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Wellness Blog

Yoga Tips For Beginners

There is no better time to get into yoga. With numerous benefits for the mind and body, yoga is an excellent workout for people of all ages, body types, and fitness levels. So if you are looking to get your body moving and heal your mind, why not try taking a yoga class?

There is no need to be intimidated. Yoga is for everyone, and all levels, bodies, and abilities are accepted. To help you prepare for your first class, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get comfortable on the mat and build some basic yoga skills.

Prepare for class

For your first yoga class, prepare by eating a light meal and dressing in comfortable clothing that you can move in. No need for fancy yoga duds—wearing shorts and a t-shirt or tank top is completely fine. You should also come prepared with your yoga mat, a water bottle, and a towel to wipe your sweat if desired.

Your instructor will provide directions for every pose throughout the class, but you may want to consider familiarizing yourself with some of the basic poses in advance to feel more prepared and confident. A quick YouTube search beforehand will tell you what you need to know.

Master your breathing

Much of the power of yoga comes from breathing. Focusing on your breath helps you stay present in the current moment, allowing your mind to relax and sharpen. Breathing also helps the physical aspect of yoga. When you sync your movements with your breath, it will enable you to deepen your stretch and increase the impact of each pose.

As a beginner, focus on mastering the basic yoga breath, called ujjayi pranayama. In ujjayi pranayama, you simply breathe in deeply through your nose and then back out, also through your nose. Seems easy enough, doesn’t it? 

Of course, the breathing gets a little trickier once you begin to breathe and move at the same time. So don’t worry if you periodically forget about your breath throughout your practice—just return to it when prompted. Once you get the hang of it, your breathing should begin to sound a bit like ocean waves crashing on the beach.

Let go of expectations

We often come into new workout routines with high expectations for ourselves. You may have decided to take up yoga to lose weight, tone your body, or master the impressive poses you’ve seen on social media.

However, you are much more likely to be successful in your practice when you let go of those expectations and simply embrace the experience as it comes. In your first yoga classes, try to avoid worrying about how you look or comparing yourself to others. You also should not be afraid to take breaks and adjust poses as needed to fit your body and abilities.

Focus on enjoying how the practice makes you feel and look forward to progressing on your journey in your own time and your own way.

Wellness Blog

Try These Celebrity Favourite Supplements!

So many wellness trends floating around today can be traced back to celebrities. They influence most popular trends, from fashion to fitness, so why not follow their lead when it comes to supplements, too? Most stars stick to a strict schedule with diet and exercise, especially if they are training and preparing for an upcoming role. These are some of the supplements that celebrities swear by, and why you should try them out too!

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston maintains her young, healthy and glowing skin by taking A LOT of vitamins! Her secret is simple, she takes her vitamins three times a day, and they usually consist of Vitamin C and basic omegas. Both of which are more than likely contributing factors to her consistent youthful and glowing appearance. She also notes that regular cardio and a balanced diet are essential to promote and maintain overall health and a simplified skincare routine that she maintains daily. 

Victoria Beckham 

Posh Spice believes in a simplified approach to wellness, believe it or not! She swears by her routine, which includes bee pollen to help fight off wrinkles and fatigue. Bee pollen contains 22 amino acids, 12 vitamins, and 28 minerals in each spoonful. This is her number one secret to maintain glowing skin and fight fatigue. A simple yet effective way to achieve the Victoria Beckham glow!


Madonna has been continually praised for her youthful features and personality throughout the years, but what is her real secret to maintaining it? She loves natural supplements and swears by ginseng and yerba mate tea. Yerba mate is known for its natural boost of energy, and ginseng provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. So next time you are looking for a natural boost, why not try one of these options.

With so many different vitamins and supplements on the market, it can often be overwhelming to choose what is right for you and what will be effective. But, with a little bit of help and guidance from our favourite celebrities’ proven wellness routines, hopefully finding the right supplement can be made just a little bit easier!

Wellness Blog

Top Health Benefits Of Spending Time Outdoors

The sun shines on your skin. You close your eyes and feel your skin cells come to life like a salsa dancer on an overpacked dance floor. You sink into your chair and every thought melts away like a dripping snow cone.

Being outside whether for your daily dog walk, to get your tan on, or playing your favourite outdoor sport, can have a hypnotic-like effect on our mind, body and soul.

These days we are inundated with mental health information and online influencers urging us to get outside and enjoy what mother nature gave us. But why? What’s actually behind the brouhaha of the benefits of getting outside?

When we look beyond the magical properties of nature’ we find there are a few key factors at play.

Increased movement

Yes we’re referring to movement and not physical exercise. Exercise can often be a scary word because we all have our preconceived notions about what it means and how we do it. So the key factor here is getting out to get moving. Whether you’re out for a leisurely stroll, tossing a frisbee at the park, or canoeing at Dow’s Lake, you’re not binge watching another television series on the couch, and that’s what counts. The allure of the outdoors, especially when it’s warm out, reduces the barrier to getting excited about going out and getting more movement.

Opportunity for connection

Even if physical distancing restrictions are in place, being outdoors gives us another way to connect with friends and family. Whether we take the time to stop and chat with a neighbour, research shows that even being around others without interacting can help to reduce feelings of isolation. Isolation is found to be one of the key contributors to poor mental health.

The power of Vitamin D

As Canadians we spend a lot of time indoors. This means that we get less exposure to sunlight. When we get less exposure to sunlight, our body doesn’t produce as much Vitamin D. Beyond absorbing Calcium, various research findings show that there is a link between levels of Vitamin D in the body and experience of low mood or Depression. 

So just by throwing on your runners and stepping outside you’re taking literal and metaphorical steps towards boosting your mood.

Focusing on the present is easier

When you’re outdoors there’s so many different ways to engage our senses; birds chirping, the bright colours of growing flowers, the aromas of a BBQ hard at work. With these natural attention grabbers, we can easily attune our focus to what we notice around us. Being present, or mindful, is not about meditation, it’s about keeping your attention in the here and now. This becomes easier to do when we get outside. Quick how to: Pick a spot to observe and try to notice what you see, hear smell, feel and can possibly taste.

Less tech temptation

Being in the present moment is easier when we are not surrounded by the pings of our electronic devices. Being outside and leaving the tech at home reduces distraction while trying to engage your senses in nature.Doing this connects us to our roots of humanity and the natural world around us. When we get outside, we reduce the temptation to scroll, snap or tweet (assuming you haven’t brought your laptop with you).

Research shows that all these factors have a significant impact on our mental, physical and spiritual health. The context of being outside (regardless of the weather) is what allows all these elements to naturally come together for a one stop shop of wellness.

Wellness Blog

Top 5 Health Benefits Of Paddle Boarding, And A Chance To Win Your Own!

Stand-up paddle boarding has become hugely popular over the past few years, and with good reason! It’s relatively easy to do, and has terrific health benefits.

Just imagine yourself paddle boarding through the heart of Ottawa on the Rideau Canal- what a great way to spend a balmy summer evening.  

You could win your very own paddle board courtesy of Manitoba Harvest and Kardish Health Food Centre!  All you need to do is fill out a ballot at any of Kardish’s nine Ottawa locations by August 1st, 2016 for your chance to win!

Here are some of the great benefits of Paddle Boarding:

  • It improves your balance: Standup paddle boarding requires you to stand upright on the board, which requires – and builds - core stability and leg strength to maintain balance.  
  • It gives you a full body workout: Nearly every muscle in your body is used at some point during paddle boarding. Leg muscles attempt to stabilize your center of gravity, while your arms, back and shoulders are used to propel the paddleboard in the water. The core, back and abdominal muscles work to maintain your balance.
  • It’s low impact: Standup paddling is a very low impact exercise. It is particularly useful for runners who are experiencing shin splints or knee and hip pain, yet require exercise during their healing. It is very gentle on your muscles and joints.
  • Gives you a cardio workout: If you spend enough time out on the water paddle boarding, you can get a good cardio workout. You can also race your friends while paddling to make it a bit more motivating and challenging, which is a good way to get the heart rate up. Because engaging in paddle boarding is similar to running, aerobics, or even cross-training, you’ll have improved cardiovascular health and less risk for related diseases.
  • Connects you with nature and reduces stress: Being on the water is calming, and being in nature is scientifically shown to have a positive effect on your mental health and stress levels. And it never hurts to get some extra vitamin D from the sun!

Click here to find the Kardish store that’s closest to you!

Click here to see Kardish’s general contest rules.

Wellness Blog

Fitness Experts Share Tips To Help You Get Moving This Spring

The sun is out and the cool breeze is calling your name!

Need some motivation to help you get off the couch, out of your winter clothes and into the sunshine? Local fitness experts share their motivational tips to help you get moving this spring.


 Sarah Bidnyk 

 Strength & Conditioning Coach


Set Yourself Up for Success
What if you were able to remove each and every excuse ahead of time? Well you can!! Take time to sit down and make a detailed list of every excuse that you plan to come up with to prevent actualizing imaginary you and resolve these ahead of time.

Know Your Currency
The fact is that those highly driven for fitness are already moving and fit. It is the rest who need to set their alarm to their favourite workout track, watch educational videos daily, buy a new outfit they can't fit into yet and/or hire a professional to keep them accountable. Outsmart your imaginary self!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
"There is no better time for a life changing relationship” and even great coaches need coaches. We all need to be led and inspired by others to make the right choices from time to time. Whether it be your local Kardish representative, personal trainer or nutrition expert, professionals in the field of health and wellness can be relied upon to always keep you moving forward on your journey to a better you.

Learn more at

 Lindsay Wolfe-Assaf
 Personal Trainer 


Start TODAY - Often I hear "I'll start Monday" or "January this year will be different" If I could offer one and only one piece of advice it would be to start NOW! This doesn't need to be a complicated plan.

Add in a walk, make a healthy salad for dinner or up the intensity of your workouts...TODAY.

This would bring me to my second piece of advice. Keep it simple. Try not overcommit to too many new routines or challenges at once. Simplify and focus on one goal at a time.

Break down your big goals into small manageable goals and celebrate them as you reach them along the way. Focusing all of your time and energy on your long term goals may get frustrating. Celebrating small goals you reach along the way will improve confidence and give you the motivation to keep going.

Learn more at Wolfe Fitness Ottawa