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How to Make Your Cleaning Routine More Green
Wellness
Published Thursday Aug 16, 2018 by Caitlin Parker

How to Make Your Cleaning Routine More Green

Motivation

Goodbye harsh chemicals, skin irritants, and synthetic fragrances. Hello clean—the green way! There are many benefits of switching to all-natural cleaning products and avoiding using harsh chemicals and toxins in your home. Not only does using natural cleaners make your space safer for your family (especially kids and pets), it also makes cleaning much more pleasant for everyone involved. Plus, you’ll be supporting environmentally responsible companies that are committed to naturally-derived ingredients, recycled packaging, and more sustainable production practices.
 
When you’re ready to make the swap, rather than throwing everything away and starting over, use up your existing products and slowly replace items with natural alternatives as you run out. This prevents additional waste and is easier on your wallet. Natural cleaning products are now comparably priced to leading traditional brands, and they are available at most big-box retailers—like Target and Amazon. With so many great options out there, it’s easy to find budget-friendly brands without compromising your values.
 
Here are a few of my battle-tested, major mess approved brands and tips for green cleaning your home! 

 

MY GO-TO CLEANING SOLUTIONS 

From countertops to cooking disasters (and even mopping!), Seventh Generation’s All-Purpose Natural Cleaner is my must-have for pretty much everything. When it comes to hand soap, dish soap, and other all-purpose cleaners, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day are always great staples—and they offer refillable packaging options to cut down on waste.
 

Natural bathroom cleaners

BATHROOM

For a deep-clean in the bathroom, I’m a fan of Seventh Generation’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Method’s Bathroom Cleaner. Method’s plant-based formula has a refreshing eucalyptus and mint scent and works serious wonders on tile and showers. 

 

Natural laundry cleaners

LAUNDRY 

The Honest Company’s Laundry Packs are more concentrated than liquid detergents—minimizing water usage in production and making them lighter to ship or even carry home from the store. Seventh Generation’s Chlorine-Free Bleach gets your whites super bright, without the harsh bleach smell. And when it’s time to dry your clothes, ditch the dryer sheets. Instead, prevent static and soften fabrics with reusable wool dryer balls, like these from Molly Sud’s.

 

Natural dishwasher products

DISHWASHER

It’s easier than ever to get your dishes squeaky clean without the chemicals. Method—the dishwasher detergent I always have on hand—is packed with a whole lot of powerful natural cleaning solution to fight grime, grease, and it comes in an earth-friendly pouch! 


PAPER TOWELS

Another small switch that can make a big difference in your home is minimizing paper towel waste with super-absorbent bamboo towels. Towels from brands like Econuts and Bambooee are super versatile and are washable for up to 100 uses!  

 

DIY home cleaners


DIY HOME CLEANERS

I find that the simplest home remedies are the best cleaners—and easily concocted from ingredients you’re already using in the kitchen. DIY cleaning products can often be the quickest and cheapest options to reach for.    


 
BAKING SODA & WHITE VINEGAR 

A good, old-fashioned baking soda and white vinegar mixture is the magic solution for almost everything.

KITCHEN: Sprinkle baking soda all over the surface you want to clean. Let sit for a minute before spraying the vinegar and wiping down with a wet cloth. The baking soda acts as an abrasive to scrub pots and pans, and deep cleans the sink and stove top. To sanitize the dishwasher, run it empty with a cupful of white vinegar on the top rack. 

LAUNDRY: This same natural combination is a great substitute for bleach in the washing machine. 

AROUND THE HOUSE: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for glass, mirrors, and windows. You can add a few drops of essential oil to make your own scented cleaning spray.
 

lemon natural home cleaner

LEMON

Lemons are another easy cleaning hack. After cooking or making tea, I’ll save used lemon wedges to rub over the sink (especially around the drain) to remove odors and to clean pots and pans. 

 

coffee grounds natural home cleaning

COFFEE GROUNDS

To get rid of lingering smells in the kitchen, save your used coffee grounds. Place grounds in a bowl near the stovetop, in the fridge, or sprinkle some in the trash can or sink garbage disposal to eliminate odors naturally. Like salt and baking soda, the grounds also make a great abrasive for tackling those dirty dishes. 
 
Now that you have your guide to tidying up, it’s time to transform your routine for the better. Happy green cleaning!

Caitlin Parker
Written by
Caitlin Parker
Contributor
About the author
Caitlin is a freelance writer hailing from New Jersey who is passionate about wellness, mindfulness, travel and getting outdoors. In her spare time, she can usually be found at a barre or yoga class, reading, hiking, or Instagramming a pour-over coffee.
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

3
Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.