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Woman reading on red couch with dog
Wellness
Published Tuesday Mar 31, 2020 by Mindbody Team

What Mindbody is Reading/Listening to Right Now

Mindbody Community
Personal Growth

At Mindbody, we’re all trying to do our part, right now, WFH-ing, social distancing and spending as much time at home as possible. All that extra time confined at home makes it particularly tempting to mindlessly consume—whether it be a 10:15 AM lunch, out of boredom, or scrolling titles on Hulu for hours before giving up and re-watching The Office, again. 

It’s important to mix up the content we’re consuming and try to ensure we’re getting a balance of enriching content. We compiled a list of a few of our favorite books and podcasts that the Mindbody team is consciously consuming to try to keep ourselves enlightened and balanced during this time—that is, when we’re not bingeing Tiger King or Love is Blind. 

Hidden Brain [Podcast] with Shankar Vedantam 

“Makes you think about your unconscious decisions—for example, why do we all feel compelled to stockpile toilet paper right now.”  – Megan Incorvaia (Sr Manager, Advertising) 

Host Shankar Vedantam focuses his weekly shows on human behavior and social sciences. Diving deep into sociological & behavioral research to get listeners to understand the headlines through the context of human perception, memory, emotions, and subconscious. 

 

Photo source: Npr.org (Hidden Brain)

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Hidden Brain [Podcast] with Shankar Vedantam 

“Makes you think about your unconscious decisions—for example, why do we all feel compelled to stockpile toilet paper right now.”  – Megan Incorvaia (Sr Manager, Advertising) 

Host Shankar Vedantam focuses his weekly shows on human behavior and social sciences. Diving deep into sociological & behavioral research to get listeners to understand the headlines through the context of human perception, memory, emotions, and subconscious. 

 

Photo source: Npr.org (Hidden Brain)

Digital Minimalism [Book] By Cal Newport

“We’re spending A LOT more time online, but it can be counterintuitive to overall wellness. Digital Minimalism helps shine a light on your behavioral blind spots.” – Meredith Simmons (Sr Marketing Communications Specialist) 

Digital Minimalism takes the approach that technology—a powerful but vilified tool—is not necessarily good or bad. Cal Newport highlights that we should be consciously considering how we’re spending our time (endless scrolling on the ‘grams, anyone?), assessing what value we get from our various tech connections and social platforms, and either consolidating, prioritizing, or taking a step away from technology. 
 

Photo source: Amazon.com

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Digital Minimalism [Book] By Cal Newport

“We’re spending A LOT more time online, but it can be counterintuitive to overall wellness. Digital Minimalism helps shine a light on your behavioral blind spots.” – Meredith Simmons (Sr Marketing Communications Specialist) 

Digital Minimalism takes the approach that technology—a powerful but vilified tool—is not necessarily good or bad. Cal Newport highlights that we should be consciously considering how we’re spending our time (endless scrolling on the ‘grams, anyone?), assessing what value we get from our various tech connections and social platforms, and either consolidating, prioritizing, or taking a step away from technology. 
 

Photo source: Amazon.com

Armchair Expert [Podcast] with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman

“It’s so funny and smart but most importantly, Dax and Monica show you it’s okay to be honest, vulnerable, and sensitive” – Yuki Daniel (Executive Assistant) 

Dax Shepard, along with his co-host and longtime friend, Monica Padman have such a pointed, yet caring & humble way of interviewing. It’s not uncommon for him to prompt many of his celebrity and expert guests to open up deeply within the first five minutes of the podcast. Listening to Dax and Monica is highly entertaining and thought-provoking. A great soundtrack for cooking dinner. 

 

Photo source: Armchair Expert Facebook

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Armchair Expert [Podcast] with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman

“It’s so funny and smart but most importantly, Dax and Monica show you it’s okay to be honest, vulnerable, and sensitive” – Yuki Daniel (Executive Assistant) 

Dax Shepard, along with his co-host and longtime friend, Monica Padman have such a pointed, yet caring & humble way of interviewing. It’s not uncommon for him to prompt many of his celebrity and expert guests to open up deeply within the first five minutes of the podcast. Listening to Dax and Monica is highly entertaining and thought-provoking. A great soundtrack for cooking dinner. 

 

Photo source: Armchair Expert Facebook

When Things Fall Apart [Book] by Pema Chödrön

“Everyone can relate and get advice from this book, whether they are going through a loss, divorce, work stress, etc.” – Keana Dapper (Lifecycle Program Manager) 

Pema Chödrön is a Buddhist nun, author and speaker. Drawing from her vast knowledge and experience with traditional Buddhist Wisdom—she provides a digestible guide on how to lean into our feelings of discomfort. 

 

Photo source: Goodreads.com

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When Things Fall Apart [Book] by Pema Chödrön

“Everyone can relate and get advice from this book, whether they are going through a loss, divorce, work stress, etc.” – Keana Dapper (Lifecycle Program Manager) 

Pema Chödrön is a Buddhist nun, author and speaker. Drawing from her vast knowledge and experience with traditional Buddhist Wisdom—she provides a digestible guide on how to lean into our feelings of discomfort. 

 

Photo source: Goodreads.com

Educated: A Memoir [Book] by Tara Westover

“An incredibly interesting perspective of the power of knowledge and information.” – Angelina C Murray (Lead Acquisition Program Manager) 

A true page-turner, Educated details the childhood and journey through life of Tara Westover. Raised in a home that eschewed formal education, subject to physical and emotional abuse from unstable parents, Westover’s story of discovering and seeking out education against all odds is truly inspiring. 

 

Photo source: Tarawestover.com

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Educated: A Memoir [Book] by Tara Westover

“An incredibly interesting perspective of the power of knowledge and information.” – Angelina C Murray (Lead Acquisition Program Manager) 

A true page-turner, Educated details the childhood and journey through life of Tara Westover. Raised in a home that eschewed formal education, subject to physical and emotional abuse from unstable parents, Westover’s story of discovering and seeking out education against all odds is truly inspiring. 

 

Photo source: Tarawestover.com

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend [Podcast] with Conan O’Brien and Sona Movsesian 

“Conan's untamed, yet likeable id unleashed on his guests who, after the hour is up, unwittingly become his friends. His assistant Sona and producer Matt laugh at, and sometimes with, Conan throughout each episode. Five stars.”  – Ryan Kaltenbach (Senior Business Insights Analyst & Office Meme Master) 

This podcast may not be as enlightened or educational as some of the other picks on our list—but laughter is the best medicine—and we could all use a couple of extra giggles right now. Conan brings through A-list celebrities and top comedians for an hour plus of one third interview & two-thirds side splitting laughter. Just give it a listen. 

 

Photo source: Stitcher.com

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Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend [Podcast] with Conan O’Brien and Sona Movsesian 

“Conan's untamed, yet likeable id unleashed on his guests who, after the hour is up, unwittingly become his friends. His assistant Sona and producer Matt laugh at, and sometimes with, Conan throughout each episode. Five stars.”  – Ryan Kaltenbach (Senior Business Insights Analyst & Office Meme Master) 

This podcast may not be as enlightened or educational as some of the other picks on our list—but laughter is the best medicine—and we could all use a couple of extra giggles right now. Conan brings through A-list celebrities and top comedians for an hour plus of one third interview & two-thirds side splitting laughter. Just give it a listen. 

 

Photo source: Stitcher.com

Joyful:  The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness [Book] By Ingrid Fetell Lee 

“A good reminder that joy can be found in simple, cheap ways.”  – Christina Libertini (Senior Art Director) 

Especially now, when we’re all feeling a little bit more confined, this book gives some useful tips on how to improve our WFH spaces, our bedrooms, our lives, and find a little more joy. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, Ingrid Fetell Lee breaks down the powerful impact of the physical world on our feelings and thoughts (both good and bad). Her anecdotes are fun to read, and the—while basic—are a good reminder that joy can be found in simple, cheap ways. 

 

Photo source: Amazon.com/

7

Joyful:  The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness [Book] By Ingrid Fetell Lee 

“A good reminder that joy can be found in simple, cheap ways.”  – Christina Libertini (Senior Art Director) 

Especially now, when we’re all feeling a little bit more confined, this book gives some useful tips on how to improve our WFH spaces, our bedrooms, our lives, and find a little more joy. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, Ingrid Fetell Lee breaks down the powerful impact of the physical world on our feelings and thoughts (both good and bad). Her anecdotes are fun to read, and the—while basic—are a good reminder that joy can be found in simple, cheap ways. 

 

Photo source: Amazon.com/

Planet Money [Podcast] 

“This podcast actually makes me miss my commute.” – Megan Incorvaia (Sr Manager, Advertising) 

Billed as ”The Economy Explained,” Planet Money breaks down the various forces at play in the economy in a digestible and interesting way. It runs the gamut from topics—is there any difference in top-shelf vs bottom-shelf vodka beyond the marketing—to explaining how the Fed is trying to combat the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

 

Photo source: Npr.org (Planet Money)

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Planet Money [Podcast] 

“This podcast actually makes me miss my commute.” – Megan Incorvaia (Sr Manager, Advertising) 

Billed as ”The Economy Explained,” Planet Money breaks down the various forces at play in the economy in a digestible and interesting way. It runs the gamut from topics—is there any difference in top-shelf vs bottom-shelf vodka beyond the marketing—to explaining how the Fed is trying to combat the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

 

Photo source: Npr.org (Planet Money)

The Body: A Guide for Occupants [Book] by Bill Bryson

“A great read in these times when our bodies have taken the headlines.” – Christina Libertini (Senior Art Director) 

Bill Bryson uses his trademark humor and strong storytelling to provide an engaging review of the human body. If you haven’t taken a biology class since high school (hi!)—this book provides a simple and entertaining walkthrough of how the human body works, one system at a time. It’s definitely not a medical textbook—but delivers on a lighthearted and anecdotal understanding of what keeps our bodies ticking. 

 

Photo source: Amazon.com

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The Body: A Guide for Occupants [Book] by Bill Bryson

“A great read in these times when our bodies have taken the headlines.” – Christina Libertini (Senior Art Director) 

Bill Bryson uses his trademark humor and strong storytelling to provide an engaging review of the human body. If you haven’t taken a biology class since high school (hi!)—this book provides a simple and entertaining walkthrough of how the human body works, one system at a time. It’s definitely not a medical textbook—but delivers on a lighthearted and anecdotal understanding of what keeps our bodies ticking. 

 

Photo source: Amazon.com

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Mindbody Team
Editors & Educators
About the author
We're here to provide you with the latest and greatest, tried and true wellness experiences and advice to help you live life to the fullest. From nourishing recipes and travel tips to finding the perfect sweat routine or wellness regimen—we cover it all. And if we haven't yet, it's definitely on the way.
surfer catching wave in ocean olympics
Fitness
Published Friday Jul 23, 2021 by Bailey Clark

Why I’m Stoked Surfing Will Debut in the Olympics

Fitness

For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.

This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal. 

You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.

As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.

The magic of surfing

Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.

The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.

A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.

The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.

The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.

Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.

Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th. 

Check out these surf classes on the Mindbody App

Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.

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About the author
Bailey Clark is a serial optimist whose passion for marketing lies within creating authentic connections to make the world happier and healthier. As a San Diego native, her favorite pastimes are surfing, F45, practicing yoga, meditation, and really any opportunity to soak up the sun.