigowellness.info/Services & Prices/Workshops.

62 Point Rolling and Relaxation Meditation – May 9th 5:45PM – 7:15PM

When you try to “live in the moment” or meditate or focus on ANY ONE THING for more than 8 seconds, do you quickly get frustrated, tense, and angry with yourself?  Meditation and mindfulness are supposed to help RELIEVE stress, not CAUSE it.  But our hyper-active brains often have a hard time slowing down and being okay with inactivity.

I have been, um, “blessed” with an overly analytical, over-active mind. Somatic-based meditations (where your brain is guided through the body) are one of the few types of meditation that can handle my monkey mind.  If this sounds familiar to you, I invite you to join me for this class.

We will begin class with a somatic meditation, guiding the mind through 62 points on the body.  We will then use the Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls on all of the 62 points, bringing the mind’s awareness into each of those areas and letting it settle there for a few moments.  At the end of class, we will go through the 62-point meditation a final time, allowing time for the mind to observe the improved mind-body connection that comes with rolling.  You may find that the combination of tactile sensation (rolling) and guided somatic meditation is a gateway to the calm you seek.

The Primal Core – May 16th 5:45PM – 7:15PM

Ahh.  The Core.  It’s “engaged” in almost every single yoga or exercise class, and we all want a toned, sexy one. But what is it really?  Why do we have such a love/hate relationship with it?  Why is it so important (beside looking good in a bikini/Speedo)?

In this workshop we will use Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls to relieve tension in the multiple layers of core – rolling out tissues from the neck to the base of the spine.  We’ll also use the Coregeous balls to start to tune in to our bellies and stimulate digestion.

This class will also include a brief introduction to the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. You’ll learn why this approach is helpful for many people, and you’ll leave with some helpful tips on how to start to incorporate healthy habits such as eating whole foods, moderating sugar intake, and developing good sleep hygiene into your daily life.

Foundation Tune Up – May 23rd 5:45PM – 7:15PM

Your feet have a pretty thankless job.  They get stuffed into leather coffins all day, they can’t breathe, and they can barely move or wriggle. On top of that, they have to carry the weight of your entire body all day long.  And then the weekend comes, and you repeatedly slap them on unforgiving concrete for a several miles.  And then we curse them when they hurt.  Show them a little love and affection and take them out for a date night with the Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls.

In this workshop you will learn some fun and relaxing therapy ball techniques and mindful movements that will help you treat and train your foundation, all the way from the tips of your toes to the crest of your hips.

This class will be great for runners, cyclists, or walkers (or movers of any type).

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Foot Rollin’


One of my favorite things to do with the Yoga Tune Up® balls is roll the bottoms of my feet. It’s also one of my favorite things to teach.  It’s one of the most impactful areas to roll out. It relieves tension in the whole back body line, brings amazing awareness to the feet, and just generally blows peoples’ minds. 🙂

I made a 5 minute video showing how to roll out the feet. You can watch it here.  I only demo one foot, but don’t forget to do both feet (of course!).

I follow Katy Bowman’s advice and try to “stack my life.”  I keep a pair of YTU balls at work, and I roll my feet assiduously when I am on conference calls.  My feet are much more nimble (and bigger – I grew a shoe size!) now.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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New Classes


Hola Folkses!!  I have 2 more workshops scheduled at Indigo.  Check out the Teaching Schedule page for detes.

In April I will be putting together at least 1 or 2 core-focused classes that will include   healthy eating ideas, simple recipes, and other ways to take care of the contents IN the gut and not just the muscles AROUND the gut.  Super excited to share all that I have learned through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute and the Yoga Tune Up® Core Integration Immersion.

More to come!

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The dangers of learning


I just returned home this morning from my 5th Yoga Tune Up® training, the Core Integration Immersion. If you take a body and chop off the head, arms, and legs – well, not only would you have a horrible mess, but in the chunk left over, you have a good representation of the area we learned about in this immersion.

We spent each morning doing a core integration practice which consisted of rolling on the therapy balls to bring awareness into the tissues, and then we activated those tissues in typical Yoga Tune Up® fashion, which means activating them in fun and weird atypical ways. YTU is typically very atypical (see photos below as proof).  Thanks to our teacher, Dinneen Viggiano for taking these pictures!

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As with all trainings that I go to, I leave feeling as if I know NOTHING!!  The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.  It’s pretty annoying to keep bumping up against one’s own ignorance over and over again, yet I keep doing it!!

However, I know that once my brain gets a chance to recover from being overstimulated, the information starts to soak in, and a tiny piece of a massively complicated puzzle clicks into place.  I integrate and absorb what resonates with me.  The feeling of overwhelm starts to subside, I get the pleasure of sharing my new knowledge with other people who will find it useful, and then I start thinking about what training class I am going to go to next.

Once I get a chance to digest all this information with both the brain in my head and the brain in my gut (yep – there is essentially another brain in that there Core), I will write some more posts on what I learned.  I also promised my brother a short video on how to do Uddihyana Bandha (a diaphragm exercise that has an insanely long list of benefits), so I will make a post about that as well.

So, thank you for reading, and more to come!!

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On Becoming a Roll Model


Well, it’s official!  I attended The Science of Rolling, Ball Sequencing & Innovation, turned in the homework and took the final. I am now a Certified Roll Model® Method Practitioner!  What does this mean, you ask?  It means that I can guide you through some really amazing self-myofascial sessions that will leave you feeling more relaxed, taller, and more attuned to your body.

One of my homework assignments was to create a 5 minute video where I teach all the rolling techniques.  The video is below.  This was our first shot, and it was chilly and overcast, so I called it good.  I learned a lot that I will incorporate into video #2, if/when we make it!  The video will give you a general idea of what I mean when I say either “ball-rolling” or “self-myofascial release.”  This sequence will also help relieve tightness in the ankles and knees (great for runners!!).

Calf Mash from Heather Longoria on Vimeo.

Basically you use the grippy, pliable Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls to lengthen muscles, relieve tightness and tension, hydrate tissues, and just generally make you feel better in your body.

I have been teaching these techniques at a yoga studio, private club, in private lessons, and in corporate yoga classes, and everyone falls in love with the balls after their first session. It is unbelievable how much change you can effect in the body with a few minutes of strategic rolling.  Self care is the best form of health care!

That is my update for now. If you are interested in finding out more about Yoga Tune Up® or the Roll Model®, hit me up in the comments or use the Contact Me link.

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I was published in Marks Daily Apple!


Hola Sweet Readers!  I realized that I forgot to tell you that my primal success story (5 years later) was published recently on http://www.MarksDailyApple.com.  You can read the article here.

Hope you are doing well and Take Care!

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Meditation Experiment of n=1


Shoot. I just logged in to make this post and realized that I haven’t made an update since starting the Primal Challenge.  So, here is the nutshell version:  I did awesome until about day 11 or 12, when we went to Front Street, and a glass of wine sounded really good, so I had one. And then off the wagon I went. I still did really well on my 10 minutes/day meditation and walking for 30 minutes/day.  But the no-alcohol for 30 days was a fail.    This lack of self-control on my part fascinates me. I don’t drink A LOT – just regularly, so why is it so hard for me to take a measly 3 weeks off?  I have an emotional/mental blind spot here that needs some work, I believe.

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about today was my meditation practice.  I have been working with a therapist, trying to understand who I am and what I want. One way to do this, is to tune in to your intuition.  I have always been pretty intuitive, when it comes to interacting with other people, but when it comes to understanding how I myself feel and what I really want, my intuition fails me  – it’s yet another blind spot!

My therapist recommended using a mantra mediation. She handed me a sheet of Sanskrit phrases, with the English translation next to them. She encouraged me to pick one that resonated. I read, “Aieem Namah” and the English translation (My true self is playful and wise), and for some reason it literally made me laugh out loud. I loved the juxtaposition of the idea of being playful and wise. My mantra was chosen.

She guided me through a 15 minute meditation where we focused on bringing awareness to the body, then the breath, and then to the mantra.  The mantra became an anchor to bring my mind back over and over again as it continued to do what a mind does, which is think incessantly (and very annoyingly, I might add).  When, at the end up the meditation, she told me to let go of the mantra, I did so reluctantly. Having it there as a base of operations was comforting.

My therapist recorded the meditation and sent it to me. For the past 2-3 weeks, I have been listening to either the recording mediation, or my own internal version, for 15 minutes a day.  This is the first time I have ever really devoted myself to a single type of meditation for that long. What are the results?

The results are…interesting.  I feel as if I am less reactive, which is good. But I also feel as if I am more exposed – more raw and open to the energies of the people around me – even more open to the general unease of the entire populace of the U.S. right now.  Everything in my life is going quite well – work is very calm, my yoga workshops are going well, I am reading lots of interesting books, my family is fairly healthy and happy. There is no reason for me to be anxious. Yet I am anxious. Anxious in my chest – a physical sensation with no conscious mental driver. I feel something and do not know why.  I am pinning it on meditation and its opening of subtle body receptors.

But, honestly, the more I learn about us humans, the more I realize how unbelievably complex we are.  Everything we think, eat, drink, breathe, and do has a emotional, mental, and physical effect.  How does one parse out which of the varying inputs is the one causing the shift???  I need an Hlo in Universe B who could act as a control for my experiments.

Consequently, while I cannot with 100% conviction say that meditation is a good thing, I CAN say that I do believe it is making me more aware, more conscious, more in tune with the universe around me.  I look forward to it daily and even awake at 4:5oAM each morning to make sure I fit it in before my day slips through my fingers.

I will continue with this experiment and will let you know if I finally settle on a thumbs up or thumbs down re: meditation. Although, the older I get and the more I learn, the more I realize that the universe strives for balance in all things, so meditation, like anything in life, is probably not good or bad, it just is.

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Primal Reboot – Week 1


I am doing another Primal Challenge with a few friends.  Summer, counter-intuitively, always means weight gain for me.  Why?  Because even though we are outside more and get more exercise in, we are also biking to the brewery or to lunches consisting of famous Iowa tenderloins and hand-cut fries.  Even a 2-hour bike ride stands no chance against a couple of drinks and nachos.

We started the Challenge on Monday.  My main goals for the challenge are:  1) No alcohol for 21 days, 2) Meditate for at least 10 mins daily, and 3) Walk outside for at least 30 mins daily.  You may think  that these are not exactly “stretch” goals for someone who is pretty healthy.  But, trust me, they are!  Between working full-time, teaching yoga part-time, prepping for the classes, sleeping, eating, continuing my movement education, etc., my days get really full.  I have not been doing a good job of prioritizing the behaviors that I preach in my yoga classes.  Also, I’ve fallen into the habit of having 1-2 drinks each night.  So that is what I’m mainly tackling this go-around.

I have been doing really well so far!  No drinks for 7 days means my stomach is flatter (less bloated), and my sleep quality has VASTLY improved.  While I do not drink copious of alcohol and rarely ever get drunk, I know that alcohol really affects hormone levels (it’s pro-estrogenic), thus negatively affecting your risk of breast cancer.  It also saps my evening productivity something fierce!  I listened to a podcast with James Swanwick, and his experience going alcohol-free really made me question the innocuousness of my habit.  For some additional information on the effects of alcohol, check out this post written by James.

Prioritizing walking and meditation has also made me re-vamp my morning routine.  While I would love to read articles online for an hour each morning while drinking my coffee, instead, I drink one coffee, hop in the shower, go for a walk, and then meditate, and then eat breakfast and then go to work.  If I don’t take care of these two goals in the morning, the day escapes me.

Walking in the morning as the sun comes up is a beautiful way to start the day.  I love hearing the wind in the trees and watching the light slowly illuminate the neighborhood.  It’s also a good test of my proprioceptive skills, and I have to be cautious of ancient sidewalks dipping and rising unexpectedly.

And meditation.  Wow.  Lately I have been feeling more calm, less reactive, and more joyful.  Is it the meditation?  Is it because work is not really stressful right now? Is it because I am teaching more (which I love)?  Is it because I am sleeping better?  That’s the problem with changing multiple behaviors at the same time. I don’t have a control group. 🙂  I think it’s the meditation though – it trains me to take that second breath before reacting which gives me time to observe my instinctual response and reflect on whether it’s really necessary.  What story am I telling myself that is causing me to get fired up?  Is there another reasonable story that will help me maintain my equanimity?  Oh, I still get fired up, but at least now I am more aware of it, and it’s a *slightly* more conscious reaction.

There you have it, Primal Reboot Week 1.  If you are interested in learning more about the Primal Challenge, check out this link, or hit me up in the comments with questions.

Hope you have a fabulous Sunday and can get out and enjoy the crisp sunshine and crackling leaves.

Take care,

-Hlo

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Yoga Tune Up® Workshops


I’m offering a series of Yoga Tune Up® workshops at Indigo in September/October.  Details can be found on my Teaching Schedule page:  https://heatherlongoria.com/teaching-schedule/.

I would love to share this unique teaching style with you!  In my normal, every-day corporate life, I see so many people struggling with tension, stress, anxiety, and dis-embodiment.  If you are tired of dealing with these issues, please, please come check out one of my classes and discover what a little bit of self-care can do for your mind and body.

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Meditation – Hlo Style


I’ve been dabbling in meditation off and on for the past four years or so.  Over that time frame I have discovered and rediscovered some things that I really love and that seem to work for me.  I think that all of us humans are different, though, so the style of meditation that really floats my boat may do nothing for you. But here is what I’ve found works for the best for me.  Try some of these out, and let me know what you think in the comments!

The simplest form of meditation is focusing on your breath – breathe in/belly rise, breathe out/belly fall.  This is a very relaxing form of meditation, but when it’s self-directed (e.g. Heather is telling Heather to breathe in and breathe out), Heather gets distracted and starts thinking about brushing her teeth or which Moleskin she is going to buy next or how dirty the floor is.

And that is why I am a big fan of led meditations.  And fortunately with the advent of computers and smart phones and apps, there is a plethora of options to choose from.  Here are some links to my current meditation tool-set.

  1.  Dharma Ocean 10 Points Meditation.  This somatic (body-based) meditation focuses your mind on different parts of the body.  It helps keep my attention focused, while at the same time allowing me to consciously relax tension that I am unconsciously holding.
  2. Yoga Nidra.  I LOVE yoga nidra.  This is the thing that sparked my interest in yoga 5-6 years ago.  With this style of meditation, the mind’s awareness is drawn methodically through different areas of the body in an almost hypnotic fashion.  I love to listen to this type of meditation before I go to sleep.  Here is a link to a couple of different yoga nidras:
    1. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/a-short-yoga-nidra
    2. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/a-long-yoga-nidra
    3. Google “Yoga Nidra,” and I bet almost anyone you find will be delightful.
  3. Insight Timer.   This is an amazing free app that has a TON of different meditations.  You can search for a specific type (yoga nidra, loving-kindness, etc.), or you can scroll through and look for ones that sound interesting.  It has meditations of several different lengths, so if you only have 5 minutes, scroll for 10 seconds, sit or lay down, and meditate for 5 minutes.  There are a lot of led meditations by British people, and that accent just really does it for me. 😉  The app also gives you the ability to connect with others meditating in your area, which forms a nice, non-intrusive meditation community.
  4. Design of the Body podcast.  For ~30 mins, Dr. Donna Embree  walks you through a meditation where you breathe up from the earth, drawing energy through all your chakras, balancing then and tuning in to your body’s “dashboard.”  This meditation is a little bit “woo-woo,” but when I do it (usually while taking a walk), I feel more centered and grounded. If you listen to this one, try to have an open mind and let go of judgement, and I think you will enjoy it.
  5. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
    1. Body Scan – 32 minute version.
    2. Body Scan – 20 minutes version.
  6. 8 Minute Meditation Guide.  This is the first book I bought on meditation.  If you do not want to go the “led” route, this book will teach you several different forms of mediation which you are encouraged to practice for just 8 minutes a day for a week.  My personal favorites are loving-kindness and body scan, but I got value from all of them.

Obviously I really love body-based meditations.  🙂

Hopefully you found this information helpful. If you get on Insight Timer, look me up, so we can support each other in our meditation practice.

Take care, and have a fabulous Labor Day!  Thanks for reading!

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