Our bodies require more than a gym membership to be strong. How we use them, fuel them, and feel in them all contribute to an invisible sense of power and security – our inner strength.

All month long, celebrity trainer and yoga master, Mandy Ingber, is showing us how to feel our strongest – mentally, physically and emotionally – with weekly insights from her new book, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength

Last week we learned how meditation and self-love can help build a strong mind (click back and check out the tips here). This week, Mandy challenges us to nurture our physical selves by taking a closer look at how well we treat our bodies.

How deeply do you sleep? How often do you sweat? Do you take time to unplug? Try at least one challenge a day and feel your own strength stirring… 

This week’s inner strength challenge is for the body. The body is the home where we house all of the other aspects of ourselves. It is the vehicle that allows us to experience the heights of pleasure and the depth of feeling. Developing a strong body requires nurture, consistency and care. This week, you will come to your senses and get grounded.

Monday: Drink 3 liters of Water
Staying hydrated is essential for so much of your body function. How can you tell if you are drinking enough water? The general rule of thumb is to calculate your body weight in pounds and divide that in half. That number is the amount of ounces you should be drinking per day. Take that a step further and add eight ounces for each treat beverage, cup of coffee or tea and 30-minute sweat session. To be safe, 3 liters or approximately 90 ounces of water is a great goal. For optimal hydration, sip your water slowly throughout the day.

I’m no gourmet cook and I often credit Whole Foods for being my personal chef, but when I need self nurture, there is nothing like cooking to help me self-mother. My main ingredient is love. I enjoy nothing more than making magic from out of nowhere by making soups. I can pull from a host of healthy ingredients and use all of the old vegetables in my pantry by throwing them in the pot. Try my Radiant Sweet Potato Butternut Squash soup in week 7 of my new book. You will bounce back to balance and beauty with this delicious and nutritious concoction.

Wednesday: DIY Beauty Treatment
Create your own spa day at home by deciding to eat cleanly, relax, sit down with some magazines, turn on some relaxing music and make a DIY treatment. The heart mask was a contribution to my new book created by Persephenie Lea. The heart mask is designed to help release emotional toxins and to tap into your inner beauty. You can find this treatment in week 7 of my book.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to get our greens in. The dark leafy ones are the best for your blood. A 16-ounce all-green juice counts for two of your fruit and vegetable servings. This makes a great afternoon or mid-morning pick-me-up and you will feel so healthy doing it.

Friday: Sweat it out
Eliminate toxins with a good sweat. There are so many options you can try: infrared sauna, hot yoga, a run or a steam room. These are all great ways to benefit from releasing excess salt, cholesterol and alcohol. I always feel so much better after a good sweat and I try to sweat once a day. Allow yourself to feel that great feeling of catharsis. As you sweat, imagine all that you no longer need is being released.

Saturday: Sleep in or power nap
Sleep is a valuable commodity these days. It seems that wherever I look, people are plagued with insomnia or simply don’t have enough time to sleep. Some tips to getting a better nights sleep are: melatonin, unplugging at least two hours before bed, having a small snack before bed, like 10 almonds, legs-up wall pose and rubbing lavender oil on the bottoms of your feet. Sleep in today, and if you can’t, then make time during your day for a power nap. You will be far more effective if you are well-rested and taking breaks. What’s more is that your body does its best repair work when you are sleeping.

Sunday: Epsom Salt Bath with Lavender Oil
Give your muscles a soothing soak with an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and reduces inflammation, sore muscles and replenishes the magnesium levels in your body. Magnesium ups your serotonin levels, which elevates your mood. An Epsom salt bath with pull toxins from the body and relax the nervous system. Add some lavender oil – it’s known to calm you and helps with insomnia. This will ease you into a relaxing state. Indulge yourself with a 20-minute soak.

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