alana quintalla

Product Review - Bellabeat Leaf

Alana (@growbythesun)

 

               I am not a bracelet wearing person typically. This has basically always been the case for me. Really jewelry in general has not always been my thing, though recently that has changed. I saw the Bellabeat Leaf first in a Facebook advertisement. It plagued me, as most ads do. I saw it everywhere. Eventually I decided to Google research and watch some videos of reviews of the item. I oogled over the Instagram pictures of people styling this piece in many ways. I researched for a while until I decided I needed to obtain one.

               The Bellabeat Leaf is an activity tracker that doubles as a fashion accessory. It is marketed towards the elegant, feminine, but active woman who does not find function in typical activity trackers that tend to resemble ankle monitoring devices a la Lindsey Lohan. A real life story: I once asked a woman what was on her ankle. It was her Fit-Bit. She did not like wearing it as a bracelet, and decided to attach it to her leg. She had no idea it looked like she was on a house arrest sentence that allowed her 10 square miles wiggle room. I wish I could go back and suggest something like the Leaf that does not portray her as a van-driving soccer mom who also is being monitored by the authorities.

What really got me for this item is the features. It tracks sleep, steps, time spent actively moving, and monthly cycles. You can enter different activities if the Leaf does not pick it up, such as swimming (this is not waterproof!). You can also adjust your sleep times and add naps if needed! It is capable of gentle reminders in the form of vibrations you can set like alarms through the app. All of these features are controlled by the app on your phone, as there is no screen! *gasp* I know guys, something without a screen! I personally like this. It is less distracting to wear and we do not need everything to be a screen, sometimes it is okay to not.

               I have tested this item on its miles setting. I have been on a few hikes or walks that have milemarkers-the Leaf kept up within .05 of an error margin. I have to say, the sleep function is not always accurate. Though this may be my fault, as I have a habit of sitting in bed for a little (or a lot) and my Leaf usually assumes I am asleep. The monthly cycle setting is accurate to a tee because you enter the information. You tell it the day you start and end your period, and it will log it, predict it next month, and tell you your ovulation prediction.

               The Leaf attracted me initially because of how versatile it is as far as wearing. You may clip it to your shirt or pants, wear it as a necklace, or wear it as a bracelet. When I originally dreamed about this item, I saw myself clipping it most often. Necklace was also a good option. After obtaining the Leaf, I most often wear it as a necklace. I also use it as a bracelet often. I do not typically clip it because I think it is so simplistic and beautiful that I want to display it. I can wear it dressy, I can wear it casually. I found a store on Etsy that makes items specifically for the Leaf, her bracelet options are gorgeous and give you so many more options to wear it as a jewelry piece. Bellabeat came out recently for mala options where you can clip in your Leaf to the mala. They are gorgeous, but the first batch sold out immediately and were also above a price I would personally want to spend on one necklace option right now.

               What I don’t do: wear it to yoga often. It usually does not pick up yoga as an “activity”. You can manually enter it, which is does not annoy me. Wearing necklaces or bracelets in yoga distract me usually. I want to focus on my movements more often than my Leaf hitting me in the face in down dog or sliding around when I am flowing.

Do you use activity trackers? Do you like the screens and technology? Do you have a Leaf or have questions about the Leaf? Contact me on Instagram @growbythesun and let’s chat. 

Allow Time

 

Alana (@growbythesun)

 

Over the last month my internal mantra has been “allow time.” Some of you who follow my social media have probably seen some of these posts I have made about allowing time and space in your practice. To me this means many things, but this month it has been glaringly obvious to me how integral it is to allow time.

Allow yourself time to breathe. Now, as a yogi, this could mean a meditative breath practice. Focusing your whole self for a set amount of time daily or weekly to practice the breath. I do this in a few ways. Hint: Try these in bound angle pose for a more grounded feel.

1.      Start by inhaling 5 counts, exhaling 5 counts, holding the breath for 2 counts in between inhales and exhales. I will sometimes start here and see how many counts I can hold or extend the breath. This usually helps me center and ground myself, sometimes great before a big test or bedtime.

2.      Sitting in an easy seat pose, place your left thumb over your right nostril. Breathe in for 5 counts, hold that breath for 3 counts, and then exhale for 5 counts. Once you go through 5 rounds of this, place your hand back on your knee and take a few clearing breaths. Then repeat with your right thumb over your left nostril.

3.      Focusing on the exaggerated rise and fall of your chest and belly. Whatever breath you choose, fast or slow, focus on how it feels to expand and contract your physical body. Putting hands on these areas, or visually watching these movements allow us to see that breath. Watching the breath, realizing the exaggeration and capabilities will allow you to believe in the strength.

Allow yourself time to be quiet. Do you ever feel like you come home and your cheeks hurt from talking or interacting all day? This is your physical body asking for quiet time. You have had enough human time, it is time to internalize and absorb the benefits of social time and use this growth for your quiet time. To me, as an introvert, this comes easy to me. I will sit at home and listen to Youtube videos that engage my mind without me having to directly participate.

Allow yourself time to grieve. You do not need to have experienced great loss for this. To me, I consider this the loss of something meaningful for me. Grief takes shape in many ways and often experiencing the grief a few times over time can be cathartic. I will occasionally allow an amount of grief that I visualize as a size. I will visualize this as the size of an orange, sometimes larger depending on how much space I need to grieve. Visualizing these emotions as items allow control over how much that feeling takes up inside. I will grieve the loss of an idea, a time in life, or any negative energy that enters my space. I will sometimes allow time to grieve something then determine that grief to be filled, that space no longer there. Sometimes I will revisit the grief and allow myself to feel it, then cast it away until it is appropriate to visit this again. Last month, this grief manifested itself and I allowed it. I still allow it. Sometimes every day I allow myself a small, lemon-sized amount of grief. And I feel okay with it, I have welcomed it for those times. I will continue to grieve, and I allow myself whatever amount necessary to cleanse it. And be careful yogis, only after you decide what is worth grieving should you allow it a weight such as a lemon or a melon. If it is worth it, feel it- then use it as fuel just as our bodies do.

Sometimes these allowances are going to interfere with other experiences. Occasionally it is okay to take 15 minutes out of your study time to breathe, or be quiet or grieve. It may make you a more productive or clear minded person for the rest of your day. It may prepare you to face tomorrow stronger than you feel in the present. It may allow you to flow more free in your vinyasa, or tackle your next adventure. Please, allow yourself whatever you need. Take what you need today, and leave what you do not.

Be strong, be brave. Namaste, yogis. So much love.